Organized Climbs versus DIY Climbs

Organized Climbs versus DIY Climbs 2

Photo Credit: Francis Cayetano. This was taken before our Mt. Amuyao climb organized by Mansibang Outdoor Institute with the group of Rolandbench Garcia.

Climbing mountains in the Philippines is becoming mainstream. Because of that, a lot of travel agencies are offering packages to nearby minor mountains. There are also mountaineering groups and individuals who are organizing climbs. They are just creating public event on Facebook and sending invitation to everyone and posting in group pages.

I used to be an antagonist of organized “negosyo” climbs. My reason? I can climb on my own and I can save a lot. But this mindset has changed now that we have a baby.

I organized climbs few years back too, but the expenses are divided equally among the participants. I remember my Nasugbu Trilogy event before only cost PhP 437.00. I didn’t gain anything from organizing climbs but it caused me too much stress and hassle. That’s why I know the feeling of being a climb organizer.

Okay, let’s differentiate organized and DIY climbs.​

Organized Climbs

From the term itself, this climb has an organizer. Like many tour operators, their events have corresponding fees to cover the expenses of the trip. Some earn a little, some earn more. The climb organizer is the one who take care of all the things needed before the climb like permits, transportation, getting a guide, and many more. In short, you don’t need to think of anything, you’ll just have to pay, wait for the event date and come. The organizer shoulders all the burdens and stress.


  • You’ll just focus on yourself and the personal things you need to bring before the climb
  • You can save more if it’s a major climb, the jump-off is inaccessible and need a rented vehicle
  • You’ll get to know more people, gain new acquaintances or friends because there are other participants in an organized climb
  • You can arrange hosted meals to the organizer which means you no longer need to bring cookset and stove
  • Your backpack load will be lessen
  • There’s someone to support you if unexpected circumstances happen


  • It will be a bit costly if the mountain is accessible by public transpo and the fare is inexpensive

DIY Climbs

Because it’s a do-it-yourself climb, you need to do further research prior to your climb. You need to know all the details and information about the mountain. You’ll be the one to take care of securing permits, guide, logistics, transportation, cooking your own food and the food of the guide.


  • You’ll save a lot if the mountain is accessible by public transpo and no need to get a guide


  • All the stress and hassle is yours
  • It will eat up your precious time researching about the mountain you plan to climb
  • You don’t have anyone to share the expenses with if there’s a need to rent a jeep or any sort of transpo and get a guide


Join organized climbs if:

  • you’re someone who don’t want to spend time searching for all the necessary things for the climb
  • you have the money and you want to focus on more important tasks than planning your trip
  • you plan to have a major climb and the jump-off is inaccessible
  • the mountain has expensive guide rates
  • you want to grow your network of acquaintances

Have a DIY climb if:

  • it’s okay for you to take care all the stress of contacting different people for securing permit, guide and transpo
  • the mountain is a minor one and no need for guide
  • the jump-off is accessible by public transpo and the fare is inexpensive
  • you are self-contained

If you’re a fan of a DIY climb, just respect those who join organized climbs and the climb organizers. They never force anyone to join them in the first place. Now, if someone has a bad experience during the organized climb, that doesn’t mean that all climb organizers are not reliable. It's a lesson for them to choose carefully who they are joining to. As much as possible, do a background check to the climb organizer. Ask other people who have previously joined on their event.

To the climb participants, not because you've paid for the event doesn't mean that you will just rely fully on the climb organizer. Don't be too demanding because you didn't pay for their life, just the services included on the event. It's still important that the participants know how to take care of themselves and recognize their limits.

The key factor here is respect. Respect the climb organizers and the people who join in an organized climb, and respect those who do DIY climbs as well. Afterall, we just want to enjoy the nature.

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