Finally conquered and survived Mt. Pulag last February 27-March 1 (dates inclusive of travel in Baguio and back). But before I go about the hardships and the happiness upon getting there, let’s talk about first surviving the cold. Unfortunately, it already slipped my mind to check for the temperature when we get there, due to the exhaustion and excitement perhaps. I was busy reading blogs of what to wear and other types of layering prior to the climb. Most were helpful though those I’ve read didn’t mention when to wear what. So here’s my bit regarding how many layers at the different points of the climb.
Here’s what I prepared to put on top of the other, I just played around with these depending on how cold or hot it was:
- Base layer – my dri-fit rash guard
- Normal shirt – just because I want something on top of the rash guard lolol
- Fleece jacket – my emergency cold comforter
- Wool jacket – I had tucked this away in the bag since I figured it won’t really be that cold during the climb and would be needing this during the night (yes, I was right)
- Rain jacket – shell layer (also tucked away inside my bag, with all hopes that it wouldn’t rain during the climb (thank God it didn’t)
I was wearing woolly type of leggings which I got from a boutique in Robinson’s inside a fleece jogging pants. I am lucky that we got a bunch of winter clothes back home, so jackets, pants and even the gloves weren’t a problem. I took with me some winter gloves that Mom got from Vietnam, dunno what is it made of but not cotton but still warm then the red one is rubberized yet still breathable.
Ranger Station to Camp 1 layers:
We started our climb around 10:30am I think. We had a big group thus was divided into three with a guide each. My climbing friends and I chose the last so that we don’t have to hurry that much and can really enjoy the scenery. And so we really did, and took our time as much as we can. LOL.
Since it was really hot that time, I just wore layer 1 and 2 and stowed my fleece layer at the back of my bag in case it gets cold as we go up. I’m not a super “ginawin” person thus, I wasn’t that cold especially at the start going up. My body was able to acclimatize quite easily, too. We were able to reach Camp 1 after an hour. We ate our pack lunch there and rested for quite a bit.
Camp 1 to Camp 2 (Campsite):
After some nap and lunch, we started trek again to camp 2 around 12:15 nn. It started to get a bit chilly by that time so I eventually wore my fleece jacket and gloves. For me gloves has been really important as my hands were those that got really cold first.
We arrived in camp 2 around 2:30pm. By that time, I was really exhausted. The view there is already breathtaking. Grasslands as far as your eyes can see! So anyway, I freshen up and changed after we settled down. It was still mid-afternoon and we were scheduled for dinner at 6pm so we can just enjoy the mountains until then.
I was wearing another dri-fit shirt, a fleece sweatshirt here then the rain jacket (just for the color lol). The cold was tolerable during this time and it was just easy to enjoy it. We took this time to shoot some hundred of photos up and down the hills. LOL.
For sleeping, I was wearing this knitted wool socks we got from Baguio plus 2 more underneath and still at some point during the night I have to wriggle my toes just to feel it still. Forgot to mention, I was wearing 2 pairs of socks during the climb.
Camp 2 to Summit:
This gotta be the most challenging of all even if it’ll only take an hour and half or so. Wake up time is at 3am so we can leave camp by 3:30am. By this time, the cold was just extreme. Plus the fact that the body’s just really cold upon waking up and temperature have not normalized yet. So natural tendency is to layer up. And really we did. I was wearing all layers (less the t-shirt): from a dri-fit shirt to my fleece sweatshirt to my wool jacket to the rain jacket. I thought I was all set for the cold.
By the time we were able to gain some height up, we noticed that even as cold as it is, we were seriously sweating and it is really hot and cold at the same time. I took off my bonnet, unzip my jackets and just let the chilly wind blew across because really, it was just hot. My suggestion at this point is, just wear a dri-fit shirt plus a fleece jacket inside the shell layer but still bring along the wool jacket as it does get really chilly up at the summit. It was during this time also that we started puffing through the Oxycan as the air really does changed and is “manipis” (how’d ya say that in english? LOL). I was sweating profusely there in the pic. I got my camera bag and a dry bag containing my oxycan, emergency blanket and some snacks and water. I really can’t travel light. haha.
I was wearing a surgical gloves inside my rubber gloves on the way up also since my fingers gets numb. By the time we reached the summit, we took off our jackets and was trying to dry them as much as possible which is somewhat impossible since it was just cold and nothing else. I removed my gloves because it was just hot and sweaty but to my mistake since I started to feel extra chilly because of contact with my own sweat. And since I was wearing all layers to the climb, everything was sweaty brrrr. Good thing I brought the extra pair of gloves I mentioned above and wore that inside my rubber gloves. Eventually, I just bundled up and zipped up and we just waited for the sun to come up.
And no, we weren’t that fortunate to witness a sea of clouds. Just some far away which look like a line to us lol. But still it was all worth it.
So there goes my Pulag
porma layers. LOL. I would have been able to use all the clothes I brought (which was all mentioned above plus an extra dri-fit shirt) if I hadn’t bought a souvenir shirt which I wore after taking a bath at Manang Gina’s place.