Mount Pulag: A walk in the clouds (and some first-time tips and blunders!)

Prince Henry:  "You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, 
is there anything you don't do?"
Danielle:  "FLY."

Yes, I'm channeling Drew Barrymore's character in one of my all-time favorite chick flicks, Ever After.  I don't know when it started but, ever since, I've always had this thirst for adventure and inkling to always try out new things.  Currently, I scuba dive and I've revived my interest in surfing.  Years back, I've done spelunking, wall climbing, and wakeboarding.  Generally, activities that I like involve the beach (Isn't it obvious? :p) So this time around, I decided to try something new:  MOUNTAIN CLIMBING.

Considering that this is a far cry from my usual lounging-in-the-beach-and-getting-a-tan hobby, I knew I was in for a new challenge.  While I had a dozen bikinis stored in my closet, I had zero climbing gear and clothes!

But, I thought, what the heck?!  I should try this now while I still have the stamina.

So, in a very un-Koryn fashion, I, along with my sister, brother-in-law, and our friend Fritz, signed up for travelfactor.org's Mount Pulag expedition.  Mount Pulag is the second highest peak in the country.  Ambitious for a beginner, right?  I was actually nervous days before the climb.  More because I have extremely low tolerance for cold and I've been told by friends who've been there that Mount Pulag is freezing especially in the early morning.  I went on panic buying mode and visited  my doctor the last minute to make sure I'm in tip-top shape.

Then after days of nervous anticipation, we were finally off to a new adventure.

And adventure it was!

We left Manila around 11:30 p.m. and arrived in Baguio City around 6:00a.m.  There were 30 of us in the group.  After a quick breakfast, it was a one hour ride to Ambuklao dam where we stopped for a short photo op.



And after that, it was another two-hour ride to the DENR office where we were to undergo a brief orientation.  It was a bumpy ride but sleep-deprived me was snoring the whole time (even during the orientation haha).

After the orientation (which I told was hilarious because the DENR lady was really quirky!), it was another one hour ride to the Ranger Station--our final stop before we make our ascent.

Point and shoot

Before I acquired Bono (my trusty DSLR) in 2009, Ixy (my now-non-functioning Canon Ixus point-and-shoot cam) was my trusted companion for more than three years.  I was actually a bit sad when he went kaput last year.  Aside from him being my first ever major purchase (thank you Christmas bonus of 2005!), I was never without him.  During out of town trips, gigs, parties, and even on ordinary days, people always expected that I had Ixy with me.

Ixy also became the "camera ng bayan" (everybody's camera).  He went to Germany with PJ, to Beijing with Cecille, to Hong Kong with Madel (Was it really HK? I forget), and to Sanya with Ate Ains and Con.  Really handy chap, if you ask me!

Anyway, browsed through my old photo files and came across some of my favorite shots taken with Ixy.

Other stories you might be interested in: