Last year, together with my office mates, I braved the highest peak in Luzon and Third highest in the country: Mt. Pulag. We climbed around March so it was still pretty cold. (5 degress at night!) I must say its one of my best climbs ever. Mt. Pulag is located far north where the borders of Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain’s peak.
There are four major trails to get to the summit. The Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawangan and Ambaguio. We took the easiest route, the Ambangeg trail wherein we reached the camp site in three hours or less.
For all hikers, you are required to stop by DENR where you will be shown a documentary about Mt. Pulag plus the dos and don’ts when you are on the trail. Safety First!
After DENR, next stop is the ranger station. The ranger station regulates the number of people going up the mountain to prevent congestion. This is also where you can hire guides to help you in your climb to the mountain.
On the first part of the trail, a picturesque view of the landscape and vegetation will greet you.
You will see diverse flora and fauna along the way. I also noticed that even though Mt. Pulag is popular among hikers old and new, the trail is clean and trash is nowhere to be found. Quite unlike other mountains I climbed before. The rangers are doing a great job in preserving this mountain. Hats off to you guys! Keep up the good work!
Insects and animals also abound the trail.
Being with nature has that calming effect. Not thinking of anything, no work, no pollution, no deadlines, just you and the birds, the wind, the tress, little critters: priceless. It makes you feel one with your surroundings. Enjoying that stillness, the quietness makes you feel relaxed and recharged. 🙂
Hello there, little critter!
We started late in the afternoon so by the time we reached the camp, it was almost dark. We set camp, prepared dinner and then slept.
Our campsite and temporary neighbors. Enjoying the sunset and basking at the glow of my surroundings.
My Equipment. Bag and tent. Please do note that that thing over there is a beach tent. It lacks proper insulation from the cold and rain. Since all my hiker friends have climbs on the same weekend, this was the only one available so I have no choice. Its better than sleeping on the ground. haha. I compensated by layering my clothes (I think I had 3 layers on) and using fleece jacket plus outer shell. I thought that would suffice. Sad to say it did not. It was still cold.
My house for the night. That deathtrap. Luckily, I was prepared for the cold so with three layers of clothing, I had the best chance to survive during the cold night. The guys brought shorts. SHORTS!!
The guys, Hernan and Eman setting up their own tent. I stayed with them after to warm up a bit. I love how warm it is inside. So jelly. 🙁
The inside of my tent. Big heart eyes for my panda hat 🙂
It was insanely cold that night! Thank God for keeping me warm and protecting me from hypothermia. Also, big big thanks to my Team Lead who lent me her fleece jacket. If it wasn’t for that, I dont think I would survive. Rain + cold + beach tent do not mix well. I was having a #GirlPride moment refusing the boys’ offer for help. 😛
At around 5-6AM we woke up and trekked to the summit. The goal was to reach the summit before sunrise.
There is already a stone path going to the summit which makes things much easier.
I was really determined to see the sunrise and the sea of clouds. It did not disappoint.
Selfie on the peak. lol! Forgive the vanity but the sun’s rays on my face = best filter ever 😛 Love the warm colors.
We reached the peak just in time for the sunrise. There were also many others trekking with us. From the camp site, it looks like a procession for a dawn vigil.
Picture with the guys below 😀
Eman, Hernan and me. Photo credits: Jomar
After about an hour more or less, we started our walking back to the camp site.
Then we prepared our food: Late breakfast / early lunch to sustain us for our walk back to the ranger station.
Eggs for our tuna omelette and hotdogs serves as our meal.
After we ate, we fixed our things and started our descend back to the ranger station. By the time we finished, the camp site was empty. No signs other people’s tent and fortunately no trash. We finally reached the ranger station after 3 hours more or less.
Conquering mountains is an adventure that will test your endurance, patience not to mention your physical and mental strength. It will trigger your survival instincts and helps you realize many things about yourself. May mga bagay na kala mo hindi mo kaya, kaya mo pala. It also serves as a reminder that if you can conquer a mountain this big, you can conquer anything life throws at you. 🙂