“I urge you, if a task as simple as pocketing a candy wrapper is not your thing, then so is mountaineering. Stay in your garbage laden city where you are part of the problem. Have your picture taken at a studio instead, Photoshop it with a mountain as your background and post it on your social media. Spare the mountain with your childish lack of discipline”
Myric Fagyan wrote on his social media post last 08 February 2016, a few days after his solo climb of Mt. Amuyao via the Barlig route.
Mt. Amuyao is one of the ten highest mountains in the archipelago standing a few meters shy from that of Mt. Pulag’s height. And like Mt. Pulag, it also offers a beautiful sunrise, sea of clouds, a variety of flora and fauna and a 360 degrees view of the mountains and some towns and municipalities of Ifugao, Mountain Province and Nueva Vizcaya during a clear day. The usual jump off point and route used by mountain climbers to reach Mt. Amuyao is either via Barlig, Mt. Province or Banaue, Ifugao.
However, for Myric Fagyan who climbed the mountain last 04 February, the supposedly beautiful experience was marred by what he saw – plastic wrappers, tin cans, empty water and liquor bottles, empty butane and other residuals littered the trail, the summit and the inside of an old cabin converted as a rest area for mountain climbers.
Myric, an architect by profession, is also a trail runner who is a local of Bontoc, Mountain Province, another municipality of Mountain province. He had been climbing mountains since he was in high school.
One of the great moments a hiker can experience when climbing Mt. Amuyao via Barlig is walking in the midst of hundred year old rice terraces while the stalks of rice slowly sways with the cold breeze. This can also be experience in Batad and Cambulo if one goes via the Banaue route.
And like an appetizer, it prepares a hiker for the main course, the seemingly endless steep climb that goes straight to the summit and most would refer to Mt. Amuyao sporting a challenging trail. Thus, it had become one of the “ultimate” hiking destinations for mountain enthusiasts.
In addition, the long distance one has to travel to reach the jump off points, have made it a major climb while the trail difficulty is under the category of moderate to difficult. It would take a seasoned hiker 3-4 hours to reach the peak. With these conditions, it usually only attracts seasoned hikers.
Seasoned hikers are often described as those who had years of mountain climbing experience under their belt, either local or international.
Knowing this, Myric was utterly dismayed and was “pissed off” at the lack of discipline and obvious disregard of the Leave No Trace (LNT) principle – disposing waste properly.
Although the seven (7) LNT principles has some issues and remains to be debated by its critics and practitioners, it had been adopted by many Filipino outdoor enthusiasts. These set of principles are geared to protect the balance of a mountain’s ecosystem.
From his message to us, Myric said he had informed the local tourism office of the unsightly condition along the trail and at the summit as he believes that the guides has the authority and responsibility to implement environmental policies concerning garbage and waste disposal. However, he reiterates that greater responsibility with regards to this concern lies with every hiker.
Below are several photos Myric had shared to us, a gruesome panorama which if not curbed now would soon greatly affect the balance of Mt. Amuyao’s ecosystem.
Photo (1) Tin cans along the trail; (2) Liquor bottles, tin cans, plastic water bottles and other garbage (3) left-over from a camp fire (4-9) The sorry state of the inside of the old cabin converted as a rest area for mountain climbers (10) candy wrappers Myric collected
For those who are already scheduled or planning to climb Mt. Amuyao, we make a plea to not make our mountains a landfill. We appeal to you to practice Garbage In, Garbage Out. Help in the preservation of our mountains.
All photos that appears on this post are from Myric Fagyan.
For factual errors and or personal comments, drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org