Mt. Pulag National Park, Kabayan, Benguet
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The 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines. A must try!!! The view up there is just so amazing!
All the hard work and preparation is worth it!
Make this a goal.
We ascended up along the Akiki Trail (known as the killer trail) and descended via the Ambangeg Trail.
Indeed, going up the Akiki Trail was very challenging. You really have to be prepared physically and mentally. Started with the scorching heat of the sun, entered the cool shades of the Pine Forest, drank natural mountain water, experienced a heavy rain and got very wet just before we arrived at the Marlboro camp, entered the chilling, creepy dark mossy forest, exited to the dancing grassy meadows, being pampered wind breezing cold and camped at the foggy Saddle Camp. The 11-hour trek going up the Summit seemed to be a short trek as we didn’t notice the time but all of us where very tired and drained.
Sleeping in the tent was another thing since it was freezing cold!
Every challenge is just worth it with everything that we saw. Up in there in the Saddle Camp, as I gaze up to stars and moon, it seemed that they can just be reached by hands (abot ang mga butuin).
As I stood in the midst of the vastness of everything while feeling the cold breezing wind, hearing it softly whispering at me, I realized at how big and awesome our world is and we are just but a spec.
When I was up there, I just remembered the song, The Majesty and Glory of Your Name. The first line goes like this, “When I gaze into the night sky and see the works of your fingers. The moon and stars suspended in space. Oh what is man that Thou art mindful of him…”
I will definitely go back and conquer Mt Pulag again.
We would like to thank our Tour Companion for this trek who helped us reach the summit – Mt. Pulag National Park Edelweiss Tours
Most of all, we thank the Lord for allowing us to see His creation and protection throughout the trip.
Check out my video of our trek.
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It is like stairway to heaven .Famous for its sea of clouds, Mt. Pulag, has never failed to land a spot in the lists of several mountain climbers like me. It is situated between Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya thus, there are more than one way to reach its peak.
Up in the summit you would find yourself miniature bamboos, and endless fields of grass. If you hike up there just the right month, you will be able to see the sea of clouds.
Green+blue = beautiful scenery #loolooph #adventuretime #getawaytoadventure #merrellph @loolooph @merrellph
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Hello guys. Good to be back once for awhile. I wish I still have time I used to have before to make some reviews. I think this review is worth of my time.
A bit too long and my grammar for this one is a pain in the ass.
Mt. Pulag was my first major climb and lotsa of things happening in
my mind. I was excited, thrilled and anxious at the same time.
Thanks to my friend Buddy and his group from Batangas for including us to climb Mt. Pulag, who made all the arrangements and made everything possible this trip.
Things to bring and to remember.
- Medical Certificate. There were 2 reported deaths so better to fit and cleared.
- Tent, sleeping bag, earthpad and inflatable pillow or lifebuoy for more comfy sleep.
- Cold gears.
- 2- 3L of water.
- 2 packs of wet wipes and isoprophyl alcohol.
- Trail food.
- Alcohol drink to keep you warm before sleeping.
- Medicine kit.
- Raincoat or garbage bag to protect your bag from getting wet.
- Jog at least twice a week or have a pre-climb before the big day. I managed to do jog and long walks during my free time.
- Pack light. My bag weighs 10 kgs with my 2 L water in it. You can have a porter to carry your bag but there's no thrill trekking not carrying your bag.
- Lastly, Lakas ng loob at dasal lang guys. Haha
We were a group of nine, we left Manila at 11pm via Victory liner and arrived at Baguio at around 3am, ahead 1 hr on our schedule which means we have to wait until 4am for the jeepney we rented. We left Baguio at 4am and started our trip all the way to Benguet. We had a few quick stops for breakfast, visited Ambuklao Dam and Jangjang Hanging Bridge. At 11 am, we reached the DENR office for a short orientation and proceeded to Ranger's Station. We opted for the Ambangeg trail, started our trek at 12 noon (yea! 12 noon). After 40-60 minutes, we reached Camp 1 and stayed here for 2 hours, we had adobo for lunch here. Just we were about to leave capm 1, there was a sudden change of weather and it started to rain. Thank God, i bought a disposable rain coat and the rain didn't last that long.
After an 1 hour we were at Camp 2 and set up our tent. We were only 3 groups on the campsite. We trek going to satellite to witnessed the sunset but unfortunately it was too foggy as I remember. Dinner was already prepared when we descended to camp 2. Thanks to ate Imee and Janice for the delicious Sisig and Sinigang. We had a few shots of Ginebra and it was a big help to fall asleep despite the low temperature outside the tent. I was feeling hot inside the tent so I didn't go inside the sleeping bag and was only wearing a sweat set and a pair of socks. I also forgot to bring earthpad so I got awakened by cold temperature at 2am and that was the time I decided to wear my thermal mittens, trapper hat and went inside my sleeping bag. I fell asleep again.
We woke up at 4am to go to the summit. The sky was so beautiful. So many stars in the sky and felt like I'm so closed to the galaxy. Too bad my phone isn't capable of capturing the sky at night. Only 5 of us went to the summit. We weren't able to reach the summit before sunrise so we stayed on high area and it was good decision. We have the place just for us and was able to enjoy the famous, sea of clouds of Mt. Pulag. At 6am, we continued our journey to the summit. Most of the groups were already descending from the summit so we were the only ones at the highest peak of the mountain during that time. We stayed there for a few minutes and went back to camp 2.
I was feeling ecstatic and joyful, I sprinted on a not so flat area and I landed my right foot on the wrong place. I sprained my ankle and fell off the ground. Dammit! It was so painful and I was thinking how I'm gonna go home. Haha Luckily, it wasn't too bad and managed to reach camp 2. Put an elastic bandage on it and had a dose of celecoxib. Pain scale 1/10. Lol We pack our things, had our breakfast and went all the way down to Ranger's station.
We took a bathe afterwards on our first stop where we had our breakfast on the first day. Take note, I took 1 tab of loperamide on every meal just not to poop on the campsites. I'm not comfortable defecating on a squat position. Haha
We even met the youngest person manage to reach the summit. A family from Czech Republic with their children ages 4, 2 and 7 months.
Thank you Lord God for the woderful adventure. It's a one of a kind experience. Being connected to the nature for quite some time, being away from the city and social media. It's all worth a climb.
I would definitely go back here. Weekday climb is way better than weekends. They don't allow camping at campsite during weekends. I heard they gonna close area for a year or so to rehabilitate the mountain. I hope DENR would monitor and limit the tourists everyday as not to destroy the nature as they open it again to the public.
Watch Prelude of dreams by Bong Bajo in Youtube for more motivation to climb Mt. PULAG.
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Finally, Mt. Pulag is ticked off my bucketlist! Back in college, it has been my dream to climb Mt. Pulag. It was an advantage that I was studying in Baguio then, but I got little to no chance, knowing that my tight schedule as a student nurse won’t allow me. The budget, well, I can work that out (set aside some of my allowance). But that remained a dream. Not until early this year (late January) that I finally turned it into a reality. This is the 6th mountain I’ve climbed since June last year.
Just a little info, Mount Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon, and the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines. It is also known as the “Playground of the gods”. Literally, it is the closest thing to heaven that we can get. It features the famed sea of clouds, pine forests, and grasslands. It is a major climb with a difficulty level of 3/9, trail class 1-2, and requires 1-2 days for the hiking experience. There are various trails that one could take, the most known of which is the Ambangeg trail. Others are as follows: Akiki, Tawangan, Ambaguio, and Ugo-Pulag. Mt. Pulag is accessible throughout the year, but it is best to experience it in the first few months of the year. Along with this info, it is expected that there will be a lot of climbers during these months. It would be best to plan and book your climb in advance, just like what we did. As early as November last year, I have already secured a slot for the January leg along with almost 20+ mountaineer friends. For this climb, the damage per person was Php 2, 500. Yes, good for 2 days!
In preparation for the climb, it is advisable that one has to go on jogs at least twice a week, to prepare your legs for the looong walks. But I wasn’t able to do so, I relied purely on my long standing hours and non-stop running to and from one room to another in the hospital. Hehe! My preparation was focused on obtaining a Fit to Climb medical certificate, practicing how to pack light, and scoring the right clothes to bring and wear during the climb.
Day 0, we left Manila at 11 PM. On Day 1 at 6 AM, we were already in Baguio City. We transferred rides at the Jump-Off Station and made our way to Ambuklao, Bokod, Benguet. Nostalgia hit me along the way, bc I can remember how I used to spend 3 weeks of community immersion here during my college days. At around 11 AM, we have reached the Mt. Pulag National Park where registration and orientation took place. By 1 PM, we were already at the Ranger Station, ready to pitch our tents. The afternoon was spent for siesta and simple socials with the group and some other people at the campsite. Dinner came early at 6 PM. Lights off at a little before 9 PM in time for sleep before the early morning trek, and a bit of stargazing. It was a struggle sleeping at night bc the temperature can drop very low. It is a must that you are equipped with the right layer of clothing plus a bonnet, mittens/gloves, socks, blanket, and an earth pad.
While other campers are still sound asleep at 1 AM, everyone in the group was geared up and ready for the trek. Braving the low temperature and a little rain, we have reached the summit just in time for the peak of the sea of clouds. We were freezing to death, but as soon as we saw what we came for, it was all worth it! Definitely one for the books!
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Had to find a way to escape the crazy hot weather of Manila. Good thing LRT Adventours was offering a Mt. Pulag trip for just Php2,500 per head.
The price included round trip van transpo, 3 meals, environmental fees, climb certificate, and trail guide fees.
We left at around 12MN and got on Ambuklao Rd. at around 6 or 7AM. We then proceeded to the DENR office to register.
A "fit-to-climb" certificate was required so I had to go through different tests just to get it from Medicard. Come climb day, they didn't ask for my certificate. :O
After the registration, we then went to the ranger station to have lunch. We then started the climb at around 1PM. We reached camp 1 (rest station) after 40+ minutes. And then we reached camp 2 after another 40 minutes.
Since it's a weekday, we were allowed to camp at camp 2. I found out that camping is not allowed at camp 1 & 2 on Fridays to Mondays.
Campsite is composed of loose soil (clay) and grass. There were only 4 groups (around 30-40 people) that day so the campsite wasn't that packed.
After a couple of hours of chatting with the other climbers, lights were off at 9PM. DENR strictly requires that all camp lights should be turned off by 9PM.
It was freezing at night. I wore a sweatshirt, thermal vest, a really thick coat, leggings, pants, socks, and gloves -- but that wasn't enough to keep me warm. I was already like a human burrito in the tent since I was covered by my sleeping bag. It reminded me of the movie, Everest -- "good bye, my love" lol I didn't want to die.
Good thing I still fell asleep despite the freezing temp. Come dawn (4AM), we prepared for the summit climb. I asked our trail guide and he said that it was around +4 or +6 deg celsius that night.
The summit climb took around 40 minutes. Once we got there, there were already other climbers. We were all hoping for a clearing. But sadly, it was too windy and it was raining. No sea of clouds.
I thought the night before was the worst. But the temp at the summit was even worse! The wind actually made it worse. We were all freezing. The trek back to the campsite was way easier -- but some of our clothes were already wet because it was raining at the summit.
Overall, it was a great experience. A good climb for everyone!
1. Difficulty (3/9) - source: pinoymountaineer.com
2. Some people from our group paid around Php1,000 for the porter.
3. Wear a shirt on your way to camp 1 and 2. Jon B. and Ginny B. was right. No need for a jacket.
4. Pack light - makes the trek easier.
5. Water source is available - we asked our trail guide to get us some water from the spring (which is 1km away from the campsite).
6. Unpredictable weather - make sure you bring rain gear and thermal vest/jacket. Bring gloves and wear thick socks at night.
7. Water - I'm a heavy water drinker so I brought 3L of water. For the whole climb, I think I consumed around 4-5L.
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This is hiking with aircon! Yes, you barely break a sweat because of the ultra cool breeze as you walk into the botanical garden-like trail. No need to think twice if you can handle this hike because the Ambangeg trail a.k.a. "the celebrity trail", as opposed to the Akiki "3-day killer pure assault" trail, provides an easy and guaranteed beginner-friendly way up to the scenic summit of Luzon's highest peak!
The trail is well established and almost flat all throughout with just a few lunges required to reach the top. Just imagine walking into a magical forest with an open parking lot-like pathway and occasional shifts to brick roads, and finally climbing a hill.. only to be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunrises you'll ever witness and a sea of fluffy clouds! Mt. Pulag, the playground of gods, truly is a sight to behold. 🏼
med certificate stating you're fit to climb Mt. Pulag
tent + sleeping bag
earth pad to protect you from the cold ground at night
lots of tissue and wet wipes since you can't shower
alcohol (isopropyl and one that can be consumed )
mess kit (spoon, fork, plastic container for eating)
headlamp w/ extra batteries for your night trek and navigating inside your tent at night!
at least 2L of water (so cool, the water stays cold!)
food (so cool, your chocolates won't melt!)
garbage bags (for your trash or in case you need to cover your bag if it rains)
raincoat (weather is unpredictable)
toothbrush and toothpaste
bath towel and toiletries (bring sachets to save space)
power bank for your gadgets
around 2k extra cash for miscellaneous (pasalubong, strawberry taho, etc)
hike up from ranger station (starting point) to campsite (1pm-4pm) - shirt, shorts/pants.. no need to layer! hiking with aircon.. sarap!
campsite (4pm-4am) - layer as the night progresses! it gets real cold/freezing by midnight.. by 3am i was wearing 1 thermal top, 1 long sleeved top, 1 sweater, 1 fleece jacket, 1 thin rain jacket, thermal leggings + 3 more leggings, 2 pairs of socks, gloves
onset of hike to summit (4:30am-6am) - it'll be really cold but once you start hiking, your body temp's gna go up so bring a bag where you can put the pieces of clothing you want to remove. it wasn't that cold for me at the summit, i ended wearing 1 thermal top, 1 fleece jacket, 1 thin rain jacket, a pair of thermal leggings + jogging pants.. beanie to prevent my hair from messing up (it's windy) and scarf for arte lang
going down back to the campsite and ranger station (10am-1pm) - twas hottt! no need to layer. shirt, shorts/pants would do
bring a change of clothes for your trip back home.. there's a decent 'paliguan' at the ranger station, but i swear.. you'll be screaming coz you'll be bathing in ice water! BRRR.
wake up at around 11pm, peek out of your tent and LOOK UP! chances are you'll see a billion stars!!
if you don't have a 40L backpack (recommended backpack size for overnight camping), bring 2 backpacks and hire a porter (PHP600) to bring the other one.. not only will it lighten your load, you'll get to enjoy your hike more!
manage your expectations. not everyone gets to witness the sea of clouds. the weather up there is unpredictable.. could be sunny as you hike, but stormy/rainy/foggy/not so cloudy when you reach the top.. so yea. make sure you enjoy the journey and learn to appreciate whatever it is that you witness at the summit, sea of clouds or none! you can always come back anyway.
*our Mt. Pulag trip happened last March 16-19
*most photos were taken by my awesome friend JC Crisostomo
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Mt. Pulag has always been on my bucket list after I watched Biyahe ni Drew's special valentines episode with his wife Iya. Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines and first in Luzon. Our hike started at 2:00 in the morning and reached the top at 5:30am. We patiently waited for the sunrise and I was so amaze when we finally saw the sea of clouds. The experiences is so worth it.
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Near the summit of Mt. Pulag, the surroundings become otherworldly, and you get a sense that you're not supposed to be there, like you're encroaching on somebody else's space. That's the allure of this mountain. We took the "easier" trail, Ambangeg. We had to wake up at 1am to start our trek, and since it was the middle of February, we had to bundle up into our cold weather gear. It's around 10 degrees on the camp, and probably 2 to 3 degrees on the summit. The most beautiful view of the sea of clouds await, and a beautiful sunrise welcomes you. The 8km hike is all worth it.
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The exhausting trek is worth it!
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Mt. Pulag has been in my bucket list since I first tried hiking, maybe about two years ago.
Perhaps the only thing that has been stopping me was the fact that there are no toilets at all (only a hole in the ground, I've heard). But since I acquired a portable bidet, I decided I was ready.
I've been reading a lot of blogs and consulting my mountaineer friend about tips and preparations for the hike. I went on cardio training two weeks prior to the trip and I think that helped a lot. I was jogging 8km per week in preparation for the climb. Aside from that, I also made sure to get a medical certificate and have tests done to make sure I was fit to climb. This is required by the DENR for them to allow you to enter the National Park. So make sure to take care of this at least a week before your trip because some of the tests require time to get the results.
Anyway, make sure to get everything in the checklist for your trip because the weather up there is very unpredictable. I packed a lot of heat tech clothes, from inner wear to socks (thanks, Uniqlo!) and a lot of water resistant clothing for the rain.
We joined a tour group which left Manila at 12 MN. We arrived at Baguio a little after 6AM. Because it was the long weekend, it was traffic as hell in EDSA and NLEX. We transferred from van to jeep in Baguio and headed to Kabayan in Benguet via Ambuklao Rd. The trip took around 4 hours. Make sure to make a stop in one of the roadside eateries in Bokod to catch a glimpse of the scenic Ambuklao Dam.
We reached the DENR office around 11 AM to register and to attend the required orientation. We had to wait a long time, maybe a couple of hours, for our turn as there were hundreds of people in the mountain for that weekend. Also, media people (ABS CBN) were there also, so they were being prioritized first.
After orientation, we finally head up to the Ranger Station to set up camp. We got there past 4 PM and it was chilly and foggy. This didn't bode well because that meant that the summit will also be foggy at dawn (spoiler alert). I've also been checking the weather for the weekend and it was reported that there will be rain showers but thankfully, the rain didn't fall. It was just cloudy and foggy AF. 🏻
Anyway we set up camp (we rented a tent and some sleeping bags to lessen the things we had to borrow/buy/bring) and took a nap while waiting for dinner. We ate at around 7 (dinner was provided by the tour group) then slept at around 8PM to rest in time for the 1AM summit climb.
Being mountain noobs, we took the Ambangeg Trail, which is the easiest (Relatively! Don't think it will be super easy!) out of the three trail choices to the summit. Since it's the easiest, it's also the longest. It takes 4 hours going up and 4 hours going down.
Equipped with our headlights (a must!), we head out at 1:30 AM which is still pitch black and definitely one of the challenges of the climb. I had a hard time breathing at first because of the altitude, another challenge of the climb. And then I started asking myself why I was doing this to myself (as I do every time I climb... Like the other 2 times. LOL feeling ang dami). Anyway! You really have to watch where you're going and pace yourself for the long and tiring climb ahead. One of the advantages of camping at the Ranger Station is that you don't have to bring your pack up at Camp 2 (or 1). Mine weighed around 20lbs, which is fine for a few minutes. But I can imagine struggling to carry it with me had we been required to sleep at Camp 2. So I brought smaller backpack with 1L of water and a LOT of trail food.
We occasionally took breaks along the way. We reached the summit at around 5AM. The sun was set to rise at a few minutes before 6. We found a spot in the to rest in the grass. The sky was getting a bit lighter as the minutes passed by. By 6 AM, it was still foggy and the sun didn't make an appearance. Which made me feel really sad. We just took photos by the Mt. Pulag Summit sign, which by the way, is the highest peak in Luzon, and the third highest in the country. At past 7, cold and tired, we dejectedly head down.
Since it was already light, you can now see the trail you almost blindly climbed before sunrise. It was breathtakingly beautiful! Near the summit was the Grasslands (in photo), which is pretty self explanatory. It's all grass lol. After that is the Mossy Forest, which is a completely different world. In the orientation, the DENR park lady told us that you can see where the Grasslands end and the Mossy Forest begins, and she was right. It truly was a sight to behold. As we were going down, I was thinking to myself, holy crap, so this is what it looks like! In the dark, you can't even tell that you were hiking right next to a bangin already!
Despite not seeing the famed sea of clouds, it was still a great experience. Just make sure to thoroughly prepare for the trip to truly enjoy it! Also, I've heard that all weekends this year is already fully booked. If you plan on going, just go on a weekday. There should be less people then. If you plan to DIY your trip, there's an article on looloo Insights sharing tips on how to plan it yourself.
I believe this has been my longest review yet. If you've reach till the very end, thanks for reading! I'll also gladly share any tips with you if you plan on going!
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Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines and 1st in Luzon!
We went there last feb 6-8 to celebrate the CNY at the peak.
We got advance booking in victory liner to avoid the crowd and save time in waiting. We booked 7pm bus. Travel time is about 9 hrs. (3hours in edsa and 6hours going to baguio).
We arrived in baguio around 4:30 am and the temp is 10°c. Brrrr and i love it! :)
Our booked tour is waiting for us for about 30 mins since the call time is 4am ( please make sisi the Traffic in edsa! ) sorry kuya! Then we went to the DENR in Kabayan benguet ( travel time is 1.5 hrs from baguio). We waited there for about 4hrs ( sleep agaiin) because there are so many hikers. What to do in DENR--- you need to register, present your health cert., attend a seminar on the dos and donts during the hike!.
Right after we register, we went to a place where we can eat. At last food! Haha. They served us adobo and hot sinigang. Yummy! :) after we eat, the call of nature and we realized that we havent brush our teeth yet ( gross but that's part of the trip! ) so we look for a cr. The cr is good. You can take a shower but the water is brrrr!!!! Ohhhhhfresh breath. Uhmmmm.....
After that, we went straight to the ranger station site. :) arrived here at 1:00pm. the tent is ready. All we have to do is to fix our things and make ligo. :) we looked for a house where can we make painit and take a bath. We paid 50 pesos each for it! Yes! Totally fresh!!!! Ready to roam around and sleep again. Hahaha. We don't have much activity since we need to rest and need to wake up 1am yo start the hike.
We sleep for 4-7pm.7pm eat 9pm lights off. Wake up time 1am. Orientation with the guide. :) please pack light during hiking. We have water. Chocolates. Jellyace and coke. :)
So we started our hike, i am wearing my winter clothes ( sweatshirt, bubble jacket and thick jacket with furr (travel with style)) coz it's freezing cold. Walk. Walk. Walk. Up. Up. Up. There are 2 camp sites along the hike. :) ranger station to camp 1 is about 2 hours. Camp 1 to camp 2 about 1 hr and camp to summit about 1.5 hrs. :)
the struggle is real. I think i asked ate about 100 times "ate malapit na ba?" Haha. You need to practice your breathing. The trail going to camp one is all ascend. Up up up. You can feel that you are sweating at the same time you can feel the cold and the wind. Brrr....
After 5hrs of walk. Rest. Walk. Hydrate. Walk. Eat. Sweet., we reached the summit! YEHEY!!!!!! But it is raining! Then i try to look the temp and it is -3. Brrrr...... Brrrr.. But the cold never bothered us anyway. We waited for the sea of clouds. For about an hour. Waiting waiting waiting. Huhu no sea of clouds. :( but it is ok. At least we reached the top! :) achievement. Bucketlist checked!
Tiring yet fulfilling! :) but that's the first and last hike for me this year. Hahahaha. :)
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We weren't lucky enough to witness the sea of clouds (we saw it when we came back a month after) but this hike is one I will truly hold in my heart forever.
So much to tell - from being trapped inside the tent because of heavy rains and strong winds, to not knowing how to cook, to almost burning our tent, to waking up every two hours because the wind was literally pushing our tent that we almost rolled over, to non stop rain, numb fingers, ice crystals, and to new found friends.
The weather up there is quite unpredictable. There is no guarantee of seeing the glorious show of clouds. But as they say, the journey is as beautiful as the destination. Still one of my best hikes ️
Story also available here: http://iwatchedthesky.wordpress.com
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Adventure at its best!!! Mt. Pulag is really heaven on earth. Worth all the sweat and body ache. Reaching the summit, for a first timer like me, is really an achievement. I'll definitely be back!
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Mt. Pulag is indeed the most memorable climb I had. We ascended via the Ambangeg Trail and descended via the Akiki Trail. We started the climb through the Ambangeg by 1PM and reached the peak by 5PM. The way to the peak via the Ambangeg trail is very awesome!!!!! The look of the barren lands amazes me! It has a very dramatic feel. We are also the only ones taking the trek. The feels that we have this mountains by ourselves made me appreciate it more. It is amazing to watch the sea of clouds from the peak at sunset!
It gets really cold by 6PM, please make sure you have enough layers of clothing. Applying warming oil on skin also helps! Sleep early because at 3PM, you should be set to climb the peak for the amazing view of the sunrise!
Descending Akiki Trail is also a great option if you have just a day for it. But be prepared for the slopes! For a non-pro like me, it is like descending from an almost straight line! The walk seemed never-ending, refill your bladders on every water station there is! The view of the akiki trail is very much WORTH IT of your hardships, I promise!
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I'm back in Benguet for another adventure. This time we conducted an outreach event with the group and a #SweetRevengeClimb. We arrived in Baguio at around 5 AM and rented a monster jeep going to our destination.
We had a stop over at "Jang Jang Eatery" to eat breakfast.It was weekend so the place was full packed of visitors. When you're here,don't miss to visit the Ambuklao Hanging bridge as sidetrip. The place is perfect for photo ops as it served as one of the main attractions in Benguet.This hanging bridge can accommodate 10 persons only. We waited for almost 30 minutes to get to the bridge.
We reached the DENR at 8 AM to register. Due to recent incident, they are now implementing "No medical certificate,No climb"to make sure that you're fit to climb.
We waited for 3 hours to get inside for a short orientation. We were the 30th group to registered that day with a total of 723 heads and counting.After the orientation,we headed straight to Mt.Pulag DayCare Center for the outreach program. The kids welcomed us with a smile. We gave school supplies,toys,chocolates to 120 kids here. The parents cooked native chicken tinola for us.
We arrived at the ranger station at 5 PM. We were arrived late so we decided to set up our tent here.We cooked dinner and had a short chat with fellow mountaineers. We changed our I.T to make sure that we will make it to the summit at 5AM the next day. After eating dinner and drinking session,we took a nap and prepared ourselves for the final assault.
On the second day,we woke up at exactly 1AM and it was really really cold!!! We saw some batch of hikers marching to the summit na parang may prusisyon. The tour guide asked us if we want to continue the trek to the summit because it was raining hard at the summit.Some of Group of mountaineers backed out already. We were very determined to push because we're already here so sayang naman buti nalang nung malapit na kami sa summit humina ang ulan nadala sa charm.
After hours of trekking under the rain, we finally reached the end point,the summit! yooh! At humina na ang ulan nadala sa charm. We stayed for 3 hours juts hoping and praying for sun to came out. The gods of Pulag heard our prayers and granted us our wish...To witnessed the breathtaking "Sea of Clouds". It was magical and surreal! It was the best sunrise I've ever witnessed. Mt.Pulag never fail to impress me for the third time
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The cold never bothered me anyways!!!
Hah… I was singing this inside my head while walking on the peak of Mount Pulag, every time I climb mountains; it has been my signature pose to wear sports upper-wear while exploring the place. It was cold, yes, but I am too busy looking at the endless beautiful scenery of Mount Pulag.
Mount Pulag has many peaks and anywhere there you can get a very beautiful view of sunrise and sea of clouds. The appearance of sea of clouds depends on the time, day and weather; and we are so lucky to witness such beauty. When you are above the mountains, especially Mount Pulag, you will forget the image of cemented roads, buildings and cars. The ambient is very different, very serene, peaceful and amazing. You just don’t want to go home.
So if you are planning to relax, unwind, feel cold and be adventurous at the same time visit and experience Mount Pulag. First time mountaineers can visit the National Park as long as they can stand the very cold weather of the mountain and they have the perseverance to see the beautiful sunrise and sea of clouds.
I uploaded the timelapsed-sunrise of Mount Pulag, https://instagram.com/p/-ozZWqSLdd/ or
check out (IG) travelone_val for other pictures and videos of Mount Pulag
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It was my first time to visit Mt. Pulag and it was my first major climb and I can proudly say I'm at the top of Luzon, I am an achiever. Mt.Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines,climbing Mt. Pulag via Akiki trail,or the so-called killer trail, the most challenging trail of the mountain, after being mesmerized by the beauty of Eddet River comes a very long steep trail called Marlboro Country, next came was the mossy forest with a less steep than Marlboro and rhen the saddle camp. Imagine carrying your things for a 3 days 2 nights itinerary this trail will really kill your feet, knees and back. I can't imagine that I can carry a 15 kilo load for 3days with a no rice diet, literally I even experienced what I read on a blog saying "every 5 steps means 5 minutes rest" that's why you need to take lots of carbo before the trail and a lot of exercise weeks before the date. But whatever suffering and hardship you might encounter climbing up, it was an explendid view along the trail, the amazing view from the top the sunset and the sunrise, the sea of clouds, the cool breeze, the chapping lips' wind, I swear it is all worth it. Truly, the best view comes after the hardest climb. #MtPulag #SeaofClouds #mountainph #loolooexplorerpackgiveaway
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"You are not physically fit!" This is what my mom told me when I asked permission to climb Mt. Pulag. She was very worried, as in she kept calling me for 3 days to tell me not to go because I am fat and again, not physically fit to climb the highest mountain in Luzon.
So I let it go. Didn't want her to keep calling me to tell me the same thing over and over again.
A week later, out of nowhere, my mother texted me: "zette! Go climb Mt. Pulag na. I asked your cousin Andy about it and he said the trail is easy and the view is great!! You as a photographer, will definitely enjoy it" and like the time when she said no, she kept calling me, now convincing me to go. Haha!
One of my companions, Camille D, knows a guide that goes to Mt. Pulag often. The fee is 3,000 complete with transpo to and from Baguio, 3 meals, tent, and all other necessary fees.
Before the trip, I read blogs and watch videos online. These are really helpful especially with the things to bring, because some items listed are a little too OA. :)
| Looloo has a blog post about Mt Pulag! It was really helpful especially if you don't have a guide, you can arrange your hike yourself:)
Fast forward to the trip, we left manila at 11:30PM and we reached Baguio around 5:30 AM. We loaded all our stuff at our Jeepney service and then we left to go to DENR for the orientation and Log In. You need to log out after the climb.
️I'm not gonna lie, I am not use to the long travel, especially in a jeepney, so I vomited a little during the jeepney ride. I suggest you take a bonamine and bring a plastic bag if you easily get dizzy too!
During our trip, there were approx 600 other people who were climbing Mt Pulag. We were batch 4 in the orientation and we had to wait for a few hrs. I think orientation takes around 30-40minutes per batch. The orientation may be quite long but it was very informative! You get to know why it is called Mt Pulag, what are the do-s and don't-s when you're in the area.
While waiting, there's a Mt Pulag sign in DENR. Great photo for remembrance!
After the orientation at DENR, there is (i think) 1 more hour of jeepney ride going to the Ranger's Camp. That's the starting point of the climb.
️Your guide will ask if anyone wants to ride the top load, ride during this trip to ranger's camp. The view is better than the one when you ride from the bus station to DENR. :)
️Also, while inside the jeepney, this is the best time to put on your sunblock. Your UV protection will be set and ready as soon as you arrive at the Ranger's Camp.
Upon arriving at the Rangers Camp, we were given time to get ready: changing of clothes, better bathroom facilities (although dont expect it to be a good comfort room, I used a toilet where you squat to pee!!)
️We were told to respect and be kind to the locals. One way of saying thank you for letting them allow you to use the bathroom is to give donations or atleast buy from their sari sari store. It doesn't have to be a big amount. First I bought 5 pesos worth of candies and the second time, I donated 20pesos. :)
Like I mentioned earlier, headcount during the time we went there was about 600+ there's a limit on how many people are allowed to go up and camp at camp 2.
️Camp 2 is the closest camp to the summit with only 1hr++ of hike. This is also the camp where there is a good water source and an enclosed bathroom(and by bathroom i meant a dug up hole). This is the best camp to stay in if you didn't want to wake up too early.
We were way out of the allowed headcount already so we had no choice but to stay at the Rangers camp and climb to the summit very early in the morning. Our scheduled start of climb is 1am. We will reach the summit in time for the sunrise!
️I was actually quite happy that we stayed at the rangers camp. That meant we didn't have to hike for 3-4 hours to camp 2 and we get to rest early! I'm still quite dizzy from the jeep ride, so I got to nap after setting up the tent.
The view at the rangers camp is also very beautiful! Look for the cute Cow and Pig, they are great photography subjects! Especially the pig. She's very friendly. She'll oink at you when you say hi!
Dinner time came and we were served hot sinigang and Adobo with rice. What a great meal to fight the cold! After dinner we already slept.
️It starts to get cold during sunset. This is the best time to start layering your clothes and setting up your sleeping bags. Never forget to bring an earth pad, in our case we bought the insulation foam (it's much cheaper and more effective! In my opinion) and note that you don't put the insulation under the sleeping bag, we placed it inside the sleeping bag to keep it close to our bodies and it does not move during our sleep. The space we got is in a slanted part of the ranger's camp so we are sliding down
An emergency blanket is optional but it's super helpful especially when you get cold easily!
I woke up twice because of the temperature. it dropped down to 6degrees (and that's just ranger's camp! It's even colder in Camp 2!!). The second time I woke up, I couldn't take the cold anymore so I had to open my emergency blanket. I look stupidI looked like take out food wrapped in aluminum foil, but hey, IT WORKS! i was able to sleep and surprised to wake up feeling warm ️
I set an alarm for 12MN, an hour early than our scheduled hike. I was too tired to prepare before I slept so I took this time to prepare the bag that I will
bring. What's good about camping at the Ranger's camp is that we are allowed to leave our unnecessary stuff in the tent. Not the valuable things, of course. I meant the things like sleeping bags or extra food and extra clothes.
️By the time you wake up, it's wise to take off the clothes you will not wear during the hike. This is for your body to adjust to the temperature. Also, do not wear all your clothes yet, because it will get colder and colder as you ascend, you need to layer up along the way. What's worse than having nothing to layer on when it gets colder! But honestly, while hiking, you get a bit sweaty inside. i did not layer more during the hike. Only when we reached the peak.
It was too cold that night. Our guide was even shaking more than me, and he is use to coming to pulag ha! He was kind enough to prepare coffee before we start the hike.
️I brought a thermal jug and it helped a lot, I took a few cups of coffee with me while hiking and during stopovers, that warm cup of coffee kept me from shaking.
️never forget your flashlight. Better option is to get the headlamp. This way, you'll be hands free!
We were late to start our hike since we are merged with another group and many had to use the bathroom before we started hiking. We started ascending at 1:30pm.
A little past one hour, we reached camp 1. We got to rest a while and drink a cup of coffee then we started to walk again.
️It's not necessary to just stop at camp 1. You can stop anytime you want or when you feel like you need to. As long as you stop at areas where other people can still pass. There might be people behind you. There are trails that are big enough for 1 person only. Trails that are too narrow. ofcourse, for courtesy, do not stop there.
️Trail foods are important. I brought nuts and cheetos in ziplock bags. It's better to transfer food into ziplocks than carry the bulky packs of chips! Also you need not to think about disposal because you can keep the ziplocks in your bag without the mess!
️Oxycans(249pesos in mercury drug) is also vey helpful. Lou R and I initially wanted to just share one can but we are so happy that we bought two because we finished both cans! We didn't expect to! It's a great way to catch your breath because the air you inhale is really cold. Try inhaling inside the freezer x1000, that's how hard it is to breathe!
The big group left us and so it's just us 3 and the local porter, Kuya Manuel, who also served us as guide. He was kind enough to go with our speed and not pressuring us go faster or anything.
There's nothing much to see at night since it's very dark! At some big areas, the stars are great subjects for long exposure shots. It's not everyday you see starts this much in the city!
We finally reached camp 2 after (a lot) of mini stopovers and our porter guide Kuya Manuel, was very encouraging telling us na "malapit na kayo, maabutan nyo yung sunrise!" We also got excited but the trail after camp 2 are the hardest. (In my own opinion) the trails going to the summit are now quite steep and more tiring to climb.
The sun is slowly coming up but we're still on our way. We can now slightly see our trail and how beautiful the mountains and grassland are, even in the dark. And as what I mentioned before, the higher you get, the colder it gets!
We didn't reach the summit in time for sunrise but kuya Manuel directed us to peak 2 where we can also watch the sunrise. We got to peak 2 in time for the sunrise and enjoyed the beautiful view. And again with the cold, it's the coldest I ever felt during the whole hike. We're at one of the peaks and wind is blowing. I can even see clouds moving past me. That's how high we are and that's how cold it is! As soon as the sunrise was done, Kuya Manuel suggested we continue climbing to the summit. The view is even more beautiful than what we are looking at right now.
It took us around 25minutes to reach from peak 2 to the summit and kuya Manuel was right. THE VIEW IS GREAT. We didn't get to experience the sea of clouds but there was like a lake... No a pond... Okay fine, a puddle!! haha. But even without the sea of clouds, we saw the mountains below and we got to enjoy this weather for a while.
There's a sign of welcome to the summit. It's the ultimate photo spot! Everyone is climbing Mt Pulag to see the sea of clouds and to get a photo standing beside this sign! It's the mark that shows you conquered Mt Pulag!
Around 9am, we decided to start descending. The trail we used going up is also the trail going down.
There's is one area you'll pass by a mossy forest, one of our friend called it "encantandia" and it's great area to take pictures. (I sprained my foot while taking photos! I didn't want to slow down the squad, so I took photos while walking then boom #PhotographerGameStronghaha!)
️a hiking stick is very helpful especially when you have a sprained foot it can serve as your saklay too!! if you don't have one, you don't need to buy one, I think they have some for sale for 10pesos only!
Overall, my experience with Mt Pulag was great. I think I did not mention, this is my first time hiking and just so you know, I am not fond of walking. Even in malls. Mt. Pulag is quite an easy trail great even for beginners! If I can, you can too! Goodluck!
If you have questions or anything about Mt Pulag, just ask away! I'll be happy to help you prepare for your climb and maybe suggest a few things that might actually be helpful! :)
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Comment "ICE ICE BABY" If you did!
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The spirit of Christmas in Mt. Pulag
Will you sleep, if your view is like this?
Me? I can't.
We camped at Ranger Station and this was the view that stunned our eyes.
The weather is so cold but the presence of bonfire, hot coffee, marshmallow and friends definitely made us feel warm and at home.
We walk through Ambangeh Trail, which is about 3-4 hours trek from basecamp to summit.
Mt. Pulag is considered as the highest mountain in Luzon and third highest in the Phillipines. It stands 2922 meters above sea level (MASL). MT. Pulag is popular because of the sea of clouds and sunrise that amazes everyone who visits the National Park. check my next feature about Mt. Pulag for sunrise and sea of clouds.
#loolooexplorerpackgiveaway #looloo #mtpulag #loolooexploringpackgiveaways #loolooadventurepackgiveaway
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Its the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines. Guys, I'm not a hiker and I'm not physically fit but I was able to do it. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!!! 🏼 THE BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS ARE WORTH IT!!! It's something you should see in your lifetime.
Yes, you can arrange everything yourself but why go through the hassle? You'll already be hassled with the actual climb! Hahaha! There are so many tours that offer affordable packages. I recommend Deo Calumba of Backpackers United. I paid 3,500 all inclusive. He even holds a briefing before the actual hike. Plus, he makes a mean camping meal, as in ang saraaaap! 🏕
• Transportation (MNL-Baguio-Pulag-Baguio-MNL) - Victory Liner
• Camping (Tents) and Cooking Equipment
• Food (during climb proper)
- We had menudo and sinigang for dinner, eggs and sausages for breakfast WITH coffee!
• Environmental, Park, Porter & Guide Fees
• Official Mt. Pulag Climbing Certificate
• Backpackers United T-shirt
DESTINATION: Mt. Pulag (Ambangeg Trail), Bokod, Benguet
- believe this is the main trail, easiest one..DAW, but its really...NOT.
HOURS TO SUMMIT: 5 hours
- took me like 8 hours? In my defense, I had no training prior to this activity, I'm just saying!!
HIGHLIGHTS: Sea of Clouds, Full Moon, Ambuklao Dam,
Benguet Mini Rice Terraces
WEATHER: It fluctuates, pegging it at 0-8 degrees ️
Day 0 (May 23 – Fri)
2100 ETD Manila for Baguio
Day 1 (May 24 – Sat)
0400 ETA Baguio City
0600 JangJang Resto. Breakfast. - KKB
0700 ETD Bokod, Benguet.
0900 ETA DENR Visitors' Center, Registration/Orientation
1000 ETD DENR for Ranger Station
1100 ETA Ranger Stn. Lunch. - KKB
1130 Start trek
1230 ETA Camp 1
1600 ETA Camp 2. Set up camp.
1800 Dinner. Socials - c/o Deo
2100 Lights out
Day 2 (May 25 – Sun)
0430 Wake up call
0545 Summit arrival; Sunrise
0700 Start descent from summit
0800 Back at Camp 2. Breakfast - c/o Deo
0900 Break camp. Start descent to Ranger Stn
1130 ETD Ranger Stn.
1230 ETA DENR. Lunch - KKB
1400 ETD. DENR for Baguio
1700 ETA Baguio City. Dinner along Session Rd - KKB
1900 ETD Manila
1. Hire a porter to bring your bag, they charge around 500 for a maximum of 15kg
2. There are 3 camping sites: Camp 1, Camp 2 and Saddle Camp which is nearest to the summit. Camp 2 is not bad.
3. Bathroom: In Camp 2, there is a shed with literally a hole in the ground. Bring your own tissue.
4. There are spring water locations where you can refill your jug.
What to Bring:
• Water, 1 liter
• EARTH PAD - you need this to prevent you're back from getting cold
• Flashlight/headlamp, extra batteries - MUST!!!
• Personal medicine kit
• Sleeping bag/ Sleeping pad
Clothing Items: LAYERING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
• Hiking shoes/ rubber shoes
• Socks (2-3 pairs)
• Pants (non-cotton) - not denim
• Jacket (Fleece)
• Windbreaker/ Raincoat
• Shirts (Long sleeves and short sleeves)
• Extra shirts
• Sunscreen, Soap, Shampoo
• Toothbrush, Toothpaste
• Small blanket and pillow
• Plastic bags (Grocery bags, Garbage bags)
• Personal Tupperware, Utensils (for eating)
• Water Bottle (for trail water)
• Cup, Tissue
• Camera, Tripod
• Trail Food (Chocolates, nuts with raisins,
• Alcohol (Gin) - it helps with the cold 🌬
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