Monday, June 4, 2012

Mt. Ugo Traverse (Nueva Vizcaya to Benguet)

shot at the summit of Mt. Ugo
(photo credits: Paolo Albis)
Quick Facts about the Mountain

Height:  2150+ MASL
Entry point: Kayapa, N. Vizcaya
Exit Point: Itogon, Benguet
LLA: 16.31916°N, 120.80166°E
Days required / hours to summit: 2-3 days, 9-10 hrs
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail Class 1-3

Mt. Ugo is a popular major climbing destination in the Cordilleras. It is said to be discovered as the result of a PAL (Philippine Air Lines) aircraft crash on June 26, 1987. The Flight PR206 crashed in the slopes of Mt. Ugo killing all 50 people onboard. You can ask your guide to show you the location of the plane crash; 200 yards below the summit.

Mt. Ugu has been associated with danger and ghost stories. Not only because of the victims of plane crash but the site is also the location where the invading Spaniards were killed. Local says that the name “Ugo” was derived from the Ibaloi word “Ugoan” which means “to cut the neck”.

What can I say about Mt. Ugo Traverse?

It is a very long, excruciating, intense trek, and endless walk of around 30 kilometers in an uneven terrain! It took us a total of 18 hours to complete the whole expedition! We ended up with a blistered sole, injured legs, and sore body. And so we called the Ugo traverse climb a death march climb.

Although we almost died in Pulag because of hypothermia, I personally would like to refute the difficulty level of Ugo traverse and Mt. Pulag (Akiki-Ambangeg) trail. In Pinoy Mountaineer site the Ugo has a difficulty scale of 5/9 and Pulag (Akiki-Ambangeg) 7/9. In my experience, I can see that Ugo traverse possesses a more difficult trail and longer route. It also has more open spaces where climbers will directly feel the excruciating heat of the sun.

Are we gonna traverse Ugo again?

Of course! But ahm, not in the next 5-10 years? Hahaha! Oh, do not get me wrong. Traversing Mt. Ugo is crucial but hey! It is worth every single pain you will feel in your body right after. The weariness you will encounter is the sweetest form of agony; because, while doing the trek you will see the majestic view of pine forests, highland villages, Cordillera peaks, and you will be surrounded with mountains, 


Php1,800 each for a group of 15. The package includes:

  • Bus Transportation from Manila to Nueva Vizcaya
  • Jeep from Itogon Nueva Vizcaya to jump off
  • Service of 2 guides
  • Entrance Fees (Php100 each)
  • Jeep transportation from Kabayan Benguet to Brgy. Hall to Baguio


  1. Mt. Ugo, one of the mountains that I have shamefully underestimated. I thought it was just a mere walk-in-the-park trek. The descent was more than what my legs could handle. I literally walked in "baby steps", lols. But I would still go back for the breathtaking view. I love the trek to Domolpos, on a winding and rolling trail.

    1. Hahaha, same here! I underestimated the mountain myself. Thanks for the feedback :)

  2. These are the mountains I can never climb solo. Ang mahal ng jeepney rents!


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