Day Hike to Mt. Ulap, Itogon Benguet

DSC00294Lately, Mt Ulap is making a noise on social media filling my feeds with scenic views of the mountains, clouds and people enjoying the hike. When my friend beep me up to accompany her and to split the cost of the tour guide, I didn’t hesitate and welcome the challenge to hike this beast. This 1846m mountain in barangay Ampucao Itogon, Benguet is for beginners  according to a group of professional mountaineer group,  but in my own honest experience I DON”T THINK SO. I suggest you be ready for your loads of chocolates, liters of water and energy that would last for at least 5 to 6 hours.

How to get there!

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Take a jeepney to Ampucao, Itogon Benguet from Baguio City. The first trip leaves at 7:30 am. Get down to Ampucao barangay hall for the registration, orientation and for your tour guide. You will also pay Registration fee (Php 100 per person) and guide fee (Php 400 per group maximum of 10 people per group).  After a 10-minute orientation the hike begins.

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Mt. Ulap has 4 stations and 4 stops. These are Ambanao Paoay, Gungal , Mt. Ulap (peak) and Pong-ol Burial Caves (Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see this because it is under research by some archeologists when we went there so it is temporary closed).

Ambanao Paoay

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Gungal

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It was so foggy that we didn’t get to see the real score of this station. Sounds like we gotta return.

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Mt. Ulap

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This mini flag says you are standing at the peak!

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Santa Fe

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Getting ready to descend. 
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The camp site.
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A heartbreaking view while we are passing by, it is called open pit in which they scrape the mountain to get the gold in it. It is just sad because they just left it hanging not even trying to restore the mountains. I just sigh of the thought that what if there’s no more clean, fresh air to breath can their gold enough to buy them?
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One of the burial caves in Santa Fe station.
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Our tour guide inform us that, there used to be coffins with dead bodies in it but some drunk fellas make fun of them by throwing them away and some foreign hikers stole them to sell so they disappeared. 
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End of hike! Shopping for some souvenirs. 

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You can buy your souvenirs in this station. There are t-shirts, key chains and ref magnets available.

Itinerary

8:00 am: jeepney left  going to Ampucao Itogon, Benguet from Baguio (it normally leaves at 7:30 am but since we went there on Weekday, there are few passengers so we kinda wait a for a while.

8:45 am: arrival at Ampucao Barangay Hall for registration, payment of necessary fees and orientation.

9:00 am: Start of hike.

10:30 am: reached Ambanao Paoay (took a short rest and water break)

11:20 am: reached Gungal (had early lunch, short break and proceed with the hike at 12 nn)

12:45 p.m: reached the peak Mt. Ulap

1:30 p.m: start to descend to Santa Fe

2:00 pm: finally reached Santa Fe, end of trek and took a jeepney to Baguio.

Breakdown of Expenses

*Food not included, we brought our own.

Jeep to Ampucao from Baguio: Php 30

Registration Fee: Php 100

Guide Fee: Php 400 divided by 2 so Php 200

Souvenir t-shirt: Php 200

Jeepney from Philex trail to Baguio: Php 60 (it is supposed to be 50 but in our case, the jeepney was not full so we have to pay extra Php 10 which we agreed for the jeepney to leave)

Total: Php 590

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