6 years ago, i joined AMCI and yes, its a cliche but it changed me. Ever since I’m a kid, I’ve been dreaming of conquering land, water and sky and by climbing mountains, i think I’ve conquered land. My last assault was in 2013 at a mountain named Balingkilat meaning “Mountain of thunder”. I can still remember that after a hot ascent, a thunderstorm happened that night and everyone was so frightened by the loud thunders and lightning. But then again, the rain did not dampen our spirits. We partied after the rain! Every climb is distinct and memorable. Each mountain taught me something new.
- My climb at Mt. Pulag taught me to trust people with my life even if I barely know them. It was a stormy climb and I almost gave out due to hypothermia. Everyone were tired, drenched, cold and hungry but those same people where willing to share their jacket with me, to shelter me in their tent that initially can fit just 3 but at that incident fitted 6. I can also remember one batchmate literally scooping me up the trail because the winds are toppling me down. No one is left behind.
- My climb at Mt. Cristobal made me appreciate the simplest things like a dry pair of socks and a private place to pee. It was the climb that while setting up my tent, it rained and everything in my pack was drenched with water. It was a cold night and my tent mate which is now my daughter’s godmother was having chills and fever. When I got a dry pair of socks for her she felt better and was able to survive the night.
- My climb at Mt. Apo made me trust myself that I can do things if I want to. The climb took several days without bathing and with a heavy pack. It was the culmination of my 4 month AMCI training. I don’t know how many staircases I climbed, how many kilometers I ran, how many sunblock I finished and how many physical stretching i did but in the end I was able to climb Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines.
- My climb at Mt. Ugo taught me that taking time is also important. It was the climb that I did not rush of anything but just took time to breathe in the beauty of the mountain. True enough, until now if I want to calm down I would just think of that climb.
- Lastly, with any of my climbs I learned the importance of packing light and preparing. Its hard to do an ascent with a pack not proportional to your body weight. There are a lot of stuff that you think you needed at first but during the climb or maybe at the summit you will regret that you have bought that thing with you. When you don’t plan meals or even your camp wear you will end up bringing your whole closet and still not being ready for the harsh environment.
Going to adventures teach us valuable lessons in life which not any amount of money can give us. Live outside.
So get your backpack and join the AMCI Basic Mountaineering Course this coming July 2017.