Sleepy Mount Timbak

Located in Atok, Benguet with an altitude of 2,717 meters above sea level, mount Timbak is the 3rd highest peak in Luzon and the 9th in the Philippines. But don’t let the numbers dishearten you because trekking this mountain is quite easy. Think of it as just another leisurely 30 minute-1 hour walk along a scenic farm.

When planning to climb the mountain, the typical starting point is Baguio. There’s the option of driving a private vehicle through Halsema, the Philippines highest highway, or simply board a Sagada or Bontoc-bound bus in Dangwa terminal. It will take roughly 2 hours to reach KM 55. Be on the look out for the marker! KM 55 is a few kilometers ahead of the Philippine Highway systems’ highest point.

No guide is required for mount Timbak. From KM 55, you can start your trek or if you are using a private vehicle, it is possible to drive up to the village itself. From there it’s a mere 10-15 minute trek up the grotto. Whether on foot or in a vehicle, watch out for the cemented road to your RIGHT (5 o’clock)! Missing this road will cost you 30-45 minutes more walk which is what happened to us. Though in retrospect, was not a bad idea at all. In fact I highly recommend it!  Let me just share some pictures I took on this chill trip.

Below is Halsema highway as seen from mount Timbak.Timbak2016-4

Rows and rows of plants and vegetables can be seen along the way.Timbak2016-6Timbak2016-16

The mountain is really just another sleepy village high on the mountain.Timbak2016-17Timbak2016-11

Typical view along the way are cabbages and other vegetables.Timbak2016-15Timbak2016-18Timbak2016-19Timbak2016-20

This is the view from the summit.Timbak2016-21Timbak2016-25

This is the view from the grotto. Timbak2016-28

Additional Info:
A good side trip would be the Timbak mummies just 30 minutes away.

Mt. Apo – The Rooftop of the Philippines

Mt. Apo, at 2,954 meters (9,692 ft) above sea level is, as its name is aptly translated, the grandfather of all Philippine mountains. There are several trails to the summit – Sibulan, Kapatagan, Magpet, Kidapawan, and Talomo. We used the Sibulan trail. I particularly like this trail because of the different terrains we encountered along the way. My personal favorite was the boulder section.apo

We started our ascent at around 3pm through fields of carrots and cabbages. We had to trek in the dark through the jungle until we arrived at the first campsite at around 8pm. This was also the first night trek for our group.

The next morning, we were woken up by the sound of this mountain native going through our food and leftovers.78

We passed through mossy landscapes.72

Through the boulders section which was simply otherworldly!37

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Until we arrived at the summit campsite which was a green and foggy beauty.18
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The thinner atmosphere gives way to this amazing view of the stars at night.82

The morning mist.
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We finally reached the highest point in the Philippines!1

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This climb was also made more special for me because here, at the highest point of my country is where my girlfriend of 11+ years and I got engaged. 10