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?
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|
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.|
|dinner with Trail Adventours|
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|
|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 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,.|
|leaving Pulag's summit with a big smile|
|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|
certainly a priceless experience
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .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.