Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Not as Cold as Mt. Apo (a repost)

It is not really cold here, not as cold as Mt. Apo...

Nah! I’m actually lying...this is just what I tell to myself, every time I have to be outside to go through a 30-minute walk from my hall to the University...

It is really cold
here, it freezes my brain...

But every time it gets really really cold, I would think of that day when I, with five of my friends climbed Mt. Apo three Decembers ago...that was ‘a tale of daring stubbornness, willpower, determination, and bad judgement’. This line is exaggerated, but anyway let it be...hehehe...

What happened that day?

I will just make this story short. The experiences were really fantastic except that evening of the second day. We spent our first night at Goddy-goddy, where we originally planned to start as early as 9am the next day for the ‘jump off’. But we delayed so much, not really wanting to hurry...we just stayed there until 12:00 noon, watching new arrivals pitching their ‘state-of-the art’ (hihihi) tents...As we trekked, it was really fun scaling the big boulders, we didn’t hurry (unlike the regular pace we usually have in the previous treks). At 3:00pm, we stopped to rest and delayed there for an hour, just chatting, drinking and taking pictures...We thought we would be at the peak to camp for the night before it gets really dark.

At around 4:00pm, we decided to start trekking again going up to the part with steaming sulphur of the volcano, then ill fortune began. As my friend Wench was packing his stuff, his camping stove fell into a deep boulder crack, so we were delayed more for thirty minutes to get it...By the time we got the stove, it was getting dark and worst, it rained, then more hard luck came. As we clambered through the boulders, only three head lamps were functional...(yeah yeah, I can hear your reaction!) This slowed us more because the one with the lamp has to light the path of his/her buddy.

By 7:00 in the evening, we reached one of the seven peaks (now, I don’t specifically know which one)...we have to get down to the camp site, but we couldn’t figure out which way to Wench (aka Mata), the headman of the group, with Wendelle (aka Liog), had to find the trail, while I, Damang, Mimi and X have to stay in one place to wait for the two... it was sooooo damn cold, I was drenched in the rain because I gave my rain gear to this asthmatic X, who forgot to bring hers. Ghastly chilling wind circled us, threatening us fur
ther with its eerie whoosh. Its force was so strong, we could hardly stand. It was so painful, it's like the wind was blowing needles on my face. I recalled one of us mentioned that we should sit down to lessen the impact of the wind on us, but I was so tired, my backpack has become so heavy, that I thought if I sit down, I wouldn’t be able to get up. And then X said, “I wish this is just a dream!” --- adding the nippiness to our spines.

That was the longest, most physically-tortuous hours of my outdoor adventures... (that I could recall)...

Finally, the guys found the trail and we reac
hed the camp site around 8:00pm. Climbers (whom we met in the previous climbs) noticed us and helped us pitch the tents. That was really very numbing. Sooo numbing that we almost could no longer understand Wench’s instructions on what to do and where to go because our brains iced up (hihihi), that’s another e
xag! But let it be...)

So, whenever it gets so cold here, so windy and dark, I would tell myself, “This is nothing compared to Mt. Apo!”

(In the picture: Damang, Mimi, and I, at the background wearing blue scrub suit is Wench. I can't recall where's Liog)

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