What to expect on your first climb?

I was never athletic. Never has and never will be. I like the great outdoors and I enjoy nature more than I enjoy most people. Sometimes though, I do wish that my body would keep up with my soul’s wanton desire to be one with nature.

And what amazing work of nature to get lost in than a mountain? I hold an almost reverent, romantic view for these hulking mass of the earth. I am simply enthralled with their hugeness, their constrained power, the mystery they hide beneath the carpet of green. Ever since I graduated from school, one of the things I must do in my list is to climb a mountain. But for reasons of the other, I wasn’t able to.

So when my bestfriend casually invited me for a dayhike at a nearby mountain in Bulacan, who was I to pass up the chance? It’s time to get up close and personal.

image

image

Mt. Balagbag in Bulacan is a minor climb, just right enough for a climber newbie like me. Eme told me that in a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest, it scored a 2. But believe me if I tell you that when you’re done with this mountain, you would think that someone has done this mountain a great injustice by giving it a measly 2.

image

image

image

The difficulty 2 mountain will never give you the luxury of a flat, even ground. Mt. Balagbag has a steep terrain, riddled with sharp, huge rocks. It will provoke you with 45° steepness which often bends in a narrow curve. The climbers we are with, who are far more experienced than us, has to stop in every big lonesome tree they come across with just to breathe normally again.

image

image

image

Another thing you should remember in facing Balagbag is the lack of protection from the sun. The climb would have been a hundred times easier if we hike at night or at dawn. I swear it seems like the mountain is frying you like a good sunny-side egg before it can eat you alive. Good thing the wind picks up every once in a while and it’s more than enough to keep us going.

image

image

image

Reaching the top is a bit anticlimactic but still memorable. One of my friends, Crisel, kept on saying: “Shit, I can’t believe I made it!” and it’s wonderful how our “I’m dying. Just leave me be..” exhaustion minutes earlier is suddenly wiped out by “Yeah, we can take on everything!” elation.

From the experience as someone who is “devirginized” by a mountain, here are some of the musings I can share on what to expect on your first climb:

* Before anything else, condition your body. Before Balagbag, I jog about two times a week to pump up my cardio. I’m still a little sore two days after the climb but I hate to think what it would be like if I sit on my ass all week, thinking it will be a piece of cake.

* Choose comfortable clothes. If you’re in a dayhike climb, wear shorts with leggings underneath. Stretchable armbands are your bestfriend because you can take them off after the climb. Don’t dress to impress. No matter how good you look, the climb will change your appearance so much, you wouldn’t recognize yourself anymore. Do not wear extra clothings as possible, unless you’re about to climb the likes of Mt. Pulag.

* Rubber shoes may be too hot to wear but you will be thankful with them when the trail before you is a steep slide with sharp rocks at the bottom.

* Bring at least two 500ml of water and/or electrolytes. 80% of your bag is for water bottles.

* In a dayhike, travel light. Your backpack should be smaller than usual. In a major climb, make sure to choose a bag with comfortable shoulder straps.

* Bring caps, sun shades, visor or anything thag will protect your head and eyes from the sun.

* Hike in your own pace, especially if it’s your first time. So what if your hike buddies are far ahead of you? Give your poor body a chance to get in grips with that awful decision you made in climbing a damn mountain in the first place! (You’re not the first person who asked yourself: “What did I get myself into?”)

* If you feel like resting, do so. If you’re breathing hard and your heart feels like it’s about to burst on your chest, DO NOT sit down right away. Lean unto something or continue to stand until it finally subsided to a normal pace.

* On the middle of a steep climb, don’t spend most of your time looking far ahead. It will make you think of how high it is or how difficult it will be to make the turn or reach a point. It will make you tired more than you already are. Focus on your pace and at your progress. Before you know it, you’ve reached the top.

* Going down is just as hard as climbing up. But arguably, more fun!

* The view at the top is always worth the sweat.

* No matter how tired you get, or the regrets you thought while climbing, trust me if I say you will be addicted. The fever you will catch in climbing is no ordinary bug. You’ll experience some feverish desire to climb a mountain if you saw one.

Some geological trivia: Dead/dormant volcanoes are mountains without any neighbors. Usually, ordinary mountains are part of a mountain range or a cluster.

Now excuse me while I plan my next climb for the month of April. Pico de Loro, here I come!

image

About sentimentalfreak

Consistently inconsistent. Forever searching and wandering. 'Tis only writing that calms down her restless little soul.

Posted on March 19, 2015, in My country, reflections, Wander-lost Adventures and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a reply if you must :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Verstehen

Connecting public and private worlds.

Pinay New Yorker

Musings of a Filipina living in the big apple

BE IN LOVE

DO WHAT YOU LOVE; LOVE WHAT YOU DO

uberclassroom

Because you are part of the village that raises children.

JOEPY LIBO-ON

The author is a Filipina who writes wild stories as porn and sacred ones as the Bible. She's been writing random things since she was 5. She is an advertising and marketing practitioner who is pursuing the passion to inspire every person in her life through writing.

ARABY

I am Ann Luna and this is my blog. :)

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Cinderella Stories

The Cinderella who loves reading

Don't English Me, I'm not School

TH Cebuana, Feeling Englisera: The Journey of the Native Stranger (now paying attention)

henzinfosite

"A blog of my everyday's life"

Pinoy Penman 3.0

The continuing chronicles of Jose Dalisay Jr., aka Butch Dalisay, a Filipino collector of old fountain pens, disused PowerBooks, '50s Hamiltons, creaky cameras, VW spare parts, poker bad beats, and desktop lint.

Ang Bagong Filipino

Pahayagang Filipino para sa Bagong Filipino

Random Man-Cat Thoughts

Twitter, Instagram and Behance: lloydzapanta

The Spin Busters

Reading between the lines, reporting behind the scenes

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

Online jottings of a Filipino out of time

Finding the SILVER LINING in every step of the Journey...... :)

Life is What You Make It. Live Everyday Like Your Last. - David Ongchoco

Metaporista

Kaya ka nga pinangak e..

Morrighan's Muse

Liz's Poetry & Other Writerly Musings

%d bloggers like this: