I felt it is over. .
I’m Ryan a Web Designer, and I’m not a professional mountain climber. I don’t have any full experience about the BMT101 (Basic Mountaineer Training), Good thing Juan Adventure has the basics, and I just take it for granted. I was already informed by my fellow mountaineers that the mountain is not a joke. I thought it is just a normal climb like how I climb my grandparent’s place where they live at the mountain. I do not know water proofing so I just gather all my cotton long sleeve to keep me warm at the mountain. Mt. Pulag – Akiki trail is my 3rd mountain to climb, they said that it is the same as the previous mountain that I climb but x 12 the distance. So I check my stamina and strength then I concluded that I can do it.
Day 1 somewhere 800-900meters – It was an awesome day, a clear sky. On this day I have a high-fever but I take paracetamol and pain-reliever.
Day 2 – 12hours hike going to the peak 2922meters – When we reach somewhere 1800MASL at Pine Forest, the rain comes, time was 8AM I think. I grab my poncho and umbrella, I’m the only climber wearing a thin poncho that even grass and small branches can puncture through it.
While going to the Moisy Forest 2200MASL, the oxygen level go down, it’s not comfortable to breath. I notice that my shoes is so wet, then my poncho has so many holes, then the back of the poncho has a large hole, it was not a good sign. At day 1 my bag was suddenly opened while going to camp1, I notice that my bag can’t hold the tent that was attach at the bag, my bag is a 6yrs old normal bag, it is not a mountaineering bag, then all my things fall, I was at the cliff that time then good thing Mr. tour guide quickly save me, when I put back all my things, I notice the zipper doesn’t lock properly and it's broken.
When we reach the Grassland 2600MASL, the wind was blowing so hard, and I need to close my umbrella, I’m exposed to the rain but I don’t care if I’m fully wet because I was so tired and excited.
After we reach the camp site, the rain suddenly gone but the wind was still blowing violently. I was so wet, so I need to changed clothes, I remove all my jacket poncho, caps, shoes and etc., then when I open my bag, and my bag was full of waters. Whoa! my bag suddenly become a water bladder. ALL MY CLOTHES WERE WET. A very big problem because my bag has a big hole at the top, and that bag was very old already. We reach the camp site around 3/4PM, so the weather was fair and the temperature was so cold, maybe 8C-5C below.
I dry up my clothes at the grass, including my wet socks, so I don’t have socks on my shoes. The cold was tremendous. The only dry stuffs I have is my brief and small shorts. I pack up all my digital devices, wallet, and cellphones inside a plastic, it was 4 layered plastic and I locked it up. So I decided that I will open the plastic when I reach the safe place tomorrow. No more communication and taking picture at this time.
The leader of Juan Adventure offered the team to continue the journey at sundown, because we will have two chances to see the sunset and sunrise. The leader ask who wants to come and check the summit. I was so excited that I don’t even care if it is so cold so I volunteer myself to join the adventure even I came back to the camp site at night time. So I go with them, then I started chilling… my friends experience ice crystal on their face as we would through the path, we enjoyed exposing our face in the storm because the water is in freezing point already. We waited for the sunset but no sunset for this time due to the thick clouds, then we came down going back to the campsite. I thought it was near, but while we go back to the camp site, I got a hard time breathing. It was so cold that my mouth started to release cold breath/mist/smoke. After I reach our camp site, I immediately get inside and start to sleep chillen, this is not a normal chillen I experienced.
We shared with my friend at the tent, I sleep directly to the mat, and I can feel the stone and grass underneath. I never know that my friend has a bed padding, so I get inside with my sleeping bag and sleep, after a quick snap. I suddenly woke up because the wind and rain was so strong, I forgot my shoes outside, so I check then my shoes was full of cold water, then my cloves, jacket was so wet outside. So I have nothing to do and go back to sleep because I was so tired. I sleep with wet t-shirt, then I realize that my sleeping bag is so cold, my feet is getting numb. Then I touch the sleeping bag, oh no. Our tent was flooded with water coming from the moist. My campmate is already wiping the moist. Then I wipe my side as well.
After my campmate go to sleep, the chilling started again, then suddenly I wake up and I cannot feel my two legs. I got panic, because I don’t know what happened, I remove the wet socks, and wet sleeping bed. Then I rob my foot to keep warm then after rubbing I feel my foot again. I was so afraid about what happened because literally I cannot feel my legs, my both legs, oh Lord please help me. I wake up my friend and asking to hug him or to have body heat, my friend was laughing and tell me to go back to sleep. Yeah, who the heck will do that…? I rather choose to die than to do that. hahaha
-1C at that night, the wind is blowing hard, the rain is falling so hard, the tent is dripping waters. My fever is getting high and I think my body should be heating but my body is getting cold, then headache is getting to migraine, then runny nose, coughing, and my body is shaking rapidly. I ask my friend that I’m not joking but who will say yes to my request. So I struggling until I feel sleepy, I can feel my heartbeat slowly beating. Then I fall asleep…
When I fall asleep, I remember a news that reminds me how to survive.
By that time, the little boy Miguel was shivering from the cold.
“He told me, ‘Kuya, I will sleep now. I’m so tired already,” Carangan said.
“Don’t sleep! Look, we are near land already!” he shouted at the boy’s ears.
To encourage the boy, he pointed to what he thought was a wave that seemed like a wall. To his surprise, they have indeed reached the shoreline.
“Maybe he’s the reason I’m still alive because God wants to me to make sure this child will live,” the Air Force officer said of Miguel.
I suddenly woke up… 10PM, then I stay awake until 4AM, I didn’t sleep… I’m afraid I will die in sleeping like what I saw at the TV like Discovery channel, a person die in a cold sleep.
My hand was so weak, I’m crying the whole night, I want to shout but my voice is different due to the sore throat and cough, I feel that this is it, this is the end.
Then I pray to my love ones, like I think I can’t survive, while praying, I think of someone, someone encourage me to struggle for life.
What encourage me to survive was my mother. (it was long story why i struggle and rage to survive)
After 4AM I wake up my friend, and ask if I can go first? I want to go down to the mountain because it was so crazy cold. My friend told me no, it is so dangerous, maybe I’ll lost my way at the path, but I’m so desperate to go down that time.
Then suddenly I got LBM and started to vomit, I go out the tent, then got wet again by the rain, then I lost at the mountain, I do not know where the toilet is. I vomit along the path, then go back to the tent and ask my friend where is the toilet. When I manage to find the toilet area at the dark freezing and stormy night, I open the door of the toilet then, it was so damn awful smell like you know hahaha, after I finish using the toilet. I realize toilet place is not very cold, so I stay for 30 mins inside the toilet waiting for the team to break camp. The toilet do not have a bowl, it just a big hole going down, I can still see ancients poo in there, not just seeing on it but smelling as well. Yeah... this is life, full of bacteria.
After I feel that my body heat comes back and I have the guts, I go back to the tent for preparation. I ask my friend to borrow his dried wind breaker, dried socks and head gear. I manage to get warm for few minutes then I give it back dried socks and head gear to my friend. I pray to God that if this is my last day, I’m happy and I’m ready to be with my Lord. I take all 4 remaining paracetamol and Ibuprofen, I don't care if I go high this time, because on day1 I was already get high by the medicine.
I grab all my things, and I cover my body with 7 layers of protection. 1st is wet Akiki t-shirt, 2nd is black garbage bag, 3rd is the wet tshirt, 4th is the wet long sleeve, 5th is the dried wind breaker that I borrow, 6th is the thin poncho and 7th is the wet wind breaker. I put plastic at my foot but the plastic got ripped off a sudden, so I use double wet socks at my feet, brrrr so cold, then I inserted my foot in the shoes that is full of icy water. Brrrr…. Then I put my wet gloves and wet headgear.
We break the camp, and I can’t feel my foot and fingers because of the cold. My friend told me do not force your skin or it will be punctured as the skin is too fragile due to the cold temp and water. I break the camp as fast as I can because I want to go home asap and I don’t care about the mountain any more. This is survival mode, I feel dizzy and got a little hallucination maybe because of the medicine.
After we reach the summit again for the last pictorial, we rush going down to the trail. Because I’m on a hurry because it was so cold, I accidentally fell at the cliff/edge then I roll many times, oh Lord is this the end? am I going to die like this? thank God, my adrenaline and reflexes grab some long grass, if not then I don’t know. I slip 3 times along the way. My stick was broken and pointed to my chest like I will get barbecueize, I was so thirsty and I have no more water, so hungry and tired…
Thank God after few hours, I declare to myself that I survive.