As part of our annual hike, we decided to trek the third highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag.
Only a few people takes on the challenge to trek the trail that we took. Since we are a group of (Wannabe) “Hard Core Trekkers”, we decided to take on the “Akiki Trail” also known as “The Killer Trail”.
It was a three-day-hike and two nights of camp. The first few trails were mostly down slopes – till we reached our first campsite. From there on, the trail was all assault and a few down slopes as we close in to the second camp site.
That’s when things got really cold and foggy. I actually had a shirt and three thick jackets on top, two thick jagger pants, and three socks, plus a bonnet and two gloves. But the cold just kept piercing through my skin … especially at dawn; that’s when my body was just frozen stiff. I seriously have no idea how I even survived the cold.
We woke up at three in the morning to advance in to the summit which was a 30-minute-hike from the second camp site. We actually arrived early and had to wait a few hours before the sunrise. We were all shivering and the cold up there was much more intense than it was in the second camp site. The wind kept blustering from all directions. I had to pull out my scarf and cover my face as the chill of the wind kissed my cheeks and left a minor frostbite.
Eventually, the sun was up and we could see all the wonders of nature. How the mountains reared up side by side, laying in a great line covered with a rug of trees, green, yellow, and orange. The clouds covered each mountain as how the sea covers the sea-bed. We even got the chance to see a waterfall-like-cloud which can never be seen when you’re down in the city.
Sadly, the name of “The Killer Trail” doesn’t really stand up to its name. I’ve experienced much harder trails and this isn’t one of them. I guess the reason why it got its name was because of the freezing cold experience which will definitely kill you if trekked unprepared.
But overall, it was a wonderful experience! If I was to rate it from a scale of one to ten, I’d give it an eight.
I’d also definitely recommend this to fellow hikers. But be warned! You really gotta do your research before trekking such mountains to prepare you for the unexpected.