“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ~ John Muir
I still remember the first mountain that I climbed when I was in college. It was at Mt.Famy or is also known as Mount Romelo in Siniloan, Laguna. It was 8 or 7 years ago. I have a theatre group back then in college and some of my colleagues decided to go there. Mount Romelo is a beginners mountain the hike is 240+ meters above sea level (MASL). It was an overnight experience. From that day on, a goal was formed. I told to myself that I want to climb different mountains, be a mountaineer perhaps ( I do climb some Hills in Antipolo when I was in elementary and high School. I’m just a certified “gala” by heart ahaha). I want to test my abilities, I want to be strong and to test my limits. It’s that incredible and unrivaled feeling of achievement you get from climbing, somehow you feel empowered and as though you could do anything. No one can beat that certain kind of peacefulness of being high on a mountain. I once read that adventure means an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.
Mountains test your “essence”. They bring out your best and your worst. They are completely unforgiving, impersonal and answer to no higher authority. I know some people climb for a huge variety of reasons and it’s difficult to put an exact number to the overall growth in mountain climbing, but there are signs of it everywhere. It’s growing and becoming a trend.
I’m not so fond of taking pictures every time I climb a mountain because I prefer my safety first than anything else. I chose to appreciate the beauty of nature and instill inside my mind the perfect beauty that my eyes see.
I’m not an expert but on my own opinion, if you want to do regular mountain climbs you have to be physically fit. Regular exercise such as body weight training is a great place to begin with if you’re not fit yet, exercise such as push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, and lunges will do. Increase your stamina because climbing mountains depends on moving your body upwards, activities such as stair climbing (with a pack) and hiking steep terrain are great for working those lower body parts which will bear the brunt of the work when you’re actually out on the mountain.
When climbing a mountain make sure to plan ahead of time, understand all the available routes. Mountain usually have different routes of climbing and level of difficulty. It would be better that as a beginner I and some more experienced mountaineers will strongly recommend to start at the easiest route and mountains first. It would be better to be accompanied by a well-experienced climbers to make the first experience run smooth. They can give us important tips that may not be stated from the books, internet and other references related to mountain climbing.
It’s really very fulfilling once you’re on top of the mountain. I mean when you already reach the summit of the mountain and see the breathtaking view. Sometimes It looks unbelievable. Most of the time all I can say is “Wow!”
My journey is not yet done I’m just starting, I still aim to climb and conquer more mountains. I’m not in a hurry, it’s not a competition on how many mountain summits you have reached. It’s about the personal relationship you developed with the mountains, the learnings that taught you, the trust and friendship that have been created and the strength and faith it gave you. Before I end this blog, let me leave you with a favorite quote I read on http://www.pinoymountaineer.com which says “When you climb a mountain, you will meet many people along the trail. You may even meet your true self. Bring out the best within you, make the most of time, and leave the least you can.”