Adventures and Sports
A Balikbayan’s View at the Top of the Philippines' Highest Peak
Ida Damo | Jan 26, 2016
Mt. Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines. It rises 9,692 feet from the provinces of Davao del Sur and Cotabato and the biggest city in terms of land area, Davao City.
READ: Homage to Mt. Apo
Having left the Philippines at a young age to settle in California, United States, Leo Reyes has always dreamed of climbing Mt. Apo. It was not until college that he became active in sports and tried physical activities such as hiking.
He has been trail running for 3 to 4 years now and has climbed the 14,500-foot Mt. Whitney in the US.
Just a few days into January of 2016, he went home to the Philippines to participate in a marathon and to finally climb Mt. Apo.
The trail that he and his guide Michael took was the Sta. Cruz trail. For experienced climbers, this would take just a day.
Leo found this trail challenging because of the boulder face part. Climbing the crater of sulfur deposits and vents, inhaling its fumes and navigating on and between the rocks was something he was not familiar with but the views were spectacular.
His guide Michael even gave him some wild berries to chew on.
Shortly after the boulders is the dead crater of Mt. Apo and some people set up camp here.
Leo and his guides continued climbing until they reached the summit. Leo documented his climb to the 7 other peaks by taking photos of the breathtaking view on top.
Davao City can be seen from here before a sea of clouds blanket the area, it is where Leo had a great time taking photos of the sunset. He returned the morning after for the sunrise shoots.
After the sunrise climb they then descended. It took them 3 hours to reach where they started in Sta. Cruz.
“Hiking Mt. Apo is a great experience. I felt safe and comfortable with my guides and porter. I also met people along the way who were so nice to me. The high elevation and the steep hills were a challenge but it is all worth it in the end. The best views are always at the top.”
How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. Contact a credited guide like Michael at 0920-2472649 for your preferred route to Mt. Apo and the requirements.
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