Mountaineering 101: Tips and lessons that will help you on your first climb - Life is so full of tae!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mountaineering 101: Tips and lessons that will help you on your first climb

        I simply love outdoor adventures. I love experiencing the thrill, exploring the wilderness, feeling the adrenaline rush, and bestowing myself to be one with nature. It feels great, it feels so wonderful. I am sharing this because I just want to bring you the beauty and rewards of being a mountaineer: the breath-taking sceneries, majestic sunrise, dramatic sunset, and the jaw-dropping views spelled in just three letters: W-O-W!

Beautiful, isn't it? Mt. Apo Sunset taken by my friend Mark Chester O. Pidor
The majestic Tudaya Waterfalls, Davao del Sur. Approximately 150m tall, one of the tallest waterfalls in our country
        Mountain climbing is really fun and exciting. Walking hard-to-trek terrains, crossing the loud and strong gush of rivers and climbing steep rocks is out of your ordinary day-to-day activities. It is tiring and exhausting, yet it truly brings satisfaction to the adventurer. It gives a feeling of amazement in every little thing you see. It makes you stand in awe as you fix your eyes on the vast and beautiful landscapes. It also helps you unwind from your stressful urban life.
see what's behind us? that's the peak! pasensya na sa aming camera,  mahal pa ang digicam at that time. hahaha

My friend Dan and I, camouflaged on the boulders of Mt. Apo, enjoying the moment with the gods.
        I do not consider myself a very experienced mountaineer, not yet. But even though I was only able to climb a few, I have learned a LOT from my outdoor experiences, from the company I had, and from the people I just met during my adventure.

        Mountaineering isn’t just about climbing a mountain, reaching the peak, take pictures, and say “I’ve been there”, and that would make you look ‘cool’. No, it’s not that. Mountain climbing fosters CAMARADERIE, LEADERSHIP, and DEVOTION. Plus, it enables us to be ecologically aware, and promote a cleaner and greener nature.
at Tudaya campsite, despite our differences, we learned how to get along.
at Mt. Apo’s crater. My first climb didn’t went well, hence, the word. But still, it’s a happy and unforgettable one.
That's me standing on the top of Pilipinas!

plaque says, Welcome to the Peak of Mt. Apo :) Adrian looks like a fireman.

            Well, for those of you who haven’t yet experience what I have experienced, it’s time for a new and different twist of outdoor adventure. Leave the city for awhile and take time to breath fresh air. ;)

         This is just a small guide about mountain climbing I made, based from my experience and from the people who taught me the basics of mountaineering. Thanks to Dan, and the stranger I met at the Barrio of Mainit who climbed Mt. Apo for the nth time and talked about anything under the clouds of Mt. Apo. Too bad, I failed to get his name. But his face, I can always remember. I learned a lot from him - I've learned how to survive the cold peak of Mt. Apo, without a tent, a jacket, nor a burner. 1 trek shirt/pants,a knife, and a big plastic bag will do. But I'm not posting it here, not yet.

Getting started

    Everyone who has the opportunity to climb can always climb, BUT you should take note of a few steps and measures before you begin your trekking and climbing adventures.

First, you must be equipped with knowledge on the basics of mountaineering.
-Learn from a book, a magazine, or thru the internet.
-Learn from groups, organization, or mountaineering courses – join a group, organization, or mountaineering courses; they provide you mountaineering guides, techniques, what-to and what-not about mountaineering. (Although, I do not have a group, nor did I join any mountaineering courses)
-Learn from friends and people who are experienced in this adventure – take time to listen and I guarantee, you’d learn so much from them. What you’ve learned, keep them in mind.

Second, STAY IN SHAPE (A must!)
Of course, you should know your physical condition first before venturing yourself for an outdoor adventure. Mountain climbing is strenuous. As much as possible keep yourself physically fit. Check your health status beforehand; we never know what happens there. If you aren’t physically fit, nor your health status is unstable, forget mountain climbing, it would be very dangerous to go mountain climbing because of the risks involved.

Plan ahead, plan carefully. Plan with your group/team. Be as well-informed about your outdoor adventure (e.g. Where do you plan to climb? What kind of trail are you going to take? For how many days?) Anticipate what lies ahead, always EXPECT FOR THE UNEXPECTED.

Getting Ready

As much as possible, carry a simple and light load; know what are the essential things you need to bring to avoid bringing of any unnecessary paraphernalia.

Essential items for an outdoor survival: (What to bring)

  •     Tent/Sleeping bag – of course, where would you sleep if you happen to forget one?
  •     Food - self explanatory
  •     Extra food – in case you are delayed because bad of whether, or other unexpected circumstances, or simply you got lost
  •     Water + water bottles – you need plenty of water, clean water sources are hard to find, when you find one, fill those empty water bottles. We’re at risk for dehydration when out there.
  •     Stove/Burner + lighter/matches – I would suggest you bring a burner or stove rather than use a firewood, because it’s at more risk for forest fires.
  •     Fuel/Gas + extra
  •     Pocket/Camp Knife – make sure it’s not blunt
  •     Flashlight/Headlamp + extra bulb and extra batteries
  •     First aid kit – a must in all outdoor adventures. For medicines, I would recommend bringing a Paracetamol, Loperamide, and Mefenamic Acid.
  •     Sunblock/Lip balm – we don’t want to have skin cancer, do we?
  •     Insect repellent lotions – it’s the wild, we don’t know what kind of mosquitoes would bite us
  •     Camera – you don’t want to miss capturing the beauty of nature
  •     Toiletries (but please don't bring everything from your bathroom) - the important ones are as follows: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and tissue paper.
  •     Bite-sized chocolates (optional) - chocs are energy giving, just make sure they're not so sweet that it makes you thirsty. But really, for personal reasons, I'm a chocoholic that's why there's never a climb wherein I don't bring chocolates.
  •     Clothes

           Tips on what type of clothes should you wear/bring:

  •     Do not wear cotton clothing -  cotton absorbs more water, when it’s wet it will make you cold.
  •     Wear loose fitting comfortable light clothes (Quick dry material is recommended)
  •     Jacket (preferably the one that functions as a windbreaker, which shuts out from cold and wind; and warm-up suit that can keep the body heat)
  •     Socks (Bring two (2). One for trekking and the other for sleeping-you need this to keep your feet warm during the cold night, preferably thick)
  •     Gloves(optional) – but it helps in gripping when climbing steep rocks, or hanging by a bagging, it also helps warming your palms at night)
  •     Trek Shoes/Sandals (or any shoe as long as it can withstand the worst terrain conditions)
  •     Hat/Cap – it’s your own preference what kind of hat you bring.

    All your equipments/gears must be placed inside a plastic bag (I use a big black garbage bag in my case, clean of course) to keep your things dry when it rains.

        Oh and how can I forget the most essential thing that a mountaineer must bring, COMMON SENSE! Most of the time, it is not a person's gears and equipment that saves them from uncertain conditions. It is their experience, know-how, and good judgment. ;)
There was a sudden flash flood. We were stranded here for the night. We had to sleep on the rocky side of the river since it's impossible to pitch a tent here or anywhere near.

         Double check your list, make sure they’re complete. Then off you go for a happy and unforgettable adventure!

        During your adventure, always bear in mind the following:
          1. Keep your trash with you. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR GARBAGE ANYWHERE. As simple as that.
          2. Do not take anything. Do not bring home plants and/or animals, the mountain is their home don't take that away from them.
          3. When there's a need to answer the call of nature, PLEASE DO NOT do it on any water source or by the rivers/streams/any body of water. Have the initiative to dig up, and cover them afterwards.
          4. RESPECT the people who are living there, be COURTEOUS enough to greet them when you meet them.
          5. RESPECT and CARE for our own Mother Nature.

        Climb your way to the top by the way of a mountaineer, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time”

        Mountain climbing is one way to challenge your physical skills, your guts, your natural instincts and your common sense. Endure all the things that may come your way, and get back to the ground, SAFE AND PROUD.

Ang mountaineer... (bow...)
A pilay a paa Hindi a takbo!
A tusok a paa Hindi a takbo!
A habol a ahas Hindi a takbo!
A habol a NPA Hindi a takbo!
A habol a baboy damo Hindi a takbo!
A habol a bagyo Hindi a takbo!
A punit a short Hindi a takbo!
A lamig a lugar! Hindi a takbo!
A tagay a tanduay, tuba, beer Hindi a suka!
A kain hilaw kanin Hindi a suka!
A kagat limatik hindi a takbo!
A drop a subject Hindi a suko!
A slide sa trail Hindi a suko!
A laglag a bangin Hindi a suko!
A wala a tent Hindi a takbo!
A hiwa a braso Hindi a takbo!
A hiwa a hita Hindi a takbo!
A lula sa taas Hindi a suko!
A wala a gamit Hindi a away!
A hadhad Hindi a suko!
A tama teka-teka Hindi a suko!
A habol baka, kalabaw Hindi a takbo!
A basa gamit, Hindi a suko!
A tulog a basa, Hindi a suko!
A ubos pera, Hindi a suko!
A wala syota, Hindi a takbo!
A wala trabaho, Hindi a takbo!
A pag tripan sa inuman, Hindi a takbo!
A habol away, Hindi a takbo!

I really don’t know who originally wrote this one. It was only forwarded to me. I just want to share this to you because it’s kinda funny.

P.S. If I missed something on this, please do inform me :)

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