Travel Guide: Summiting Mount Pulag
Trekking to the highest peak in Luzon can be a bit challenging especially for first-timers. But it’s much more memorable if you climb the mountain with your friends, and with new ones along the way! Climbing at an altitude of 2,922 meters above sea level is not that easy. Even a seasoned climber will get amazed by the fact that Mount Pulag is full of surprises – there’s always something new with every climb.
Summit Mount Pulag
Mount Pulag can only be reached by land, since the nearest airport, the Loakan Airport in Baguio City is defunct (but some say they would revive this airport in the near future). I will be pointing out two reference points, (1) Manila and (2) Baguio.
(1) When you are coming from Manila (Pasay, Cubao) or from anywhere going to Baguio, a Public Utility Bus or Van is the most convenient and easiest means of transport going to the agreed rendezvous. Bus lines such as Victory Liner, Genesis Bus, JoyBus, Dagupan Bus, Saulog Transit, Partas Bus have direct routes to and from Manila and Baguio. Regular fare costs are around PhP 450-460 (20% discount to students, PWDs, and Senior Citizens with valid ID). Travel time to and from Manila and Baguio is at 5-6 hours, depending on the traffic volume and number of stopovers.
Upon reaching Baguio, if you have availed of a “climb package,” ask your organizer beforehand where your meeting place will be because it is much better if you go to DENR for the pre-climb seminar as a team so that your climb will be organized, too, because there are a lot of climbers going with you so it really pays to be punctual.
Before going to the DENR Protected Area Office, be sure to check your things first, secure medicines if needed, do a head count, and buy the necessary things for your climb while you’re still in town. Commodities sold near Mount Pulag are more expensive than in Baguio.
(2) When you are now in or coming from Baguio, the ideal meeting time for the climb is 2:00 – 3:00 a.m. because from Baguio to Mount Pulag DENR Office, the travel time will be at around 3-4 hours, with one stopover for breakfast included. It is also the opportune time to meet with other climbers because as said in my previous post, the DENR office opens at around 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. – so be sure to be always ahead to avoid the large volume of people attending the pre-climb seminar as well.
If you are doing a “do-it-yourself” itinerary, be sure to rent a van or jeepney before your scheduled climb to avoid any delays. Van rentals usually costs around PhP 2000-4000 and jeepney rentals at around PhP 1000-2000 (roundtrip and according to negotiations.) And if you availed of “climb packages,” it’s up to the organizer what vehicle you will rent, according to the number of persons in his/her team.
So here you go, here’s my version of our Mount Pulag Itinerary and Expenses!
|0200 – 0300||Meeting time at Caltex Gas Station; Briefing of Itinerary|
|0300 – 0700||Travel Time from Pickup point to the DENR Protected Area Office (breakfast stopover included)|
|0700 – 0730||Waiting / Rest time before orientation|
|0730 – 0900||Registration and Pre-climb Seminar at the DENR PAO (Payment of environmental fee included)|
|0900 – 0930||Travel time from DENR PAO to Mount Pulag Ranger Station|
|0930 – 1000||Registration for those who will be availing of the porter service|
|1000 – 1130||Ranger Station to Station 1; with rests in between|
|1145 – 1330||Station 1 to Station 2; with rests in between
(You can pitch tents and spend the rest of the day at Station 2, and ascend to the Summit by early morning)
|1345 – 1530||Trek from Station 2 to Station 3
(Because there was a marathon during our climb, we were asked to go to Station 3 (the farthest station), to pitch our tents. It is also much nearer to the summit)
|1530||Super late lunch|
|1600 – 1730||Power nap|
|1730 – 1800||Sunset + pictorial|
|1800 – 1900||Rest and preparation for Dinner|
|1900 – 2000||Dinner, socialization with co-climbers|
|2030 – 0200 (next day)||Lights Off
(Lights off at all camps is between 9 pm to 10 pm. Nobody should be noisy and must be sleeping/resting by this time.)
|0200 – 0230||Freshen up, eat light snacks; prepare for ascending|
|0230 – 0300||Ascend to the Summit|
|0300 – 0310||Rest at the Summit|
(TuristaBoy Tip: Bring Blankets or thick jackets with you because it’s freezing cold up there!)
|0310 – 0530||Picture taking with the Milky Way while waiting for sunrise|
|0530 – 0600||Sunrise with the ‘sea of clouds’ (seasonal, depends on weather conditions)|
|0600 – 0700||Pictorial at the summit (daylight)|
|0700 – 0730||Descend to Station 3|
|0730 – 0830||Breakfast, socialization with co-climbers|
|0830 – 0845||Briefing for the day’s activities|
|0845 – 1330||Descend from Station 3 to Ranger Station|
|1330 – 1430||Lunch at the Establishments near the Ranger Station|
|1430 – 1500||Rest, freshen up; buy souvenirs; socialize with the locals|
|1500 – 1615||Side Trip Number 1: Daclan Sulfur Spring|
|1615 – 1645||Side Trip Number 2: Hanging Bridge|
|1645 – 1715||Side Trip Number 3: Ambuklao River and Ambuklao Dam (+ giving of certificates)|
|1715 – 1830||Return trip to Baguio|
|1830||Part ways, going home|
Individual expenses during our climb:
|Taxi from house to meeting place||75.00|
|Registration Fee for Climb (we availed of a packaged climb)||1,700.00|
|Snacks and Food for Dinner (Day 1) and Breakfast (Day 2)
*Our lunch is included in the climb package
|T-shirt Souvenir (DENR PAO)||180.00|
|Porter Service (855 (vice versa)/4)||214.00|
|*Our Breakfast is shared
*Our lunch is included in the climb package
|Dinner (Pizza Volante, Wright Park)||110.00|
*Package rates / Registration fees are highly subject to change without prior notice*
Feel free to drop a comment or suggest a province, city, or island you want me to visit and review! Until our next adventure! 🙂