Friday, September 27, 2013

Mt. Pack, Mt. Purgatory, Mt. Komkompol - Bokod, Benguet - September 2013

I've always been intrigued with the name. Mt. Purgatory. But some participants dread the association that TUCO changed the event name to Mt. Pack-Mt. Komkompol Traverse. This hike is actually a trilogy of landmark mountains summitting Mt. Pack, Mt. Purgatory, then Mt Komkompol.
Been having reservations participating in major climbs, much more a major traverse but I was feeling lucky and determined even when this is my supposed first Major climb.

3AM to 4AM - Baguio - Monster jeep ride 
4AM to 7AM - Breakfast stop over at Gina Epe's Country Restaurant and Souvenir Shop.
7AM-8AM - Japas jump off

Note: If you easily get lightheaded caused by intestinal road rides, load up on bonamine prior to jeep travel.

Day 1
830AM - First Stop. Waiting shed.
9AM - Pass through community.
920AM - Mt. Mangakew - registration and orientation at school classroom.
1030AM - Resume Trek
11AM - Steep up hill trek 
12PM - Lunch along another hill.ascent
Japas Jump Off.

Waiting Shed

Mangakew Registration.

Failing to reach Mt. Pack on time for lunch, the group decided to have the hour break and eat along the trail.

Up coming Up hill ascent.

Emergency stop up the next hill ascent for lunch.

1:30PM - Resume Trek. Trail eventually widens.

2PM - Reached "To Mt. Purgatory" signage. Start ascend and trail to mossy forest.
3PM - Mt. Pack Summit. No View, cloudy view deck.
4PM - Resume Trek. Chasing light. Mossy forest. Downward descend.
5PM - Mt. Purgatory Summit.
7PM - Camp Site. Bakian Primary School.
Wide roads pursuing the mountain side.

Mossy forest after the Mt. Purgatory direction sign.

Mt. Pack after an hour.

Day 2

9AM - Resume Trek.
Lacking socials from the tired night, the Sweepers decided to take a chill phase and pass the shots at scenic stops. Getting down civilization may take 3hours at a fast to regular phase. 
Our small break away group made it in 5. Note: Going down is steep, specially arriving at the onset of the community, the last leg of the trail. The man made slippery cemented steps make for an experience filled with butt kisses, slides and slips. All this while locals, on their non outdoor, sometimes slippers, casually walk the suffer-filled trail.

Bakian Primary School, P500 to rent. Possible to leave tent and just sneak inside your sleeping bag and stay in one of the open rooms of the school.


Emergency Ambulance.

Blade grass casualty.

Passed by the Bokod Municipal Hall to register(log off).
Washed up at Gina Epe's Restaurant and had dinner before leaving for the bus to Manila.

Awesome journey. Makes me proud not to have suffered knee aches and the northern weather is a soulful magnificence that makes and break you at their extremes. I will definitely indulge in these trails again soon.