Day 3 Mt. Apo Challenge: The Boulders

In my previous post "Day 2: Mt. Apo Challenge", I shared about that day full of first times: it was my first time to hike for 8 hours carrying a heavy pack bag, touch some fresh and huge cabbages amidst the sweet kisses of fogs, talk and hike with professional mountaineers, walk into the mud (almost knee level), be in the middle of a rain forest not believing that I was even there, eat my lunch in the midst of the forest land, rappel down through the roots to traverse a cliff and survive, and drink from the flowing spring water. What an amazing experience it has been!

Camp Gudi-Gudi is the resting place and the stop over of the mountaineers before heading to the boulders up to the summit. After the long day, I still can't believe that I did it. I started to have a severe leg muscle pain but everything was worth it. The hot dinner was perfect and the group talk was really fun. Before the 2nd day was over, I thanked God for the strength, protection, friendship, and the awesome nature encounter. As I lay down, I closed my eyes and was excited for the next day. I fell asleep, and Day 2 was over. 

Then came Day 3, April 6, 2012, Good Friday of the Holy Week. It was the day of the main challenge, and the hardest of them all. Unravel the scenes through a picture story...

Hello sunshine!

Jamming with new friends, the Bagtac Mountaineers

"The Rain Forest"

Very cold and slippery 

Fogs here and there

Hold on tight

"The Boulders' Foot"

Breathtaking picturesque 

From cliff to hill

Unraveling the greater challenge

The Boulders' Foot

Rest before embarking for the greatest challenge


"The Boulder Face Challenge"

Let the fun begin!

The newly learned rule: avoid talking to avoid fogging

Rest and just enjoy

Fogs fogs go away!

Commune with nature

Pressing toward the goal

I can do this

Slowly but surely

Embracing nature at its best

"The Boulders' Core"

The real deal

Keep moving, keep climbing

Rocky mountain high

Never give up

No Pain, No Gain


Glamour aside


As I look down, achievement

"The Sulfur Vent"

As I look up, another world!

Welcome to The Sulfur Vent!

Is this real?

For a second, am I really here?

Unearthing the world of sulfur

Can't stand the odor

But truly amazing

"En route to the White Sand"

Keep moving, keep climbing

Getting higher and higher!

The wild berries

Hey! It's edible! And it tasted good huh!

"The White Sand Camp"

Hay! I need to rest!

Spotting for a resting place


Altitude Picturesque

Time to change the shirt

Oh food, where art thou? Cookin' for lunch!

Laughter amidst hunger

It's raining, so wear the gear!

Ready for the final stage!

"The 87 Degree Rock Climb"

The Goal

South Dakota?

Start of the final challenge

It rained so hard. For the first time, I was shaking. One step, one mistake, and you will fall. It was the breaking point: my family flashed back, life reflections went it, I was afraid...and prayed.   

No pictures.    87 Degree Rock Climb.    Rain.    Fear.    Alone.  

But Glory to God! I did it! And we did it! 
The Peak at 3:30 PM

The Mt. Apo Crater

"The Peak"

And the rain stopped. Blue skies appeared.


The Peak Camp

"The Summit Life"

Tent is a must! or else you will die frozen.

Commune with nature

Zero Degree. Freakin' cold! The coffee after dinner was perfect!

Body ache. Muscle Pain. ACHIEVEMENT!

We nailed the day safely, not just by our own effort and perseverance, but by the grace of God. Indeed, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength- Philippians 4:13. As I lay down, my heart was jumping with gratitude. Everything was like a dream: I was about to experience a zero degree sleepover at the highest peak of the Philippines. I had a thought of my family and friends, wished they were here too. I closed my eyes, I prayed to God, reminisced the challenges and threats that I survived for that day, feel asleep, and Day 3 was over.

So what happened on the 4th day of the challenge? How is it like to wake up and witness sunrise at the highest peak of the country? Watch out for the breathtaking sunrise experience at the summit, the thrills and more challenges during the 6 hour hike, and the heart warming serenity at Lake Venado. Stay tuned and discover more about my Mt. Apo Challenge 2012!

Your Trailblazer,


  1. We're so J E A L O U S! 11 more months to go before holy week. By any chance do you have contact for Mt. Apo trail guides? Wala kaayo me kaila na mga climbers. Iw would be a big help kung naa gyud veteran kauban mokatkat.



    1. Hi Sky!

      Hahaha! Don't be jealous cause Mt. Apo is ours to climb. Sure, just buzz me up. Will give you the contact of the Kapatagan Trail Info Center, since they will link you to the local veteran guides. I also have a friend, a mountaineer for quite a while, he was the one who guided us there.

      Sultihi lang ko,
      Dave ^_^



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