Thursday, May 31, 2012

The end of something simple, and the beginning of everything else

The Mt Ugu Traverse

Mt Ugu Traverse
I have tried to arranged this climb as early as last year, but something always happened for the climb to be aborted at the last minute. So the Mt Ugu traverse never materialize until early this year. I originally scheduled this climb last January,however fate once again intervened , it needs yet again to be rescheduled.
Last February , I was fortunate to had climbed with the best people I could find. I have never met all of them before but trough facebook and the love for the great outdoors our path met. And they have all been my closest friend and climbing buddy since then.
I believe that the success and failure of the climb always depends on the people your climbing with. They can either make or break you.They can make you appear strong or weak,smart or a fool. In this regards, one should always be careful in choosing his companion.  I was really blessed that the group who joined me, was a real adventurer, sports, and a real gentlemen of the outdoors.

                                       The group at the kayapa market,before trekking

The trail of mt ugu is comparable to the trail of Mt Pulag using akiki trail. It was a cold morning when we started our assault, and it was a long walk, up and down on the scenery terrain. We were blessed with a nice weather and a reliable Guide. (Tatay Alex) . It took us 8 hours of walking to reach the summit of Mt Ugu. There a lots of water sources along the way,(ask your guide) so you need only to bring trail water. Until you reach domolpos the last water source before going to summit
                                                     Early part of the trail.

 From here you need to fill out all your water bladder, trail water and camp water,and make sure you have enough water for all your cooking and socials at the summit. The next water source will be available after 1 to2 hours on your way down. Thus it will be a good climbing strategy to schedule your lunch at the water source. Going down, you can also take your lunch in Lusod where there are water source and 2 toilets . Thus you will not need to worry about de loading your shit once your stomach is full.
                                         Trail going to Domolpos, notice the fog..
With the beautiful surroundings everywhere, you rarely get tired. And with great companies to have a laugh with on the trail is a great joy. The trail has a lot of forks, so our guide make sure that we crossed out the wrong way to make sure that the tail group can follow. Every now and then we re-group, re-charge and share some stories we had on the trail. The bond and friendship we had on this climb is one of the best thing that happened to me this year.
                                            Come on guys, the summit is just there.
                                                  The north face venture jacket
                                                  Pitching the huge tent. , really
                                              Early morning at the summit of Mt Ugu
                                            The beautiful landscape of Mt Ugu trail. 
Mt Ugu Traverse I can say is a relaxing climb.. Or should I say It always depends on whom your climbing with. So better choose the group you will be climbing with.Talk to the team leader about which group you belong to and stay with that group.  It doesnt really matter if there are hardcore, always up to setting new records, can carry 50liters of backpack with ease, As long as they care about the other person and take good care of one another on the trail and can laugh on the small things.Then the climb will be all worthwhile. After a long and hard journey , we will always come home together.
                              This bridge is the sign that you already finished the traverse. 
Additional info :
Every year the municipality of itogon organize the Mt Ugu summer climb.
Before mountaineers used to assemble in Bambang where they are picked up by their rented jeep. Now the assembly place is at the Aritao bus stop of Victory liner.
For a small group option there are buses /van bound to kayapa or buses going to baguio that pass by kayapa. Or if you dont have time constraint, you can start your traverse in reverse .The entry point will be in itogon and exit will be in Kayapa . From baguio there are passenger jeepneys going to tinongdan.
For guides and logistic contact
Lisa Diase Tourism officer of itogon :09105482678
Jerda (brgy itogon sec )       : 09184876097
Alex Basilang (guide )          : 09219840254
Van rental(olive )                : 09193604421
How to go to kayapa  :
Ride Victory liner in Kamuning. Any trip will do. Just tell the conductor to drop you off at Aritao ( P324)
Then From Aritao, Your rented jeep can pick you up and drive you to kayapa . You can buy your supply in Kayapa market.
From itogon.
From itogon, You can arrange jeepney that can pick you up at itogon and take you to Baguio.
You can ask Mam Lisa to arrange that for you in advance.
For complete information and i.t

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