Mt. Ugo, the endless climb
I was at another mountain climbing adventure three weeks ago. It was an endless climb. Our target, Mount Ugo, is one of the tallest within the cordillera mountain
range. It is, in fact, stands only a few hundred meters lower than Pulag, Luzon’s highest peak and the third in the entire Philippines.
All in all, we needed to climb three mountains between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet to reach the summit, which stands more than 2,150 meters above
kilometer zero, then traverse another two mountains to get off the entire range. It was not necessarily challenging. The trail could get tricky at some point but there
were clear paths. There were crazy steep tracks but only a drunk person wouldn’t be able to get trough it, I think.
What will actually kill you during the trip is the exhaustion and extreme coldness. We started climbing 10:00 am on Saturday, had our first pit stop at 1pm to have our
lunch, started ascent 3pm, then settled in our own campsite in the middle of nowhere amid unearthly darkness around 7pm. Dinner, which was made of spam, noodles, and
excessive rice, was fully consumed at 10pm, complemented with a bottle of gin mixed with powdered orange juice afterwards.
We all decided to wake up 2:30am on Sunday for our final ascent. At 4:30am, we officially started climbing again, tracking the pitch-black zigzag trail that are both
narrow and wide. At 8am, we finally made it to the top.
It was my first major climb and it did not disappoint. It gave me that usual, strange pain that I feel everytime I climb. Again, it was euphoric. To disconnect to your
old, tiring city life and get tired of doing something else, something more exciting, and something more meaningful is not actually tiring. It was satisfying in so
many ways and I think I just need to climb more often.