Tuesday January 19, 2021 EST 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here


Pulag summit. Photo by MarkoOctober 13-16, 2005

Induction Climb at Mt. Pulag

Our batch induction climb with the UP Mountaineers was set for the highest peak in Luzon and the coldest point in the country - Mt. Pulag. Rising 9,645 feet above sea level, it covers 11,500 hectares along the Cordillera Mountain Range encompassing the provinces of Ifugao, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya.

There are several routes to the summit, but being an induction climb, we took the steepest route of all - the dreaded Akiki Trail. It's 25 kilometers long that takes a day and a half to climb one way beginning from the jump-off point just south from the town of Kabayan.
   This we know, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself -- Chief Seattle, 1862   

The Preparation
The last training run we did in preparation for this climb was 15 kilometers under 1 hour 45 minutes within the UP Diliman campus. For non-runners like me, it was gruelling. The side of my knees started hurting after 10K. It was mental persuasion from then on that pushed me through (with the aid of my pacing buddy). The pain after the run was knees were on ice. Luckily, I had a week to recover in time for the climb.

Ecological Zones
Mt. Pulag spans 3 ecological zones - the pine forest at the lower altitude, the mossy forest (habitat to the endemic cloud rats) and the grassland at the summit. A dwarf bamboo forest can also be seen close on the top.

Birthday Climb
I was celebrating my birthday on the summit of Mt. Pulag. How often does that happen? I never felt younger. The air was invigorating, and the view was spectacular. Top that with a crack mountaineering team who look after their own...I can't complain. This takes the cake.

The Induction
After the induction rite, my wet body was uncontrollably twitching from the cold. My hands were numb and I could not even unzip my rain gear. I had to be helped.

The rite underscored the common bond and inter-dependence that galvanized us into this common pursuit. All the training climbs, the sacrificed hours, the mountaineering courses, first-aid workshop, etc., boil down to this. We made it. We're now members. In the mountaineering community, being a UP Mountaineer goes a long way.

Mantle of Membership
What does it mean to be a UP Mountaineer? Sure, it's bragging-rights...but earned. It means being fit, being disciplined, being on time, being a team-player, being an environmentalist, knowing first-aid, knowing ropemanship and knot tying, adept at starting a fire, knowing how to cook, pitch a tent and build shelter in the driving rain...I could go on and on.

Looking back at the the applicant's orientation at the start of the semester, I can't help having that pride in me for having come a long way...many thanks in no small part to the selfless members and co-applicants who saw us through.

Ending Thoughts
As I looked at the vast expanse around me, I felt a profound humility that my insignificance is part of this grandeur. It affirmed once more a personal tenet that I am of this collective whole like everyone else...that my action invariably affects the whole...for better or worse. I came down Mt. Pulag with a deeper sense of appreciation to what mother nature has loaned us...yes loaned. It was never ours to own but ours to relish, preserve and nurture.

--- TheLoneRider

IMG_0205 IMG_0207 IMG_0208 IMG_0211
IMG_0220 IMG_0227 IMG_0234 IMG_0238
IMG_0245 IMG_0247 IMG_0248 IMG_0250
IMG_0264 IMG_0267 IMG_0273 IMG_0279
IMG_0294 IMG_0296 IMG_0299 IMG_0303
IMG_0308 IMG_0320 IMG_0324 IMG_0329
IMG_0330 IMG_0336 IMG_0339  

Reader Comments:

Ferch Santos
(26 Oct 2005) i love your write up about the induction. True that we had so much fun and it wouldn't have been complete without you hunky daddy!!

Ian Martinez
(Oct 18, 2005) I never doubted na hindi mo matatapos! Ikaw pa!

Eloise VillanuevaEloise Philippines
(14 Oct 2005) My very best wishes for you on your special day and may you be blessed with many more. Take good care of yourself in all areas, i.e., physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and whatever else. You're a libran, you're somehow gifted with that.

Leave a comment?

Birthday Blogs

  1. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  2. Birthday Walkabout Oct 16, 2018
  3. 2008 Birthday Drift Oct 16, 2008
  4. Birthday Mountain Bike Climb to Mount Ampacao Oct 16, 2007
  5. Birthday Ride: No Dismount Ride Sagada-Dantay and Back Oct 16, 2006
  6. Induction Climb at Mount Pulag Oct 16, 2005

»» next story Baguio
»» back to Mountaineering
»» back to Homepage

UP Mountaineers