Sunday, February 14, 2010

Climate Change sensed during my last Mt. Apo Climbs

A group of lawyers from Makati City asked me to accompany them in climbing Mt. Apo last February 2-4, 2010; 4 days before my actual documentation climb via Boulder Face, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur on February 6-9. I had barely 24 hours then to prepare for the next climb. Those climbs marked as my first of the year and it left me with so much lessons.

The first ascent, we had our exit at Lake Agco of Kidapawan. Although slowed down by the unfamiliarity of trail and lack of physical preparation, my two guests survived the climb. I and buddy Papong individually shouldered them before their vigor started to vanish. The half-machine man might have to be in outer space that’s why he was not in this expedition. With me used to counting several first times while climbing, I noticed it was the very first time I solely piloted the trekking while Papong did most of the sweeping job. For all we knew it’s really very hard to sweep a guest who is as slow as a turtle but as generous as a psychic. Here’s a glass to Sir Eric and Sir Ceasar………..

The second climb, our companions were composed of a chief photographer in Rhonson Ng, 2 models in Thalia and Celina, 2 arnis masters and some Sta. Cruz mountaineers who were self-proclaimed “Pakiks”. Certainly there were first times during the climb. The most notable was the sudden change in temperature of Mt. Apo. When we were at Tinikaran Camp 1, the temperature was really very cold unlike the previous climbs we had in all Februaries.

Because of time discipline and fast pacing of the expedition team, we arrived at the summit at exactly 3:30 in the afternoon the second day. While waiting for the setting of the sun, we had partial chilling because of the cool temperature. We never experienced this before. We then settled a very early lights-off at 1800 hours. Nobody dared to go out except for the Pakiks Team who enjoyed the delight of an “agua de pataranta”. Rhonson also summoned for a late afternoon dinner of rice and sardinas and eventually joined the Pakiks outside. After several minutes, everybody was frozen. And in unison we shouted, “grrrr…katugnaw”.

Indeed, climate change is already very obvious in Mt. Apo. Extremely hot temperature from 8 AM to 2 PM especially in the boulders and severe coldness in the evening can be experienced. Nature has already manifested so many signals for us to take cautions of. For me, all the good things that mother nature offered to us are already being sold like hotcakes, what remains in store for us might be the cruelty; only the cruel things such as flash floods, earthquakes, typhoons among others.

As mountaineers, it’s about time let’s put our acts together. Let’s all be part of the solutions, not part of the problem.#

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