February 22, 2015

Basic Mountaineering Course: Love & Respect

"You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shelter when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your windows. So that's why I'm scared when you say you love me."

I love nature.  Hikers must all do. For if we do not, imagine the state our mountains, forest, and beaches will suffer. But to say we love nature, and act in counterproductive ways against its conservation and protection is futile.

I guess this is the core of every Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) and Leave No Trace principle - to love and respect nature.


Several mountaineering groups and outdoor groups usually organize BMC during this time of the year. And if you see yourself trekking from time to time, it would be wise to attend one - or at the very least be oriented by someone. I've been trekking on and off for around a year now, but I haven't attended a BMC yet - I was however coached by Loyola Mountaineering group during my first climb. The insights and lessons I've learned from them have guided me in my past climbs and up until now.

Even so, I felt that attending a BMC has been a long time coming so when I found out about Conquer's BMC event, I immediately signed up and joined.


A lot of things were discussed during the event - planning a climb, trail movement & trail signs, basic ropemanship, water safety, land navigation, climbing essentials & equipment, camping, first aid, mountaineering etiquette, etc. The discussion was mostly an overview of each aspect so one shouldn't expect to be a master immediately after the course. One has to study, execute, restudy, re-execute and restudy the lessons again and again to be completely skilled in the craft. As Sir Rec of Tanay Adventure Camp mentioned, our level of consciousness right now is awareness. At least after the program, we know what concepts to look for and study.

Survival in the wild orientation

Demo on fire starting

Demo on tent pitching

Obstacle course

Knot tying and basic ropemanship

Rappelling

Land navigation

River crossing and water safety

It was definitely an insightful and enjoyable event. The organizers and speakers were prepared and credible, while the host site (Tanay Adventure Camp) was well kept and overall hospitable. It is probably my most relaxed camping experience up to date. Sana ganito din karelax sa bundok :)

In the mountains though, we cannot afford to be apathetic and lax for one mistake could put us or the group in danger. If we aren't prepared, we increase the risk of harm not only upon ourselves, but also to the environment.

Remember that in the mountain, "there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

Hiking is caring.

See you around!
Arlet

PS

Like Conquer Outdoor Equipment Facebook page for updates on their events and whatnot. I'm looking forward to their Banahaw next month, or if you know any Makiling hikes anytime soon, please let me know. Thanks!

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