Friday, February 12, 2016

Hiking Adventures #20: Mt. Ulap (Philex Ridge) Night Trek

One of the newly opened mountains last Q3 of 2015 is Mt. Ulap also known as Philex Ridge. And because of its trail and the iconic Gungal rock, many hikers were attracted. My hiking buddies set a climb for this mountain and decided to try something unusual, which is to do a night trek.

Mt. Ulap Night Trek
Mt. Ulap Night Trek

Day 1: Baguio Trip


Since we're going to do a night trek, our first day will be a Baguio trip. Our home for that weekend was courtesy of Ate Kaye. 

When we arrived at Baguio, we went straight to the house to prepare for the trip. I think I was on grade school when I first visited Baguio's famous parks, so I was a bit excited. Since the house is just few meters away from Mines View Park, we spent a couple of minutes there to watch the sunrise. My group is very fond of sunrise specially me.

Sunrise at Mines View Park
Sunrise at Mines View Park

Our first stop was in Cafe by the Ruins for brunch then went straight to Strawberry Farm after. There was no strawberries that time but we indulged with Strawberry Ice Cream for sale around the area. 

Strawberry Ice Cream at La Trinidad

Next stop, Camp John Hay. I found out there's a R.O.X. in Baguio and so we dropped by.

R.O.X. Baguio

We got an option to do horseback riding but some of us decided to just stand by. We saw two kids playing basketball near the area, my friend Mikko and I decided to play with them. Ball is life. 

Last stop for our Baguio trip is Burnham Park. We were divided into two groups, the group that will rent bikes, and the other will try to rent roller blades. I decided to try roller blades and it was very fun trust me.

BorderlessPH at Burnham Park
BorderlessPH at Burnham Park

And then we headed back home. We were so tired after the trip, but we have to sleep and prepare for tomorrow's climb. Someone from the group played a movie, it was "Everyday I Love You" of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. I got hooked and finished it until 12 midnight which is set to be our call time for the climb. So zero sleep.

Day 2: Mt. Ulap Night Trek (Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ridge)


We rented a private van for the entire trip. So it's easy for us to go anywhere in Baguio and it was very convenient. It was around 2AM when we got to Brgy. Ampucao in Itogon, Benguet and went straight in the Brgy. Hall which is located behind Ampucao Elementary School.

And so we begun trekking. The weather was cold but it's not like in mountains like Mt. Pulag and one can still resist the cold. Since we were doing a night trek, there was no view of the Cordilleras and pine trees, but the sky was very clear and full of stars.

Abbie Giron's Night shot

Since we have ample time before sunrise, we took many rest along the trail. Every stop, I look upon the stars and feel its majestic presence. What made it more majestic was when I got to see a shooting star for the very first time. But that magical moment doesn't end there. It got followed by 15 more and so I had 16 wishes.

We arrived in Gungal Rock at dawn. I've waited long to see this iconic rock of Philex ridge. The group decided to stay on the area and wait for sunrise then go back to jump-off via the same trail we ascended to. However, you may have option an option to do traverse or proceed to Mt. Ulap summit which may take additional 45 mins to 1 hour of trekking from the Gungal rock.

Sunrise at Gungal Peak
Standing at the famous Gungal rock
Edmund  Milanes at Gungal Peak
Edmund  Milanes at Gungal Peak
View at Gungal Peak
View at Gungal Peak

There were only 2 groups in the area, my group and other that stayed over the night near the Gungal rock. We so much enjoyed the sunrise, the lack of noise and exploring the area particularly the Gungal Peak.

So then we headed back to jump-off via the same trail and that's the time when we indulged with the view of Cordillera, the tranquility brought when the wind meets the Pine trees and mini-Mt. Ugo like trail.

Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ecotrail: The Mini Mt.Ugo-like Trail.


 Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ecotrail: The Mini Mt.Ugo-like Trail

 Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ecotrail: The Mini Mt.Ugo-like Trail

 Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ecotrail: The Mini Mt.Ugo-like Trail

 Ampucao-Sta.Fe Ecotrail: The Mini Mt.Ugo-like Trail

The blogger in a mini view deck along the Ampucao-Sta.Fe Eco-trail
The blogger in a mini view deck along the Ampucao-Sta.Fe Eco-trail
Ampucao-Sta. Fe Ridge Welcome ark
This way to the Brgy, Hall of Ampucao
This way to the Brgy, Hall of Ampucao

Sooner I will go back and try the traverse. :)

Mt. Ulap (Philex Ridge) 
November 22, 2015
Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet
Difficulty: 3/9

Actual Itinerary

00:30 - ETD Baguio
01:30 - ETA Ampucao. Secure guide. Register
02:00 - Start Trek
05:30 - ETA Gungal Peak. Wait for sunrise
06:30 - Start descent. Backtrail
09:00 - ETA Jump-off.

Expenses

Registration Fee: P100 per head
Guide Fee: P300 per day





2 comments:

  1. nice idea to do a night trek sir. I want to know though what's the difference if you take the Philex Ridge vs Sta. Fe? May option po ba anong route ang gusto pag nagregister?

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice idea to do a night trek sir. I want to know though what's the difference if you take the Philex Ridge vs Sta. Fe? May option po ba anong route ang gusto pag nagregister?

    ReplyDelete