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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation

An hour and half or so after our stop at Pinkan Jo Eatery, we arrived at another sign of civilization as we saw tourist items being sold.  As we walked further, we then understood that we are at the Mount Pulag DENR Registration.

mount pulag denr
Mt. Pulag is part of the National Integrated Protected Areas Programme (NIPAP) so this registration and orientation is required.  They have a study supporting this requirement as Mount Pulag has more than 500 species of plant, of which 251 are endemic to the Philippines.  A bird survey identified 77 species of which 30 are endemic to the Philippines, 13 have a highly limited distribution, and eight are globally threatened.

mount pulag denr
There were already batches already leaving as we arrived.

mount pulag denr


mount pulag denr

mount pulag denr
Inside there were more souvenirs to purchase.  Aside from here, you can also buy at the Badabac Ranger Station

mount pulag denr
We attempted to join in the orientation but the room was so full so our Above the Clouds tour group was asked to join in on the next.  The capacity is only around 120 persons at a time.  And, they accommodate around 400 a day.

mount pulag denr
We were first asked to watch a 15-minute video presentation.  After the show there's the talk and questions were entertained.

mount pulag denr
I found the boards in the orientation room more informative.  I gave me a vague picture of what to expect. 

There are 4 trails to reach Mount Pulag's summit. 

1. Ambangeg or Babadak Trail
mount pulag denr
Major jump-off: Ambangeg Ranger Station, Bokod, Benguet
LLA: 16°34’58?N 120°53’15?E, 2922 MASL (#3)
Days required / Hours to summit: 4-5 hours / 1-2 days
Specs: Major Climb | Difficulty 3/9 | Trail class 1-2
Trail system: Grand Cordillera Trail, Section 3
Features: Sea of Clouds | Dwarf Bamboo Slopes | Mossy Oak Forest

The  Ambangeg or Babadak Trail is the easiest trail. It's even considered a celebrity trail.  Most of those who reach the summit take this trail.  The distance from the jump off at the Babadak Ranger Station to the Mount Pulag Summit is 8 kilometers.
mount pulag denr
2. Akiki Trail
mount pulag denr 
Major jump-off: Brgy. Doacan, Kabayan (Akiki)
LLA: 16°34’58″N 120°53’15″E, 2922 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 10-11 hours / 2-4 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 7/9 | Trail class 3

The Akiki Trail is much steeper for more experienced hikers.  Yes, you have to cross a river.  Camp 3 will be your camp site.

3. Tawangan or Tabego Trail
mount pulag denr
Major jump-off: Sitio Labang, Brgy. Tawangan, Kabayan
LLA: 16°34’58″N 120°53’15″E, 2922 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 10-11 hours / 3 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 6/9 | Trail class 3

The Tawangan or Tabego Trail passes through the northern ridge of Mt. Pulag over its mossy forests.  It is colder to climb through this trail.  It's also known as the bloody trail because of the presence of blood leeches called Limatik.

4. Lusod or Ambaguio or Mt. Ugo-Pulag Trail
Major jump-off: Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
LLA: 16°34’58″N 120°53’15″E, 2922 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 30-40 hours / 6 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 8/9 | Trail class 4
Features: Pine forests | Mossy forests | Villages | Hanging bridges | Lakes | Waterfalls

The Lusod or Ambaguio or Mt. Ugo-Pulag Trail is 20 kilometers in length.  It ends in either at:
  • Camp 3 junction of Mt. Pulag where the Tawangan trail meets
  • Camp 2 as you reach the foot of peak 3
Aside from the trails, one that really stuck to me is their Leave No Trace Principle.  Apart from the experience, we should do our part to preserve Mount Pulag.  Aside from our grumbling stomach because of our long wait, we were excited to embark on the first ever hike of our lives!

Related Posts
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise
Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail