2011. April. It’s less than a week to go and I’m finally headed up north again. It has been too long since I first heard of the new area that is Ambongdolan. Now I have the time to go visit the boulders and do some quality climbing outdoors. It has been a bit busy all of a sudden during the last month and a half. Days have been a mix of baking under the sun, minding 3 meter deep trenches take form, facilitating some baking projects by little girls, training for climbing in the evenings and coaching for the National Climbing team training pool.
So, this Holy Week will be a bit of a break from everything. Though I find myself climbing and pushing myself with the team during training, I still feel that to go out and climb outdoors will still be a much needed respite from all the indoor climbing. I crave for the fresh air, the natural feel of soft limestone, and spending mindless hours just climbing for the pleasure of it.
Ambongdolan, Tublay, Benguet, is more famous for the Bengaongao and Paterno Caves (named after General Paterno who used the cave as a hiding place from the Japanese military during the war) . Recent trips to the area by pinoyclimbers however have given it a more inspiring allure. Boulders on a very scenic, clean landscape now lures me. Here is what I know. It takes around 1 1/2 hours driving from Baguio City to the vicinity of the caves. Distance from Baguio to the Ambongdolan Caves is around 25 kilometers via the Tuel route. Another route is the Kapangan route which is around 30 kilometers from Baguio City. What I’ve seen are inimitable photos of the boulders. The images and stories from those who already came from there have always been on the back of my mind. To be there and feel the rock first hand is something I’m really excited about.