Team reaches base camp under blue skies

Hello everyone this is Ben calling in from West Papua here at Carstensz Pyramid. We are now at Base Camp. Today we woke up to beautiful blue skies and had a very pleasant hike this morning. We ascended quite a bit just right out of the gates here this morning, up and over into some high sort of alpine areas with some beautiful lakes, high alpine lakes. In the afternoon we got a little bit of rain, we still kept ascending up, we got some snow, we got some hail, there was some thunder and lightning off in the distance. But overall we had a great day, we stayed dry, our umbrellas were a very useful piece of gear to have today. We got all bundled up and did just fine going up and over New Zealand Pass, and then dropping back down to base camp here. We are at just over 14,000 feet here, beautiful basin here, a view of some nice alpine lakes, sort of turquoise tint to it with all the silt in the lakes, remnants from the glaciers here. Just a beautiful place, sort of surrounded by these big peaks and black rock everywhere, fog rolling in. We had some rain this afternoon again, but things have calmed down now and we have just finished up dinner and headed off to bed.

Everyone is doing great and feeling good, so we have decided to try to go for the summit this evening. We are going to wake up in a few hours, around 1am here West Papua time, and go for the summit. We are trying to beat some of the afternoon rainfall that generally happens, so we are going to climb through the night, hopefully summit in the early morning and then come back down mid-morning to early afternoon back to base camp here where we will spend the night tomorrow night. Then we will begin the four-day trek back out to Sugapa. We are all really excited, we got our gear ready this afternoon and went over some rope techniques and things that we are going to be using to climb up onto Carstensz Pyramid. We’re ready to go, and we will see how tomorrow goes.

I’ll try to give you a call if the weather is good and everything is good from the summit and then back down at base camp. If for some reason we don’t call from the summit though, I will definitely give you call again once we get back down here to base camp. We’ll let you know how it goes, I think we’re going to have a great day, we’ve got some strong climbers here, and we are all really excited looking forward to it. We will talk to you soon and let you know how tonight goes, talk to you later.

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