Sweating blood to my first summit


TALAMITAM. My first mountain climb.
It was a panic decision. The idea struck from nowhere, and I just found myself catching my breath, dying to quench my thirst, acknowledging my grave mistake of not warming up before starting this trek and the mistake of not bringing with me litres of bottled water (or a litre at least), and realizing we’re not even halfway to Mt. Talamitam.

I really felt close to running out of breath. My knees trembled in exhaustion and fear. I was so scared of the thought that I can never make it alive if I pass out since the nearest hospital will take more than an hour of rough walk through the wild and another hour of bus or jeepney ride. So I chose not to pass out. I actually forced myself not to.

I stopped, sat on the grass crisped by summer, and gulped the remaining content of my lone 500ml bottled water. That was the most delicious water I’ve tasted in my whole life. And that delicious water brought me back to my senses. I got up, my feet continued trailing, and my mind was again set to reach this trail’s end.

After almost four hours of fighting against gravity and the excruciating heat of the sun, I finally kissed the summit, and said I can live again!

The wind greeted us, the strangers, warmly that it felt so cold. My heartbeat raced faster than when I was just struggling to reach this peak. The birds were humming tunes of hospitality. The grasses which are just as tall as me danced in glee.

The view was breath-taking. Everything’s green in front of my eyes. There were blue mountains touching the clouds in the far edges of those greens. The scene was just perfect that I forgot about all the weariness and pain I had moments ago.

And I remembered, along the winding trail to this summit, there were horses as snobbish as me, goats as polite as me and cows as indifferent as me. Yes, those snobbish, polite and indifferent creatures completed this great mountain experience.

And again, the thought of being on top of the world sank in. The feeling was very unfamiliar. Great. I felt I was one with nature. A really strange feeling of euphoria engulfed my totality, and on that very day I made my pledge: I’ll be climbing more mountains!