Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hiking Adventures #15: Mt. Ugo Traverse - Kayapa, Nueva Viscaya to Itogon, Benguet

When we climbed Mt. Pulag last April 2014, some of my hiking friends recommended to try Mt. Ugo for our next Cordillera adventure. It took more than a year before we actually plan to scale it and I'm glad it was scheduled on my birth month.

Mt. Ugo
Mt. Ugo

Mt. Ugo is one of the well-known mountains in Cordillera. It has a very scenic trail with numerous pine trees which give so much feeling of tranquility. I couldn't help myself to stop and stare in the amazing views around and feel the touching air. Aside from the trail, Mt. Ugo's campsite has a stunning views, and it was the best campsite I've stayed in so far. There are a lot of highlights in Mt. Ugo, from the trail to summit. We will take a look for all of it as we go further.



We planned this event a month before the actual climb. I've co-hosted my hiking buddy Edmund to set things up. Since there's a lot of things needed to do before the climb, I've created a separate post to list down all the to-dos. So here you go, 7 Things To Do Before Climbing Mt. Ugo.


Our meeting place was in Victory Liner Bus Station in Kamuning. The departure time was 9:45pm just exactly for us to arrive on time in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Our estimated time travel was 5 hours, but due to an unexpected accident along the way, just few miles away from Aritao, we've been late for 3 hours. Good thing we've reached Aritao before 7am, but we haven't had a long time to prepare.


So we had a quick breakfast in the bus stop of Aritao then proceeded to Kayapa. It took another travel time going to Kayapa. Kuya Alex with the guides he assigned for us plus the 3 porters were already waiting for us when we arrived.

Kayapa Public Market
Kayapa Public Market

And then we started to trek. Initial part of the trail is on the highway and as you know, trekking on a concrete uphill is kinda hard.

Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya

Pine trees along the trail

We reached Indupit Village just in time for lunch. There's a mini store at Indupit where you could buy drinks or other stuff. We continued to trek after an hour of rest. It started to rain that time and it reminds me of our 2nd Mt. Pulag climb last Valentines Day.

Indupit Village

I was worried then because I don't wanna experience that awful situation again. The rain continues to pour down and there was no clearing. But to my surprise, the fog against the pine trees looks very fascinating. It looks like in the movie Silent Hill and it was like I'm not in the Philippines. I used to hate the fog but now I think I should look for it sometimes.

Trekking with Fog
Trekking with the Fog

Along the way, we were attacked by the cows. One of them munched my pants.

Cows on attack

After 6 hours of trekking I thought we were almost there, but I was surprised when we saw Mt. Ugo was still too far away.

Approaching Mt. Ugo

We continued to trek then the rain became worst. Good thing, we were on the final assault going to the campsite. Still, the fog was there but the view was superb.

Final Assault
The campsite of Mt. Ugo is very astonishing. It's a wide area and I think it can occupy by 10 to 15 tents. You can also stay inside the elementary school in Domolpos Village that is located near the campsite. It was still raining when we reached the campsite but around 10 o'clock in the evening, the rain stops then we got the chance to do stargazing. Beware of the cows at the campsite. They're mobbing the tents and trying to get the things in the vestibule.




I had a great sleep last night because I was a bit drunk. When I woke up, I hurriedly came out of the tent and I was surprised by the good weather. It was a great morning indeed. The view from the campsite is really awesome. I prayed for this and this was one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received.

Great Morning at Mt. Ugo
Great Morning at Mt. Ugo

Dennis, Aldrin and Edmund

Pluto Diaz
Pluto Diaz

Enjoying coffee in Mt. Ugo
Enjoying coffee in Mt. Ugo

Abbie, Pluto and Anna
Abbie, Pluto and Anna
One of the highlights of Mt. Ugo Campsite
One of the highlights of Mt. Ugo Campsite

Mt. Ugo summit is 15-minute trek away from the campsite.

Mt. Ugo Summit
Mt. Ugo Summit

According to our team leader Edmund, so much great views awaits in Benguet side.

Descent to Itogon, Benguet
Descent to Itogon, Benguet
Anna Marcos with the Pine trees
Anna Marcos with the Pine trees

Trekking with the Pine trees at Benguet Side
Trekking with the Pine trees at Benguet Side

Don't ever miss to take photos in this pine tree while descending to Itogon. They dubbed it as the World Tree.

Abbie Giron at the World Tree

Take 5 at Agno River

Crossing Agno River via a Hanging bridge
I will never forget all the hiking adventures I've had, but I have a lot of  great things to say about this climb. This mountain has so much to offer. Surreal is the word to best describe Mt. Ugo or even this adventure. Every blister and pain are all worth it. And what made this adventure more meaningful is because of my jovial companions who shared their passions with me. Thank you guys and congrats for all of us. Cordillera is our new home.

Mt. Ugo Traverse (+2150)
August 28 - 30, 2015
Jump-off point: Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya
Exit point: Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet
Difficulty: 5/9


Aug. 28 Friday night 
08:30 pm Assembly Victory Liner Kamias
10:00 pm ETD to Aritao CCQ Market, Nueva Vizcaya

Aug. 29 Saturday 
04:00 am ETA CCQ Market, Early Breakfast
05:00 am ETD to Kayapa via Chartered Jeep
06:00 am ETA Kayapa Public Market [JumpOff Point, Registration, Preparation]
06:30 am Start Trek 11:00 am Indupit Village [1 hr rest, snack - lunch]
12:00 pm Continue Trek to Ansipsip
01:00 pm ETA Ansipsip Shed - Continue Trek
05:00 pm ETA Camp Site [Near the Summit]
07:00 pm Social - Dinner
10:00 pm Lights Off Sleeping Time

Aug. 30 Sunday
05:00 am: Wake Up Time / Sunrise viewing at the Summit/ Breakfast Preparation
06:00 am: Breakfast
06:30 am: Break Camp
07:00 am: Climb to Summit
07:45 am: Start Descent
01:00 pm: Lunch Losod Village, quick rest
02:00 pm: ETA Kawayan Village
05:00 pm : ETA Petican-Animal Bridge
06:00 pm ETA Brgy Tinongdan Hall, Itogon, Benguet, Tidy Up
07:00 pm ETD to Baguio
08:00 pm ETA Baguio (Dinner)

Jeep: P5000 (Aritao - Kayapa and Tinongdan - Baguio) / group
Guide: P500 per day = P1000 / group
Porter (for our foods, etc): P1000 / group.
Registration Fee: P200/head
Transpo: Manila to Aritao: P289/head
Baguio to Manila: P450/head
Food Allowance: ~P200/head

Estimated budget: P2500 to P3000

Photos By:
Abbie Giron
Aldrin Valentona

You might also like to visit:
Hiking Adventures #1: Mt. Pulag, the Playground of the Gods
Hiking Adventures #8: Mt. Pulag Climb 2015 - Sea of Fog and Bed of Mud

No comments:

Post a Comment