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Monday, January 18, 2016

Mount Pulag: Hike to the Summit (Peak 3) to Watch the Sunrise

At around 12:30 am, we all woke up and prepared for the hike to the summit of Mount Pulag. We were told to bring only those essential for the hike.  We left all our other belongings on our tent.  When we met our Above the Clouds tour guide at the Babadak Ranger Station, we were assigned our tour guide Ate Levita.  We were the last group to depart from Ranger Station.

mount pulag camp 1
Ate Levita in Blue Jacket on the Left
Since we were a big group of 11, we had implemented an implied watch your buddy system. Matt led our group.  All the boys in the group were gym-fit so they were really fast.  While, the girls were on the back part.  My friend Steph couldn't keep up with the group we went on ahead as she was with Ate Levita.  There were a lot of other hikers all towards the same goal as we were so just rode witht he foot traffic.  It was quite impossible to get lost.  

mount pulag camp 1

It was total darkness with only the moon and our headlamps as source of light.  Most of what I saw was only the muddy trails because that's what I'm watching out for.    By the time we reached Camp 1, we thought Steph had already given up.  Because we stayed there for a 10-minute rest and still there was no sign of her.

mt pulag camp 1

Since the boys were so eager to move on, we went on to Camp 2Camp 2 with an elevation of 2,730 MASL offers a nice view of the stars.  But, we didn't have any time to stay because we had to reach the summit before sunrise. 

mt pulag camp 1
There were some campers at Camp 2 who are still cozy though.  As we left Camp 2, the guy pointed look, there are already people who reached the Summit (Peak 3).  A little later, we could already feel see daylight coming out which pressured us to go one faster. 

mt pulag
Finally, we reached Peak 1 with an elevation of approximately 2,800 MASL.  The group was split into two and we lost communication with each other.  The boys went on to Peak 2.  While we, the girls, rested here.

mt pulag peak 1
Before the sun emerged, we were all glad to see Steph with Ate Levita.  After around 15 minutes of waiting, we finally saw parts of the sun revealing itself int he middle of the sea of clouds.

mt pulag peak 1
It slowly went up.  The sea of clouds withdrew further and the Cordillera mountains showed itself.

mt pulag peak 1
The coolness dissipated as the sun warmed the atmosphere.

mt pulag peak 1
We didn't know where the boys were so we had to stay put and enjoyed the view while waiting for them.

mt pulag peak 1
Beautiful right?

mt pulag peak 2
From Peak 1, we could see Peak 2 but not the Summit (Peak 3).  It only takes approximately 25 minutes from Peak 2 to Peak 3.  I kind of regret not going for the Summit but I was dead tired and hungry so I opted to save my energy for the way back.

mount pulag
Check out my muddy FILA rubber shoes.  It survived!

mount pulag
Some of us slept while waiting.

mount pulag
Steph indulged herself with her trail food Mc Do's 2 day-old burger that she brought all the way from Manila.

As the sun got up, we were reunited with the boys.  We asked them what was in Peak 2 and they said, there's a sign of Peak 2 and you feel like you're closer to the clouds. 

mount pulag

The boys were asking Ate Levita where is the sea of clouds?  Ate Levita said it wasn't here.  If you want we can chase the sea of clouds although it might be too late...

Looking back, I would have preferred if we left earlier.  I don't see the reason why we have to wake up later, push ourselves without any stops and then be late for sunrise.  Perhaps on my next trek to Mount Pulag, I'll depart from the Ranger Station at 11 pm!

Related Posts:
Ultimate Prepation Guide for Mt. Pulag
Mount Pulag DENR Registration: Hiker's Orientation
Camping at the Babadak Ranger Station: Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Chasing the Sea of Clouds
Mount Pulag: Hiking Down Ambangeg Trail