Carstensz Pyramid : Eternal Snow-capped mountain in the Tropics

December 12, 2011 No Comments »
Carstensz Pyramid : Eternal Snow-capped mountain in the Tropics

Heinrich Harrer, famed author of the book Seven Years in Tibet, had always been fascinated by the Jayawijaya Peak in Papua. And so, some 12 years after returning from Tibet in 1950, Heinrich Harrer together with three friends, Temple, Kippax and Huizinga, decided to conquer the Peak,. In 1962 they became the first climbers to ever reach the top of the Carstensz (Jayawijaya) Peak, one of the 7 highest mountains in the world.

The Jayawijaya Peak, better known to mountaineers by its former name as the Carstensz Pyramid, is 4,844 meters above sea level, and has for centuries enticed many, especially adventurers and mountaineers to reach these eternal equatorial glaciers. In 1623, a Dutch explorer, Jan Carstensz, sighted the snow-capped mountain and named it after him. .This natural phenomenon is very rare since natural ice does not normally develop along the warm equator.  Sadly, significant retreats of the glaciers have been found at several locations such as at the Trikora Peak and the Meren Glacier between 1939 and 1962 and between 1994 to the year 2000. The large eternal ice cap however, remains very awesome and most striking.

The climb to the peak requires special techniques, and climbing the terrain is therefore recommended only for advanced and intermediate climbers. A climbing company has rated the difficulty at 3 out of 5 difficulty points. The ascent takes fifth class rock climbing ability on an extraordinary limestone summit ridge with Tyrolean Traverse, repelling, and general rope skills. Being one of the most difficult peaks to climb in the world, and the highest peak between the Andes and the Himalayas, conquering the Carstensz Peak will fill you with triumph and pure exhilaration.

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