This is not my usual adventure. Just done the 2nd day and I already thought about quitting. Who am I kidding? 1000 words in a day for 25 days? I love writing, but I’ve never written something everyday and FORCED myself doing it. Fiction was hard…now I realized non-fiction is much, much, much…harder. Should I give up now? I can but I’ll go back to being BORED. Hmmm!
Before I’ll bore you too much, if I didn’t already had, check my new adventure. And I’m taking back the non-fiction part. Also, I might need your comments and suggestions. Please, please if you have time, read it and let me know if there’s something I need to change or improve. I can’t afford editors right now…and I’m not VERY committed to finish it yet. Haha! It’s just something I do to keep me occupied while I don’t have anything to look forward yet. No travels and climbs schedule for the coming months. 🙁
And I just realized I can’t be awake until 4 AM today, like yesterday because I have an early meeting tomorrow. Oh well, Day 2 can wait until I’m BORED again over the weekend. Hahaha!
The beauty of the smoking lake greeted us the next day. It would have been fun to have played with it longer but the schedule won’t allow it. Compared to the previous climbs, Apo’s last day trail was the most rigorous. Left the camp around 7 AM, an eternal descent followed.
It was a clear day but the guides kept reminding us how erratic the weather these days. We need to hurry or else be stranded in rain. The thought of crossing 6 rivers pressured me to hasten each stride. And each countable stop, I kept on asking how far do we have to go. Downhills were a friend but that time, I thought otherwise.
It was a almost a race. The stops were minimal and short. The group was divided into teams again with the guide leading the pack. Before reaching Mainit Spring, one of our companion got cramps. And just when I’m about to say my words of wisdom, I tripped and slipped on the rock. It was painful. I feared that I too would have cramps. It could have been a first if I did.
After 7 hours of walking, we finally reached the last river crossing at around 2 PM. We were famished. The others were already eating when we arrived. Since it was the last stop before the ride, we settled matters with our new friends who have been very helpful throughout the entire journey – our guides.
Before the climb, our estimated budget was 450/day/porter but the actual was Php400/day/porter. It was our first climb with porter and we were a bit generous and happy, so every team decided to settle with 500/day/porter. And to make it easier for the boyfie and his friend, we gave Php 700 each for us three to our porter, Ronnie.
And finally it was goodbye, Apo. I was restless on the ride to Davao City. My body was aching but I felt that something was missing. I later realized that the anticipation and excitement of the climb that occupied me since the start of 2014 was making me restless. When it was gone, I felt lost and goal-less. 😛
And that’s it. Apo has become a history. I kinda feel a bit of inadequacy on this last post. I wanted to write and tell you more but words are not my friend today. 😐 Oh well, next time perhaps.
We don’t have a schedule yet but Dulang2x might be next on the list. Yay! And while waiting for that new adventure, I’ll re-visit and update you with my Pulag and PamTarZam (Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales) travels. Stay with me. 🙂
To be promised forever on top of Apo crossed my mind but didn’t linger. There’s so much to do in the peak and proposing is not on the list. But sans engagement, it didn’t stop the boyfie and I to enjoy a free prenup session. Yay! Here are some of my favorites!!!
Now it’s not only the mountain that we look forward to conquer…Credits to the photographer Dea! Visit her blog to see more of her photos. Yay!
From the start, sunsets and sunrises are not really that appealing. It was maybe because I had other things to marvel about. Everything in the entire journey is already beautiful. What more would I ask for? And then Pulag. Oh yeah, Pulag again. Who would forget Pulag?! Certainly not me, when most of my outlook on mountaineering were crushed and gone with the wind upon it’s slopes. After this Apo series, I’ll definitely dig into the abyss and relive the biggest adventure that I thought I’d had – Pulag. Now back to Apo.
Only 6 of us were able to experience Sunset at Kidapawan peak but Sunrise at Davao peak was different. Although we went in separate batches, only 2 missed the spectacle. Despite the numbing cold of around 8 degrees, we indulged in the beauty that only the top of the mountain has to offer – an unobstructed view of the sun’s majesty. We cam-whored on the lights, the sunrise itself and the daylight. And when every angle and pose were caught, we descended to prepare breakfast. Eating was the only definite activity of the day since on our itinerary, we were supposed to stay on the peak for 2 nights but there were voices of concerns.
After breakfast, it was confirmed that the group would no longer stay at the base camp, the last night of the journey will be Lake Venado – estimated to be 4 hours away. The boyfie and I was kinda excited so we finished packing ahead of the others. While waiting we fill our almost battery dead cameras with more stress. It was then that I noticed Kuya Tindero on the sides.
When everyone was done packing, we took our BRB Shirt picture. I was happy we were able to do this. Although I was kinda hoping we’d have the group picture in the peak. Next time I’ll impose. For now, ain’t it grand? Our first picture with the same shirt on a climb. Hooray!!!
And…it was time to go. I looked up at the peaks again. Smiled, feeling very proud of myself. I did it without a hitch. Thankful, because I have the most supportive and understanding team of all. Excited for the next trail was mostly downhill – my favorite.
I couldn’t remember how many times I’ve paused, mesmerized by the beauty of the lake a far. Each stride brings me more excitement to gaze upon it’s beauty…no longer in bird’s eye view. It must have been the reason why we reached the lake around 2 hours or less from the estimated. Had I known that a bottle of coke and banana cues were waiting for me when I arrived, it would have been much faster.
And because Lake Venado didn’t disappoint, I hurriedly took my team for a stroll and picture taking.
We ended the night eating together with non-canned or pouched goods courtesy of Team Musni. Yay! Camp Venado wasn’t that cold compared to the base camp and to this day, I still wondered why we didn’t play together after dinner. I’m sure it wasn’t because of fatigue. We reached Venado at 2 PM, we’ve been resting the hours after that. Hmmm! I’ll ask them on our next climb. 😀
And as for you…hold on to the last part of the series! I hope to tell a great tale about Kidapawan river. Also, may I ask a favor? Let me know if you want to know more or you’ve been overflowed with too much information alright?!
The beauty of Apo encompasses no other. I realized it on the 2nd day while going through an uphill battle towards a seemingly endless mounds of white rocks popularly known as “The Boulders”. It was just so beautiful, other worldly and simply awesome, makes me think of Essos (Game of Thrones where Dainerys is). Haha! The yellowish patches of sulfur, the smoke on the side and the fog makes it more beautiful but dangerous. The fog sometimes cover the ribbon-ed path, forcing us to stop and wait until it goes away, letting us continue. Hearsays tell of a mountaineer that forced its way despite the fog got lost in the boulders. We were never told to stop but is it not common sense to do so?!
0530 Wake up
A good night’s rest always makes a difference. I woke up inspired and ready to start the day with preparing breakfast only to be stop by the thought that I don’t know how to light the burner. And as if by heaven’s grace, the owner of the burner drops by. Hooray!
0730 Tinikaran Break Camp
After breakfast, we proceeded breaking up camp ahead of the others. But because we’ve been slow packers, they catch up almost immediately. Around 8 AM, we were ready to conquer the said to be the hardest part of all – The Boulders.
0800 Trek to boulders
The path were mostly covered with trees, the ground was still moist with dew thus slippery.
2 hours after, we reached a dried creek – an entrance to the boulders. The group stop by in awe of the smoking mountain.
We continued our journey until our stomach grumbled. Had lunch at a clearing in the middle of the rocks.
0100 White Sand
After lunch, the guide assured us that we’re halfway thru. Reaching white sand is our salvation from the boulders.
The view of white sand was picturesque so the group took the time to cam-whored.
0230 Apo Base Setup Camp
I was still in high spirits upon reaching the camp so I wasted no time, have my team setup our tents and prepared an early dinner. It was super cold but the heat of the sun balances it. After we’re done, we prepared to climb the peak.
0400 Kidapawan Peak for sunset
We weren’t actually able to see the sun set because of the clouds! Anyhoo, it was still a beauty to behold. We waited until the wind was chilly enough and hurried back to the camp. When we reached the camp, I cooked soup and had an early dinner. After preparing to sleep, the group called to play our favorite game – The Resistance. After 3 rounds or so, we called it a night.
Here are some of my favorite pics and panoramas of Day 2!
Last year’s Pulag via Akiki really changed my over-all disposition towards every climb. Nothing is easy in the mountains. And despite my preparations, I still feel uneasy and inadequate so when the group brought up porters, despite wanting to own all the glory in conquering mountains, I agreed. But right after our team’s grocery, I realized I may not be load less after all. But compared to Pulag’s 15 kg backpack, carrying just my personal things and water (around 6-8 kg) was certainly a relief. And maybe because I’m in top shape with the regular Zumba, I wasn’t that tired throughout the entire trek. For the first time, I wasn’t spent on the first night in a major climb. Hooray!
Overall, I felt that our group has improved. Even the first timers were noteworthy. We were fast, the walks are long and rest stops were short. Having porters for each team has also help not only in carrying foods but also support. In previous climbs, I am always pressured to be faster to catch up but this time because we have our own guide, I took my time.
I didn’t really like the group separation to teams but it turned out best unto our advantage. The boyfie and I has always been slow with packing so it helps that we could cook and eat earlier to pack first before the other team does. 😀 And because of that team-ing, I have acquired a new confidence in cooking. I could finally say that I have become a true mountaineer. Yahoooo!
And so much for my blahs, I know you’d like to see some action…so here’s my amateurish photos, pardon the blurs in an effort to document the details. Day 1 trail consists mostly of just trees and grass. The real Apo action begins the next day so stay tuned!!!
APO DAY 1 TIMELINE
0730 Flight to Davao
* Reached Davao
* Hello to our guide, Kuya Charlito
0900 Breakfast stop at BCJ Kambingan
1100 Sta. Cruz Registration
1130 Shell break while waiting for the ride to Kapatagan
* Lunch and bought supplies at Kapatagan market
* Ride to Culan – start of trek, meet porters: Ronnie, Jun2, Axel, Loyd and Edel
* Walk an hour to basketball court where we organize the load for porters
It was everything but a blissful memory, that exceeds far beyond expectation. Apo Climb was my 4th but the greatest of them all. The fears and doubts that loomed over months before has truly become my biggest support. If not for those doubts, Apo would have quickly become a Pulag experience.
Knowing that a few less adventurous acquaintances have survived Apo didn’t change my plans a bit. Climbing my country’s highest peak would not be easy so I have to be fully prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. To aid the physical preparation, despite liking dancing, starting to join Zumba sessions was never easy. It took a lot of push and rewards to get me going. Glad they did. 🙂
Our group leader has always mentioned about being self-sufficient but it didn’t get to me until the actual implementation. Cooking was never a problem on the previous climbs, but the decision to separate the group into teams of 3 took an emotional blow. This was the boyfie and I’s 4th climb but we never really bothered ourselves with cooking until then. I was actually hoping to be paired with one of the pro’s (someone who know how to use the burner). Oh well! I was forced to be that pro, and letting my team down is a no-no. And what help me through that? It was that new year’s resolution to not mind what other people think too much. I should only be responsible with myself and those that rely on me. Never force yourself on people. Do what you can and just wait for people to offer. Never ask and rely on anyone for anything to avoid heartbreak. It’s a rude resolution, but so far it gave me nothing but strength.
Lastly to prepare me mentally, I need to know the nature of the trail. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that suits my overly detailed specification so I just armed myself with what I knew so far – to conquer a mountain is not easy. Always expect the worst. Never let your guard down.
And…so much for the over-introduction and prologue…come with me as I try to relive the journey towards and away from Philippines’ highest peak, Mt. Apo on the next posts! 🙂