Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and​ Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 2

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

(Second of Three Parts)

Crying Mountains to Tacadang

HOW does one prepare for a journey to someplace one has never been before? Often, a traveler relies on research and recommendations. For us mountaineers involved in community work, communication among locals and leaders are required.

It is them whom we based our itinerary and estimations on trek time. Often, if they say it takes them one hour to summit from jump off, then we double it for ourselves.

This was the case for our Kibungan circuit, in which half was to be spent on unfamiliar trails despite RAK Ph Mountaineers’ regular outreach activities in the mountainous province. We were aware that coming from Sitio Lanipew, all of us would technically be “first-timers” going to Barangay Tacadang proper on Day 2.

Continue reading “Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and​ Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 2”

Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 1

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

(First of Three Parts)

Rainy Assault at Almasi

IMAGINE assaulting a steep trail with small steps carved from a mountain’s solid surface while being exposed to the forces of nature—behind you is the open mountain range covered in white. You realize you’re actually inside the clouds or the fog, whichever, for it is raining and every now and then, the wind blows sharp, cold stings. Below, you see the endless and tiresome steps you just took but not the bottom.

Now imagine arriving at the top of such the arduous ascent only to be faced with a new peak, beyond it, a silhouette of yet another peak. It feels and seems like there is no end to this assault.

​This was the infamous Almasi trail of Kibungan’s mountain range of high summits, deep gorges, thick forests and countless waterfalls.

Continue reading “Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 1”

Campsite Meals Just Got Tastier, Fancier with these 3 Potato Recipes

By Euden Valdez

FOR designated campsite cooks, dishes they prepare and serve may already be repetitious. Adobosinigangtinola? We’ve all had them. While sustenance is what’s required after a long and tiring hike, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, especially when it can be easily prepared.

The secret to achieving this is potatoes! Well, dehydrated ones to be exact, which are now available in the market thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines.

What exactly are US dehydrated potatoes (US dehy)? 

Continue reading “Campsite Meals Just Got Tastier, Fancier with these 3 Potato Recipes”

Here are 4 Reasons to Carry Potatoes on Your Next Climb

By Euden Valdez

​“THEY’RE heavy!”
 
This was the rejection I received as an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring mountaineer when I once suggested to include potatoes in a soup dish for a dinner at camp. 

But had I known by then how potatoes could provide enough nutrition to pump up the hike’s next leg, I would have insisted—like Princess Sarah always does for her “patatas.”

Continue reading “Here are 4 Reasons to Carry Potatoes on Your Next Climb”

VIRTUAL TOUR: Cold and Chilly Weather x Warm and Fuzzy Feelings at Mt. Ugo

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

HOW does a life moment qualify to be precious? For this author, the moment has to have moved you in unspeakable ways, to have made you escape reality, and to have left a lasting mark in you.

Take for example, that moment when a bunch of young ones rode on top of a jeepney for the first time, after a long and tiring traverse of Mt. Ugo in the Cordillera. Only, it was going to be a “topload” ride with a good chance of shower.

Dark clouds descended with us from the mountain and just as the jeepney hit the road, the rain did fall. Then something precious happened.

I saw their eyes lit up with wonder, their lips smiled from glee as raindrops tickled their skin, winds kissed their faces, and adventure filled their hearts. All the while, the formidable views of Cordillera stretched and crawled before us. 

Continue reading “VIRTUAL TOUR: Cold and Chilly Weather x Warm and Fuzzy Feelings at Mt. Ugo”