Evening of September 25, there is a lot of first with this climb I'm posting. This is my first climb since a long hiatus due to an injury. This is my first climb with a typhoon signal #2 (Zambales was initially forecasted not to be hit). And this is the first time I was uncertain as to wheter pushing through with the climb was a good idea- something I also expressed to the EL.... but ended up deciding to go anyway.
If you are familiar with Anawangin cove (hopefully not from the ABS-CBN movie), Nagsasa Cove is very much similar. But Nagsasa cove being recently discovered its more pristine and untouched. This climb is the second climb via trail. Thanks YABAGMG for exploring this trail.
Nagsasa is also on the outskirts of Zambales bay so even the transportation is the same as Anawangin. From the jumpoff onwards, the trail is very similar to Mt. Pundaquit (of Anawangin) but has better scenery. For starters four rivers were on the trail, my guess is that two of them does'nt dries up even on summer. And once you reached the summit of Mt. Nagsasa, you will have a grand view of Mt. Balingkilat. The trek is 5-6 hours for a fit hiker.
Typhoon Connection : It was drizzling throughout our hike. But still very minimal, no signs of storm... yet.
Mt. Balingkilat in the Background
Mt. Nagsasa with Nagsasa cove from afar.
Arriving at the cove, Its indeed very similar to anawangin but the shoreline smaller. (not so sure though coz I was not able to fully explore the beach). The place is not yet developed, except for the Local Tribes huts, there is no human structure. There is a small river beside the beach, afar you can see a waterfall. This waterfall can be reached on a good weather. The cove is deeply cut that it protects the beach from big waves. So the water is calmer than Anawangin.
Typhoon connection : When we arrived the beach seems OK. After a while winds start to pound us. Several tents were uprooted, resulting for the occupants deciding just to take them down and find shelter on the tribal chiefs hut. Early at night I guess the typhoon already passed by Manila and is completely upon us. Our tents are still being battered that I decided to relocate. I relocated beside a small hut which protected us througout the night. Early in the morning only four tents were left standing, I also learned that the occupants of the hut had a hard time sleeping. At around 2:00 am the wind was so strong the hut almost collapsed, since the hut is partly open, they were hit by winds, sand and rain. We are still lucky because we had a good night sleep (though always on alert). My relocation worked!
The surviving tents (mine beside the hut, one is not visible)
There are two ways to go back to subic, either via trek or boat. Boating is out of the picture since on a normal calm day it would take 1.5 to 2 hours. Imagine how dangerous it is during this time. And besides, our itinerary is to trek back.
Typhoon connection : We woke to a better weather, it seems that the typhoon is now at sea basing from the raging waves at the beach. It was raining the whole night as expected the rivers expanded. The tribal chief advise us that we cannot pass through given the circumstances. Fortunately it stopped raining and the river subsided a bit. Our EL and tribe chief do a recon and they were able to station the rope that our EL brought. Its time to go home earlier than planned. The rope was 60 meters long, the river around 40 meters. All of the river expanded with the last one the biggest. During our trek it rained some more and the last river was now chest high. I have nothing against rain, I love to trek eventhough its raining. My real concern is crossing a huge river. It was also dark and this made this last crossing the most difficult.
At around 8:00pm Sunday we arrived in Olongapo, change to dry clothes in one of climb buddies place. Eat a hearty dinner then took the bus back to Manila. Its just now we learned that Manila was badly hit by flooding. I felt a bit of guilt of being on a climb while the rest of my countrymen is reeling from the storm. But at least we all arrived home safely and thank God for it. =)