Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mt. Ulap - Philex Ridge Day Hike

Itogon City – to be found in the Cordillera Mountains of Benguet, well-known as the center of big mining companies like Philex Mining Company, Itogon-Suyoc Mining Company, Benguet Corporation, etc. – offers a lot of tourist attractions, natures, and adventures rather than those mining businesses. The town has a chain of hills having numerous mountain peaks and the highest of them is Mt. Ulap. 

Mt. Ulap, rising at 1846 MaSL is another spot to see for the mountaineers, hikers, adventure seekers, or even to those who are new into this kind of hobby. Its trail which is known as Ampucao – Sta. Fe Ridge Trail is recently becoming famous after some trail running events were held there. The trail can be trek in about 3 to 4 hours to reach the summit with a difficulty of 3/9. 

How to get there?

The jump off site is in Bgy. Ampucao Itogon City, Benguet which is about 1 hour away from Baguio City. If you are in a DIY or you are commuting, you can take a bus bound to Baguio City. The fare would be around Php500. Then from the City, you can take a cab or a jeepney and just tell the driver to drop you off to Ampucao Elementary School. As for me, I purchased a package tour from Take Five Outdoors which includes transportation, other fees, and side trip tour in Baguio City.

                                                                                        at the barangay hall

Upon reaching your destination, you need to go straight first at the Barangay Hall for the registration and orientation with the tour guides who will be joining in your climb. 

                                                                           huddle (orientation with the tour guides)

Then before you get to the start of the trail, you need to walk first in a highway or in a concrete road for around 200 meters away from the Barangay Hall. This is what they call warm up ;)

We were also warned by our tour guide that the start of the trail will be uphill but only for a short distance. (Just giving you a heads up ;) )

Mt. Ulap traverse starts from Totombek, view from here is mostly woodland with pine trees around…

                                                                                        pine trees everywhere


Then as you go along, you will witness scenic views all over the place until you reach Ambao-Panay which is a pure grassland.

                                                                                            mountainous view

                                                                                  this reminds me of Gulugod baboy

                                                                      walked through the edge of the mountain

From here, you can reach a peak with stone formations where you can take a picture and also get to
oversee breathtaking 360 view of Itogon, Baguio City, and Tuba town.

This spot with stone formations is only halfway of the trail. And as you proceed, you will now reach the most famous view, the Gungal. It is where the big rocks or hanging rocks form, and the view here is really picturesque!  You can also witness awesome 360 views. And you can really feel here that you’re on top of the world feeling the fresh air and watching all the wonders of nature. J

watching THIS awesome creations!

the hanging rock (photo from Take Five Outdoors)

that's me posing on top of the hanging rock! 

Reaching the Gungal rock is a sign that you are close on getting to the summit...

flag at the summit

view at the summit

It is said that clouds on the summit float around the area that you could hardly see the views. However, during our climb or the time we arrived at the summit, clouds aren’t floating around yet. According to locals, clouds usually appear in the afternoon. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed stunning scenes J

time to go down!

For the descent, we took Sta. Fe traverse. The trail here is shorter. But we also took some time because trail is steep and very slippery. I really want to warn everyone to be cautious when going down (it’s better to be safe!)

Take five! with the group

At the end of the day, another achievement is made and it always makes me feel good!

After sharing this with you, now it’s your time to witness and experience it yourself the Mt. Ulap. It really offers a lot. I’m sure your sweats won’t matter as you enjoy the views while climbing. J

Ampucao Itogon City, Benguet


1 comment:

  1. Mas maganda pag walang clouds sa totoo lang. Pumunta kami diyan lumabas yung clouds, kaya mostly cloudy pics namin. Noong hindi pa kilala at sikat kami pumunta dalawa lang kami. wala pa guide saka registration


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