The Mountaineer’s Creed

The Mountaineer's Creed

I am not sure about the origins of “The Mountaineer’s Creed” above but I think it’s a clear, simple and straightforward principle that anyone exploring natural habitats can remember and follow. Not to mention their huge detrimental impact on our natural environment; it’s just exasperating and extremely disappointing, especially for us photographers, to find traces of irresponsible human acts in an otherwise perfect photo of nature. Pieces of plastic floating on the water; empty cans and bottles scattered on the forest floor;  a vandalized tree trunk in a scenic forest; lost/stolen pieces from a rock formation; or worst a poached animal that lay dead by a healthy greenery — these are just a few of the many UGLY things that show our fellowmen’s ignorance or utter disregard of the above rule.

Surely, I don’t want to capture these ugly things in my  photos so I especially designed the above poster photo  to contribute a little bit to promoting the above creed.  This also serves as an introduction to my succeeding posts which feature my recent ‘close to nature’ adventures.

I trekked the ‘Mountain Trail’ of Eden Nature Park in Davao City with my kids last year.  Tucked along the slopes of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines, Eden Nature Park prides itself of having reforested a logged-out area (They have planted 80% of the trees in the surrounding tropical forest) and having developed it into a model for  eco-tourism.  The park strongly promotes observance of the above creed by its guests.

Under the cover of a  tropical rainforest, the mountain trail descended into a ridge behind our cabin; followed, crossed and re-crossed a mountain stream; then completed the loop coming from the other side of the ridge, back to the starting point of the trail.  I have conquered the peak of Mt. Apo before but that was in early 80’s when I was younger. I was amazed that the friendly 4-km trek has now become quite a  challenge physically but we were all high in spirit and the trail was an almost divine experience with nature which I tried to capture in photos.

I hope you’ll enjoy the next photos sets.