Mt. Apo: Preparing for the climb

So, it’s your first time to go up Mt. Apo and you can feel the adrenaline rush through your veins even though you’re supposed to make the climb a week from now. This can perhaps be counted as one of the most “adventurous” things you’re about to do so far in your life as a twenty or thirty something professional.

You’ve heard a lot of stories from friends and colleagues who’ve successfully made the climb. Most have lots of great stories to tell, like how they were able to build friendships with their co-climbers, the various challenges of climbing, and finally conquering the peak, and witnessing the majestic sight that greeted them at the top.

On the other hand, there are those whose climbs didn’t quite turn out how the way they planned them to be. They’re not exactly “horror stories” in the real sense but they’re the stuff which would make yous re-think if doing the climb was indeed a feasible proposition in the first place.

We’ve talked to some of those who have scaled the great Mt. Apo and they all agree on one thing, and that is, the climber’s need for adequate preparation. And this preparation actually starts from the time you block out your schedule and post an FB status update which says: Don’t disturb for one week. Communing with nature.

And so, here are four important things to keep in mind, especially for those who are making the climb for the first time:

1. Have a schedule. All of the activities related to the climb should be based on this schedule. This will allow you to keep track of all your preparatory activities and ensure your climb’s success. It’s essentially a list of the things you need to do like booking your plane or hotel tickets to Davao, or a get-together /planning session with your co-climbers. Most importantly, having a schedule allows you to stick to your plan and manage your time wisely.

2. Bring the right equipment. You’ve heard the saying from soldiers “Do not go into a battle ill-prepared, more so, ill-equipped.” That’s right. You will be literally facing a battle out there with nature. You have to make sure that you have all the equipment you need in order to adapt to and respond to the various challenges of the climb. Your equipment may include, among others, a backpack, raincover, tent, groundsheet, thermal clothing, gloves, bush hat and trekking pole.

3. Be physically prepared. All of us are aware of the rigors of mountain climbing. We have heard stories of those who were not able to even make it even halfway to the peak mainly because of fatigue. This can be avoided, or greatly minimized by conditioning our bodies through various physical activities such as jogging, biking, swimming and other cardio-vascular sports. These activities will help you develop the strength and endurance to get past those massive boulders, cross those streams and finish the climb.

4. Have a positive mindset. As they say nothing beats positive thinking. It is not only enough that you condition your body, but most importantly, your mind to the challenge at hand. This is what sets the great athletes from the rest. They are not only physically gifted but have the ability to rise above any physical pain and discomfort and achieve victory. As a climber, a positive mindset will allow you to weather the most difficult challenges and finish the climb. This is what enabled Filipino mountain climber Leo Oracion to marshal on despite the frostbite and other injuries which were telling his body to give up. His positive mindset allowed him to reach the peak and be part of the elite group of climbers who have conquered Mt. Everest.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave the comfort of your workstations for a week and experience the fun and challenge of climbing Mt. Apo.