Major jumpoff: Collideng Junction, Halsema Hwy, Brgy. Madaymen
LLA: 16°43’6″N, 120°45’40″E, 2617 MASL (#16)
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1-2 hours*
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9*, Trail class 1-2
*- if coming from Collideng Junction
Article history: Created July 4, 2012
Mt. Osdung is one of the Halsema hikes, peaks whose jumpoffs are within the Halsema highway, and are of high elevation by virtue of their location, despite the very easy trek to their summits. The most popular of these hikes is Mt. Timbak, the 9th highest mountain in the Philippines, located at KM. 55 in Atok, Benguet. Less than an hour further from Baguio lies Mt. Osdung, itself a very high peak, the 16th highest in the Philippines.
It is located in Brgy. Madaymen in the town of Kibungan. Interestingly, the town of Kibungan itself is not accessible by road from this barangay! Thus, although this mountain is in Kibungan, it is, in more practical terms, identified with the Halsema Highway unlike the Kibungan Circuit hikes which originate from Kibungan itself.
From the Colideng junction in Halsema, you can either walk to Sitio Cagam-is up to the summit, which takes around an hour or so. You can ask the friendly locals for precise locations, but on a clear day it is not difficult to miss the highest point. Like Mt. Timbak, there is a highland village that inhabits Mt. Osdung, right to the very peak. Vegetable plots – of cabbage, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, and more – cover the terrain. The summit itself, however, has been spared, and is an altar-like rectangular plot of land.
Alternatively, you can hire a van from Colideng junction to Cagam-is, which will take you within 5-10 minutes of the summit. This access to Osdung makes it perhaps the easiest to reach among the Top 20 highest mountains in the Philippines, easier even than Mt. Timbak.
Nonetheless, it is a nice sidetrip for those going to or returning from Sagada or Mt. Kalawitan, or even those just roadtripping along the country’s highest highway. Osdung and Timbak can also form a very nice ‘twin dayhikes’ from Baguio!
From Baguio City
0600 From Dangwa, take Sagada or Bontoc-bound regular bus
0900 Arrival at Km. 313 Collideng Junction, Halsema Highway
0915 Start trek to Osdung, Sitio Cagam-is
1030 Arrival at summit (2617 masl)
1100 Start descent
1200 Back at Collideng Junction. Take bus to Baguio
1500 Back in Baguio City
Transportation. Take the Sagada or Boontoc-bound buses (i.e. GL Trans, Lizardo) from Dangwa Bus Station in Baguio City. As of July 2012, the one-way fare is P95-100.
Guides and registration. There is no need for any guide or registration fee up Mt. Osdung.
Cultural sensitivity. The entire path to Mt. Osdung passes by a highland community, including their vegetable farms. Be sure to respect the people and their livelihood by not making noise, trampling on the vegetables, and other forms of obstructing the peace in the community. It would also be nice if you would take time to introduce yourself to the people you pass by, and seek their assent for your visit.
Hiking notes. You can buy supplies like food and water at the Collideng Junction, where there are some stores. There is cellphone signal throughout the trail.
MT. OSDUNG PICTURES
The mountain is covered by vegetable plots.
The path of rough roads and occasional cement is reminiscent of Mt. Timbak
I climbed Mt. Osdung on a very gloomy day – July 3, 2012. Sunnier pictures will replace the gloomy ones above as soon as I get to visit the mountain again!