Posted by: freeclimbers | October 8, 2012

Beyond the LNT

Leave No Trace or the LNT. It is the core principle a mountaineer should know by heart and by action whenever he steps into its wilderness. It is in this principle where he can be distinguished from others. And it is where he could make a difference. But unfortunately, in my opinion and experience, he is now like a precious Philippine eagle. So rare yet vulnerable.

On my 6th climb last Sunday in Mt. Maculot, I realized I’m nearly correct on my conclusion. Just few steps left before I reach the campsite, I saw these dumped trashes along the trail waiting for forever to rot. And I spoke to myself, ‘Ah, finally I’m near the top’.

Isn’t it sad to think that for you to know you’re nearing the top, you have to look for piles of garbage as a mark? I am deeply saddened by this thought.

While chatting from a local, two climbers took a rest before they start their descent. Then climber A said, ‘Ang dami dami naman ng basura dito. Sayang bakit hinahayaan lang na ganito dito?’ (There are lots of garbage here. Why they’re just left here like this?).

With these words I heard, I saw a ray of light shined from the sky. Finally one concerned mountaineer! But after their conversation, they packed up their things and walked down. Nothing more.I thought they were going to get a garbage bag and pick up some trashes but I saw nothing (I just hope they did it at the trail).

See, lots of us practice the LNT but few go beyond it. The true meaning of LNT, from my point of view, is not to just bring back what you have but also to get things you find that’s devouring the nature’s beauty especially garbage. And if it’s true, then few truly understand the meaning of it.

I am not against to any people who do climb mountains or alike. Actually I do encourage people to do this stuff to get fit and have a connection to our soil. But this is more than just a hobby, once you do it then you have a responsibility to carry. And that responsibility is to do your part keep it clean and pure not to add more problems. Do not wait for the time where the once paradise is now another mountain of trash. Picking up some trashes along the trail and joining some advocacy group will surely make a difference. It’s not that hard right? With this always in mind, then you truly now understand the meaning of LNT and that you can say, ‘I am a mountaineer’.

Now the question is, are you a mountaineer?.



  1. Glad you were able to see that proverbial responsibility.

    As for the question, I am still doing my best to fulfill my responsibility as a mountaineer. Being with mountains is probably the best life-changing experience I had so far.

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