This hike is composed of going through multiple towns and Mountain peaks, but the prominent ones are Purgatory and Komkompol.
The hike started on an easy trail going up to Mt. Mangakew. My group was surprised that we were already there. We had hiked around 45 minutes from the JOP. Stores are available around and it was scorching hot on the trails without any shades.
After walking for a few more km, we reached a steep dirt road that goes to the last water source before Mt. Pack, the 3rd summit, the road lasted about a kilometer. We then had lunch before entering the Mossy forest. A dirt road somewhat like what we hiked in Mt. Tapulao greeted us after the forest, a rolling kind of trail, but with big packs, it was better than the scorching sun and steep trail from Mt. Mangekew. We reached the beginning of Mt. Pack with a kubo to rest on and protect us from some of the elements, it was foggy, mist is coming in and it was getting cold.
The trail muddy, but the amazing thing is it was maintained, logs and handrails were placed for the safety of the hikers, this was the third time i saw this kind of initiative in Philippine Mountains (Amuyao Traditional, Pulag Ambangeg and this)
After Mt Pack, comes the Jump off point for Mt. Purgatory, it's very rare to see any view upon reaching the summit, since it is always blanketed with clouds and mist. We rested a few minutes, waited for the rest of the party, ate some snacks, konting asaran, some jokes, and Headed to Mt. Bakian.
[News] As of April 2015
Camping at Tangbaw Settlement? (Old) is not allowed anymore (Source: Our Guide) they made a bunker/Huts just after the Ambaguio trail, before reaching Tangbaw (Landmark: Elevated Watch Post), 4 Bunks 8-10pax each, they have latrines, and water sources there, a little "sala" for socials :) The fee is 80php ea (because we had to share with everyone expense and had to occupy all the 4 bunks). If you like to cram in a single bunker, im not really sure how much it would cost.
After Camping down, resting and repacking of our stuff in the bunkhouse, its time to climb the last 3 other peaks, Bakian (where we camped), Tangbaw (the other supposed to be campsite) and Kokompol, from kokompol the traditional way would be to go through the beaten path (traverse) but due to some time constraints, we backtracked and traversed to the locals trail from Tangbaw.
Doing the other traverse trail is scenic but also punishing for your feet, its rugged, stoney, slippery, rootey and steep. It felt like my toenail was going to die again. Yes. it has died before. Your quads as well as your shoe will be tested here.
After a few hours of trekking, probably 3 hours, the traverse was finished. Of course, the pace was no rest allowed. Lahat ng pahinga sa baba na.
Our total expense per climber was 2,300 and the IT is likely the same as in Pinoymountaineers website.
0400 ETA Baguio City. Take chartered jeepney to Bokod
0600 Breakfast along the way
0800 Arrival in Bokod / Registration / Orientationn
0900 Start trekking
1200 Lunch along the way
1300 Arrival at Mt. Pack
1430 Arrival at Mt. Purgatory
1630 ETA Bakian Elementary School / Set-up cam
1800 Dinner at campsite; socials
0530 Wake-up call
0630 Breakfast / Break camp
0700 Resume trek
0900 Arrival at Mt. Komkompol
0930 Start descent
1200 Arrival at Pethal / Agno River.
1300 End of trek at border of Brgy. Ekip*
1400 Exit Bokod, Benguet
1700 ETA Baguio City. Dinner.
2000 Head back to Manila
0400 ETA Manila
This climb is quite common, since it can be done on a weekend.