My peak of existence

Pico De Loro at 5:30AM

Picture this:

Imagine yourself at 5:30 in the morning waking up not to the sound of birds chirping or the warmth of the sun slowly rising but to the sight of a foggy mist engulfing your surroundings.

The silence of the morning and the magnificence of Mother Nature makes your muscles whisper its aching woes, slightly afraid that whining will disrespect Her. Although you had just spent a night in a tent the pain becomes insignificant; for the realization that you have just literally woke up among the clouds deems it so.

Embracing the world at the peak!

No, it isn’t a dream, although it did feel pretty close to one. It’s even better than a dream. It’s a reality. And it was mine last January 21 to 22 as I went on an overnight open climb to Mt. Pico De Loro with the Loyola Mountaineers.

I’ve gone trekking before but never for the purpose of camping out which is something I’ve always wanted to experience. Climbing with 4-5 liters of water, a sleeping bag, earth pad, food, tent part, clothes, etc on your back is no joke. Sometimes I run out of breath climbing up multiple flights of stairs with just my school bag! (hello MVP building!) Only after minutes into the climb my body was already telling me: what the hell did i get myself into?!?!

Maybe I’m more fit than I’m giving myself credit for but there’s something about nature that rejuvenates the body and continually pushes the will beyond what you think is possible. Although I might sound like an Avatar by saying this but I felt a presence that neither imposes nor forces me to not give up. It’s a simple phenomenon really. Without saying or doing anything at all, the presence just reminds me why i shouldn’t.

Or maybe it was all the mini 5 minute breaks giving us a chance to catch our breath in our 3-4 hour journey.

Upon reaching the peak you forget that you were ever tired, dirty and stinky in the first place. The view was utterly breathtaking and undeniably worth it.

Sometime between catching the sunset and exclaiming how indescribably beautiful everything was I had two thoughts. First, I’ve seen many breathtaking views in my life so what makes this one different? And second, couldn’t I see the same view if a helicopter just dropped me at the peak instead?

My answer came to me as naturally as the strong gusts of  wind blowing across my face.  To see the world from the peak of the mountain is to experience life through its infinite possibilities. You have to constantly strive to feel, and not just see a glimpse of it.

I went with just one friend but I wish to come back with more of my closest ones so we can high five together at the awesomeness of the moment.

Or, with someone who holds a special place in my heart. One day rica, one day! Whoever he is, I hope he’s the kind who I can experience things like this with.

In the mean time it will just be me conversing with nature haha.

When it’s freezing out in the mountains it’s always best to keep your friends close and the smores even closer!

Throughout the whole trip our group cooked the most epic meals with a gas stove- lambchops, tapa/tosino, and chicken parmesan! What an experience! I don’t even cook in my own home haha.

Once the sun was out and the fog faded away we didn’t waste any time. Photoshoot time!

Take note, that’s the SAME outfit I wore climbing the day before. Camping is not for the maarte. One must be okay bathing with baby wipes and alcohol and smelling like nature’s body odor.

Profile picture anyone?

There’s something about a mountain view that just begs for jumping photos.  It’s like Mother Nature’s right that you feel compelled to adhere to.

We climbed to the peak one last time before departing for lunch and took one last group picture. Here are the LMers and the open climbers!

Although I didn’t go with my own friends, I met some new ones. Here’s group 4 aka Arbie’s girls.

But I did go with one friend- Arbie! He’s my fellow gemini so we both have this inability to stay put that drives our insatiable desire to experience the world. The closest bonds are made among those who wish to discover the world together.

This was trip was just last weekend but the journey is far from over.

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the m0st important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others… it rises from your heart” – Junko Tabei, 1976. First woman to ever climb Mt. Everest


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