12.08.2015

What You Need to Know About Climbing Mt. Pulag


It's climbing season once again in Mt. Pulag National Park. Many mountaineers, tenured and novice are planning to summit the highest point in Luzon. There are a lot of travel groups and agencies offering tour in this part of Kalinga, but still there are empty holes regarding the hike that you may think needs to be filled with answers. We list down 9 important things you need to know to help you out prepare your Mt. Pulag climb.

1. Know the best time to visit


December to February are the coldest months and considered the peak season, while March to June are drier and a little warmer. If you don't want to hike on muddy trails you may want to skip the rainy season from July up to early November.

The chance of seeing a sea of clouds is more of a luck; some says there is a higher chance during peak season, but still there are days that there are not. On the other hand there are some who climb during May and still able to witness the sea of clouds.

Another thing to consider is the population of climbers in a day, try to avoid the crowded weekend by scheduling your trip on a weekdays.

2. Know the Climate


We said March to June are drier and warmer, but do not expect a temperature raising up to 24 degree Celsius. So when we say prepare for the cold, we mean prepare for a thermostat reading from below zero to 12.

3. Know what to wear


We will get more details on the gears later, but let's focus on things you need to put on and when you need put them on.

Before the climb you will starts to feel the drop in the temperature once you reach Baguio City, so you may want your jacket within reach, but during the climb itself, your body will start to sweat a little, so save the jacket for later at the camp. Remember that it gets colder when the wind blows on a jacket that got wet from perspiration. By nightfall wearing a layer of clothes is necessary, and during bedtime gloves and layers of socks is needed to have a peaceful sleep.

4. Know the trails you will take


There are many trails leading to the summit of Mt. Pulag. The hardest and longest is the Akiki trail that requires at least three to four days to complete. There is also the Tawangan trail from Kabayan, Benguet and Ambaguio coming from Nueva Vizcaya. The easiest  and most taken is the Ambangeg Trail a.k.a. celebrity trail, that only requires 2-3 hours to the summit.

Doesn't matter where you would like to start, there is always a need to attend the pre-climb orientation at the DENR office.

5. Know if you are fit to climb


Ambangeg is considered a walk in the park, but a little preparation would not hurt. Exercise regularly at least one to two weeks before the climb to increase stamina.

A recent requirement imposed by Mt. Pulag National Park management is the presentation of medical certificate stating you are fit to trek Mt. Pulag. You can secure a med-cert from a licensed physician.

6. Know your itinerary


Whether getting a service of a tour organizer or doing it on your own, the itinerary would not fall far from each other.
  • DAY 1
      • 6 hour ride  Manila to Baguio
  • DAY 2
      • Baguio to DENR
      • Orientation
      • Babadak Ranger Station to Camp 2
  • DAY 3
      • Early trek to summit
      • Watch sunrise
      • Descent back to Ranger Station
      • Baguio to Manila

7. Know the things to bring


If you are one of the organizer of doing it on your own you may need to provide the items for group, but when joining a travel group or tour package the organizer usually provide the items for group and you just have to worry about personal items. You may want to check our detailed Things to bring list when hiking.

  • GROUP ITEMS
      • Tent with ground sheet
      • stove with fuel
      • cookset and pan
      • camp light
      • med kit
    • PERSONAL ITEMS
        • backpack
        • sleeping bag
        • earth pad
        • mess kit and utensils
        • headlamp
        • waterproof jacket
        • minimum of 2L of water
        • trail food (candies, dried fruits, energy bar)
        • at least two set of extra clothes
        • hotties / warmer
        • gloves
        • extra socks
        • personal meds and kit
        • toiletries
        • camera and gadgets

    8. Know the "Leave No Trace" principle


    Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.

    Do not take anything form the mountain (including stones and leaves), do not leave anything that does not belong to the mountain (including trash and camp fire), and do not kill or destroy anything you see on the mountain (insect, flowers, stones).

    Refrain from making unnecessary noises, never start a camp fire and try to lessen the impact we create on nature.

    9. Know who to contact


    There are a lot of tour operators who will help you plan your adventure in Mt. Pulag:

      • Pulag Edelweiss Tour - 09107987005 or 09303631218
      • Acrobaleno Trail Tours - 09328723042


    Doing it on your Own? You may want to contact the following:
      • DENR-PASU - 09196315402
      • Jeep for Rent (from Baguio to Ranger Station) - 09205538758

    If you want to read our last year adventure to Mt. Pulag click here.

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