Quick update: the mountain was officially closed for most of 2016 stretching into 2017 due to a man-made forest fire on the summit. Within the last couple weeks the re-opening was announced. The reopening came with higher permit fees. Costs increase in peak season or if you traverse the peak. The most expensive combination will set you back 2500₽ or about $50 at current rates.
One more note: there are many more trails to the summit than described on the main page.
For my climb, I left Davao after my afternoon meeting. First by bus to Digos then 2 mototaxi's. first kapatagan then baruring. I couldn't remember the name of baruring and I was arriving after dark so I had a detour to the last village on the road.
I started hiking about 8pm. I got off trail somewhere below Lower Colan for unspeakable reasons. I found the trail after 1-2 hours bushwhacking, then lost it again sometime around midnight. Surely I wouldn't have endured such troubles had I started at a reasonable hour. I found a trail again just before the sulfurous rocks, which truly sounded like a raging river although nothing was escaping the maw besides volcanic steam.
Once in sight of the head wall, which happened to be around dawn, I left the trail, this time volitionally, and scrambled up a steep ravine. The excitement was substantially enhanced by the shit quality of the rock. In fact some of the 'rocks' seem to be nothing more than a dessicated residue of the volcanic fumes themselves which has accumulated to the point of qualifying as a solid although I doubted my own conclusions at the first moment I touched the stuff.
Anyway I made the rim and perambulated to all the highest candidates. I measured one at 2975m, which I took as the summit despite any calibration issues with my gps. I went down more directly to the south and got back to the road at about 2:15pm.
Did it with a guide. Great hike. And nothing like some videoke and san miguels back at the bottom!
I did it together with guide Ruel and porter Georg on a beautiful day. Guide and porter are mandatory to get a permit for Apo. See the trip report here: