American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Australasia, New Guinea, Carstenz Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Carstenz Range. On October 15 the American-Indonesian Puncak Jaya Expedition landed in the Illaga valley in Irian Jaya, the Indonesian half of New Guinea. Our party was composed of Dan Emmett, Phil Trimble and me from the United States and Frank Morgan, Henry Walan- douw and Edhie Wurjantoro from Jakarta, Indonesia. Though we spent four weeks where it rains 300 inches a year, we felt sure we were there during a wet spell. In addition to bird watching, sightseeing and mud slogging in sloshing boots, we did some climbing in this area of natural beauty: Ngga Poloe, an easy glacier walk, and Second Summit (both 15,945 feet), both from Lakes valley via Meren Glacier, and Middenspitze (c. 15,500 feet) up Carstenz Glacier and then a rock scramble up the east ridge, all three by Carson, Emmett, Morgan, Trimble, Walandouw; Carstenz Pyramid (16,024 feet) from Lakes valley to Yellow valley and then up north face to west ridge, fifth ascent by Carson, Morgan, Trimble, Walandouw (Comparable to Mount Whitney’s East Buttress but in much worse weather. This was the first time a native Indonesian made it to the top, though the army had attempted it with helicopters and swarms of men.); Carstenz Pyramid by north face and west ridge, sixth ascent by Carson, Emmett; East Carstenz Top (c. 15,800 feet) up Carstenz Glacier with nearly vertical snow near the top by entire party; Carstenz Pyramid, direct north face, seventh ascent, new route, solo by Carson, roped, 12 pitches up to F8; Tweedledee and Tweedledum (c. 14,500 feet; two highest points on Harrer’s “Alice Ridge”) first ascents by Carson, Trimble, climbed by accident when wandering in the mist looking for Idenburg Top; Idenburg Top (c. 15,500 feet, the only glaciated peak west of the twin Carstenz-Meran glacier cirques), second ascent by Carson, Emmett, Morgan, Trimble, Walandouw, third-class but significant route-finding problems in bad weather with Harrer’s poor map.

Bruce Carson

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