Mt. Pulag Adventure: Preps and Side Trips (1/2)

Finally! It's time to write about my adventure at Mt. Pulag :)

The Preps
Weeks leading to the trip, we were prepping our gears and our bodies for the climb. Since it wasn't the usual getaway wherein we could just put together our own itinerary, we decided to get a travel package from Mother Earth Adventures for the entire trip. There was a pre-climb orientation wherein they will brief you on what to expect and the things that you need to bring to ensure that you get out of there alive. Gasp!

I was set to jog at least 2x a week before the trip but that didn't happen haha! So my prayers of Lord-please-help-me-get-out-of-there alive were proving to be more frequent days before the trip. So that's one of the things that you have to do if you're planning a climb here, prep your body for it!

What to bring
Sleeping bag
Earth mat - so important!
Water bottle

What to wear
Jacket 1
Jacket 2
Leggings 1
Leggings 2
Scarf (wool/fleece)
High Socks (thick ones)
Trekking shoes (with grip traction)

The key here is layering. You also have to ensure that your clothes are as close to the skin as possible, so it has to be tight but comfortable. So leggings for the bottom, and if you have to wear jogging pants, make sure it's one of those garterized at the bottom to keep the air from getting to your skin. Brrrrrr!

Otw: Hanging Bridge & Daclan Sulfur Spring
Our group left Tuesday night, and we arrived at Baguio on Wednesday morning. We rented a bus (Joy Bus, meant for me! lol!) and we had to ride a jeepney after getting off at the bus terminal so we can get to the camp.
How's that for a jeep's tagline?

We had a tight sched to follow. Wednesday was for the DENR briefing, side tours, eating and getting enough rest... because by Wednesday night, we had to wake up and prep for the climb.

We had lunch at Lola Cancio and down below is what we had!

Side trips included the Hanging Bridge and the Daclan Sulfur spring. The latter was interesting both in sight and in smell! And with interesting smell, I mean it smells really, really, really funky! Haha! :P

Sporting a black-on-black ensemble, posing at the Hanging Bridge at Benguet.

Hold your breath...

Mt. Pulag has different stations and trails. We stayed at Ranger station which means that we get to leave our stuff at the camp site but the drawback is this: we had to climb 4 hrs one way because it's the farfrom the summit. Yun lang! Haha! Other campers can stay at the nearer camps. So this one depends on your group's preference and the camps' availability.

Our camp was also at the highest point, so every time we need to brush our teeth or take a pee, we need to descend a short climb to get to the restroom. May CR naman! Infairness! pero tip: bring wet wipes and wear your headlights when doing your business because there's no light!

...and since we are newbie climbers, we chose the Ambangeg trail aka the Easy Trail.

Hello Ranger (station)!

The camping grounds!

With my tentmates: Jelyn and Lynette!

Tent it Like You Mean It!
Lynette, Jelyn and I spent quite an amount of energy just figuring out how to sleep and dine inside the tent. The grounds were uneven and cold so it's really important that you bring a sleeping mat to cushion the rocks underneath. 

After setting up camp, we had dinner. Guess what we had? A piping hot pork sinigang and steaming white rice! Win! the organizers prepped for this and by 7pm we were awaken to the smell of delish hot food - perfect for the cold weather. It was my first time to set up camp and this was one of the highlights for me. It's just a different experience to hear and feel the cold winds adamant to get inside our tents. Yes it was freezing by the time midnight rolled in, but being a nature-lover, I think it's one experience one must have at least once in her lifetime.

After eating, it was time to get a longer shut-eye just before the climb. By this time, I was already in 90% of the gear. I was wearing thermal wear underneath, my fleece jacket and another jacket (layering is the way to go!). We were also wearing gloves, socks and beanies already!

It was so cold but it was just a glimpse of what we were going to experience the next day. Next post is on the climb!