February 18, 2013

Up and down: Pico de Loro climb

Doing something for the first time usually leads to a second time.

Ever since my solitary retreat to Mt. Pinatubo, I've been itching for another similar adventure. Hence when I got invited to an open climb, I quickly said yes without asking for details.

The Pico de loro open climb was (successfully) organized by the Ateneo's Loyola Mountaineering Group (LM). I learned tons of things from them; they were very nice and helpful.

courtesy of Ciara
The days before the climb were so hectic that I was only getting at least 4hrs of sleep per day. That said, I was unable to mentally, physically, and materially prepare for the climb. This was my biggest mistake.

First, I didn't bring rubber shoes, I was wearing my little sister's sneakers, which made me conscious of every step I made. I was careful not to slip or anything (I still did - a lot of times). Second, and more importantly, I didn't bring enough water. Water made everything better - the trek, the food, the weather- everything! and I didn't have enough of it! HAHAHA such a poor soul.

My other mistake was not packing lighter. The trek could have been easy, had I not have any heavy backpack with me. I am not sure how I could have packed lighter since most of the weight of my bag was due to water - which I didn't bring enough of. BUT still, I should have packed lighter. I actually got bruises on my hips and shoulders because of the weight I was carrying. I thought that maybe the backpack wasn't heavy, maybe my mild scoliosis is just acting up, but no, the bag was heavy. 

These 2 mistakes led me to think that I cannot do it, that I will not be able to do it, that I should just stay behind and not be a burden to the group. I thought, "there's still a next time, Arlet. Do not be difficult and be reasonable, you cannot do it"

Yet, for whatever reason - ego or something else, I went on ahead, one step at a time. 

I was careful: not jumping and just taking small steps to avoid straining my legs, not talking much to avoid exhaustion, etc. And I did it, one step at a time. 

courtesy of Mica Veloso

Getting to the peak was all worth it. Nonetheless, it wasn't my favorite part. My favorite part of the climb would be the knowledge that I could do it. It makes me wonder how many other things am I not doing (but capable of achieving), just because I'm afraid to do so. I wonder how many achievements have I robbed and deprived myself of. 

After the Pico de Loro climb, I've confirmed that this will be my hobby. I'll start working now, begin by being fit, then buying stuff. 

Oh boy, I'm excited :)

1. There are 2 peaks for the pico de loro climb; you have to go up and down the 1st peak to go to the 2nd peak. 
2. Here are my groupmates / tentmates who taught me strategies on cooking better at high altitude. Genius people!


  1. Okay, wow, seriously - that second to the last pic. How did that happen?

    1. HAHAHA the answer is the last photo. You go up to the first peak, then go down. There is a chunk of stone connecting the first peak to the 2nd peak. Using that way, you won't need to climb the 2nd peak through the base.

      You'll still have to do some rock climbing though, but it's just a quick and short climb. HAHAHA that was my question too before the actual climb.

  2. Amazing shot! Hirap siguro akyatin nun tower. I like to experience that, too!

    1. TRY IT! madali lang yung tower, mas mahirap yung papunta dun sa may tower kasi kakapagod :))


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