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Carstensz Pyramid - Heli

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Carstensz Pyramid - Heli

Carstensz Pyramid - Heli

Rising above the rainforests on the island of New Guinea stands the tallest peak on Oceania and one of the Seven Summits, Carstensz Pyramid (16,023’).


  • Scale the most exotic of the Seven Summits in an adventure entailing an amazing and exciting high-altitude rock climb!
  • The lead guide on our Carstensz Pyramid expeditions has previously completed the climb and reached the summit. You benefit directly from their knowledge throughout the adventure.
  • Rely on RMI’s unmatched logistical support. With more than 40 years of experience leading mountaineering expeditions, we have the ability and connections to deal with the uncertainties of climbing Carstensz Pyramid, a mountain notorious for its logistical challenges.
  • RMI continues to set the standard in guiding excellence by offering a thoroughly complete experience. As with other adventures on the planet, we don’t miss the rich cultural aspects of the areas to which we visit.

Beginning our adventures in Bali, we gather as a team before flying to Timika, a small town on the south coast of New Guinea.Our path eventually leads us out of the lower elevations to the alpine marshes and high limestone plateau and to Carstensz Base Camp. Base Camp lies in an absolutely beautiful setting, where jagged limestone peaks rise above milky blue alpine lakes.

The climbing is a moderate technical challenge, involving mostly rock scrambling and fixed line travel. There are a few sections on the route that require rock climbing skills up to 5.6 difficulty.

Carstensz Pyramid is a one day climb, necessitating a pre-dawn departure to avoid the afternoon equatorial precipitation. Proficiency with fixed ropes, ascenders, rappelling, and experience rock climbing are required.  After completing our climb, we return from the mountain to Timika and onward to Bali.

Climbing and traveling in Papua, Indonesia entails a great deal of uncertainty and requires tremendous flexibility. In addition to the fickle equatorial weather amplified by high altitudes, political and bureaucratic challenges exist and can hinder the progress of the expedition. For these reasons we build additional flexibility into our itinerary and request that all team members fully understand the nature of where we are going.


Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America’s oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Denali and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips and we work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from hotels to airport transfers, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

Our Carstensz Pyramid Expedition is led by RMI’s top guides who bring years of climbing experience not only on Carstensz Pyramid but on mountains all over the world, from the Andes to the Alaska Range to the Himalayas.

As you reach higher elevations and test the limits of your experience, the value of an accomplished, highly-trained RMI Guide, one held to our standards and who has previously reached the summit, cannot be understated. 

We use RMI's own climbing equipment brought from the U.S., ensuring that our expedition standards of safety, quality, and reliability are met. Our menu is carefully planned before the expedition, keeping our team happy and healthy throughout the expedition. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.


Safety has always been RMI’s top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI’s experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same standards of safety we bring to Alaska and the Himalayas to our climbs of Carstensz Pyramid. Careful planning, precise ascent profiles with ample contingency days, and diligent attention to logistical details are taken as we venture to high altitudes. The remoteness of Carstensz Pyramid demands that comprehensive medical kits, and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the trip.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

  • Upcoming Climbs

    • Please call our offices at 1-888-892-5462 to inquire about availability.
  • Price
    19 days
    Level 4
    7 Summits

    *Cost includes all expenses Bali to Bali.

Table of Contents


Climbing and travelling in Papua, Indonesia entails a great deal of uncertainty and requires tremendous flexibility. In addition to fickle equatorial weather amplified by high altitudes, political and bureaucratic problems exist which can hinder the progress of the expedition. We purposefully build flexibility into our itinerary to take into account considerations such as the permitting and registration process, weather, route conditions, acclimatization, and the strength of the climbing team. This flexibility allows us to accommodate logistical uncertainties without the pressure to adhere strictly to the schedule and significantly improves our chances of success on Carstensz Pyramid.


Day 1


Depart U.S.: Depending on flight times and connections, travel to Denpasar, Bali typically takes from 24 – 36 hours. Most flights require a stop in a major city such as Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, or Bangkok en route to Denpasar. During your flight you will cross the International Date Line.


Day 2


Arrive Denpasar, Bali: We transfer to our hotel and get some rest before our evening reception and welcome dinner. Overnight at the Best Western Resort Kuta. (D)

Day 3


Today the itinerary focuses on a thorough team meeting, orientation, and equipment check. The remainder of the day is spent enjoying the beaches and local cuisine. We depart for the airport around 11:30 p.m. for a very early morning flight to Timika, located on the island of New Guinea. (B, D)

Day 4

suanggama Village, PAPUA

With our early morning arrival in Timika, we continue our travels with a flight to Sugapa and transfer to Suanggama Village  (B, L, D)

Day 5

trek begins

We begin our trek to Carstensz Base Camp with our departure from Suanggama Village. We will walk slow today as we adjust to the warm temperatures and high humidity.  Our camp will be at Debasiga (2,300m) (B, L, D)

Day 6

continue trek to base camp

From Debasiga we continue to our second camp.  We begin walking at 7am and reach our next camp in the mid afternoon. Cool tempertuares will great us as we ascend above 3,000m. (B, L, D)

Day 7


 (B, L, D)


Day 8


 (B, L, D)

Day 9


We travel across a high country of exposed limestone and alpine meadows to arrive at Carstensz Base Camp.  Base Camp sits beautifully nestled along the shores of a blue-water alpine lake at nearly 13,900'. (B, L, D)

Day 10

rest and acclimatize at BASE CAMP

(B, L, D)

Day 11


Summit Day! Following an alpine start, we initially climb a series of 4th and low 5th class rock gullies before traversing along the narrow summit ridge and over several small notches, to the summit. The climbing involves mostly scrambling, with dramatic exposure and a few short sections of mid 5th class climbing. We use available fixed lines and a Tyrolean traverse to bypass many of the difficulties. The descent involves multiple rappels on fixed lines. Total climbing time is approximately 14 - 18 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 12


This extra day is scheduled into the itinerary in case we encounter poor weather or need additional time for acclimatization. (B, L, D)


Day 13

helicopter pick up

Weather permitting, we are greated by our helicopter and crew and flown to Enarotali, where we enjoy a well-deserved hot shower, some fantastic food and celebration. Overnight in Enarotali.(B, L, D)


Day 14

travel to timika

(B, D)


Day 15

weather/ contingency day

This extra day is scheduled into the itinerary in case we encounter poor weather or need additional time for acclimatization.(B, D)


Day 16

weather/continency day


Day 17


We leave the island of New Guinea and fly to Denpasar, Bali.  Overnight at the Best Western Resort Kuta. (B)


Day 18


Return flights from Denpasar, Bali to the U.S. (B)


Day 19


Arrive US


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Travel Consultant

CTT Destinations Travel Coordinator Pirjo DeHart has served climbers and adventurers for over 25 years. Specializing in small corporate and adventure travel, she works to assure your trip is stress free by taking care of the practical travel details and evaluating travel insurance. Each trip is handled with the utmost attention to detail so that you may focus on your adventure. You can contact Pirjo by phone at (425) 831-0367 or email: rmiexpeditions@cttdestinations.com.

Travel Insurance

Medical Evacuation and Security Evacuation Policies are required to participate in this program.

Due to the remote nature of this program, we require everyone to purchase a medical evacuation policy with minimum coverage of $500,000. Additionally, we require all participants to purchase Security Evacuation insurance. We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

MH RossWe have partnered with MH Ross, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. MH Ross has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

MH Ross’s Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”. In order to receive “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Brochure: MH Ross Advantage Series - Assure Adventure Plans

Security & Medical Evacuation

Global RescueGlobal Rescue is the world’s premier provider of medical and security advisory and evacuation services. Security Evacuation offers crisis evacuation services in non-medical situations. Examples include evacuations from areas affected by natural disasters, war or conflict zones, terrorism, and other areas in which participant security is threatened.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

Our expedition will begin and end in Bali, Indonesia. Your flight will require approximately 24 - 36 hours to reach the capital city of Denpasar, Bali (DPS) and will cross the International Date Line. Most flights from the United States require a stop in a major city such as Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, or Bangkok en route to Denpasar. Flights generally arrive in Denpasar in the afternoon on Day 2 of the itinerary.

Departing flights may be booked for any time on Day 18 of the itinerary.

Entry Information

Visa: We are required to obtain a standard tourist visa when entering Indonesia. We recommend obtaining a “Visa on Arrival” ($35) in Denpasar, Bali.

Passport: A passport valid for 6 months beyond your expected return date, with two entirely blank pages, is required when entering Indonesia. We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Surat Jalan: The special permits for travelling and climbing in Papua (known as the "Surat Jalan") will be obtained by RMI.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, follow signs to the Arrivals Building. First proceed to the Visa-on-Arrival booth. Check that the date covers your complete stay. Then head to the Immigrations desk for foreign travelers.

Once you receive your bags from Baggage Claim, proceed to Customs. There will be a random selection of bags for inspection. Be sure to keep your bags together. Your RMI guide will meet you once you have cleared Customs. We will then transfer to our hotel.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

  • Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
  • Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe dry excess moisture in drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
  • Mosquitoes - Be careful to protect yourself from mosquitoes while in Bali. Use DEET meticulously and spray your room before you go to sleep.

Medical Emergencies

The general level of sanitation and health care in Indonesia is far below U.S. standards. Some routine medical care is available in all major cities, although most travelers leave the country for all but the simplest medical procedures. If a hospital were needed, care should be sought in Java (Jakarta), Singapore, or Australia rather than in Timika or Jayapura. A current list of English-speaking doctors and hospitals is available via the U.S. Embassy Jakarta's website.  

Global Rescue provides advisory, rescue and evacuation services to climbers and trekkers who purchase memberships. RMI purchases medical assistance and security evacuation coverage for the guides on this program and we strongly encourage you to consider the same. Global Rescue provides:

  • 24 hr medical advisory services from critical care paramedics and in-house physicians
  • Field Rescue from the point of illness or injury
  • Evacuation back to the member’s home hospital of choice
  • Deployable medical personnel in the case of hospitalization abroad

Oceania Facts

Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The term is sometimes used to denote the area of Australasia or sometimes all the islands between Asia and the Americas.

Australasia includes Australia and the island group of Indonesia. This relocates the “seventh summit” from the Australian continent (Kosciuszko) to the Australasian highpoint (Carstensz).

Indonesia consists of more than 17,500 islands spread over 3,400 miles along the Equator. The main islands are Java, Sumatra, Bali, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), Papua, Halmahera, and Seram. The capital, Jakarta, lies in the lowlands of West Java. The country has approximately 246,000,000 people and more than 300 ethnic groups. Indonesia's geographic location and topography make the country prone to natural disasters, especially seismic upheaval due to its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. Indonesia is a developing country with a growing economy and severe infrastructure shortcomings.

New Guinea is comprised of Papua (western half) and Papua New Guinea (or PNG; the eastern half). The straight north-south line that separates Papua from Papua New Guinea is a colonial era legacy: an arbitrary line that demarcated the Dutch held portion of the island from that held by Great Britain and Germany.

Papua is the largest province of Indonesia, and includes the western half of New Guinea. Papua is home to approximately 250 to 300 different tribes. The central mountainous region of Papua is home to the highland peoples, who practice pig husbandry and sweet potato cultivation. The lowland peoples live in swampy and malarial coastal regions, and live by hunting the abundant game, and gathering. The people are ethnically distinct from the Indonesians who control their country. The evolution from Papua’s status as the former colony of Netherlands New Guinea to its current place in the Indonesian state is long and complex.

Carstensz Pyramid is located in the Central Mountain Range that crosses the entire island of New Guinea. In Papua, the Central Range’s Maoke Mountains (a translation of “Sneeuwgebergte” or “Snow Mountains”) include the Sudirman Range, which is dominated by Carstensz Pyramid at 16,023 ft./4,884 m. The Indonesian name for Carstensz is Puncak Jaya, meaning “Victory Peak.” The Moni name for Carstensz is Mbai Ngela, meaning "Forbidden Egg." The story is that in years gone by when the mountain was snow covered, it resembled an egg, and the fore-fathers forbade their people from going there because it was the hunting grounds of evil spirits and those spirits always killed those who ventured there. Even today, villagers have a very difficult time understanding the science of hypothermia and often will point to and tell of places along the way where the spirits have killed a poor wayfarer!


Lying along the equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate, with distinct monsoonal wet and dry seasons.  Average annual rainfall in the lowlands varies from 70 to 125 inches, and up to 240 inches in the mountain.  The rainiest months are November through March.  After March the weather stabilizes, though it can still rain every day.  Rain is part of the jungle!  While there are brief periods of dry weather, they are not predictable.  Humidity is high, averaging about 80%.  Temperatures vary little throughout the year; the average daily temperature of Jakarta is 79-86 degrees F.  For current weather conditions, check Weather Underground.

Cultural Etiquette

Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Even when travelling the short distances between our hotel and the beaches in Bali, it is considered a good practice to be conservatively covered.

"Amakane" is perhaps the most important phrase you should learn when visiting Papua. It is the traditional Moni tribal greeting, used by both men and women, which literally means, "Welcome to my bosom." The message is warm and welcoming and implies, “I offer to nurture you.”

Papua and its people are very photogenic and the photos you take will be priceless. Ask for permission before photographing individuals, particularly indigenous people. Many of the locals are used to posing for photographs. If in doubt, either ask or refrain. Don't photograph any government or military property or persons; this includes the airport. Please visit http://climbcarstensz.wordpress.com/category/customs-culture/, where RMI guide Alex Van Steen has posted several interesting articles related to the culture and customs of Papua.


There are three Indonesian outlets. All are 220V/230V, 50 Hz. A universal plug adaptor and step-down (220-to-110 V) traveler’s voltage converter are necessary for charging phones, computers, etc.

Voltage in Papua is unstable. A personal solar charger such as the Brunton Solaris 6 may be the safest and most reliable way to charge your electronics.


The official currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

Bring about $500 to Indonesia for restaurant meals, drinks, additional snacks, shopping, and pocket money. Exchanging money in Bali is quite easy and there are a number of money changers immediately outside of Customs/Immigrations. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans and length of stay.

We find that credit cards are generally the easiest way to pay for restaurants. We recommend you balance the amount of cash you bring with the ability to get money in Indonesia and suggest using your credit card whenever possible.


Tipping is generally included with the bill in restaurants in Bali and Timika. In Papua and for our porters on the mountain, tipping is becoming somewhat normalized, though no solid guidelines exist yet. RMI has designated an appropriate Rupiah amount to distribute to our local staff, and you are welcome to add to that pool.

Our guides work hard to ensure your well being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program.


Introducing Papua and Highlands of Papua by Kal Muller, 2011. Kal, a respected authority and prolific writer on the indigenous peoples of Papua, wrote the texts in this series primarily to help indigenous Papuan students understand their rich heritage and culture. You can read Chapter 1 of Introducing Papua and Chapter 7 of Highlands of Papua here.

Peace Child by Don Richardson, 2005. In 1962, Don and Carol Richardson lived as missionaries among the Sawi people, a Papuan tribe which practiced headhunting and cannibalism. While such practices have not been recorded among the highland tribes where we will travel, the Richardson’s experiences help us understand some of the cultural values we notice throughout our trip.

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This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition with moderate technical climbing ability. Confidence moving on easy fifth-class rock, on fixed ropes, and through multiple rappels is required. Proficiency with technical climbing skills such as use of anchors, use of ascenders on fixed lines, and familiarity with Tyrolean traverses is also required.

Screening and final selection will be done on an individual basis after we have reviewed your climbing experience and our veteran Carstensz Pyramid Guides have spoken with you directly.

Our experience shows that individuals perform better and enjoy the adventure more if they have a high degree of fitness and comfort with moderate rock climbing skills. This program’s high altitude, length of trip, remoteness of the area, and the technical nature of the climb all contribute to make this challenging and demanding adventure.


Recommended climbing experiences prior to Carstensz Pyramid - Heli include:

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

Physical Fitness Training

Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.

For the Carstensz Pyramid - Heli climb, you are preparing for:

  • Steep hiking with 40 lb. loads
  • 12-14+ hour summit day
  • Exposed fourth-class climbing
  • Several hundred feet of low fifth-class rock
  • Several Tyrolean traverses
  • 15-20 rappels
  • Mountaineering techniques requiring core strength and flexibility

Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.


The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.

Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.

Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) or overheating (especially through the jungle) are all key factors in an individual’s success on an expedition such as this.

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What You’ll Need

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2016 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items.

  • Use Code RMI2016
    To receive 10% off
    All New Equipment

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List

    • 2 DUFFEL BAG(S)

      100+ liter bag(s) made of tough, waterproof material with rugged zippers. One duffel will be taken on the mountain and carried by the porters through the rainy forest. The other duffel can be smaller and lighter duty and will be left at the hotel with extra gear and clothing.


      A synthetic bag rated to 10° to 15° F. A waterproof bag is preferred, but not mandatory.
      The temperature rating system for sleeping bags is arbitrary and is not a guarantee of warmth. Base your selection on how well you do in the cold. If you tend to sleep on the cold side, choose a bag rated on the lower end of the temperature range.


      A comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness with a few accessible gear loops.  Removable, drop seat or adjustable leg loops are essential for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.


      For traveling on fixed ropes. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their strong hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.


      A figure eight rappel device is required. Other devices will not work as well on thick diameter fixed lines.


      Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


      On sunny days, you will need protective glasses. Regular sunglasses will suffice on this program. Glacier glasses are not required.


      Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.

    • Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


      A glove with a leather or grip palm is best. Fleece- or wool-palmed gloves are too slippery when rappeling.


      Durable, waterproof leather gloves are necessary for rappeling and climbing on the abrasive limestone of Carstensz.


      These might be used in combination with other gloves, but should be heavy duty enough to be used alone. Consider an additional pair of  lightweight rubber gloves to be used as liners with other gloves.

    • We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.

    • We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


      A lightweight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.


      One pair of sturdy trekking boots or approach shoes for trekking and wearing around camp. These must be waterproof.


      High quality knee-high rubber boots with good grip for traveling in muddy terrain. Lace up or buckle closures are highly recommended since the provide a snug fit that reduces that chance of the boot being pulled off in deep mud. We recommend the non-insulated models.


      Lightweight water shoe with covered toe for river crossings. Chaco, Teva, All Sport, Champion, and Speedo all have popular models.


      We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.


      Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. We do not recommend the tablets.


      We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


      Please bring 10 gallon-size bags and 10 quart-size bags. These are used to protect various items from the rain as well as serve as personal trash bags.


      Small and lightweight.


      For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

    • CAMERA
    • 4 SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.


      Consider sandals as your "comfortable shoes," though take care to select a shoe that protects the toes (no flip flops, for example)


      Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.


      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.


      Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.

    • TYLENOL #3

      Tylenol 3 for pain


      For Altitude Illness

    • iPOD

      A small solar panel is a great way to charge your iPod or camera.


      Valid for six months beyond your return date.


      The first two pages of your passport.

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: group and personal tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, fixed ropes, and comprehensive first aid and repair kits.

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On Carstensz Pyramid you will need mountain snacks for 9 days. All of your mountain snack items should weigh about 5 lb.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals on the mountain are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary. With the exception of hotel breakfasts, most restaurant meals are on your own. You are responsible for your own bottled water and drinks.

RMI does not provide additional meals in the event of a delay.


Mountain snacks are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended mountain snack items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, toffees, Life Savers), gummy bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid). 

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Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $3,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 120 days prior to the start of your program, and we will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your balance payment is not received within 120 days of the program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 120 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via check, e-check or wire transfer only.


Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, there will be no refunds for cancellations.

Cancellation Insurance: We require that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.



  • RMI Leadership
  • All domestic flights from Denpasar (Bali) to Papua and return
  • All internal flights, whether fixed-wing or helicopter
  • Hotel accommodations as stated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
  • All breakfasts and dinners as stated in the itinerary
  • All group camping & climbing equipment
  • Special permits for travelling & climbing in Papua
  • Papuan leadership and guide staff
  • Porter support for up to 15 kgs of personal equipment from Sugapa to Base Camp and return
  • Camp staff and cooking staff


  • International round-trip airfare and travel expenses to/from Bali. (Bali is served by daily connections to many international transit centers, including Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok, etc.)
  • Accommodations and meals not included in the itinerary. (RMI does not provide additional accommodations and meals in the event that our flights delay our departure.)
  • Medical evacuation insurance of $500,000 (required)
  • Travel Insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Indonesian tourist visas
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Indonesian customs duties
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Personal communications (Satellite phone, phone, fax, email)
  • Personal expenses, room charges and laundry
  • Personal drinks and beverages
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Rescue costs or costs associated with early departure from the expedition
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
  • The cost of delays due to weather, road or trail conditions, flight delays, government intervention, illness, medical issues, hospitalization, evacuation costs (by helicopter or any other means), or any other contingency which we or our agents cannot control are not included.

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy.  A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. reserves the right to modify the land cost of a trip at any time before departure. We also reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather, or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI is not responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

Risk Management

Managing risk is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them.

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.

Climber Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:

  • is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber’s own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
  • honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.

  • Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
  • Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
  • Ages 18 & above: No restrictions 

An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.

Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

Summit Attempt

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.’s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

RMI's program schedule and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.

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Is it safe to travel in West Papua?

Because West Papua remains in the news, questions about safety are among the most frequently asked.

We hold the perspective that travel to West Papua (and in fact any developing nation) includes risk, but not necessarily high risk. In order to safeguard our trips:

  • We have hired a professional in-country tour operator to coordinate our in-country logistics.
  • We have hired a local guide familiar with the language, roads, trekking route, villages, customs, etc.
  • We travel in groups and have tourist safety protocols in place (not flashing cash, not wearing expensive jewelry, etc.).
  • RMI's guides are well-versed with our program and are accustomed to travel in a foreign country.

Take some time to visit the U.S. Department of State and revisit the site occasionally as trip departure dates approach.

How much weight am I carrying in my pack?

Backpacks should weigh approximately 20 to 25 lbs as we only carry the day's snacks, water, and a few extra layers of clothing in case of rain or cold temperatures.

What are our camps like?

We provide three-person tents for every two climbers. The cooking and dining is done in a separate tent. Tables and chairs make it a nice to place to hang out and escape the afternoon rain before the team sits down for dinner.

What are the toilets like?

At camps we establish private toilets that are used only by our team. There are no established toilets between camps, and cat-holing is the standard practice.

How will I be able to stay connected with those at home?

A few options do exist, but because the jungles of Papua are some of the most remote locations on earth, immediate access may not be available.

  • A smart phone or WIFI-enabled device can be used in Denpasar, Bali and Timika, West Papua. Along the route, however, WIFI access is not available.
  • In Papua, cellular phone service is available in Timika. Along the route, however, no cell towers can be accessed. Check with your cell phone carrier to see if they offer international coverage in Indonesia and make sure you have the appropriate international plans and understand the associated rates.
  • A personal satellite phone offers the most reliable option for connection with those at home while in the interior. However, sat phone connections may be impeded by the jungle canopy or cloud cover overhead or within the confines of the narrow valleys approaching Carstensz. Satellite phone rental is available through Remote Satellite Systems International. RMI carries a satellite phone with the group through the entire trip for emergency use.

Is a Kindle or Nook practical on this trip?

Yes, but if you wish to take it into the interior you will certainly need to recharge it once in a while using a personal solar charger. We recommend downloading all of your desired books before arriving in Indonesia.

What is summit day like?

The ascent above our high camp follows a series of 4th and low 5th class slabs, ledges and gullies to the summit ridge, and then follows the ridge across several exposed gaps to the high point at 16,023'. While the ascent and descent are considered only technically moderate challenges, the high altitude, lengthy day and possibility of rain or snow en route make for a very complete adventure!

Do I need an ice axe or crampons? What if it snows?

No, you do not need an ice axe or crampons to climb our route up Carstensz. New snowfall, while not uncommon, is typically a trace amount (1-2") and often melts in the midday sun or is washed away by the afternoon rains. Sturdy climbing boots provide enough traction and insulation to climb in the snow.

What vaccine do I need to enter Indonesia?

No vaccines are required, though all travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations. Protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid are generally recommended because the risk of these diseases exists where we are traveling. You do not need a yellow fever vaccine to enter Indonesia if coming from the United States. However, Indonesia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. See the CDC website for current information.

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