The last episode of Conquer Outdoor Equipment’s “Hitting the Trail (HTT)” was held in Mt. Apo on December 26-28, 2014 using the Sibulan Trail of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It was part of the company’s drive to scale mountains all over the Philippines which is usually done all year round in a monthly basis featuring different mountain every month.
Delegates from Luzon was composed of eight regular HTT mainstays while there were ten trekkers from Sta. Cruz who joined the expedition, with two rookies joining us in John and Tiffany. Other participants joining me from Sta. Cruz were LOGSAC members Julius Biala, Jonas Florencondia, Tinikaran Outdoor Shop owner Oliver Enot and St. Joseph Runners members James, Jeffrey, Jermel and Romeo.
Just like my previous December climbs, this climb was challenged by the continuous downpour especially since prior to the climb a Low Pressure Area was spotted somewhere in Mindanao region that eventually led to the occurrence of a tropical storm. Unfortunately for those first-timers coming from Luzon, their chase for a sunrise or sunset in the country’s highest peak was spoiled. We were instead welcomed by a very strong winds and rain and when we reached the peak the temperature hit beyond the level where our bodies nearly gave up.
We stayed in Tinikaran Campsite 1 on our first night. We had a gradual pace in Day 1 but we shifted gear on the second and third days because of the rain. On the contrasting surface, there was something good that the climb had given me. As I have always been saying, Mt. Apo is a major climbing destination and part of the things that has to be enjoyed includes the weather, the trail and the company and these were exactly the ingredients that shaped a distinct experience of that memorable event.
I have hosted several Mt. Apo climbs in the past as team leader but this climb is something beyond the usual. I was flattered by the good comments uttered from the Manila people, saying the climb was by far one of their most memorable climbs because of the good organization and coordination and the technical personnel handling it from Sta. Cruz.
To Conquer Outdoor Equipment, thank you for this opportunity and we hope to have you climbing Mt. Apo once again in the future. Recognition is also due to Sir Oliver Enot who sponsored the post-climb dinner held at Tajos Beach Resort.