Mount Wilhelm Trip Report (#21845)
- Signed By: michaelweare
- Date submitted: December 30, 2009
- Date(s) climbed: Summit 3 Dec 2009
- Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Climbed Mt Wilhelm over three (3) days in early December 2009 with my buddy Karl Turnbull.
Stayed at Camp Jehovah Jirah (Kegsugl) at 2800m which has only been open a year or so. Martin (owner) proved to be an excellent host and even had hot water for us (luxury). The meals were also excellent and the home grown highlands food was fantastic.
Set off to the twin lakes (with our guide Dua) at 10:00am and arrived at our base for two (2) nights in the A-Frame hut on the shores of Lake Piunde (meri raunwara) at 3600m. The walk up took us about 2:30 hours. To help us acclimatise we wandered up to Lake Aunde (man raunwara) at 3700m and basked in the sun on the lake shores. Had a lazy day to finish up.
Next day we decided to give us the best chance of a hassle-free summit attempt, we'd spend another day acclimatising, and went up to 4000m to see the site of the crashed American F-7A (balus). The wing is the only real piece of debris visible from the main track and it is worthwhile looking at the rest of the debris scattered over a wide area on the ridge above. Apart from aluminium strewn all over the place, the other wing, propellor, radial engine and landing gear can be seen...definitely well worth the time to look.
We set back down to the hut to have an early dinner and into bed early (5:00pm). Neither Karl nor I could sleep due to a storm closing in with rain continuing into the night. We dreaded the thought of trudging up in a storm.
We rose at 12:15am to find that the rain had stopped and all seemed fine (and cold). We had our breakfast (as much as is possible at midnight) and set off at 1:15am. We took a steady pace and saw the moon looming above us as we went. Dua did a sterling job guiding us up as we went picking out the faint track in the light of his small LED handheld torch. Around 5:30am the sun was just starting to light up the darkness...we weren't far from the top. By 6:00am, we were standing on the summit. A good effort at 4 and 3 quarter hours we thought.
The top was quite cold (ice had formed on my beanie and top of my backpack). Unfortunately we could not see any villages due to low cloud, but it was clear up top for 360 degrees and the cloud was a long way below. The mountain ranges around rose out of the cloud like an ocean...very spectacular. We took the obligatory photos and took in the view for around 30 minutes before setting back down. We arrived back at the hut 3 and 3 quarter hours later.
Pretty tired we climbed straight into our sleeping bags and got some decent sleep for an hour or so. We got up, had some lunch and made the trip back down to Martin's place (2 hours), whereby Martin and his staff fed us more delicious food and tea/coffee.
This was a fantastic trip into an area where not many people venture. The opportunities for exploration at altitude without seeing other people is huge and is really a spectacular part of the world...not what I was expecting to find so close to the equator.
Definitely one to recommend.