17
Jun
09

Freedom Climb Chronicles (Part 3: Day Two, The Summit of Pico de Loro)

4AM: Time to get up.  The day of the assault to the summit has come.  It was a first time for me and a few in our group to reach Pico de Loro’s beak, I mean peak, and despite seeing the pictures there’s nothing better than actually being there.  Excited?  Yes!  (But still sleepy)

Begin the assault

Begin the assault

Welcome!

Welcome!

5AM: The assault begins!  The sun still hasn’t risen up but it is definitely starting to light up the sky.  The trails were barely visible at that time but it was gradually getting brighter.  Gab and his group would be staying at camp and cook breakfast for us (thank you guys!) so we were able to leave a lot of things and trek light. This was very beneficial for us since the ascent got much more difficult and steep.  Along the way we passed by the last campsite before summit where numerous groups were camped and also met a lot of fellow hikers as well.  It was an endless exchange of greetings.

At the last camping area before the summit

At the last camping area before the summit

Finally, the moment of truth.  The most challenging part of this adventure was getting to the summit itself.  There’s nothing to hold onto on these parts but grass!  Add to that the very steep gradients and wind!   At this point if you’re scared of heights there’s only one direction you should look: up!

Endless Fog

Endless Fog

6AM: After amassing strength to conquering the final leg the summit was upon us.  It wasn’t a very big area so not very many people would fit.  We were glad to be the first to arrive but unfortunately we were deprived of the legendary panorama—the clouds were so thick the visibility was very short.

The RunHikers at the summit of Pico de Loro (myself behind the camera)

The RunHikers at the summit of Pico de Loro (myself behind the camera)

While waiting for the sky to clear up

While waiting for the sky to clear up

With our event shirt on

With our event shirt on (Pepsi behind camera)

After staying at the summit for about an hour with no signs of the sky clearing up anytime soon we decided to head back down.  On our way down we encountered all the other hikers coming up to the summit for the flag raising ceremonies of the Freedom Climb event.  We were so excited to reach the summit that we forgot our flags at base camp.  We also didn’t expect the ceremonies to be that late (it was past 7AM when we crossed trails with the people heading the event) so it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to be with the actual ceremonies.

This was the best view we got of the other peak

This was the best view we got of the other peak

Low visibility: these fellows were just a few meters away from us

Low visibility: these fellows were just a few meters away from us

Time to head back to camp

Time to head back to camp

Pic stop en route (Mar behind the camera)

Pic stop en route (Mar behind the camera)

Upon arriving at our base camp breakfast was waiting for us—how sweet!  We didn’t really have long time to spare so after eating we packed all our things and started to scale down before 10AM.  Like our earlier descent we met more hikers on our way down but surprisingly enough this batch looked like they were going to the mall as some were wearing short shorts and slippers and some even brought along their little kids.

The sky cleared at the summit just when we were at base camp :(

The sky cleared at the summit just when we were at base camp 😦

The entire gang

The entire gang

Upon arriving at the jump off point our service was there but unfortunately it wasn’t the same RunHiker Mobile—it was a van.  Yes we all fit (barely like sardines inside the can) and it has air-conditioning but it’s not as charming as the previous one.  Before finally heading off for Manila we stopped by some eateries along the way for some “real” food.  A few of us were dropped off along the way so it was just the core RunHikers on the final stop.  Trekking being a physically-demanding activity it was just natural that we were hungry and stopped by a nearby bakeshop for deserts.  This was the end of our Pico de Loro adventure but this was not the end of our weekend activity.  What happened next was an entirely new chapter.

Notes to remember

Notes to remember

I would like to thank Mar and Gab for making this memorable climb such a wonderful experience for us especially the first timers.  Likewise, thank you to the hardcores: Cindy, Ayen, Ana, Joseph and Sir Gary for supporting us and making the adventure fun.  Thank you all for bearing with the lesser-experienced wanna-be mountaineers like myself!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we do and hope to have more stories with you guys.  To my fellow RunHikers thank you for the company and it was always a pleasure to do anything with you guys.  This is definitely just the beginning of many more activities to come.  (Some photos on this series from first to current courtesy Rodel, “the Argonaut”)

RunHikers post-climb

RunHikers post-climb

The RunHikers

No longer are we just runners.  No longer are we just hikers.
We are the RunHikers!


6 Responses to “Freedom Climb Chronicles (Part 3: Day Two, The Summit of Pico de Loro)”


  1. 2009-06-24 at 12:59 AM

    nice climb!!!!!……..

    ~SINAG

    > Thanks! 🙂

  2. 2 cze
    2009-06-26 at 10:11 PM

    super memorable event for my life this climb of it.
    one thing i promise that i will be more responsible mountaineer.

    > Yeah it was a very good event! 🙂

  3. 3 krisna
    2009-06-30 at 11:13 PM

    congratulations guys.. climb more!

    > Thanks Krisna!

  4. 2009-07-03 at 12:11 AM

    We also didn’t expect the ceremonies to be that late (it was past 7AM when we crossed trails with the people heading the event) so it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to be with the actual ceremonies.

    —–> sir the freedom climb itinerary was schedules to start 8AM….the group was not late, we just followed the itinerary of the organizers……..sayang lang d kau nakasama sa activity, till next freedom climb!!!

    > Oo nga eh, I was too excited with the event (and got used to events in the early morning due to running) that I didn’t see what time the activities were set. Our hired service was expecting us early so we really have no choice but to climb down early (since there’s no cellphone signal where they’d pick us up). Surely we’ll be back next Freedom Climb!

  5. 2009-07-09 at 9:23 PM

    I would like to clarify that I am not saying that the Freedom Climb was late. To those who misunderstood, I was saying “that late” in terms of the morning hours, not “late” in terms of punctuality. I’ve been getting reactions from people not really reading the entire context of the statement and even misreading the phase and interpreting it literally. I actually think that this was one the more significant events of the season and if not for our tight schedule we would’ve been able to attend the event.

    It’s so sad that I’ve gotten an uncalled for remark from someone I assumed to be a climber (which I won’t publish for that person’s sake) when most climbers I’ve met were nice.

    To the organizers I think you’ve started something nice and I hope the people that join your event inherits this attribute as well.

  6. 6 eman
    2009-08-05 at 1:44 PM

    astig yung freedom climb
    sana po ksabay ulit namin kayo
    nxt year..

    sinag….


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