The Weekender: Trek Mt. Ulap on A Php 1,845 Budget

“Every moment I spent with you… shined. Because the weather was good, because the weather was bad and because the weather was good enough. I loved every moment of it.” - Kim Shin, Goblin

I haven’t been travelling lately, but guess what I am up to? Trekking? Nah. I’m into Korean Dramas! Ugh, I know, what a bummer. So yazz, I borrowed one of my favorite lines in “Goblin” (the recent and bestest Korean drama that I’ve watched, yet) to start my post about trekking in Mt. Ulap. Pilit ko talagang irerelate, bes!
Okay, literally…

Every moment I spent with you… shined.
- Check! The sunrise was shiny and beautiful at the summit!

Because the weather was good - It was ideal nonetheless. Not too hot, not too cold for trekking with a full pack

Because the weather was bad - The weather changes so fast in the mountains. It also rained on our way up from Ampucao, and it’s okay!

And because the weather was good enough - Scroll down for the photos ;P

I am sure where this post will lead us to if I insist on relating everything with K-Drama, so I’ll stop right here. Haha! On to the main thing, I will be blogging about the trek that happened two weeks ago in Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet! Here it goes for real!

...I loved every moment of it.

Mt. Ulap Trekking Preparation

I didn’t exercise. Also, because I'm poor at time management, I went on a sick leave to prepare my stuff last minute. Don’t be like me! Although Mt. Ulap is just a minor climb, it’s best to condition your body (with jogging or running, perhaps?) before the trek. Pack you things early, don’t cram and bring the following:

Clothes for cold/wet weather - poncho, down jacket, scarf, gloves
Sleeping gears (if there’s a word) - tent, earth pad, sleeping bag
Foot wear - Good trekking shoes and slippers
Eating essentials - trail food, mess kit, cooking utensils
2L water for drinking + 500ml for cooking / hygiene + First aid kit
Head lamp / flash light

3:00 am - Off to Baguio!

Victory Liner was full (again). And riding a cramped UV express van for 6 hours could be anyone’s worst nightmare. If you don’t want to ride a van going to Baguio, you can take the Solid North bus bound for Pangasinan and ask the driver to drop you off in Luisita, or anywhere where you can ride another bus to Baguio. I prefered it that way. But because we were too tired to hop on another ride that night, we agreed to take the van. I hated it.

40 minutes / 30 pesos - 01:00 pm: Jeepney ride from Baguio (Lapu-Lapu Street) to Ampucao

It was a scenic ride in the Cordilleras! I didn’t have photos of it though, because the jeepney was shaky and I had to rest due to the lack of sleep. If the weather is good, you can get beautiful photos of the mountains. Then once you’re in Ampucao, you have to register in the tourism office and a local guide will give you a short introduction about what to expect in the trek.

Shet, umulan!

Although I find the rain beautiful (as they’re like confettis from the sky), I can’t help but be grumpy at that time. It was hard to walk against the cold breeze with a full backpack on a slippery trail. I can’t put out my camera. I had to remove my poncho and the rain cover before I can get something in my bag. At one point, I thought this trek was a disappointment. But then, I had my friends with me, I didn’t feel like I was the one who jinxed the weather (maybe it was Lily or Seong after all, haha!). Yes, there really is no point in stressing out on things you don’t have control over, like the weather. I just said to myself that at least, there was no storm. And that the sky would clear up at sunrise because it already rained in the afternoon.

Yup, nagawa ko pa ring mag sleeveless sa malamig na bundok. Don't judge haha!

5 Hours: Tomtombek > Ambanao Paoay > Gungal > Campsite 2

Not sure if we were slow, cos we trekked from 3:00pm til 8 in the evening! The sky cleared up a bit, and we saw a glimpse of the sunset in Benguet. It was beautiful as expected. At about 5:45pm, it’s already getting dark in the mountain. It turned pitch black at 6:30pm. Good thing, nothing happened to us while we were trekking in the dark.

Comradeship - Your share of work is NOT optional

If there’s one trait that you would want your fellow trekkers to have, what would it be? Could it be their sense of humor, or friendliness or their love for mother nature? Me? It would be comradeship. I used to dodge group travel because people sometimes tend to forget this thing - their share of work is not optional. That they must get their hands dirty in order to eat and sleep in the mountain. Unfortunately, the people I met who proudly call themselves “trekkers”, “mountaineers” didn’t exhibit this trait. All they did was to watch their fellow trekkers do all the cooking, cleaning, night and day while they open their mouths with nonsense piece of shit. There didn't care at all. Totally disappointing. At least my friends weren’t like them!
Now, some quote before I get pissed off again! :P
10:00 pm - Lights out!

Sunrise: 5:45 am

Omooo! The weather was perfect! My legs were hurting but the view must be beautiful at the summit. I was hesitant to see it because I still wanted to sleep. But since Seong, Nicole, Couz Abadj and Alice were going, peer pressure it is! Okay, I got up then and checked my brows haha! Let’s goooo betches!

OTW down to Santa Fe

It was a steep downhill trek to Santa Fe. It took us about 2 hours to go down. I was up to slow but sure steps down because of my heavy backpack. Better be sure than be injured! And oh, look at the photoooos!


3:00 AM
Depart: Victory Liner Cubao
7:00 AM
Stopover / breakfast
9:00 AM
Arrived: Baguio

12:00 PM

Shared taxi to Burnham Park
1:00 PM
Arrived in Ampucao via jeepney

Registration / Trek preps and intro from guide / Other fees

3:00 PM
Start of trek
8:00 PM
5:45 AM
Trek to summit
7:00 AM
Trek back to campsite / break camp
10:00 AM
Trek to Santa Fe
Shuttle to Ampucao (Php 250/van)
1:00 PM
1:30 PM
Jeep to Baguio
2:15 PM

Shared taxi to Victory Liner terminal
2:30 PM
Bus to Manila

Total Expenses

I wanted to end this blog post with another line from a K-drama, but I couldn’t find anything that could match the last portion of this post. Ha! That's it for now.

Your turn guys! Have you trekked anywhere in Benguet? Any experiences / tips you would like to share? :)

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