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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mt. Pulag | Akiki-Ambangeg Traverse

After months of planning and training new members, we climbed Pulag last March. We were 1 month late of its coolest month but still, it was cold.

The near freezing temperature zipped our tents firmly for about a day. The heavy downpour that seeped through the tents further weighed us down.

Inside our tent, crumpled like sardines being marinated in freezing mist and rain water, sleep never visited us, yet we had so much fun.

We trekked the so called "killer trail" but after my encounter, I think it doesn't quite live up to its name.

Yeah yeah it was steep like climbing a steep staircase but it was not steep like the rock faces of G2, Maktrav and Natib

I'm not saying it is easy, but then, I am not also saying it is that hard.

Since Pulag is a favorite destination even for non climbers, logistic is not such a problem.

If you are from the NCR, you can ride a bus to Baguio through Victory Liners stationed all over the metro - in Cubao, Kamuning, Sampaloc, etc. etc. Since we are all from Manila, Sampaloc station was our starting point.

A Manila – Baguio round trip costs 1000+ pesos.

From Baguio, we rented a jeepney to reach the starting point of the ‘Akiki’ trail.

If you need a jeepney we recommend that you contact Ma’am Geenia (0919-8169234), a very generous lady who can facilitate your needs.

Since the jeepney rental costs 9000 Php, I suggest that you bring a big team of climbers.

From the jump-off, you will start hiking for 2 hours to reach the ‘Eddet’ campsite.



From there, you have two options. You can decide to stay and rest here to prepare for a straight hard up second day;


or head up to ‘Marlboro’ campsite, making the first day the hard day.

For our trek, we did the latter. We started hiking at 12:00 noon and reached the ‘Marlboro’ campsite at 6:00 PM.


We were lucky enough to be blessed with a good weather on the first day such that we did not have to trek until sundown.

From ‘Marlboro’ campsite, it will be an easy 2 - 3 hours hike up the ‘saddle’; that's why I recommend the strenuous first day IT instead of the straight up second day IT.


We started our 2nd day at 9:00 AM. By this time, the clouds were already starting to cover the peaks.



We reached the ‘saddle’ campsite at 12:30 and from then on, the rain didn't stop.

From the Saddle, it will be 15 - 20 minutes to the summit.


From the summit, it will be an easy 4 - 5 hour stroll down to ‘kabayan’ ranger station.




There you can take a shower, tidy up, eat lunch and go back to Baguio via your rented jeep.

Just remember to advice the driver on what kind of trail you'll be taking so he'll be there to pick you up.

That sums it up. Sadly, there were no magnificent heavenly views for us at the summit but as a true climber says, views are just the cherries on top of the icing. The real glory rests in reaching the top.

...until next time



Group Itinerary

day 0

10:00 - meet up Victory Liner Sampaloc
11:00 - departure from Sampaloc

day 1 

05:00 - arrived at Victory Liner Baguio
05:30 – departure from bagiuo going to kabayan
09:00 – arrived at DENR for briefing
10:00 – left DENR going to akiki jump off
11:30 – jump off and lunch at ranger station
12:00 – start trek
14:00 – arrived at eddet river, break, snacks, water refill
16:00 – arrived at emergency camp, break
18:00 – marlboro campsite, set up camp, dinner, socials
20:00 – lights out

day 2 

06:00 – wake up
07:00 – breakfast
08:00 – break camp
09:00 – start trek to Mossy forrest
09:40 – arrival – mossy forest, rest
10:30 – arrival – last water source, rest
11:30 – arrival – the grassland
12:30 – arrival – the saddle campsite
13:00 – lunch
17:30 – dinner
18:00 – lights out?

day 3

08:00 - wake up
09:00 - breakfast, break camp
09:30 - trek to summit
10:00 - arrival - summit
11:00 - trek down to Camp 1
13:00 - arrival - camp 1
14:00 - arrival - ambangeg ranger station
15:00 - leave for baguio
19:00 - arrival - baguio
21:00 - departure from baguio to manila

How to get to Mt. Pulag

Take a Baguio Bound Bus at Cubao, Pasay or Sampaloc Bus Stations.

Make prior arrangements with Ms. Geenia for the jeep going to the jump off. You can contact her at 09198169234. Check out my article about her here: http://trampingphilippines.blogspot.com/2011/11/mt-pulag-visit-to-maam-ginas-place.html

For Victory Liner Baguio Bound Buses, you can check their schedules and fares here: http://www.victoryliner.com 


*we would like to thank Agnes Navales for organizing the climb and for most of the photos in this post

4 comments:

  1. Great blog really looking forward to reading more I felt like I was a "askal" watching and following your group through its adventure. Well written!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you reddogrog, More posts will come,

    ReplyDelete

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