Weeks before this climb, I got my mind set on climbing Mt. Daguldol as my year-ender slash first year anniversary climb (yes, isang taon na akong namumundok). Would've been so nice to return to my mother mountain exactly one year after. But my plans simply changed instantly when I received this message:
"Mt. Purgatory is set for dec 28-29. Budget is 2,000. Please confirm within the week. 10 slots only including me!"
Another invitation from Pinoymountaineer which I just cannot decline.
Friday - December 28, 2012
It feels good to be back at Baguio City, the chilly air of the early morning (5am when we arrived) makes me want to stay in a hotel and just sip a cup of brewed coffee. Somehow, namimiss ko na yung mga panahong mag rerelax lang sa isang trip. As much as I want to have a relaxed weekend here in the city of pines, my love for hiking overcame this feeling. Our chartered jeep (c/o Ate Gina Epe) were already waiting to bring us to our year-end hiking destination.
Two and a half hours after we left Baguio City (about an hour of it was spent at Pinkanjo Restaurant for breakfast, and the rest were spent on the road), we finally arrived at Japas jump-off. The time was 08:30am and we're all prepped and excited to hike another Cordillera mountain.
|final preparations at Japas jump-off|
At 08:55 AM, after the get-to-know and prayer-before-climb sessions, our trek commenced.
|mid-way of the first leg of our trek, rain started to pour over us. The rain did not stop until we finished the day's trek|
|this signage marks the end of the wide open trail, and the beginning of the uber awesome mossy forest trail|
|the trees, even the ground are are mostly covered with moss|
|In this hike, I was with some of the coolest people online: Doc Gideon (Pinoy Mountaineer), Ate Tin (Jovial Wanderer), and Kuya James (Journeying James)|
|Mt. Pack, one of the summits of the Purgatory range|
|trekking again through the mossy forest, sa sobrang haba inantok ako sa trail|
|the summit area is an open grassland. Those old pillars seen in picture are actually posts of the old tramline that transported logs. Yes, there was a once a flourishing log industry in the area.|
|At Aponan Junction, we entered the shed to hide from the blowing cold wind. stayed here for about 10 minutes before continuing to Bakian Primary School.|
|The single-room school was not big, but certainly enough to accommodate us all for a night. There's a proper water system in the area (faucet and sink), no electricity though.|
|This school educates only 12 students, and since it was Christmas break, we're free to use the building|
|Our dinner, prepared by Ate Gina, heated by Sir Koi :) yum yum|
Saturday - December 29, 2012
Hurrah, clear sky greeted us in the next day. Although it was chilly and a bit foggy, I know we're going to have a great hiking weather. While having breakfast, all I'm thinking was the view we might see with this perfect clear day.
By 7 in the morning, we started moving again to finally end the traverse, this time through a beautiful pine forest. Just minutes from the time we started trekking, Mt. Sto. Tomas appeared on the horizon. I became ecstatic by what I've seen so I rushed further until once again great mountains appeared before me. Jaw-dropped at Mts. Timbac and Mt. Pulag, the 9th and 3rd highest mountains in the country.
|pine trees trail.|
|sobra akong naaliw nang makita ko ang mga bundok na ito.|
|Mt. Komkompol viewpoint|
|seemingly endless mossy forest. like in the world of the hobbits|
|still mossy forest|
|panoramic shot of the mossy forest|
click the photo to enlarge
|It was just really fantastic to see these tall pine trees surround me while I'm trekking. makes me feel that i'm so small|
|panoramic shot of the pine forest|
click on the photo to enlarge
The final leg of the trek was along an open dirt road, sometimes loose rocks (similar to Mt. Ugo's final leg of trek to Itogon, actually most of the experience in this Mt. Purgatory traverse is very much alike Mt. Ugo). I was wearing slippers already when I took this final leg, sobrang sakit na kasi ng paa ko.
|rocky dirt road for the final leg.|
|Pethal-Ekip border. done with my 31st mountain.|
Our experience in the mountain was totally refreshing, indeed a great climb to end the year 2012 and to celebrate my 1st year in mountaineering. My big thanks to all my hiking companions in this climb especially Doc Gideon, Ate Tin, Kuya James, and Coby. More climbs to come this 2013!