Such a rewarding experience to be able to conquer one’s dream, the dream to trek and reach the summit of the mountain which is dubbed as the “playground of the gods”.
Mount Pulag is the highest mountain in Luzon. Towering at a height of 2,922 meters(above sea level), considered as the third highest mountain in the Philippines, next to Mount Apo and Mount Dulang-Dulang. The borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain’s peak.
Climbing Mount Pulag is starting to gain popularity not just for local outdoor enthusiasts but also for international trekking community.
Our trip to Mount Pulag was managed by the YABAG MOUNTAINEERING. From Pasay, we rode on a bus going to Baguio via Victory Liner station. Almost 6 hours trip, good enough to rest or sleep in preparation for later venture. After arriving in Baguio and have some breakfast, we proceed to the ranger station, wherein we experienced the dizzying zigzag road. But before that, we oriented by DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), all about Mount Pulag, some informations, guidelines, and other dos and don’ts during trekking and staying in camp site.
Mount Pulag is one of the most well-maintained “premier” national parks in the country, it is home of the nation’s rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. It covers 500 hectares of grass lands, 5000 hectares of mossy forest, and 2000 hectares of pine forest. DENR strictly reminding us do not leave a trace. Used plastics and other garbages while you’re in the camp site should also be carried down.
From ranger station up to camp site 2 is about 3 hours hike while camp site 2 to the summit is 1 hour. This is the ambangeg-ambangeg trail, the easiest trail that DENR usually recommend for first timers and non-mountaineers. Other trails is the Akiki, it’s about 12-16 hours hike. It’s very steep that’s why it is called as a killer trail. Another trail is Tawangan which is 8-12 hours hike which is said as a bloddy trail because of the leeches.The longest trail is come from Nueva Viscaya which is about 2-3 days hike.
Saturday afternoon we started to hike, for almost an hour we reached the resting camp, this is a reminder that it was just about half of the journey towards the base camp. After taking our lunch and made some rest, we proceed going to base camp. While trekking, you’ll appreciate the beauty of nature despite of different kinds of well-trodden road you’ll step in to but most of it is well-paved trails with a convenient rest stop waiting shed. Don’t make it fast. Enjoy the view or make some meaningful conversations with your travel buddies.
Around 4pm, we reached the base camp wherein we built tent, ate dinner and slept. According to my Galaxy S4 sensor the temperature is down to 8 degrees celsius. You must survived the coldness and you should also be aware of the possibility of being affected with altitude sickness, which was I slightly experienced and overcome with the help of a paracetamol and enough rest.
From base camp we trekked up to the mount summit on early Sunday morning around 3am. After hundreds of steps on uneven areas on the mountain, we achieved to reach the summit. While waiting for the sunrise, we endured the 5 degrees celsius of temperature. The wind blew harder that brought the cold breeze on top. It is an incredible experience to watch the sea of clouds in its stunning heavely view. Minutes passed, a shimmering, gold disk began to shine. As it passed through the horizon, the golden sun started to sit in its rightful place among the perfect soft blue sky. The most impeccable sunrise I’ve ever seen. It is worth trekking, the summit offered us an astounding views and nice weather. Yeah. You’ll feel like your on top of the world, cloud nine!
Trekking up above the clouds is not an easy thing. You’ll need to be physically ready, having determination and a positive attitude. Giving respect is important, not just for the people who lived in this place, not just for our fellow hikers but also in the enviroment itself. Mount Pulag is considered as a sacred mountain for the Ibalois. This kind of place should preserve not just for the another hikers to come afterwards but also for the future generation.
We live in such a beautiful country.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” — Mahatma Gandhi