Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mt. Pulag (Ambangeg Trail) | The Trail, The Campsite, And The Jaw-dropping Summit View


It was raining bad along the famous Ambangeg Trail. I checked the view to my right but it was all white, almost completely covered by thick layers of fog/clouds. 'sighs'. Will I see my Pulag Dream?


The Trail

Most of my hiking buddies used their raincoats, I got no raincoat. What I have is this large orange umbrella (na pang limahan ang capacity). Thanks to it, me and my backpack got the full protection we very much needed.


I was smiling the whole time because I once told myself that I would only climb Mt. Pulag if it will be on Akiki Trail (yup, medyo hinahanap-hanap na ng katawan ko yung mga challenging hikes, feeling hardcore na eh), but look at me now, I am walking like a hunchback on this fairly easy Ambangeg trail. Perhaps the only challenge here was my overpacked 8 kilogram backpack loaded with some 3 days worth of clothes and a number of borrowed stuff that will help me battle the coldness of Mt. Pulag.

I don't have trail food with me (I forgot to buy some or should I say nagpaka-thrifty lang ako), buti na lang there's a couple (they're now my friends) in our group that brought a bag full of sweets and they shared it to us (oh yeah, yung mga ganyan talaga ang masarap kasama sa hike, hehe).

The time was around 02:30 PM when we arrived at Camp 1, and there we rested for some time. The rain waned a bit, which is good, but the trail remained muddy, which is not good.

From camp 1, we entered the mossy forest portion of the trail that has amazed many hikers. Different species of moss and lichens have grown extensively in this forest, covering almost every exposed moist surface. I've seen a lot of forests with this kind of ecology and none of them have failed to stir up the biologist in me.

there are 2 water sources along the Ambangeg Trail
After about 3 hours of trekking along Mt. Pulag's executive trail, grassland started to emerge on the scene. We finally made it to the campsite.


The Campsite 

Coldness started to bite the moment I stepped my foot on its grassy terrain. So I hurried to camp 2 extension where our group would set up our camp.

It is the largest campsite I ever saw (a hundred of tents would probably fit all at the same time)

It was drizzling, misty and very cold when I arrived at our camp, and I feel that I'm already catching a cold. I dropped my bag (halos 3 hrs kong buhat ang 8 kilo na backpack, ang sakit lang talaga sa likod) so I could roam around and see some interesting things.

it's the only campsite I know that has its own CR, wonderful isn't it?
Dwarf Bamboos grow abundantly at Mt. Pulag.
A tent city was about to rise.
However, my sight seeing moment was ruined by the persistent headache that I actually started to feel from the moment I stepped out of our jeep (I honestly got dizzy from the rough road ride to the jump-off). I think my brain stopped working because of this uneasy feeling, the only thing I could remember now is that I vomited during dinner (eew lang, haha, buti may naka-ready akong plastic).

dinner with Trail Adventours
It was around 9PM already, the campsite was almost freezer-cold. Then one by one, lights were turning off, snores becoming a choir and stars are becoming more visible. I don't want to become a frozen meat so I soon entered our tent to finally rest my weary body.  I'm excited to see my Pulag Dream in the morning.


The Summit View

It was past 3am when I woke up. I heard Osep, the team leader, saying that the weather looks very promising. Having heard of it made me really excited, to the extent that I almost totally forgot the excruciating coldness in the campsite. We're after the majestic sunrise and the famous sea of clouds which can only be seen at the summit of Mt. Pulag.
 
After a few more minutes, our one hour exodus to Mt. Pulag's summit has begun. I couldn't describe the trail that we're taking because it was still very dark.

At 04:45AM, we're already standing on top of Luzon's highest. The next thing I could remember was a series of jaw-dropping moments.

Daybreak at the summit, sun's about to wake up
No word can describe the happiness that I felt upon seeing the sunrise and the sea of clouds. I just can't let this opportunity pass, I almost completely drained my cam's battery on capturing this Pulag Dream of mine.

this was probably the best sunrise I ever witnessed.
the first time I saw such kind of sea of clouds was when I was aboard my first plane ride.
I looked around the neighboring Cordillera mountains but I failed to identify even a single one (Mt. Ugo pa lang ang naakyat ko sa area na 'to, hindi pa ako familiar sa kanila lahat).

I honestly have no idea what mountain are those
7.6 km of what?
some the coolest guides of Trail Adventours
Quite crowded at the summit, but according to our guides, konti pa daw yun,.  
When I felt contented with the pictures I snapped. I joined the group marching back to campsite, breakfast was already waiting for us.

leaving Pulag's summit with a big smile
When I got back to campsite, I suddenly felt the urge of using the nipa CR.

yes, I tried Pulag's CR.
here's a hint, wala pong inidoro sa loob, isa lang hukay na malalim na may takip.
Trail Adventours guides prepared the meal for everyone
After breakfast, the group started to dismantle the camp, everyone became busy packing up their things and preparing for the descent. And at 9AM, we journeyed back to the Ranger Station.

Fast Forward >>> We trekked back to Ranger Station, we had another rough road ride to Ate Gina's Place, freshen up and had our lunch there, traveled back to Baguio City, got dizzy again at the zigzag road, dinner at SM Baguio and finally back to Manila.  

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certainly a priceless experience
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This wonderful Mt. Pulag experience was made possible by Trail Adventours. If you also want to experience my Pulag Dream hassle free, join them. Priced at P3,800, this weekend Mt. Pulag package deal includes Manila-Pulag-Manila transfer, dinner on the first day and breakfast and lunch on the second day, all the registration and guide fees, one priceless memory at the summit and a lot more. Just visit their website at trailadventours.com and check their monthly sched of climbs to Mt. Pulag or reach them through their email info@trailadventours.com .  

Batang Lakwatsero would like to thank Trail Adventours and Pinoy Mountaineer for making my Pulag Dream come true.

Also thanks to Dane of trampingphilippines.com and Drew of trippingsbydrew.com for letting me use their stuff.







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35 comments:

  1. Congrats for conquering Mount Pulag Ivan. Sa lahat ng bundok na inakyat ko favorite ko talaga ang Mount Pulag. And I've met people from TrailAdventours and PinoyMountaineer, mababait sila. :)

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  2. Kumusta ang sleeping bag? kahit malaki yan effective yan sakin e. haha

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  3. Chaka di ba sinabi ko sayo ung Cheat-mode ng Mt. Pulag? haha. parang kahit gaano kaganda ung trail ng ibang bundok ibang klase parin kasi talaga ung summit nya kaya parang ang hirap sabihin na mas maganda ung iba kesa sakanya. haha. dugas..

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    Replies
    1. haha. cheat tlga e no.. tama ka. talo lahat ng ibang bundok pagdating sa summt ng pulag!

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  4. Congrats sir ivan.. how I envy you. naka dalawa na akong trek sa Mt. Pulag pero walang sea of clouds. Yung isa pa nga nag-akiki trail pa ako as sacrifice. pero same result. I hope when I go back there I can have a nise sunrise like what you have seen up there...

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    Replies
    1. awww. parang ang saklap. sana nga makita mo na sir ang mailap na sea of clouds.

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  5. Congrats Ivan! Ikaw na ang nakapag pulag. Inggit ako. haha

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  6. Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog! Nice blog here! I love travel blogs! Love that first photo - makes me wanna go there! The sunrise is awesome! And the Pulag's summit is beautiful! : )

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    Replies
    1. you should visit pulag when you go back to the Philippines. you'll definitely love it.

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  7. Not sure if I left 2 comments cos the first one didn't quite get through : )

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  8. Sana magka budget ako this year para makapag Mt. Pulag na din.

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    Replies
    1. akyat na. hehe. rich ka naman kaya aford na aford.

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  9. nice Ivan. i like all the photos! ang galing mo na ah! specially yung may sombrero

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  10. ang galing mga photos ivan! congrats sa pag akyat ng Pulag!

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  11. They have that many hikers going up the summit at the same time? Wow!

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    Replies
    1. because this mountains is getting more popular.

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  12. Amazing pictures!! Thanks for sharing this info. Hopefully someday I can also trek here. I have to see that summit in person! :)

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  13. Ivan, you gotta prep when I climb Mt. Pulag soon..

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    Replies
    1. ^_^...dami pang naka-sked na travels eh kaya di pa masingit si awesome Pulag. :-)

      PM me nalang sa G.Baboy ha...magiging busy ako sa mga susunod na weekends.

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  14. Lazaro Villanueva PaynorJuly 10, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    nice sir ivan, ibang level na talaga mga naaakyat mo...

    ....BREATHTAKING SEA OF CLOUDS.....


    >>>>>PANALO<<<<<<

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  15. Lazaro Villanueva PaynorJuly 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    mararating ko rin to...someday~!

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  16. I like your panoramic shot of tent city :-)

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  17. love it!... sana sa pag akyat namin, makita din namin yang amazing "SEA OF CLOUDS!"... excited na ko!... :)

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  18. Love it!.... ganda ng mga shots!... sana sa pag akyat nmin ay maging mabait ang Mt. Pulag ng makita din namin ang napakagandang "SEA OF CLOUDS!"...excited na ko!... :)

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  19. sir san mo nabili yung sumbrero?..hehehe...we also witnessed the magnificent sea of clouds with my group crazy monkey on Nov 23-24, 2012 (US Thanksgiving). Sulit ang pagod:)

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  20. sir, tanong ko lang po kung pwede ko isama ang 6 yr old daughter ko? gusto ko kasi umakyat this year and mas magiging masaya ako kung kasama ko ang pamilya ko. marami slamat po.

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  21. Hi Sir Ivan,

    Permission to use one of your pics to my pulag climb event in FB.

    Thank You

    Randell

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