There are several trails in Mt. Kanlaon. You can climb via Wasay - Guintubdan, Guintubdan - Guintubdan and the unregulated Makawili trail. For us we used the Wasay - Guintubdan trail, though considered the most difficult, it is known to be the most rewarding. The trail normally starts in Mambucal resort, climbers usually stay here for an overnight and climb the next day. But for us, we opted to stay in the Rangers (Bantay Kanlaon) house. The place was around 30 minutes from Mambucal, its also the rangers place where we did the preparation for the climb of the first day.
The first day of climb started on a wide rocky road and immediately went on assault. After a few hours of walking will lead you to the PNOC private road. The elevation continued to rise until we reach around ~1300MASL. At this height I think we continually hiked for 3-4 hours. Put into consideration that there were four or five river crossings. Hiking up and down with the ground having very loose soil. Early on this part, my wifes shoes shows signs of retirement. Proof how difficult the trail was. At the end of the first day we reached the Junction camp. Very beautiful camp and spacious. It can be compared to Camp Goody of Mt. Apo but much much better.
Continuing our trek the next day involves passing the mossy-iest part of the mountain. Heck, I think this is the mossiest part of the Philippines! The trail involves passing into ardous space that we called hobbit holes. Its just like there were hazzards that you need to be nd then crawl then twist then immediately step up. Whew! But the forest was so mesmerizing, it seems to be untouched that lifts up your spirit removing your tiredness. You can compare this to the mossy t
rail of MakTrav, but also much much better. Adding beauty to the trail was that there are several Lakes, that had been named from the Mountaineering group that discovered them. Among them were PMS, SAMOK etc. There was also Harding Sangbalo (Garden of a Widow) which was also undescribable. similar the first day, when we reached around ~2100MASL we hiked for 3-4 hours with the height declining or rising. There was also a part that has 90 degrees inclination, adding difficulty was that the soil was also very loose. I think the only consolation here was that though the limatiks were abundant, they were not aggressive. We Camp at the Easter Saddle Camp that was just a few minutes away from the summit/crater.
The trail was zig-zag!
Mossy isn't it?
90 degrees climb
Moss garden (my watch as the reference)
View from PMS lake
The other group in Margaja valley
The next day was the plan to see the summit/crater. But since it rained the previous night, there was no clearing! But thank God around 9am the wind stops and the cloud cleared! We had clearing and theres was sea of clouds! We enjoyed the s ummit (though very scary) took pictures then decided to go down. The first two days was via Wasay trail, the 3rd day was Guintubdan trail. Though the early part was similar to the Wasay 2nd day, the rest was just complete flat hike. But the trees was still very thick and tall. The time then was just 2pm it was as dark as 5pm! We reached the Guintubdan jumpoff still ahead of our schedule. Bragging aside, the locals was so amazed to s
ee us they called us 'DASIG'. Whats DASIG? Its for you to find out :P.
Summit at the background
Onward to the summit!
Sea of clouds?
Summit view while going up
Summit view while going up
The crater was a big "whoaaa"!!!
I considered Kanlaon as one the climb I like the most, but also one of the most difficult. One factor adding to the difficulty was that you have to climb full packed for three days, and since most of your food supplies is with the guide/porter. Your load doesnt get light as the trek progresses. And because its a traverse, theres no way for you to leave some of your personal things. Its difficult but was very rewarding. Its not just the mountain that was perfect but the company (Go team DASIG!) the timing and the weather. And what a way to end our hike but with an INASAL dinner in Manokan Country of Bacolod. It has the best INASAL I have ever tasted. And my American friend can attest to that.