Climbing Carstensz Pyramid
With more than double the height of Kosciusko, and the highest peak in all Oceania, Carstensz Pyramid became the true summit of the continent. While the vast majority of climbers agree with this choice, there are still a few who like to argue. Some dislike the idea of the Pacific islands being part of a continent and hold on to Mt. Kosciusko as the true summit. A ridiculous few even accept the island of New Guinea to be part of Oceania, but they believe that since the western half is politically occupied by Indonesia, Carstensz is therefore in Asia. Those select few conclude that Mt. Wilhelm in the eastern side of the island is the true summit of Oceania.
In my opinion, Carstensz Pyramid is the obvious choice as the summit of Oceania for the following reasons. Geographically the island of New Guinea is located on the Indo-Australian plate, which makes its location in the continent unquestionable. Taking it a step further, the land is culturally native not to Asians but to Papuans who are descendants of aborigines from Australia. The final argument about the western half of New Guinea being part of Indonesia can be solved easily with a few examples.
Indonesia has only occupied western Papua, as they call it, since the 1960s. Indonesia’s presence here is relatively new, especially when you consider that Carstensz Pyramid has existed for millions of years. Using this ridiculous logic though, Carstensz Pyramid would have been the highest mountain in Europe prior to 1960 since the Dutch controlled western Papua, and the Netherlands is a European country. Even if you did agree political boundaries, the locals do not consider themselves Indonesians and instead Papuans. Only days before my trip, several tribes banded together and once again declared independence from Indonesia. This resulted in martial law and nearly caused my entire trip to be canceled. Each to his own of course, but I personally feel anyway you look at the matter they all point to Carstensz being the true summit of Oceania, and with that in mind, I set off one October to attempt what would be my fifth of my Seven summits.