Climbing Mt. Pulag
I don't even know where to begin with Mount Pulag. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. But I'm sure everyone already knows that. What makes this trip extra special to me is the quirks and idiosyncracies of our group. By no means were we the fittest of hikers (except for E Ricci and Bea who are an extra active couple. Ricc even sprained his ankle the night before the climb and Bea said it was "nothing"). Somehow though, we ended up reaching the summit in 3 hours - it usually takes 4-5 hours in the dark. I think our guide who was setting the pace was annoyed that we were about an hour late in leaving the campsite so he was going really fast to
punish us make up for lost time. At the orientation, they told us the hike was like a walk in the park. It was most definitely NOT. We had two rest breaks and the only easy part was the middle - which was mostly flat. The first and last part of the climb were such steep ascents that at one point, just before reaching the summit, I was climbing with my hands on the ground. Add to that the pace we were going at, and the hike made for an entirely new level of difficulty. But s'all good. Clearly we all rose to the challenge cause I'm now typing this post, months later, with fondness and not resentment. And because of our speed, we overtook a lot of other groups. We ended up being one of the first few groups at the peak so we were able to pick a great spot to wait for sunrise.
I don't remember much of the hike down. I just remember thinking it was neverending lol luckily, our campsite was situated beside someone's home and he generously allowed some of the people from our group to use his outdoor hose to bathe ourselves with. The water was freezing (I hate cold showers) but I guess that was part of the experience and I feel an extra bond with those I had an outdoor shower with, especially Drea, whose hair I washed, salon style.
Definitely one for the books. Will I do it again? For sure, but not anytime soon. Maybe next time, we'll do the more challenging trail since y'know, we're super fit.
All photos taken by Mike Rabat