Entries From Carstensz Pyramid 6-23-12

Carstensz Pyramid:  Team Meets in Bali

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | June 25, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

Hello from the Carstensz Pyramid team,

What a way to start an expedition. Mountain climbers surf Bali!
Fresh red snapper for lunch and solid 3 foot swell for dessert.
I love my job!

We head to the airport at midnight tonight for a 2 am flight to the town of Timika on the Island of New Guinea.
The whole team and all bags are here and ready.

Everyone is looking forward to the rest of this adventure.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Carstensz Pyramid, 16,023 ft RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Alex Van Steen meet the team in Bali.  Photo: Bill M.

On The Map


Bill,Sara & Kayie,
Lots of Luck, Hope the wheather is suitable and most important stay safe.
Aunt Marie

read more

Posted by: Marie McGahan on 7/4/2012 at 5:46 pm

So happy to be able to follow you all on this blog! Please be safe!!! We love you’ll!

read more

Posted by: lisa mcgahan on 6/27/2012 at 1:56 am

Carstensz Pyramid:  Team Packs and Prepares in Timika

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | June 27, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

Hello from Timika, Indonesia!

It’s Sara McGahan, I’m 17 years old, and you may remember me from 2011’s Mt. Everest Expedition! I’m now climbing with RMI Carstensz Pyramid team.

Today was spent preparing for the expedition ahead of us. We have organized gear, shopped for food, and protected everything in waterproof sacks or trash bags. This climb seems so different from any others I’ve done; For most of our expedition we will be hiking through a hot, humid rainforest with expected rain showers almost hourly. We must plan that everything will get wet, but we are trying to do what we can to prevent it from getting completely soaked.

The culture here is also so different from anywhere else I’ve been in the world. There are many parts of West Papua which are still undiscovered. Some tribes have only been in contact with Westerners since the 1970’s, and even now the people are still rooted in the customs and traditions of their ancestors. It is normal for some people to walk around with little to no clothing on, except perhaps for a grass skirt for the women and some shells for the men.
Personally, I am fascinated by the culture here and so excited to further experience it.

While it’s easy to type this in a nice hotel with internet and buffet breakfasts, this seems like a one in a lifetime experience that I can’t wait to begin. The terrain will be difficult both physically and mentally, but everyone in our team seems well prepared for the challenge and enthused for the adventure that awaits.

We are catching a 6 am flight tomorrow to Sugapa and then headed into the jungle. That’s all from Timika!

Sara McGahan

On The Map


Hi Sara, wow that sounds interesting!  Have fun!

read more

Posted by: Candace Keach on 7/1/2012 at 3:02 am

Sara! I am so excited to follow your blog! I wish you and the team all the best :) Have fun! Can’t wait to hear all about it as you… read more

Posted by: Maryashley Whitaker on 6/29/2012 at 6:10 am

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Takes First Trek Through the Jungle

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | June 28, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

Good Evening, good evening from the Carstensz Pyramid team.  We are at Gamagai Village and we have had an incredible day.  We had a beautiful flight over the jungle, we were greeted in Sugapa by hundreds of people, friendly, welcoming, and we began our trek on jeeps, very fun.  We rode for about 10 minutes and then began our jungle walk. Although we expected a lot of rain and there were clouds all around, it did not rain on us as we went through first couple of villages.  It wasn’t until the last couple hours that we experienced the deluge of the jungle. We set up our tents once we got to Gamagai Village but we are not wet a bit, and the reason why is that they welcomed us to do some indoor camping at the local church. 

We are enjoying a dinner of cheese and all kinds of good food. We are going to get ready for another big day tomorrow, a great fun day. We are looking forward to what the mountain has in store for us and we will catch up in a day or two. 

All the Best,
Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker and the first inaugural RMI Carstensz Pyramid Expedition team.

Alex Van Steen Checks in From Gamagai Village

On The Map


Your adventure sounds like a movie! Many thanks for the blog posts since they make it real. Much love to Bill, Katie and Sara.

read more

Posted by: Mom/Grandma on 6/29/2012 at 6:01 am

101 in Atlanta today and no rain.  We want to hear from all of you whne possible.

read more

Posted by: Henry on 6/29/2012 at 4:39 am

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Meets the Moni Tribe

Posted by: Mark Tucker, Alex Van Steen | June 29, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

Hello there Mark Tucker here calling from the Carstensz Pyramid Expedition. Here in Ugimba spending quality time with Moni tribesmen. A Great welcome. This is where our lead local guide is from and it is pretty amazing as you can imagine. We were treated to quite a festival and a very formal traditional dance. This is the real deal, just like the pictures you would see in National Geographic. This is it, this is pure in the purest form. It has been one heck-of-a day, we are just smoked, the whole team is already bedded down and it is still pretty early.

We’ve probably got another 2 or 3 power days in the jungle where every step takes full concentration team is doing fantastic. I’m so impressed with efforts in there. They are adjusting to all of the incredibly challenging root climbs, there were a couple of small cliffs and moving the rivers having to build little bridges wading in rubber boots almost over the top, as a matter of fact, somebody may have actually had a full submersion. We are all doing pretty well, and WOW this place is amazing.  It didn’t really rain until about 4 o’clock, and then they turn on the spigot and it’s full blast. We are happy where we are at.

I can’t wait to show some pictures because this is just an incredible experience, and we hope to continue enjoying it. Big day tomorrow and we’ll do our best to keep checking in. So for now it’s called “Amakane” (ah-mah-kah-neh) it just keeps people smiling and it’s the greatest greeting.

We will keep checking in, Amakane!
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker Checking in from Ugimba

On The Map


The adventure continues. What a story. Much love to you all.

read more

Posted by: Mom/Grandma on 6/30/2012 at 6:18 am

That sounds so incredible - thank you for sharing it all. We are sending good thoughts to all of you.

read more

Posted by: lisa mcgahan on 6/29/2012 at 5:07 pm

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Checks in from Putigapa

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | June 30, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid
Elevation: 11'000'

Hey there Mark Tucker here with the Carstensz climb.  I am not quite sure what of the amazing sites in front of me I should speak of when it comes to leading a Jungle tour.  We round a corner here in this neck of the woods, I guess jungle. A gentleman appears with a big spear, a large bow, something sticking through his nose, and wearing only a gourd tends to get my attention. A wondrous place it is. It is like jungle gym, thank goodness for roots, I have a new a respect for them as a whole.  We had an ascent on some very steep terrain. The team is climbing so strong and so well and the support we are getting from our local staff is wonderful.

We are now in Putigapa which is just a meadow swamp land at about 11,000’ and it is still very forested and we have yet to find the tree line.  Mother Nature was kind to us again today we were able to get all of our gear, tents and dining area set up before the rains started.  Right now it is raining pretty hard, we are all dry, but pretty happy.  We are tired, but that just comes with the territory.
We wish you were all here and we will check in later.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

Mark Tucker checks in from Putigapa

On The Map


When your on that mountain, all you gotta do is give ahundred puhcent. You know me and my boyz dwade and chris all we do is get the rings. If… read more

Posted by: Lebron (The King Who Got His Ring) James on 6/30/2012 at 7:54 pm

Hey Team!!!! Hope you all are not too worn out so far! You are in our prayers! Keep having fun p.s. Katie I hope you are not using as much… read more

Posted by: Billy (Bmeister) Mcgahan on 6/30/2012 at 7:49 pm

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Checks in after Their Hike

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | July 01, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

Today our team completed a 10 hour hike through beautiful marshland.  We are getting into an area with limestone masses, passing by caves in the limestone cliffs. Quite spectacular!  Today’s hike was the first we’ve had in the rain.  But despite the wet conditions, everyone is in high spirits and doing very well.

RMI Guide Alex Van Steen

On The Map


Houston`s climate is not that bad after all. Hope you all will keep up the good spirit and enjoy the reward of being able to do what you are doing.What… read more

Posted by: Richard van Steen on 7/2/2012 at 5:26 am

Alex, Mark and team, Amakane!Mark your blog reminds of a poem my Mom wrote “Oh give me a mountain to climb! Im leaving the jungle trail, the steamy swamps and… read more

Posted by: amy on 7/2/2012 at 1:29 am

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Almost to Basecamp

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | July 02, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid

The weather is beautiful today and our team is about 3 hours away from Basecamp.  After we arrive, we’ll use the rest of the day for training and practice.  We may try for the summit as early as tomorrow.  Everyone is in good health, strong and excited for the summit attempt. We are presently in a valley where it’s difficult to get a signal but we will do our best to dispatch again soon.

RMI Guides Alex Van Steen & Mark Tucker


Your descriptions are amazing. Marshland at 11000 feet! Good luck, team - be safe and have fun.

read more

Posted by: Mom/Grandma on 7/3/2012 at 4:37 am


read more

Posted by: Rini Indyastuti on 7/3/2012 at 1:33 am

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Arrives Basecamp and Preps for Climb

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | July 03, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid
Elevation: 13,900'

Good afternoon,
This is the Carstensz team checking in. We had a hike today into our base camp we got in pretty early this morning, and have spent the day getting ready for a prep day tomorrow.  So tomorrow we will probably climb 6 - 8 pitches of rock as a warm up for Carstensz which we hope to attempt the following day.  Things are going great.  We are well established at base camp. It is raining still but there are long breaks of good weather during the day. And we’re certainly hoping to take advantage of that. That’s it for right now. We’ll check in again tomorrow after we’ve done our training.  Good night to all.

RMI Guide Alex Van Steen

The climbing route on Carstensz Pyramid.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Carstensz Pyramid: Team Readies for Summit Attempt

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | July 04, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid
Elevation: 13,900'

Mark Tucker checking in from the Carstensz Pyramid Expedition.  All is well.  We had a great training day today.  We climbed a portion of the route just trying to familiarize ourselves with the terrain and technique.  Our team is doing very well.  We were pleasantly surprised at the abilities of our group here.
So, of course, it had to starting raining.  We did start out in some clear weather but the spicket turned on and it is raining right now.  We are going to take a look at the weather starting about midnight tonight.  And at some point we’ll pull the trigger and give it our best shot.  Safety is our number one priority but we are going to push it hard and hope that we get a chance to make the summit.
We look forward to climbing tonight but for now, we have to get some rest.
Thanks for checking in.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

A team ascending Carstensz Pyramid. Photo: RMI Collection

RMI Guide Mark Tucker checks in from Carstensz Pyramid Base Camp.


Mark, so jazzed to see you are still climbing mountains! Pat is still in college (Theatre) and Erin is a librarian in Md. I am in Louisiana. Say hello to… read more

Posted by: Jessie Kelly on 7/12/2012 at 12:38 pm




read more

Posted by: ALESSANDRO (ALEX) on 7/5/2012 at 6:53 am

Carstensz Pyramid: Summit!

Posted by: Alex Van Steen, Mark Tucker | July 05, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Carstensz Pyramid
Elevation: 16,023'

Good morning, this is Alex Van Steen from the Carstensz Expedition. And my oh my, what a day we had yesterday. And here is the great word: RMI has summitted Carstensz Pyramid! We had a long day but everybody, despite being exhausted, did, really, really well. We all have a little bit of an altitude hack and the desire to head the other direction, but we are just loving this experience. I wish I could send photos via this dispatch, but they will be posted later. We’ve got lots of photos, and lots more stories. Stay tuned. Thanks, good-bye.

The summit ridge of Carstensz Pyramid.  Photo: RMI Collection RMI Climber Sara M. on the summit of Carstensz Pyramid.  Photo courtesy: Bill McGahan RMI Guide Alex Van Steen with climber Sara on the summit of Carstensz Pyramid.  Photo courtesy: Bill McGahan

RMI Guide Alex Van Steen with the Carstensz summit news.

On The Map


Alex, I’m so proud of you!!! Good job. Love, your cousin-in-law!!! ;-)

read more

Posted by: Lynnette Rutledge on 7/6/2012 at 6:53 pm

Hey guys!!  So incredibly proud of all of you!  To celebrate your achievements today, Sophie and Kasey slept til noon!!!!You guys are all amazing.  Can’t wait to see the pics… read more

Posted by: Uncle Martin on 7/6/2012 at 3:51 pm

More Entries