At 4 o’clock in the morning of 10 April 2011, the group started the ascent to the grassland summit. It was dark, it was chilly, it was exhilarating. We had our headlamps with us, and the group walked in a single file owing to the narrow trail towards the peak. It was a considerably steep climb, and the penetrating cold further slowed our steps. After about an hour and a half, we arrived at the summit. Yes, the air at the peak was freezing, but it was the surreal sight which caught my breath. The clouds looked like the sea as it lovingly covered the lowlands. This was the closest to heaven that I could get, and it felt overwhelming. I inhaled the beauty of the place as I waited patiently for the sun to rise. And when it finally showed itself, majestically sitting on top of the fluffy clouds, my love affair with the mountains grew stronger.
Images from the summit:
One of the group’s guides, probably sensing that we have had our fill of the views from the summit, called us to order at around 7 o’clock for the descent back to Camp 2. Upon arriving at Camp 2, the group had a hearty breakfast, before breaking camp at around 8.30 in the morning. All things packed, we started the slow descent to the Ranger Station, where the group rested a bit before boarding the jeep for our trip back to the DENR Office. It was at the Office where we proudly claimed our Certificates of Conquest. Souvenirs are available at the Office and at the Ranger Station. After the officers from the DENR Office made a head count, and satisfied that group did not lose a head, we once again boarded the jeep to Ate Gina’s place where we had our lunch. It was also at Ate Gina’s where we queued up for a shower. All freshened up, the group once again boarded the jeep for Baguio. We made a quick stop at Ambuklao Dam for a photo shoot, but the waters gushing forth from the dam was so minimal, I just stared at dry cement. We arrived in Baguio at around 6.30 in the evening. My cousin and I rushed to Baguio Cathedral to attend what was left of the church service. We then had dinner at KFC along Session Road, and hailed a cab for Victory Liner where the other members of the group were waiting for us. At around 8 o’clock in the evening, the bus left for Manila, and I was back to the stress and the city at around 2 o’clock in the morning of 11 April 2011.
Images from the grassland:
A view of the Ambuklao Dam: