Mountain Climbing Experience

How it all Started..

I've always been fascinated of climbers, what's their purpose of leaving the comfort of life and taking the risk of the unknown. They carry with them only necessary things for their survival in the mountains, walk 4-10 hours or even more than than to reach their destination. The moment they get there they have to set up the tent for shelter and cook their meals. There's no comfort rooms, mosquito's lurking around and no convenient stores or commonly known as "sari'-sari store" in the Philippines to buy snacks and drinks. Despite the negative things I've written I was exhilarated to give it a try. I decided to be more adventurous and see the wonders of nature on top of a mountain. 

Once in your life you should climb a mountain, but once you've done it I bet it wont be your last one - it got me!. Climbing a mountain is educational, inspirational and motivational. It will teach you a lot of things about the environment and how you deeply understand yourself. I love the feeling of striving hard to pick myself up and to keep going despite the pain and fatigue. It will test your endurance and pushes that limit top notch to attain your goal. To reach your aim you need to be patient, the summit always takes gruesome hours to reach. During the climb you get to know your body more, and what kind of climbing technique works for you. The thing that motivates me to continue striving to reach the top is my positive thinking and the word 'give up' is not even an option. I always push myself to the limit and see what happens, but of course I still believe in keeping myself alive at the end of the day - that's a priority! Ahahaa

My first ever climb was in my hometown in Philippines. The name of the place is Osmeña Peak located at a small town in Dalaguete. It is considered as the highest peak in Cebu and about 1,000 metres above sea level. The climb up the peak was suitable for beginners and expert level. However, when we when down and transverse down to Kawasan Waterfall the trail was quite challenging. I had to say goodbye to my running shoes after the climb and had to dealt with two gray toes for a month-that challenging! Ahahaa 

My first climb was traumatizing especially for my toes yet that started everything. I began to think about other mountains that I can climb. When I got the chance to book a ticket back to Philippines. I went to Mount Manunggal, 1,003 metres above sea level in Balamban, Cebu, Philippines. I asked my two highschool friends and two brothers to join me in this trip. This mountain is famous as the crash site of the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

My friends and I did a short hike to Gunung Jasar in Cameron highlands for the long weekend that certain month. We got lost and that made it more fun, as long as you're with the right set of people getting lost is an adventure. So make sure to find your tribe.

I continue to challenge myself, so I went for a solo trip to Bali, Indonesia. This time around I choose to climb an active volcano in Kintamani for my third climb. Mount Batur is about 1717 metres above sea level and the last eruption recorded was in 2000. It marked as the most memorable trek I've ever done, I was all by myself and seeing the sunrise on top of a volcano was incredible. 

I wasn't able to climb for a few months after my trip in Bali, my feet was craving for nature's ground. The only nearby and most accessible country was Malaysia. My fourth climb was in a small hill named Gunung Lambak, 510 metres above sea level in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 

The most recent climb I did was just a few months ago. It is known to be one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. Mount Kota Kinabalu stands 4,095.2 metres or 13,435.7 ft above sea level. The most challenging and the highest climb I've ever done. It is advisable to prepare for this climb, increase your stamina and endurance. I hiked every week and run 10 kilometres. I also put on weight to withstand the cold, store in more fats for energy and to handle the weight of my bag. If you have an overweight body mass try to lose some weight, or else it will pull you down during the climb. One more thing regarding the cold temperature , I omitted to wear jacket to work and in cinema's. Ahahaa I always had a low tolerance for the cold weather, this one worked for me especially training my mental ability. Work on your weaknesses, know it well and figure out a way to fight it. 

If you're planning to climb this mountain then congratulations with that, you have courage by your side. Bare in mind that not everyone has the courage to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu. However, its not just about courage that will get you to the peak, training and discipline plays an important role too. This is to lower down the chances of hurting yourself and the people around you. The climb is more satisfying if you reach the peak and not just the summit. 

I managed to booked a promo ticket to Kota Kinabalu and a reputable travel agency for our climb. We got the "Recommended" package with Amazing Borneo , Check out their site for the terms and condition.

Duration: 3 days 2 nights
Package cost: MYR 2200 / SGD 850 (3 pax) 

Tour Highlights: 
Mount Kinabalu Climb via Timpohon Trail 
Low's Peak Summit (Highest Elevation 4095.2M) 

Two of my friends joined me for the Mount Kota Kinabalu Climb. I managed to persuade them to share their experience and provide some helpful tips to other climbers. 

I did my first winter hike in South Korea's highest Mountain, the Mount Hallasan of Jeju Island. A soul searching hike alone in the mountain of South Korea.

I also climb South Korea's national park, Mount Seoraksan in Sokcho. A hike that I will never forget. The weather was really windy that day and my stubborn self got a ahead of me. I was able to climb down alive and that is why never test mother nature, if the weather doesn't permit it, don't dare push it.

Climbing mountains has always been fascinating and daunting. Why go through the trouble to see the sunrise when you can take the elevator to the highest building or simply drive to the nearby beach. It's due to humans craving for accomplishment and satisfaction. However, climbing mountains goes deeper than that, it intertwines with the love of nature and love of taking a challenge. Getting what you want and reaching your goal gives you an intense feeling of euphoria. It's like reaching school in time before the gates closes or being able to copy your seatmates answer without getting caught- this I can totally relate as it is mine. 

For some people it might be getting high scores in a test without even studying or graduating with honors, where you find yourself lost in words in that certain second on stage. This is just a part of that feeling when you reach the summit. Mix it up with fatigue, high volumes of happiness and there you go Addiction to mountaineering. I've had this urge to climb mountains way back in 2013 after I did my first hike at Osmeña Peak which is considered as the highest Peak in Cebu, Philippines. The rest followed Mount Manunggal in Cebu, Mount Batur in Indonesia, Gunung Gombak in Johor Bahru, Gunung Jasar in Cameron highlands and Mount Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Mount Hallasan and Mount Seoraksan in South Korea and for this trip Mount Pulag and Mount Pinatubo in Philippines.

Afterwards an exciting jeepney ride to visit an active volcano named Mt. PinatuboThe 4x4 ride won't be so exciting if you have the enclosed back part of the vehicle thou you're sheltered from dust, rain and the heat of the sun. But hey! How will you enjoy the great outdoors? 

Next stop was hiking the mountains of Sri Lanka

Hike to Indonesia’s Most Famous Volcano. My last trip with my travel buddy. I thought it would just be a plain goodbye with a sumptuous dinner and a bottle of beer. Who am I kidding?! We've known each other as travel addicts why not do it the travelers way. Another trip abroad. Another mountain to climb. This time around we've decided to go to Surabaya in Indonesia. It is formerly known in Dutch as Soerabaja/Soerabaia, now its using the Javanese term as Surabaya. Located on the north eastern part of Java and considered as the second largest city in Indonesia. 

I went back home to Philippines and climb Sirao Peak or Mt. Kan-Irag or Mt. Sibugay in Cebu.

Let's see where my feet takes me next time. This is for now keep climbing everyone. Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).

Do you want more adventure?
I have here a list of all the extreme adventures for the past years. Maybe this year take a look at your bucketlist and make some effort on doing it.

Where am I going next?

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