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Saturday, February 5, 2022

We Came, We Saw, It Conquered...Mount Wilhelm 2022

 Well, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joseph, and me went to climb the highest summit in the Southern Hemisphere. 


Mount Wilhelm here we come! 


On Thursday afternoon after making the 4 hour drive from Mount Hagen to Mount Wilhelm we were able to pick up our 2 guides at the Gambol Market. 


We turned to start going up the mountain, and a Toyota landcruiser pickup truck with no 4 wheel drive had decided to try to travel up the rugged mountain, only to get stuck on a one lane bridge for close to an hour as everyone waited on the village men to get him out of the situation he had so quickly gotten himself into.  

After waiting for just over an hour for the men to get this truck’s axle from setting on the bars of this bridge we were able to make the ascent to Betty’s Lodge.




On Thursday night we had a lot of fun settling in to the colder climate. We met with Betty herself to get checked in, and one of her workers came straight in to start a fire for us. It was so cozy and comfortable that we just spent our time fellowshipping, and of course having a great meal!


For dinner we had farm raised rainbow trout, organic potatoes, eggs, and coffee. Little did we know that everything we ate was supposed to be for breakfast the next morning, except for the trout of course. 




The next morning we started our adventure. We all woke up at 7am to pack, and dress for our hike, and when we woke up we had Betsy, in the kitchen cooking, and our security guard stoking the fire!


Then Betty came in to make sure we had a good sleep, and to get us out onto the trail. We had several people there to see us off, and it was great knowing that our car was parked in a secure area, that was gated. It is very reassuring seeing how we are going to be several hours away. 


Betty’s Lodge is about 7,000 feet above sea level, so it’s recommended to stay to acclimate before climbing to base camp which is at 11,000. Before leaving We got a photo with Ms. Betty herself!




We stopped at a couple of the resting points to record, and to talk to some of the locals. We stopped at resting areas 1,2, and 3, but the real view came at about 10,800 Feet. It was at the top of the waterfall that feeds the river in Simbu, and it was beautiful. One of my favorite photos taken was of me and Ezekiel standing in front of the waterfall, followed by me, Ezekiel, Joseph, and Daniel. 


There are plenty of streams along the way, and I am so thankful for my Sawyer water filter, I drank way more water than I had anticipated, and having my portable filter made it so much more comfortable. 






After 4 hours and 15 minutes we covered 5 miles, and gained a little over 4,000 feet in altitude. The view from base camp is amazing. We had a huge lake they call “Woman Lake” that is fed by 2 waterfalls coming from “Man Lake” That is about 1,000 feet above.  We camped at the base camp from about 5 pm Friday night to about 1 am Saturday morning, and then started our ascent to the next level which is “man lake”  






Once we made the climb to the second lake, I had to tap out, as the altitude was just too much. Altitude Sickness got the best of me at about 12,000 feet. I began to get very dizzy, and my watch began giving me some pretty unnerving heart alerts, so myself, and my guide Philip decided to go back to base camp, and wait on Ezekiel, Joseph, and Daniel to finish the trail. 

At just after 1pm they arrived back to base camp, and they had made it to the summit! I am so proud of them, and even though I wasn’t able to make it, I am so glad they were able to!  






Once they made it back we started the decent back to Betty’s! By the time we all made it back “mainly me” it was 6pm, and the roads were very bad, so we ended up having to stay an extra night. 


That night when we got back Betty was waiting in our cabin, and had a full meal prepared for us. The water was already heated, and the fire was already started. We then got the chance to set with Betty and talk, and hear some of her great stories. 


I give Betty’s Lodge Five Stars, and highly recommend anyone who may want to make this trek set everything up through Betty. 


I have an interview on with Betty on this podcast to talk about what they have to offer, and a little bit of her pricing. 


I will say that AFTER the recording of this episode, both Betty, and her husband Peter came to our house to have coffee, and even brought us 4 rainbow trout for dinner that night! 

That is SERVICE!!!

Check out their website at 

https://www.villagehuts.com

And be sure to like 

@Betty’s Lodge on Facebook!


We will see you next week!


God Bless,

Bro Marshall


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