climb

29 days

random rumination number 1 - mountain log
i found out from someone else's blog that AMCI's head sweeper bajay has logged 177 climbs in 37 distinct mountains since 1993. i began to take up the sport of mountaineering 10 years after he did, between january and february of 2003, in an expedition which he led, to mt. pulag, through its "executive trail". my skills and knowledge of mountaineering at the time, including my gear, were paltry. i was useless near the kitchen, and the only services i could offer my fellow mountaineers were my photography and my humor. this was shortly followed by one other climb, and then a long hiatus, and then another climb to mt pulag the year after, until i joined pilipinas sierra and officially began my mountaineering career. so over 3 years later, i have evolved into somewhat of a monster mountaineer, lugging loads upwards of 20 kilos to many mountains. but still nowhere near bajay's belt. if we were to compute bajay's average in the last 13 years, he climbs as many as 14 mountains in a year. let's see how my own log compares.

1998
0. abra

2003
1. mt. pulag (ambangeg - ambangeg)
2. mt. pico de loro traverse

2004
3. mt. pulag (ambangeg - ambangeg)
4. mt. gulugod baboy
5. tarak ridge, mt. mariveles
6. mt. makiling traverse (sto. tomas - UPLB) - The Taming of the Few: Traversing Mt. Makiling
7. mt. amuyao (barlig - barlig) - climb for life
8. mt. san cristobal - banahaw is in the background
9. mt. maculot - my brain is 75% water
10. mt. halfcon/mt. aplaya - halfway to halcon
11. sagada-tirad pass - the misadventures of alman and jay: the "epic" hike

2005
12. mt. manabo - c'est la vie
13. mt. lobo - an interloper's account
14. anawangin - away at anawangin
15. mt. gulugod baboy - some updates
16. batad, cambulo, pula - the (mis)adventures of alman and jay, part 2: the ifugao villages trek
17. mt. isarog - bucolia: the misty mountains (first installment of the kaladkarin chronicles, part III)
18. mt. asog - bucolia: the misty mountains (first installment of the kaladkarin chronicles, part III)
19. mt. bulusan - bucolia: the misty mountains (first installment of the kaladkarin chronicles, part III)
20. mt. halcon (paitan traverse) - halcon, redux: part IV of the kaladkarin chronicles
21. mt. ugo - a feel good climb: part V of the kaladkarin series
22. mt. pinatubo - "the best overbudget climb i have ever had": part VI of the kaladkarin chronicles
23. mt. tapulao - peaking at tapulao: TC1 for AMCI B2K5
24. mt. mariveles - mariveles meets a masochist: AMCI B2K5's second training climb
25. kibungan mountain range - a climb with a view: AMCI B2K5's TC3 at kibungan, benguet
26. anawangin - i know what you did at anawangin: AMCI B2K5's orienteering weekend
27. mt. amuyao, pat-yay, cambulo, batad - conquering the mountain within: AMCI B2K5's TC4
28. mt. apo - standing on the roof of the archipelago: AMCI B2K5's induction climb
29. mt. matutum - a long postscript, part II
30. mt. talipanan - no time to rest
31. spanish trail (sagada, mt. ampacao) - when wanderers wonder: discovering the secret trail
32. mt. gulugod baboy - a weekend of firsts

2006
33. mt. sembrano - predicting the unpredictable: stoned at sembrano
34. mt. manabo - mass at manabo
35. mt. pulag (ambaguio - akiki trail) - the dogtag mystique: AMCI B2K5's second induction climb
36. mt. pinatubo - satisfaction guaranteed: the 2006 pinatubo hike
37. mt. natib - scratching an itch: the mt. natib climb
38. mt. kinabalu - on kinabalu's crown
39. pula, cambulo, batad - no subject [should read: ifugao villages hike]
40. mt. lamot - a landing at lamot: AMCI BMC 2006 1st TC

i've italicized all my unique destinations, and i've so far been to 31. i've numbered my first foray into pseudo-mountaineering as 0 because although the abra trek had elements of mountaineering, i won't consider it as one if i were to compare it to what i do now. i'm not far from bajay's number of destinations, but i can only hope to steadily climb at least 14 mountains each year. of course, i am in no competition with him. it is just that if i hope to reach the stature that he now enjoys, i should really climb more.

i see that nearly all my climbs are very well-documented, not only by lingering memories and photographs, but also by an account which reads fresh each time. i actually also have something on abra (the travel essay which won the philippine star plum in 2003) and my first trek to tarak ridge, both written with an intended audience in mind (i.e., written to be published).

since i've started, i've invested a whole lot of money on gear. i am hesitant to even start to count how much i've spent so far, but i am sure it's quite a lot. i'll do that one of these days.

i've always thought of myself as a non-athlete -- okay, enough with euphemisms. i am lampa. i have very poor reflexes and am no good at most sports. that is why i am happy that mountaineering found me. and that i have discovered in it something to love and to be passionate about: to be able to marry a desire to travel, a longing to do the extreme, and an opportunity to enjoy nature. i only hope that 13 years later, 100 or so climbs after, i can still look back and not regret all those hours spent outdoors. and that i can share my stories with as many people as possible.
Super sweeper
Wow, 20 in a year! Not bad, not bad at all! You are most welcome to carry my load if I fall back on TC2, groupmate, ha ha. I train at the ramps with 12 liters so anything in excess of 12kg I cannot vouch for.

By the way, Bajay told us last Friday that he climbed one mountain every weekend in his first few months into the sport.
Re: Super sweeper
12 kilos? hmmm... i don't think i've ever carried anything less than 20 from my own TC1 till induction. of course most of that are non necessities. you can add a few, so we can make provisions for lots of food. bossing and i love to eat good food. hehe.

well i think 20 mountains in a year isn't too bad. when i started out in 2004, i only wanted to climb 20 peaks in a year. one mountain per weekend would be just too much for me.
Re: Food
Do you guys eat Ilocos longanisa (ground pork, garlic, black pepper, laurel leaves, marinated in dark cane vinegar) and chicharon (deep-fried pork loin, I think)? They would be the perfect camp food -- they last a week or more, perfect for kitchen dummies (1. fire up stove, heat pan, put water on pan, add longaniza, allow water to boil and evaporate, turn over, serve. 2. repeat first three steps, throw in sliced chicharon strips, stir and allow meat to bleed some oil, serve)

Too bad I can't eat them -- been off red meat for years. But maybe I could bring some for my group for TC3/TC4 -- that is if I survive TC2.
Re: Super sweeper
(Anonymous)
I've climbed one mountain every month (on the average) sinc 1993. Sorry for the wrong info.

Bajay
(Anonymous)
Hey Alman, I've done 177 climb expeditions over 32 distinct mountains only.

I also maintain a climb log that lists the mountains, inclusive dates, a short description, and roles. Yours is better since most of your climbs are well documented. Keep it up!

I hope to put up a Live Journal account where I can post write-ups about my past climbs.

Bajay