Mountains truly are unpredictable. There are some cases wherein you feel that it was an easy trek then suddenly as you go along the trail you’ll notice its getting harder and harder. That’s how I feel while traversing Mt. Ulap in Itogon Benguet. Travel time from Manila to Benguet is approximately 5-7hours.
When we arrived at the jumpoff area, the weather is foggy and a bit cold. We had our light breakfast here before heading to the trail. There are free rest rooms in Barangay Hall. This is one of the reason we got delayed a bit because of the long lines in rest rooms. So if you can have a stopover before heading to Barangay better have it to avoid being caught up. Anyway we had our short briefing by our guides.
We were greeted by sunrise while walking to the entrance of the ridge. It took us approximately 30minutes to get there. We started at Ampucao and will be traversing to Sta Fe.
The trail is established. You can expect seeing a scenic view of pine trees and grassland which can be seen typically on Cordillera Mountains. There are also cows and goats along the way which is why throughout the trail you can see pile of animal manures. 😀
There are three peaks that you can find on the trail.
The Ambanao Paoay
Mt. Ulap Summit
Reaching these three peaks are not that hard. In my case, I have no issues going up. I can easily recover from it after some quick rest. It actually took us hours to complete this trail because we’re waiting for other members in our group before proceeding. Also, there are other hikers that’s why it took us long time waiting for the photo opportunity. 🙂 Not to mention the long breaks in between. 😀
Luckily we arrived at the Gungal Rock just after the previous group have finished taking their pictures. We didn’t wait that longer. The sun is really hot by the time its our turn to take pictures. But we have to bear it for the sake of pictures. 😉 We also had our lunch here before proceeding to the summit.
After freshening up a bit and eating our lunch we headed straight to the Summit. Reaching it is like on top of Mt. Pulag. Grassland with ridges of mountains on the horizon and fog blanketing the forest from afar.
We again had a quick rest here to recharge. There’s a hut here where you can buy instant noodles and drinks to quench your thirst. There are also eggs available for you to eat.
My knees are really tired by the time we’re going down. I didn’t expect it to be that hard. It was almost 2 hours of non-stop descent on steep trails. Aside from steep trails, the soil is dry which makes it harder while going down as it tends to put pressure on your knees. I’m not accustomed in using trekking poles that’s why I need to rely on my knees and stable stones to keep my balance.
Along the trail, you can find stores where you can buy souvenir items.
Thankfully I was able to complete it even though my knees hurt. In the end I felt fulfilled. I honestly underestimated the trail having rated as 3/9 difficulty. Though, overall I really enjoyed our trek to Mt. Ulap. I’m looking forward to the next Mountains I maybe able to visit. Hopefully, my knees are in good condition by that time. One thing is for sure, we can expect to witness scenic view of the mountains after hours of walking. 😀
Sharing other shots I took during the trek. 🙂
My Panorama Shots
If you’re interested in going here you may message Grace from HGV Travels on Facebook. 🙂