Recently, mountain climbing in the Philippines is becoming more popular that there are even mountain climbing packages offered by travel agencies. People love to try this kind of adventure because it is fun and challenging. Mountain climbing is a good sport because it will test your patience, endurance, and confidence. It helps you enhance your physical, mental, and emotional ability. Climbing is not only a sport but it’s also an activity that helps us appreciate nature and gain new friends along the trail.
It is challenging to climb any mountain but it is more challenging when you plan to climb during the rainy season. Yes, Filipinos love being challenged. And for those people who still want to go even with bad weather approaching, well, you need to be extra careful. Here are some safety tips that you may need:
1. Wear water proof gears
We only have two weather in the Philippines. That makes it easy for us to choose the right clothes that we need to wear during our climb. And of course, if it is raining, we needed to use water proof gears like shoes, clothes, and bags. You need to carry these stuff to survive the bad weather. It is essential that you use water proof clothes to provide you insulation from rain and avoid getting wet and cold. Remember, you have to prepare for the worst with proper clothing and gears this way so you’ll be able to survive climbing during rainy season. The best outdoor clothing is lightweight, warm, and made of synthetic materials like nylon and polyproplylene.
2. Be more physically prepared
Yes, we need to be physically prepared for every climb and it is a must! We cannot simply underestimate any mountain. When it is raining, we need to be more physically prepared. We have to endure the cold and keep on moving when we are already on the trail. Because if we don’t move our body, we will feel colder and it can cause hypothermia. Eating properly and getting enough sleep are part of preparing yourself from a grueling climb. Eat plenty of carbohydrates and fats for energy and warmth. And of course, you need to rest well to keep you energized and positive about your climb.
3. Check for weather update
Always be updated with the weather condition days before you set your climb. There is an available one week weather forecast online and you can use that as a warning. If there is a news of an upcoming typhoon days before your climb, then, that is a valid reason to cancel your plan. Always remember the safety first policy.
4. Check the status of the roads and trails
Raining can make some roads inaccessible to your destination. It can also cause landslide in some mountains. If you are planning to climb during a rainy season, it is not only the weather that you need to check but also the roads and trails that you are going to take. You have to make sure that roads and trails are passable for you to succeed in your climb. Contact some authorities regarding the road status and keep in touch with some locals of the mountain to update you on the current situation of the trails. Keep in mind that not only typhoon can make these things happen but even continuous rains.
5. Bring safety equipment and first aid kit
Expect mud everywhere when you are climbing during rainy season. There is also a huge chance of passing through a small landslide area, or worse, a total landslide. In cases like this, you have to be prepared. You need to bring rope for emergency purposes. Bringing safety equipment and a first aid kid is a must! It is also suggested that if you are climbing during this weather, never go alone and find a group that you can be with so you can always ask for help and support.
6. Listen to your leader/guide
Leaders and guides are there to protect you. They are knowledgeable of this activity. Even if they are in doubt about the climb, listen to them. Believe them and follow their instructions. They know when it is safe to pass through a trail or not. They know when it is safe to reach the summit or not. Always listen to your guide with an open mind. In times like these, you have to trust and believe them.
7. Abort climb if needed
Always value your life. Think that mountains are always there. You can climb any time you want. Except if there is a typhoon and there is a risk in your safety. A wise man knows when it is the right time to cancel a climb. But if and only if, you are already in the middle of the trek when it rained hard, then, you have to decide to abort the climb and back trek to the jump off. Pushing a climb even when you know that it is not safe is not an act of bravery but of boastfulness. You cannot see your worth as a climber when you are already dead.
Climbing is a fun activity as what mentioned earlier. But it is more fun if we know our limitations and always keep in mind our safety. Happy climbing everyone! Embrace yourself with so much mud and limatik on the trail this rainy season!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional climber. I’m just a newbie in this challenging sport. But my experiences during my rainy climbs and research help me to come up with this article.