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Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail

July 25, 2013

Mt. Talamitam - a re-boot climb



I had been on a indefinite climbing hiatus for the past two months. My last climb was a MakTrav (Makiling Traverse) which was supposed to be our training climb for Aguinaldo Trail. Unfortunately and sadly, a few days after this climb, my dad was confirmed to have stage 4 cancer - which has metastasise to his bones. Knowing that my Dads condition was critical, I choose to make the most my available time to be with him. My relationship with my Dad - as I grow older we had more than a father and son relationship. We became friends sharing each others endeavors. As the oldest living son, he allowed me to be a big part of the family decision.

It really pains me to see him very weak, since he was strong and healthy before the onset of the disease. He looks younger for his age of 72 and without any illness (maintenance meds and lifestyle disease as we call it). He died last July 3, two days before his birthday. I took a few additional leave after the burial and went back to work.

I had a hard time concentrating at the office, I ask my superior for a few extra day-off. I need some more time to re-BOOT myself. I need to do one of the things I love the most which is to climb. At first I had second thoughts since I had no physical activity for the past two months. No gym, jog or climb. I had been sicked four times ( I dont get sick easily) due to stress and fatigue.
A simple dayhike will do. We chose Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu Batangas. I climb this mountain last 2007 and I promise myself not to hike it again. The heat during our climb was unbearable plus its a very open trail. I think the timing of climbing it during holyweek (summer) exponentially raise the discomfort.

But last Monday it was gloomy and my partner haven't climb this mountain so we chose this destination. Compared to last time, the trail is greener during this season. There were more crops on the mid-trail unlike before its an open field. There are also more houses now on early part of the trail, I dont recall seeing one on my first hike. The assault to the summit is now thick with kugon grass, I remember before it was barren newly burned by the farmers. 
Though most of the time the sky was covered with clouds,  the humidity and heat is still there. Base on my analysis, this is because of Mt. Batulao blocking the wind coming from the sea. And there is another mountain (Im not sure of its name) also blocking the other side, in other words this mountain is surrounded so dont expect breeze to cool you down.

Its very evident that were not fit. It took us two hours to reach the summit. We were also near overheating and exaustion. Imagine how difficult it was if this was an overnight hike, carrying all your gears and stuff. But the climb was still very rewarding, it remind me of how beautiful nature was. It amazing how serenity and quietness do to a mind.
 And since it was a Monday we were alone in the mountain, except for some farmers. I was hesitant to bring a car fearing I might be too tired to drive home, but fortunately there were some reserve strength I was able to pull through.


We all have our share of joy and sorrow in different ways. And from them we learn and grow. It is unpleasant to be in a "no choice" situation, of any type, but "this too shall pass". Smile, tough it out, and remember life is still beautiful no matter what.

Midway to the Summit

All Green


Mt Batulao as seen from Talamitam


Throwback, 2007 Climb



Scorched Earth


We insanely took the direct assault, not knowing there was a easier trail on the right side





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