I Stood Above the Clouds!

Starting the year with a climb at the third highest peak in the country, Mt. Pulag was a great decision. I wish I can do it as a yearly habit.

The invitation came into me from someone I haven't met personally but I seem to have an affinity with meeting people in weird places and situations. All of the people in the group, were people I had met for the first time in that climb. It felt awkward at first but  then as hours passed by and conversations were made, we all seem to get a long so well. One of the common ground will always be the love for climbing mountains. 

I had been wanting to climb Mt. Pulag since 2010. However, due to limited funds and weird work schedules, it took me four years before I could say yes to an invitation. Deep inside me, I wish I had done it with the person who taught me to love this adventure. I really should learn to stop thinking about that person. I really should. No more dramas. 

Moving forward, I've known quite a lot of people who had climbed Mt. Pulag. Some were good experiences, others were very horrible that when I told them I will be climbing, I was bombarded with a lot of reminders. The not-so good stories really scared the hell out of me. I didn't say it to my parents because they may not allow me to join this trip if I say so.

5-hour trip to Baguio City via Victory Liner. 
3-hour trip to Ambangeg, Benguet for Breakfast and Registration at the DENR office
1-hour trip to Babadak Ranger Station- Drop Off Point.

The team I am with. We still look fresh and excited about the climb. We were waiting for the guides and porters to get cleared so we can start walking. Photo Credits to Mia Clarissa Alarcon

Going to Camp 1, according to Ate Jane, our guide, takes an average of 1 hour.

From the Babadak Ranger Station. Off to Camp 1. Photo Credits to Mia Clarissa Alarcon


Vegetation Trail. This is the view going to Camp 1. Photo Credits to Mia Clarisssa Alarcon
Just a few minutes of waking uphill, I was already having difficulty breathing. In my head, I had been thinking if it will be right decision to change my mind and not continue for the fear of asthma attack and altitude sickness. However, I was also saying a silent prayer for God to give me strength so I can keep walking. And I kept walking and we reached Camp 1 in 40 minutes!

Camp 1 Selfie up in the mountains. While walking, I had took off my jacket because I am perspiring in the cold weather. Felt good though.

Off to Camp 2. Photo Credits to Mia Clarissa Alarcon
The trail going to the summit are well-kept and maintained. The challenges one might encounter really is the altitude sickness, weather get colder and colder as it gets darker and unpredictable rains up in the mountains. Average walk time to Camp 2 is 2 hours. We were able to beat that at 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

This is the campsite where we will pitch our tents. Photo Credits to Mia Clarissa Alarcon 
This is how it looks like when we arrived.

Then the sky started to clear.

And off we are to go to the summit just in time for the sunset. Ate Jane, our guide said that usually just takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach the summit from Camp 2. But for us, it took almost 2 hours! Because of the many photo ops that happened along the way. 

Just like this. Photo Credit to Mia Clarrisa Alarcon

I am 2,922 masl! Feels like heaven with matching halo :)

More photo ops from up above while waiting for the sun to set. As the sun disappears, the temperature gets colder too. 

Of course, the sunrise is also a sight to behold.

Sun on the rise 01.04.2015. The best spot to watch the sunrise in Mt. Pulag is at the Tower Station. Photo Credits to Joy Hernandez.
Others might not understand why some people spend so much energy in climbing mountains, getting dirty and sweaty with this activity. The people you do it with greatly influence and makes it all worthwhile, but still reaching the summit and having to watch a majestic view as this, it's all worth the dirt and sweat. In the case of Mt. Pulag-- it's all worth the cold. It's a success story. Though there was no loud bang to announce my arrival, the welcoming view at the top, vanished all my tiredness. While on top, I took a few minutes to be by myself and just enjoy the view. I think that is a must-- When you get to the top, take time for a moment of silence and solitude to enjoy what is laid upon.

On my way back to the jeep, I told them, that climbing Mt. Pulag was a one time deal for me, I don't think I can do it again. Then, as I keep on looking at the pictures, at the smiles and at the sunrise and sunset, I changed my mind. I want to see it again. I want to come back to Mt. Pulag. No matter how tiring, no matter how cold, as long as I get to see the bursting colors as the mighty sun rises, and the cottony texture of the clouds, I'll come back and climb you again.

2015, you started with so much hope and delight. Can we keep it that way?

8 comments:

  1. I was able to understand you when you explained the reason behind why people climb mountains. Iba talaga ang feeling kapag naabot mo ang summit. Ang sarap-sarap lang, Babykat. Parang kaya mong gawin ang lahat ng bagay sa mundo afterward. :)

    Pero di rin dapat i-disregard ang experience habang umaakyat ka palang. Ganun din ang pagbaba. Yung 3 phases ng trekking/hiking (the climb, reaching the summit, and the descent), may kanya-kanya silang unique feelings na binibigay sa climber.

    Same tayo, nung simula ng year na to umakyat din ako ng bundok. Sa Batulao nga lang ulit. Pero balak ko rin diyan sa Pulag someday. Tara! :)

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    1. Your comment made me want to reflect on the three phases of climbing a mountain :) it would really be a good thing to do.

      At totoo ding ang sarap-sarap lang ng feeling. This post was very roughly written. Sobrang hilaw. My days are very busy lately that i cant have much time to do deep and long introspection. I wanted to post this as soon as I can i want to keep the feeling sealed in fresh on the words, but I know marami pa kong gustong sabihin.

      Climb tayo ng Feb 1! Gulugod Baboy :)

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    2. Naku Babykat, may dalawa akong major travels ngayong first quarter ng 2015, so kailangan magtipid at maghigpit ng budget. Baka sa summer na ko ulit makaakyat ng bundok. lol

      Nagkita na ba kayo ni Papa Froi? Eh si Space?

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    3. oh ok... we have all the year to catch up anytime naman :)
      Before June naman, sana makaakyat tayo!

      Sobrang daming kwento:)

      We will meet Froi soooooooon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gotta make time ha! Hahahaha
      Hmmm.. Si Space? Hindi eh :( Didnt have the chance to say hello nung nsa Baguio ako. Babalik pa nman ako dun. MAlay mo, magksama din tayo i-meet siya :)

      Miss you Babysep!

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    4. Di kita ma-add sa FB, Babykat. :P

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  2. akyatan na to!hehe first time ko noon umakyat ng bundok at Mt. Pulag ang unang naakyat ko. Dun ko nafeel ang word na surreal.hehe

    mabuti ka pa Yccos at naexperience mo ang sunset dun. Gusto ko uling umakyat dun, pero sa ibang trail naman, bka sakaling mas exciting at mas challenging. :)

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    1. Wow! Ok naman ang trail kasi ng going to Mt. Pulag, lalo na yung sa Ambangeg, dun din kami dumaan eh. Lamig lang talaga ang kalaban. I experienced both sunrise and sunset. Sobrang amazing. It's real :)

      Sama ka samin kapag may climb while youre still here in the phils :)

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  3. What a wonderful experience. Many more mountains to climb:)

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