Of all the trails going to the summit of Mt.Pulag, Ambangeg trail is the easiest. This is the reason why it is also called the executive’s trail. You can modify it to Akiki-Ambangeg Traverse for it to be challenging, but if you are a climbing novice and you just want to see the famous sunrise of Mt.Pulag, then this should be the trail that you follow. You can accomplish this trail in less than a day, but I suggest that you make it a 2 day climb to enjoy the view of sunrise in Mt.Pulag. The trek to the saddle, where most mountaineers camp because it is near the summit, is just about 4 hours.
The trail is just like a short version of the Akiki trail. Here, you will also pass through a mossy forest where you can see several kinds of lichens. After you reach camp 1, everything that you will see is grass. Your eyes will literally feast with grass because it’s all that you will see from there. Once you are in the saddle, you should set up your tents immediately and go inside because it is really cold in this area. So you should make sure that you bring jackets and other apparels to help you warm up. The campsite can accommodate a lot of groups and there is also a latrine, the only campsite here in the Philippines where I saw a latrine.
In the morning, waking up early is necessary if you want to see one of the best things that you will see in your entire life. The view at the summit of Mt.Pulag is legendary and your jaws will surely drop because of its grandeur. You are now at the top of Luzon and you will have a view of a sea of clouds. You can also have a view of the different Cordilleran Mountains at the summit. Some of them are Mt.Amuyao, Mt.Napuluan and Kapiligan, Mt.Tabayoc and Mt.Ugu. There are no right words to describe the beauty of Mt.Pulag, you just have to see it for yourself.a
Day 3 was the last day where we trekked because the 4th day was dedicated to bus rides back to Baguio. The first part of the trek was going to Cambulo which an ascent. You will encounter another forest which is as challenging as the ascent itself. This is because of the muddy trail and loose soil. The leeches are gone by this time but the bees are still everywhere. Reaching the rocky part which is another hard part because there is no vegetation and the gravel is very free. You will also walk across the rice terraces, where you can lose your balance while moving forward so you have to be really careful in walking. It will take you about 4-5 hours of trek before you reach Cambulo
Once you reach Cambulo, you can have your lunch because the trip there is very difficult. You don’t have to worry the next part of the trip because it will be an easy one. A bonus in this part of the trek is the beautiful view of the rice terraces. Cambulo is slowly becoming a tourist attraction. Every sweat and pain that you had for the past 3 days will be paid off once you see the grand rice terraces of Batad, which like an amphitheater. Batad is one of Cordillera’s prides that is why you can find a lot of souvenirs once you get there. We got there around 4pm and we went immediately to the Tappiyah falls because our group loves swimming, especially in between climbs. We ate our dinner and also slept at the inn. The next day, we went back to Baguio and ate at Evelyn’s Halal Foods, a good place to eat specially after a climb.
Our Day 2 started around 5am because we wanted to see the sunrise in the summit of Mt.Amuyao. The sunrise was very interesting to watch because you can literally see a vast ocean of clouds and you can see the sun rising above the clouds. It is very cold at the summit so you have to make sure that you bring jackets and socks, or even gloves. We have to wait until the weather suited us before we started our trek. Today was our descent from the mountain but I can say that it is harder than our ascent.
There were a lot of leeches and bees in the forest plus the roots were all slippery because of the moist. It is a very difficult descent but it if you appreciate the solitude in the forest, you will definitely love it. The trail was less obvious because but thanks to our guide we made it through the forest. We had our lunch at the river. The water in the river is very cold and also very refreshing, especially after the hard trek from the forest.
After our lunch, we started trekking again until we reached the Pat-yay community and we camped there. Pat-yay is very beautiful especially because of the rice terraces that can be viewed from there. The people there are also very accommodating; in fact, there is a house there which can be used as shelter by campers but we still used our tents. Day 2 was a short 7-hour hike. Short because the view is very beautiful and the river will wash away all your struggles for the day.
Day 1 was a fairly easy climb because most travels were made via vehicles such as jeep and bus. In fact, a lot of good sceneries can already be seen while travelling to Banaue. We started trekking around 4pm and we trekked for 3 hours before we prepared for our dinner. The trail was very wide and there were a lot of rice terraces that can be viewed. They say that this trail is well maintained because of the relay tower that is near the summit. It will be near impossible to get lost in this trail because of the electricity wire that you can follow up to the summit.
The only thing that I found difficult about this trail is the paved steps which were dubbed as stairways to heaven. You will encounter a lot of these steps; it is a good thing that we had a training climb for this. The hardest was the wooden steps because it didn’t seem to end, take note that we were carrying heavy bags on our back. After we had our dinner, we trekked for another two hours before reaching the campsite.
It was already past 10pm when we reached the summit, night hiking is very possible in this trail because of these steps, just make sure that you bring your flash lights, you don’t need to worry because there aren’t any thorny plants in this part of the climb.
Of all the mountains in Cordillera, there is one mountain that stands out to mountaineers because of its difficulty to hike and its view, Mt.Amuyao. It is the 10th highest peak in the Philippines and you can sneak a peek along your way to Banaue. You will also be able to view a lot of rice terraces along your way to the summit.
The traverse of Mt.Amuyao is at least three days to finish but you should do it in four for you to enjoy the view instead of stressing your way to Kambulo village. Our adventure starts at 6:00 am when we ride the bus going to Bontoc where we have an estimated time of arrival of 11:00 am. We will have our lunch there and take a Jeep(a Philippine mode of transportation) going to Barlig where we will start our trek around 4pm. We will trek for 3 hours before we have our dinner which are already packed and our estimated time of arrival at the summit is 10pm which is late but possible because of the trail. We will start trekking again at 8am and have our lunch by 12pm at this beautiful river. We expect to reach Pat-Yay by 4pm and there we will set our camp and have our dinner and socials. By 12pm of Day 3, we should be at Kambulo village for lunch. We will be at Batad by 5pm and there we will have our dinner and sleep at the inn. Since its still 5pm, we will visit Tappiyah Falls. We will start hiking again at 730am of the next day and reach the “saddle” by 9:30am where we will take the jeep going to Banaue and another Jeep going to Bontoc at 11am. We will take a bus going to Baguio around 3:30pm and reach Baguio by 8:30pm.
Guides have a higher rate of 1,200php/day because the trail is really difficult and only a few of the guides know the trail. Most of them guide hikers by the usual route.