Adventures in Alberta, Canada

Hi everyone! I have not written in a long time because I was busy enjoying my so-called ultimate vacation of 2017 which happened last June 8 – 24, 2017. I just came back from a trip to Alberta, Canada which, for me, is one of the best vacations I have ever done.

Because it was a long-time dream of mine to be able to visit Canada, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to get a tourist visa when I found out that my parents were planning to go this year. Luckily, my application got approved and so we proceeded to buy plane tickets.

It was a long time coming but finally, it happened and boy was it worth the wait.

I have nothing but love for Canada and this post will tell you all the reasons why.

[Disclaimer: Long blog post ahead]

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Climbing The Mighty Mt. Halcon

Hi everyone! I just got back from my longest and most difficult (Yup, Mt. Amuyao has been replaced) hike in Mindoro, the mighty Sialdang or more popularly known as Mt. Halcon – my 48th mountain.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2580+ MASL

Location: Baco, Oriental, Mindoro

Difficulty: 9/9, Major Climb

Trek to Summit: 19-20 hours

Prior to this hike, I did not have any form of training at all because of recurring leg injuries that I had to rest properly and thus resulted to me having an extra difficult time during the hike proper. Nonetheless, I am really grateful that I was able to finish it. Read on below for the full story of our four days and three nights of exhausting but extremely fulfilling hike.

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Mt. Arayat Traverse Dayhike via Magalang – Arayat

Hi everyone! Last Sunday, April 2, 2017, I went with my friends to a pre-climb/training climb in the mountain associated with Mariang SinukuanMt. Arayat which also happens to be my 47th mountain.

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 1,026+ MASL

Location: Magalang, Pampanga

Difficulty: 5/9, Major Climb

Trek to Summit: 3hrs 30min (Jump-off to North Peak) + 1hr 45min (North Peak to South Peak)

This trip also served as our group’s pre-climb and my training climb for an upcoming major hike. Read on below for more details.

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Climbing the Philippines’ 10th Highest: Mt. Kalawitan

Hi everyone! I just came back from my recent hike to the arguably 10th highest mountain in the Philippines* and my 45th mountainMt. Kalawitan. Up to the last week of the event proper, I was still unsure if I could join because of personal matters but just a day before the hike took place, I confirmed my attendance and was able to join the group. Talk about cramming, right?

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,714+ MASL

Location: Bontoc, Mountain Province/Sabangan, Mountain Province

Difficulty: 6/9 (Basing this on my experience)

Trek to Summit: 9 hours

There were several things that made me struggle during this hike that took place last January 28-29, 2017. Nonetheless, I do not regret joining because more than the exhaustion and pain, I was also really happy with the people I was with. Read on below for the full story of our weekend.

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Year Starter Hike to Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg

Hi everyone! Last January 7-8, my friends and I were trekking Luzon’s highest mountain and the Philippines’ third highest mountain – Mt. Pulag. It was also January of 2016 when I first ascended this mountain via the “killer trail” Akiki and descended via Ambangeg. At first, I was still hesitant to join because I already scaled the mountain via the same trails and second, I could not forget how I was extremely bothered by the cold temperature at the top (Sorry Queen Elsa. Lol.). When I was really conflicted, this conversation with my friend helped me decide:

covo
Big words from a little guy. Jk hahaha

Mountain Stats:

Elevation: 2922 MASL (old), 2,926.047 MASL (new)

Location: Akiki Trail – Kabayan, Benguet

Difficulty: Akiki Trail – 7/9

Trek to Summit: Akiki Trail – 10-11 hours

(Edit: Mt. Pulag’s elevation is now at 2,926.047 MASL as declared by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority or NAMRIA last April 4-14, 2016. As proof of this, a new summit marker can be found beside the old one.)

pulag-4
New Summit Marker

 

While there were moments along the trail that made me question my decision of joining, I regret nothing because seeing my mother major mountain again brought back so many happy memories. And like what they say, it will always be a new experience in the mountains no matter how many times you have been there.

Continue reading “Year Starter Hike to Mt. Pulag via Akiki-Ambangeg”

The Great Cordillera Traverse: Mt. Ugo

Hi everyone! Last December 3-4, I did my last hike for 2016 – Mt. Ugo Traverse which also happens to be my 44th mountain. I was really excited for this because of all the great things I have heard from my friends and all the beautiful photos I saw online. Aside from these, Mt. Ugo is also included in my bucket list and having this for a year-end climb seemed like a really good idea.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,150+ MASL

Location: Entry point – Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, Exit point – Itogon, Benguet

Difficulty: 5/9

Trek to Summit: From jump-off to campsite – 8 hours, from campsite to summit – 15 minutes

According to our guides, the total distance from Nueva Vizcaya jump-off to Benguet exit point is around 35KM. And although it was a long trek, it was not as tiring because of the beautiful views present almost all throughout the trail.

Read on below to know more about our experience in traversing Mt. Ugo.

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The Hike to Mt. Damas and Side Trip to Ubod Falls

Hi everyone! Last November 19-20, I went with three of my friends to an overnight hike to Mt. Damas, my 43rd mountain, in San Clemente/Camiling, Tarlac. While this can be done as a day hike, we decided to camp to do stargazing and city light watching.

Mountain Stats:

Location: San Clemente/Camiling, Tarlac

Elevation: 685+ MASL

Difficulty: 6/9 (Major Climb)

Trek to Summit: 6 hours

There are two possible jump-off points going to Mt. Damas, one from Dueg (ideal for those with a private vehicle) and from Papaac. It is said that between the two, the trail from Papaac is longer and more difficult because of the so-called “Cardiac” part which I will discuss in detail later on in this post as our group took on this route.

Even though Mt. Damas is not as high compared to other major mountains, the trail going to the summit offers a challenge to hikers that makes it worthy of its difficulty level.
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Weekend Getaway in Banaue – Bontoc – Sagada

Hi! I was invited to a twin hike to Mt. Fato and Mt. Kupapey last weekend, October 15-16. Unfortunately, due to the typhoon (Karen) that hit North Luzon over the weekend as well, we were only able to climb Mt. Fato – my 42nd mountain.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 1400+ MASL

Location: Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province

Difficulty: 2/9 (This is just my rating. The trail is wide and beautiful with a lot of pine trees)

Trek to Summit: 1 hour

Because we were unable to do the main activity of this trip, climbing Mt. Kupapey, we found ourselves exploring different sites in Sagada instead. This came as a surprise because going here was not part of our itinerary but because of bus and jeep schedules, we decided to take the bus from Sagada back to Manila.

Read on below for the full story.

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The Rainy Hike to Mt. Tapulao

Hi everyone! Over the weekend, I went with my friends to an overnight hike in Mt. Tapulao, my 41st mountain, after more than a month of being away from the trails. I had an idea of what I should expect coming from the stories of my other friends who were already done with this mountain but of course no matter how much I prepared myself mentally, I was still completely caught off-guard.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 2,037+ MASL

Location: Brgy. Dampay-Salaza, Palauig, Zambales

Difficulty: 5/9

Trek to Summit: 10-12 hours

Easily, Mt. Tapulao has one of the most leg-straining trails because it is 90% rocky/stony. Nonetheless, I am still grateful to have crossed it off my hike list. Read on below for the full story.

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Tri-Provincial Traverse: The Kibungan Cross-Country

Hi everyone! During the long weekend last August 27-29, 2016, I was up and about trekking what seemed to be the longest hiking trip of my life by far – the Kibungan Cross Country Traverse which is said to be approximately 50+ kilometers with an entry point in Benguet and an exit point in La Union. According to the locals, the complete traverse takes hikers to three provinces (Benguet – Ilocos Sur – La Union) through 15 mountains.

Originally, I was just supposed to do the Kibungan Circuit with my Amuyao team. This only requires summiting three mountains but due to unforeseen circumstances, this did not push through. Luckily, my friend invited me to join her climb in the same area but instead of just the circuit, it was the cross-country traverse.

Mountain Stats

(Mt. Tagpaya, Mt. Oten, Mt. Bulalakaw, Mt. Amalse, Mt. Dalipey, Mt. Batangan, Mt. Badew, +8 more)

Elevation: Highest point between 1900MASL – 2000MASL* (the trail is rolling so expect an increase and decrease in elevation)

Location: Sugpon, Benguet – Santol, La Union

Difficulty: 8/9

Trek Duration: 3D2N (26 – 28 hours)

Personally, I think this is probably the most stressful hike I have done so far because of the rainy weather and the circumstances that resulted from it. Nonetheless, it is also one of the most fulfilling.

Continue reading “Tri-Provincial Traverse: The Kibungan Cross-Country”