Jan 9th: Mt. Pulag Part 1 – Quick Facts and Preparations

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Camping in the snow! Sunrise at the Sea of Clouds! Milky Way Galaxy at night!

I’m just exaggerated. There’s a possibility of seeing frosts in the coldest months, but no snow. I’m so excited to go camping next week for the first time in freezing cold temperature. I’ve seen photos and heard a lot about Mt. Pulag and next week I will be climbing the highest peak in Luzon. Too excited I decided that I’ll be writing my travel log for the first time as requested by my associates who will be hiking a few weeks after I do.

Mt. Pulag Quick Facts:

  • Luzon’s highest peak
  • 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines
  • 2,922 meters above sea level
  • Climate: Temperate with predominant rains
  • Best month to climb: Dry Season (November to April)
  • Famous sunrise for Sea of Clouds
  • Famous dawn for Milky Way Galaxy star gazing
  • Government-managed trail starting points: Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet
  • Nueva Vizcaya: Ambaguio Trail
  • Benguet: Ambangeg, Akiki and Tawangan Trails
  • Easy: Ambangeg Trail (3-hour climb)
  • Difficult: Akiki Trail (3-day climb)
  • Prohibited: Liquor, Bonfire, Garbage (take it with you down the mountain)
  • Must Try: Jeepney top-load ride
  • Must Prevent: Hypothermia
  • DENR Reservation Required (limited number of climbers allowed per day)
  • Take note: Weekend climb fully-booked until April 2015

Budget

We’re a group of 15 and got a package with a budget of Php 2,700 per camper. In my travel experience, you always get to save on a tour package with a bigger group. Also, prepare money (P300 – one-way | P500-600 – back and forth) if you will hire or just in case you will need a porter.

Inclusions:

  • Van rental (Manila – Baguio – Manila)
  • Jeepney transfer (Baguio – Benguet – Baguio)
  • DENR Environmental fee
  • 3 meals (Lunch, Dinner, Lunch)
  • Guide fee
  • Toll fee
  • Gas expenses

Itinerary:

Day 1 starts at Baguio. We’re estimated to leave Manila at 9pm the night before.

DAY 1
03:30AM – ETD Jeepney transfer from Baguio
07:30AM – ETA DENR Registration / Orientation
08:30AM – Set Out Ranger Station
10:30AM – ETA and early lunch near Ranger Station
11:30AM – Start trek
01:00PM – ETA Camp 1
02:30PM – ETA Camp 2. Setup camp (optional summit assault)
06:00PM – Dinner at campsite (socials)
09:00PM – Lights off

DAY 2
03:00AM – Morning assembly for sunrise trek to assigned peak and summit (optional)
04:45AM – ETA in summit
07:00AM – Start descent from summit
08:00AM – ETA at Camp 2 for a heavy breakfast
09:00AM – Decamp. Descent to Ranger Station
11:30AM – ETA at Ranger Station. Settle guide fees. Jeepney Descent.
12:30PM – ETA at DENR. Tidy up and log out
01:30PM – Sulphur Spring (optional)
02:30PM – Hanging Bridge (optional)
03:30PM – Ambuklao Dam (optional)

Personal Preparations

  • Increase tolerance to cold. You should know if you have high or poor tolerance. Bring more thermals if you get cold easily.
  • Exercise. Get  used to long walk. Jog and do some stretching at least a week before the climb. It will make climbing easier for you and will give you less body ache after.

What to Bring:

  • Clothes (3 pairs)
  • Fleece Jacket / Down jacket / Shell (suited to temperatures of 0-7 degrees Celsius)
  • Heat patch (to keep you warm for emergency)
  • Raingear (Rain jacket / Poncho / Windbreaker)
  • Trekking Pants / Jogging Pants (Preferably waterproof, must also keep you warm)
  • Socks and Extra socks (waterproof socks if available)
  • Trekking Shoes / Hiking Shoes (rubber shoes not ideal for hiking – tend to give up easily; extra shoes / sandals)
  • Trekking Pole
  • Gloves (3 pairs; should keep your hands warm; preferably 1 waterproof)
  • Bonnet / Head gear / Scarf / Malong / Cyclist Mask (should keep you warm with strong winds)
  • Waterproof bag / Plastic bags (for water proofing of valuable items)
  • Sleeping bag, Fleece blanket, and Thermal mat / Camping air mattress
  • Rainproof Tent
  • Large Garbage bags (at least 2 pcs)
  • Flashlight / Headlamp (plus extra batteries)
  • Personal whistle (in case you get lost, a whistle is a better chance for us to hear you)
  • Personal meds and First Aid Kit (plaster, med for sick tummy, flu
  • Tissue Paper, Wet Wipes
  • Kikay kit (for the ladies, not really useful)
  • Water bottle (at least 2-3 liters if you’re sensitive to unfamiliar water; cool, fresh, clean and potable mountain water available)
  • Camping mug
  • Mess kit (Plate or container bowl, utensils)
  • Personal Trail food (ready to eat and easy to eat: jellies, candies, chocolates, cookies; to share!)
  • Camera
  • Dessicant (to moisture proof gadgets)
  • Happy Disposition, An Attitude of Gratitude, Sense of Adventure
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2 thoughts on “Jan 9th: Mt. Pulag Part 1 – Quick Facts and Preparations

  1. Pingback: Jan 15th: Mt. Pulag Part 3 – Packing | Loads of Something

  2. Pingback: Jan 19th: Mt. Pulag Part 7 – Aftermath | Loads of Something

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