SMB 2011 Year-end Climb

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Just when the year was about to end, who would have thought another exciting and enriching activity would ever take place? The weather was perfect; no questions and hesitations from my parents--Dora’s back pack’s ready. And in an instant I was already in the company of outgoing and friendly individuals, who like me, initially just wanted to escape from the mundane routines of their lives.
The mountain is ranked 3/9 by the Mountaineering standard, which means it’s a relatively easy climb. I am in no position yet to gauge its veracity, for it was the first climb of my life. However, disregarding some steep slopes and the epic mount-down we experienced, I would say it was an easy one--mainly because it was made easy for me by my trail-buddies—Sir Albert and Sir Ad (Thanks buddies), and by everyone, for I was never dropped to oblivion.
This outdoor activity had been a good reflection activity as well for me, just in time for the New Year. Let me share to you my three-cent worth of thoughts:
1. You must strive hard to achieve whatever you want for.
Mountaineering has always been in my bucket list, but I had no time before. Thanks to my boredom months after I graduated, I googled ‘mountaineering groups in the Philippines.’ Lucky enough, I stumbled on this site, found it impressive, and joined it.
Climbing a mountain, like any other sports, is never easy. As one of my mountaineering pal, Ma’am Odhie, said it, “It doesn’t matter if it’s rated easy or difficult; you must be well-prepared both physically and emotionally when you’re in the mountains.” True enough, you must do your pre-climb part—exercise, have enough sleep, eat rightly, etc. Exercising alone is quite tough, especially to those who are not used to it (and I’m one of those). This is the most difficult part of anything—the initial stage—because you’re body’s shifting to a new environment; albeit, with proper determination, anything could be done.
The climb itself is the most difficult, yet the richest and the most fulfilling part. Because it’s an outdoor activity, here you’d encounter unfortunate events.  Steep trails, hunger, thirst, blazing heat of the sun, headaches, nosebleeds, storms, cold—name it. However, here you’d also find the best feelings you’d realize in your life—camaraderie, thoughtfulness, reverence, sincerity, love. It’s a whirlwind of ups and downs. You’d know what truly the most important things in your life, and they’re the simplest things you have but just failed to find their worth. You’d find different people you never knew there were such of kind, and it’s up to you how you’d accept them.
2. Set small goals for your grandiose goals.
Any mountain looks deceiving—altitudes almost beaming the skies, too impossible to be reached. The height itself is overwhelming; you couldn’t imagine how others, in everyday of their lives, climb it. But as they say it, “How would you eat a whole pig? Take a bit one at a time” I guess the same goes for everything.

During the climb, it wasn’t once when I threw mild tantrums (as I always do—saying “I couldn’t do this”); but it wasn’t also just once when my trail buddies reminded me that we were already reaching the top. From time to time, they asked me to look back and see how far we had gone off and it’s just some minutes to the top; and I was convinced we were reaching the top sooner. At most points, they gave me time to rest, drink water, and eat—they really made my climb less difficult, maybe they wouldn’t want to be blamed when after this I’d quit. Kidding aside. True enough, after two hours of mounting, I was amazed I was already at the summit. Being at the top of the mountain was so surreal, and it was one of the best feelings in my life.
3. it’s difficult going up than going down. And it’s a lot more difficult to mount up once you’ve fallen.
Gravity tells us this. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy going down. Actually it’s even harder to go down—the muscles use eccentric movement which causes the building up of lactic acid, which causes soreness. When you go down, still, you need to be wary of the trails, keep a balance, and keep an eye on everything. If you don’t, you’d experience being lost, like what happened to us. Because we were all exhausted that time, moving was made harder—we had to mount up on some trails, go down again, move up, and so on. I thought we were already heading to Mt. Batulao.
In our lives, we experience a lot of hardships in realizing our goals. Oftentimes, we also get lost, go to a different direction, and wander aimlessly until reality snaps back to us. And for most people, it’s really hard to accept the status quo. What they don’t realize is that they’re close to realizing their dreams—too close—but just lack the determination to push them.
Being close to nature makes you realize to go back to the basics of life—live simply. No wonder, sometimes, I’d just like to be a recluse (I was fascinated by Kong Ming of the The Three Kingdoms) and just observe the cycles of nature—the rotation of the sun, the winds, stars, trees, birds, etc. I want to unravel the earth, wander and get lost, and learn from these things.
It’s really been a good experience for me. And yes, to my mountaineering berks, it’s not my first and last climb. Just bear with me for the mean time and sooner, I hope, I could be as great as you.


Team Talamitam

Team Talamitam

Admin note: Sheryline a.k.a Sherryblossoms (center in the above photo) is a newbie in our group. I would like to thank her for this great write-up!!! I hope that this year 2012 and beyond, there will be more write-ups from our members. God bless!!!