I finally decided to create a blog for my climbs. I think this is much better than keeping a journal since it much easier to share to other enthusiast.
Last Saturday, February 16, 2008 I joined a group of Mountaineers to climb Mt. Kalisungan. The Exploration Lead of this climb is someone I met in one of my past climbs (Mt. Maculot to be exact). Our trek starts at Erais farm, Masapang Laguna. From this place you will have a complete view of the mountain. The trek starts a bit uphill but after 30 minutes it started to be become steep, my guess is that its about 35-45 degrees inclination. An hour into walking and I felt a bit of pain between my ankle and sole, I guess this has to do with the continouos inclination of the trail, funny thing is its the first time I had experience this. The most common trees that I saw on the trail are mostly bananas and coconuts.
Its a good thing that our Lead decided to hire a friend-guide. The trail is not established and there are times we had to pass through completely vegetation covered ground. According to our guide he had been to Mt. Kalisungan three times and he had been lost three times also. I dont suggest night trekking on this mountain. 3/4 into to mountain you will reach the "kugun-gan" grasslands, Its a good thing that I brought my arm warmer and protected me from scrathes and bruises (my legs is kinda immune so no worry if I dont have leggings). The grass is tall and is even higher than me, I sometimes use my trekking poles to shield my face from these grass.
We reached the summit at about 12:30 PM, the wind is strong on the summit and theres sign that its going to rain (the weather is gloomy when we started our trek, btw). On the summit you can see five of the famed Laguna lakes. My research on the internet says the summit is about 700 meters, on my ProTrek it registered 685 meters.
We hurriedly take some pictures and decided to eat our lunch. Midway into our food it started to rain, wind is strong and cold (wind chill). Luckily I brought my poncho and rain-proof my stuff. I was actually having second thoughts of doing this because it was sunny in Manila. As the saying goes, "Never underestimate any mountain" and thank God I didn't. We are already late base on our Itinerary so after a while we decided to head back down. With the trail being steep, imagine what will happen if you add rain on it. It was very slippery plus the fact that kugon grassland is an open space with strong winds, heading back was difficult. But midway going down, the trail is dry and theres no evidence of rain.
This is our training climb for Mt. Pulag climb next week. So did it prepare me in someway? Yes of course. Not only that it warm me up for the climb next week (my legs is a bit hurting as of this writing) , It already developed the needed cooperation and camarederie with group that is very much needed in any majorclimb.
If I may add, the only experience I didnt like about this climb is that one of my companion brought his mp3 player and played it along the way (I wish he had just use and earphone and did not share it with us). Whenever I climb I love to escape the luxuries of the city and would only love listening to nature. But on the summit he decided to turn it off and since it rained he never played it again. =)