I wrote this Feb 2009.
I’m back from Pulag. It took me a week before I could write something about my experience. Why? Because, I had a post climb depression, glad I’m over it now. I can look on the pics and I can tell stories.
So, where do I start…hmmm…
I won’t be putting a lot of details about Pulag coz there’s tons of free information on line.
We took the 9pm trip from Victory Liner Pasay by 4am we’re already in Baguio. The jeep driver was already there waiting for us.
This is the first time I have ever experienced riding the top load (from Ambuclao Dam to DENR station). And WHOA! It’s fun! I was screaming the whole time. There’s a better view at the top load. Try it and see for yourself!
The ride from DENR to the ranger station was bumpy. It’s not fun coz I was sleepy that time. I really wanted to sleep but I can’t. I don’t want to wake up with a dozen of bumps on my head. And since we’re not professional top loaders, we were asked to go inside the jeep. Hmp! KJ si manong driver!
First thing you’ll say even when you’re still at the jump off point (the ranger station) is “bRRRRRrrr”. As you go up it gets even louder and longer “bRRRRRRRrrrrr, so F&^$%kin’ cold!”. When you’re at the peak, you’ll get speechless and just wish your parents or your friend owns a helicopter just in case hypothermia hits you. But wait, cellphone signals gradually decreases, boo-hoo! Goodluck!
I won’t also be listing the things to bring. All the tips are available in every mountaineering websites. What I can say is, bring things for the EXTREMES, extreme cold and extreme heat. Both elements work in Pulag.
The Ambangeg trail is easy compared to Mt. Cristobal trail. What made this a major climb is the weather. It’s really unpredictable. The hike up is not that cold unless it’s raining. There are, however, some parts of the trail that line the edge of the mountain, one slip and ah-hoooohoooey…long drop!
By the way, the peak was less that 10 degrees, 99% humidity wind chill factor, probably another 6 degrees off it.. brrrrrr…
Why then is my title “LOVE it, HATE it”? Well, it’s not so comfy using the latrines there. I still prefer using toilet with ceramic tiles while doing my thing. So, I didn’t do it. But my major complain is, I hate it for the weather. At night, I felt the chill in my bones, in every part of my body. I felt it in my bloodstreams and the least I could do was think it’ll be over by the next morning when the sun is up. Looked at my watch, freak! It’s still 9 hours to go till the next morning. EXCRUCIATING! When it started to rain, it’s even! Mother Fudge!
I love it for the view. The grasslands, the mossy forest, the sunset (though it didn’t last for 5 minutes because of the bad weather) and the exhilarating sea of clouds (that’s the highlight). Your Pulag climb isn’t complete without enjoying the view of cotton-candy-like clouds surrounding you.
Overall, this trip was amazing, inspiring, and fulfilling. I would recommend it to everyone… everyone who’s prepared, fit and… hmmm… coordinated.