Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kiltepan Peak of the Sagada - an awesome place to greet the sunrise

Part 3 of the Cordillera Series
The Kiltepan peak is the best area to await for the sunrise in Sagada. Giving you a view of the Kiltepan Rice Terraces from below having standing on a ravine at 1640 meters above sea level, one can see how the sun rises slowly filling up the skies with an awesome play of light over the farther mountains of the Cordilleras while sea of clouds slowly drifts away from caressing the valley below.

Coming from a mapping expedition at Banaue and seeing for the first time the Banaue Rice Terraces, we have gone directly from Banaue to Bontoc and then to Sagada. We arrived Sagada late in the afternoon and so we familiarized ourselves with the town and mapped the town center and its establishments while enjoying the food Sagada can offer amidst its 15 degrees Celsius temperature.

Kiltepan Peak Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Temperature at Sagada before we headed to Kiltepan

The next day we woke up at 4:00AM to start our long uphill walk from the town center where we are staying. The Kiltepan peak jump-off is about three kilometers walk along the Staunton highway away from the tourism center. From the jump-off, it is about a kilometer hike to the peak.

You can arrange transportation to the Kiltepan peak campsite which is only a few steps away from the peak itself however it would cost you P500. We decided to walk to it instead to save costs and at the same time to enjoy the cold dawn temperature of Sagada. Just prepare headlamps as there are parts of the Staunton Highway that are not properly lit and the trail to Kiltepan is dark.

The trail to Kiltepan is filled with Pine trees and its scent on a early morning breeze is the best thing to experience at Sagada.

Kiltepan Peak Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Trail to Kiltepan Peak

Better start walking as early as 4:00AM or if you have transportation, you can start your way to it at about 4:30AM. It is about an hour and ten minutes of walk and we arrived at 5:46AM at Kiltepan Peak. Sunrise is 6:30AM when we were there and we were able to see slowly how the clear, dark and starlit sky slow turned misty orange until the sun rose completely.

And as we arrive Kiltepan Peak at 5:46AM, here is the view that greeted me!

Kiltepan Peak Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions

Sagada is safe from crimes and in fact we were only two along the road when we walked our way to Kiltepan.

Kiltepan Peak Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Kiltepan Rice Terraces as the sea of clouds drifts away after sunrise

The Kiltepan Peak and the Sagada was mapped by Schadow1 Expeditions as part of our mapping advocacy to promote Philippine tourism and help local government units using the mapping data for their disaster risk resiliency planning.

Data has been contributed to +OpenStreetMap Philippines  and a routable GPS map of the whole country is being compiled weekly to aid drivers and outdoor recreationists on their navigation/trek within the Philippines.

Google Maps (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)

How to use for your Navigation System (link)

For a more detailed account of Schadow1 Expeditions on its Cordillera Mapping Expedition, check on the links below:

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