Mount Wilhelm is the highest Mountain in Papua New Guinea at 4,509 metres (14,793 ft).
It is a beautiful and the most accessible mountain to climb in Papua New Guinea.
With a number of routs to the top, by far the most popular is an easy to moderately difficult climb, depending on fitness, from the village of Kelsugl in the Chimbu province.
Trekkers fly from POM to Mt Hagen and travel to Kelsugl, where they spend the night, and enjoy a nice feed of fresh trout.
Investa Treks choose to take the accent over a few days to allow trekkers the time to adjust to the altitude and appreciate the surrounds including village stays pre and post trek.
The Keglsugl route involves climbing up and through a mountain rain forest and then along an alpine grassland glacial valley to the twin lakes of Piunde and Aunde (male and female name). This takes from between three to four hours with 4 stops on the way. At Piunde (the lower lake) there are two huts, one being an old university monitoring station and the other an 'A-Frame' hut. Though not a technical climb, once past Lake Aunde (the uppermost lake, which feeds Piunde), there are at least four sections where sure footing is essential; in wet weather various sections can be treacherous. It is esential that an afternoon trek to the top lake is taken to help the body adjust to the altitude.
These are beautiful lakes where brown trout once lived, but it appears too cold for even them to survive and none have been seen for many years.
The climb to the top is usually undertaken in pre-dawn, starting around 1:00am and trekking out shortly afterwards, to appreciate all that Mt Wilhelm can boast. Trekkers have the best opportunity to see the panoramic view north before the weather sets in, and brings cloud cover. Trekkers are briefed of the need to be protected with adequate cold wet weather clothing as the weather can get very cold and can turn fairly quickly.
The decent down is quicker, however time is taken to enjoy the trek and to get the pictures of where you had trekked while it was still dark only hours before.
The group will again enjoy a night at Keglsugl before heading back to a village stay for 2 nights then onto the Mt Hargen airport for transfers back to POM.
The last night is enjoyed at the Gateway Hotel before trekkers return home.
For more details on our Mt Wilhlem Trek in June/July 2012.
During World War II in the early hours of May 22, 1944, an American F-7A named "Under Exposed" crashed into the mountain while flying too low. The aircraft left from Nadzab airbase, close to Lae, and had been assigned for a reconnaissance mission to photograph Padaidori Island in Dutch New Guinea. Around 0400 the plane crashed into Wilhelm at about 13,000 feet (4,000 m) above the twin lakes. All crew were killed and most of the wreckage landed in the topmost lake although some can still be seen today. There are some remains at the site are from the plane.
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