Greatest Hits… So Far (Part 2)

I had to get me some sleep so I wasn’t able to finish my list in one post. 😛

Let’s spring into action, shall we? Here are my five favorite hikes so far:

 

5. Mt. Ugo Traverse

Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet
LLA: 16.31916°N, 120.80166°E, 2130 MASL
Days required / hours to summit: 2-3 days, 9-10 hrs
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail Class 1-3

I did a traverse hike of Mt. Ugo on one good foot. Yes. One good foot. I had a sprain a good 4 kilometers away from the summit. That last stretch of the hike going up the campsite was brutal! Still, it was something that made me even more proud. Also, the trail and the views were amazing! I’ll definitely go back here someday. 🙂

And I almost forgot, this hike was also in participation with the first Annual National Mountain Cleanup Day. A video documentary of our hike can be viewed here. 🙂

4. Mt. Kitanglad

Impasugong, Bukidnon
LLA: 8°8’2″N; 124°47’0″E; 2,899 MASL 
Days required / Hours to summit:
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 2-4

This would have been higher on the list had it been an actual D2K traverse. Instead of just climbing Mt. Kitanglad, which is the Philippines’ 4th highest mountain, we were supposed to do a traverse of Kitanglad to Dulang-Dulang (the country’s second highest mountain). It just so happened that there was a tribal war in Dulang-Dulang and climbing it at that time was not allowed by the military. Talk about bad timing (looking at you, tribes! :P) Still, climbing Mt. Kitanglad was a very good experience. On the summit, there are bunkhouses which provided us with an extra sense of comfort not often had in mountain hikes. 🙂

Read more: Taking on the Trails and Riding the Rapids

3. Mt. Damas Traverse

San Clemente/Camiling, Tarlac
Altitude: 685 MASL
Days required/ Hours to summit: 1-2 days/ 4-5 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, trail class 1-4

Mt. Damas is one of my favorite mountains. Its good trails, campsite, summit views, and many waterfalls make this mountain a very good destination. Among the many falls is the so-called “J” falls because of the shape the water forms as it cascades down (see photo below). Ubod Falls, which is yet another waterfall in Mt. Damas is also very picturesque.  Also, we had one of the most fun socials in Damas. It was a really amazing experience!

2. Mt. Apo

Davao Del Sur
LLA: 7°0′30″N, 125°16′33″E, 2,956 MASL 
Days required / Hours to summit: 3 days / 10-11 hours
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 7/9, Trail class 2-4

Climbing Mt. Apo, the Philippines highest mountain, is a dream of most – if not all – Filipino mountaineers. My first ascent of the country’s highest peak was a memorable one. We had great weather, the trails were great, we saw great views, and I was with great company. We took the Kapatagan trail going up and going down. (Later this year, I’ll be back to take a different trail.) We ate wild berries on our way up. We had a good time at both camps (we were there for three days). We also descended to Lake Venado, a high altitude lake that looks amazing. Finally, just standing on the summit – knowing that I was on top of the Philippines – felt absolutely great.

See more: A Journey to the Top

1. Mt. Pulag (Akiki-Ambangeg)

Kabayan, Benguet
LLA: 16°34’58″N 120°53’15″E, 2922 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 10-11 hours / 2-4 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 7/9, Trail class 3

Pulag’s Akiki Trail is dubbed as the “killer” trail. It wasn’t really that brutal, though. I had great difficulty climbing up the steep pine forest, but that was the only part of the hike that I can call “killer.” The camp was another story. On our first night, we had a great time and good weather. On our second night, we almost froze to death! When we were on the very much exposed saddle camp, it was raining so hard that we were all soaking wet and freezing. Surviving this experience made me stronger and it made me love life even more. 🙂

More about our thrilling Pulag climb here: Surviving Mt. Pulag’s Akiki Trail

Let’s do a recap of my top ten favorite hikes so far:

10. Mt. Gulugod Baboy (February 9, 2013)

9. Mt. Palay-Palay (March 23, 2013)

8. Mt. Arayat Traverse (March 1, 2014)

7. Mt. Pulag Ambangeg-Ambangeg (November 2, 2013)

6. Purgatory Traverse (October 19, 2013)

5. Mt. Ugo Traverse (May 10, 2014)

4. Mt. Kitanglad (May 31, 2014)

3. Mt. Damas Traverse (December 7, 2013)

2. Mt. Apo (February 11, 2014)

1. Mt. Pulag Akiki-Ambangeg (November 23, 2013)

That’s it! Soon, this list will be totally changed because I plan to climb a lot more mountains! 🙂

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