Because it was a personal invite by Al Viloria of sabitsabit mountaineers I grabbed the opportunity to join the event and also to meet new friends, actually the budget is affordable that was one of the reasons why I didn’t hesitate to join.
Our meet up was in Victory Liner Kamias terminal, the departure time was 9:45PM unfortunately the other participants were late. The decision of our team leader was not to adjust the itinerary because all will be affected. They entreated to the conductor to wait for a few minutes fortunately the participants who were late caught the bus before it leave to the terminal, but for me, my only concern if the participants can’t come it will increase our budget for each individual because it’s already set our budget good for 15pax it’s only around 1,300 - 1,500. Past 3:00AM we arrived in Aritao Nueva Vizcaya stop over of Victory Liner where our rented jeep fetched our group.
Sunrise at Kayapa Nueva Vizcaya
Because it was dawn, I opted to stay inside the monster jeep rather than top-load because it’s too cold that time maybe I could get sick because I don’t have a winter jacket that will protect my body from the cold breeze and mist. I have li’l worry because during our trip going to Kayapa Nueva Vizcaya it was too foggy and I’m thinking there’s a possibility that it would rain and it’s gonna be more challenging to our group because of the rainy weather. I felt so glad when sunshine came and I saw the wonderful rays of the sun.
In front of the Barangay hall of Kayapa there’s a mini market and where we took our breakfast and bought food for our pack lunch. It was late to our itinerary when we start our hike, the paved stairs welcomed to our group, actually it is hard to hike in a stairs going up than a muddy trail, as kuya Alex said that is the shortcut, best technique I always do during the hike I’m behind of the guide because there’s a lot of time to rest because he need to wait the other hikers especially on part of the trail that are confusing.
Almost lunch time we reached the waiting shed, and near the shed there’s a house selling souvenirs like shirts and caps; according to the locals who live there that is the boundary of Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet. I can’t imagine the everyday circumstances living in the mountain without any neighbor; I feel the languid of the place.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. -Buddha
At the edge
After our lunch and regenerate ourselves from the tiring 5 hours of hike, Kuya Alex as his estimation another 4-5hours of hike but still it depends on the pacing to complete our hike going to campsite, we resumed again our hike fortunately the trail is gently sloping until we reached the final stretch heading to campsite where kuya Alex pointed the campsite, dead trees as the landmark, from the ridge where we rest looks like it’s already near and trouble-free to get there but I was wrong it was an illusion, I felt my back and legs aching,
Ridge before the campsite
Assault to campsite
I think not more than 10 steps I need to rest again because of the very tiring to go up and headed to campsite. When I reached the campsite I lay on the grassland just to breathe deeply because of the overtiredness and the cold wind that blew at the campsite that adds to my problem that made me chill for the whole day because I’m not prepared with the cold weather I only brought 1piece of thin jacket.
After our dinner, we opened hurriedly the hard drinks to warm our body in the cold breeze hours of darkness. It was past midnight when we stopped our social and to have our sleep for us to have energy again for a 7hours of hike exit to Itogon Benguet.
Sunrise and the sea of clouds
Before I sleep I set on my phone at 5:00AM for me to wake up early. I felt it was just like a nap my phone rang, I sneak a look at the window of my tent just to check, only stars gleaming and moon that served as a light, I went outside patiently waited for the sunrise, while looking at the horizon suddenly a bunch of clouds starts to form a sea of clouds and the sun started rising, it’s just a perfect timing that I never expected, I’m so thankful that I witnessed again a sea of clouds because it’s very rare happening, I didn’t wish a sea of clouds that time because the panoramic view and the ambiance is already priceless.
From the campsite assault to summit I think less than 20-30minutes of hike, there is a marker as sign that we already reached the summit of the mountain. We noticed a gravestone with inscription near the marker because of my curiosity what happened about the plane crash I researched, this is what I find out in June 5, 1987 Philippine Airlines flight 206 departed in Manila, As the plane approached Baguio City, its pilot reported poor visibility Flight 206 disappeared from the radar screens around ten minutes before it was scheduled to land, wreckage of the plane was discovered five hours after it had gone missing. Had crashed onto the fog-shrouded slopes of
crash site located 180meters below the summit. There were no survivors among the 46 passengers and 4 crew members on the plane. Mount Ugo
After the summit, because the trail was more on descending there were part where we’re running way down, actually according to our guide they usually use the trail of Mt. Ugo if there’s an event in Benguet for the trail runners. The pine forest, picturesque view of Cordillera and the cold breeze are the main highlights of the mountain.
The group were divided into 3 groups composed of 5-6 participants for each group way down to Itogon Benguet, because our group is at middle the first group on the lead with our guide we reached them at the water station those participants who are on the lead as they said they have already enough rest, so they decided to push the hike unfortunately they don’t have any permission from our guide, because our guide that time he is refilling our empty bottles for our trail water, what happened was the guide is with us.
At Km. 7 waiting the participants who where lost
When we reached the intersection of the trail our guide blocked the trail that is wider we thought that is the right trail, because the right trail is not noticeable, we just informed our guide that there were 5participants ahead of us, we just standby for a while trying to contact them by their phone unfortunately we can’t keep in touch with them. Our guide decided we’ll try to meet them at Km. 7 and to ask the other locals who live there. We just hurried because there’s possible we will meet them at the trail. All of us we standby at Km. 7 and waited the 5 participants. When our guide asked the locals if they see mountaineers the locals said to our guide they didn’t encounter a mountaineer.
Ivonkris local from the area helped our group
All of us was in panic mode they made plan, our guide kuya Alex and Al they did the back trail trying to find them at the trail that are possible. Francis and the porter they will try to catch them at the Itogon maybe they only ahead of us, those who were left Dennis will be our lead, When we continued our hike after a few minutes sir Franc was shouting “NANDITO NA SILA” finally no one can explain our happiness we thought we need a SAR (Search and Rescue Operation) they call Al and Cris and we reported to stop finding them because they already with the local. I hope you will take this as a lesson what we experienced, please let your guide do his/her responsibility because at the end he/she will be blame what will happen to your group.
At Km. 0 that’s the end of our long and exhausting hike and we walked at the hanging bridge that adds to the main highlight of our Mt. Ugo Adventure. I hope I can explore more the mountains of Cordillera.
Day 0 - Nov 15
21:30 - Meet up at Kamias Victory Liner
22:00 - ETD Aritao Nueva Vizcaya
Day 1 - Nov 16
05:00 - Arrival at CCQ stop-over Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, board rented jeepney
05:30 - Departure to Kayapa
06:45 - Arrival at Kayapa, register at PNP
07:00 - Start trek
07:45 - Start of pine forest
09:30 - Arrival at Indupit Village, rest/breakfast
10:00 - Continue trek to Dumolpos
11:00 - Arrival at Mt. Samiento
12:00 - Arrival at Waiting shed near Dumolpos Lunch
13:00 - Aontinue trek to summit
14:00 - Arrival at last water source
15:40 - Arrival at summit, rest, relax
17:00 - Prepare dinner
18:30 - Dinner socials
22:00 - Lights out
Day 2 - Nov 17
06:00 - Wake up, sunrise viewing
07:00 - Prepare breakfast
08:00 - Breakfast/breakcamp
09:00 - Start trek to Lusod
12:00 - Arrival at Lusod, lunch
13:00 - Continue trek to Kawayan
14:30 - Arrival at Kawayan Village, rest
15:00 - Arrival at Foot Bridge
15:10 - Arrival at Bang house,
15:20 - Arrival at Brgy hall of Tinongdan, logout tidy up
16:30 - Aeparture to Baguio
17:00 - Arrival at Baguio, dinner
21:20 - Departure from Baguio to Manila
PROJECTED COST OF HIKE:
Entrance fee - 100/Head
Guide -500/day-1000 (100)
Jeep 1 Tinongdan-Baguio - 2000 (200)
Jeep 2 Aritao-Kayapa - 2500 (250)
Food Allowance - 120
Entrance fee - 100/Head
Guide -500/day-1000 (67)
Jeep 1 Tinongdan-Baguio - 2000 (133)
Jeep 2 Aritao-Kayapa - 2500 (167)
Food Allowance - 120
Kuya Alex mobile no. - 09219840254
- he can arrange your chartered jeep from Nueva Vizcaya Jump-off to Itogon Benguet Barangay Hall