The decision to postpone the Third Annual Charity Climb in Mt. Pulag, from a stormy weekend early in October to November 19-20, 2011 paid off with perfect weather greeting the 30 participants of the event which aimed to raise funds for the health information website, Kalusugan.PH. Comprising the organizing team were me, Carlo and Sir Martin. Joining me also was Lance, a college student from La Salle.
The Ambangeg Trail is probably the easiest trail to hiking itself; it is easy yet captivating, accessible even to those with little or no hiking experience. As long as the chillingly cold evening does not traumatize, as long as the rain does not obscure the promised splendid views, I am sure many who walk through this trail would come back for more. Yet, as the number of hikers grow, in Pulag and elsewhere, I hope that it would be mountain that will change them, not the other way around.
It was a cold but peaceful night at Camp 2. We woke up early the next day for the usual summit assault; this time we started at 0410H, arriving at the summit way ahead of the sunrise. Even as we started trekking, we were optimistic about the views, with the beautiful night sky! I saw at least three shooting stars as we were heading up the summit.
Indeed, what a beautiful sunrise it turned out to be! Each dawn spent at the summit turns out to be slightly different. Sometimes, lush, puffy clouds surround the entire panorama – and this is the true “sea of clouds” phenomenon; it usually comes with dramatic weather (i.e. “it was raining the whole night”). Yet it is also nice to see a clear sky, without clouds obscuring the beautiful Cordillera peaks, which, like old friends, are always nice to see.
I spent more time than usual at the summit, relishing at the opportunity to feel the cold, and to observe the changing of the sky as the new day comes. Also, it is nice to spend time at the summit without the early morning throng of hikers. Hiking, to me, is as much a solitary activity as it is a social one; one must find a balance between the two.
Above all the thoughts that dwelt in my mind at the summit, I was really thankful and relieved that the weather turned out great. After all, I wanted all the participants to have a memorable experience, to make their trip worthwhile. In the end, however, I think we all had a great time – myself included!
At the end of the trip, there was the traditional raffle, with the grand prize of a Deuter bag! Congratulations to all the winners! And I say thank you to all the participants for sharing this special climb with me. Till next time!
THE PINOYMOUNTAINEER ANNUAL CHARITY CLIMBS