Test

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

October 18, 2014

Return to Mt. Balingkilat and the Bees

  It had been 4 years since my last climb to Mt. Balingkilat. Though I had not set foot into its trail for several years, the mountain has always been on my horizon everytime I went back to Nagsasa Cove. "It is great to be back" as what they say. And I am glad to be back to this mountain. As expected the mountain was as hot and humid as always. The grass is taller and it blocks any breeze in the mountain which make the climb more scorching. Plus add to the peril was that I was down with a fever a few days before the climb. Nevertheless the view is always mesmerizing.Unlike my previous climb, we make sure to pitch a tent knowing that a storm was brewing. When the rain came, we where snuggle on the comfort of our tent. The last time I was here, we were not able to summit due to incremental rains. This time we where able to set foot on the 1,100 masl height but fog was present. Sadly the 360 degrees view was not there.



Dry River



Sitting  beside a cliff

Group who climbed before us




Stiff Trail

Camp 1, the fog starts to set in

Camp Socials

Camp in the morning

Balingkilat version of "sea of clouds"


Waterfalls at 1000 MASL
 As we were traversing the mountain the next day, another group went well ahead of us. From a distance we saw them as if having an emergency, hurriedly we rush down to offer some help. Little did we know someone from their group went off trail and have stirred a wild bees nest. As they are moving away, we were closing in to the nest. From three bees at a time it began to become a swarm. Attacking us like kamikaze dive bombers even far away from their nest, they attacked us for almost an hour. I never thought I could sprint in that kind of location. The traverse trail normally takes 3 hours and we did it in less than 2. I think around 5-10 bees got me, one even went inside my mouth. I was thinking of crushing it with my teeth so that I can exact vengeance but decided to spit it out haha. In my long mileage of hiking I thought I have experience everything, little did I knew.


We were only able to escape when a guide started a fire and created a smoke screen, sacrificing some stings in return. We when far away and safe, the adrenalin started to die down. It was only then that one of my buddy realized he lost his Rudy Project shades. Broke his pole when he fell down over me (almost pushing me to the cliff). We also lost his our appetite during our lunch, proof that we overworked ourselves. In any case, we were very happy we completed our trek without any injuries. 

This only prooves that we should always follow LNT Principles.  
Principle #2 says Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces - Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.Getting off trail get us into lot of troubles. For complete list of principles - click here.  




Traverse Trail, a group went ahead of us


The commotion we thought needed help


The bee I found inside my shirt


Pinaglabanan River

September 30, 2014

Rappeling 101 at Bitbit Bridge

  I had my few experience of rappelling (sort of)... growing up in a farm there were some work that sometimes you need to  hang yourself whenever I help my dad. I recall in my younger years I also had tried going down on a rope but without a harness.  I also tried wall climbing which in some way, is rappelling. 
So last week, we organize a rappelling activity in the office. We were a group of 10 weekend warriors. The location was in Bitbit bridge in Norzagaray Bulacan. A 100-foot bridge (approx. the height of the 10 storey building) along the Angat and Ipo dam reservoir. We hired a rappelling instructor who has 14 years experience in ropes. 

   Basically, after the provider giving us a short lecture on how to rappel properly,  we went to the bridge. The jumper master  (that is how they are normally called) anchored the ropes on the bridge and started placing the harness on those who are ready to do the jumping. 


  



Gearing up



The Traditional Rappel






 The Aussie Rappel












Game Gals!

View from Below
 Traditional (Walled) Rappel


Loading up after a fun filled day!


 All in all it was a fun experience. The most difficult part is starting your jump and getting off the platform specially on the 'aussie' style of rappelling. Each jump I can always feel my heart beating fast. I guess I am still human after  all. 

May 31, 2014

Mountains and Trails Trek Distances

My friend Bambi Guevarra who has a long mileage of treks, shared to me his record of the mountains/trails he had done. Reading the record, it amazing to see how much distance you'll have to trek to cover a mountain/trail route. Like in Sicapoo where the ascent and descent was huge, we walk a total of 26KM ( possibly +40%). Below is the recording he sent me. 





Notes on distances, altitude ascents and descents of PH Mountain trails 
    by Victor Guevara Jr.

The distances are based on waypoint to waypoint distances from my gps readings. The actual distance will be longer by 20% to 50%, depending on contour of trail.  For example, the distance of the Bokod trek is 17.6, while the distance published by Bokod is 26km, or 48% more. My actual reading of the trail to pico de loro is 5.6km while the waypoint distance is 4.2 or 33% more.  I also have actual reading of half of the bokod trail and the actual is 35% more than the waypoint distance.
On altitude gains and losses, most are based on the readings I got from my casio watch. Some were taken from my notes on altitude recorded every 15 min by my casio watch. The numbers are in meters
These notes will give the reader a good idea on the level of difficulty of the treks recorded. You will be able to choose what trek is appropriate for your fitness level.

These numbers are best estimates. Please notify me if you discover some big disparity.



Trails/Mountains routes
KM
KM total
ASC (m)
DSC (m)
Comments
San Cristobal                                    
2.9           
5.8          
750
750

Pico de Loro                                       
4.2           
8.4          
550 
550 
actual track is 5.6 or plus 33%
Pulag from babadak                        
4.9           
9.8          
550
550

Tarak from Alasasin                         
6.4        
12.8           
850
850

Banahaw from Kinabuhayan          
7.1        
14.2          
1500 
1500

Ugu from Tinongdan                     
12.3         
24.6          
2000  
2000  

Halcon from Lantuyan                  
12.3         
24.6         
3000 
3000 

Tapulao      
13.0         
26.0
2000
2000

Napulauan 


1500
1500

Dulang Dulang                                                                    


1500
1500

Kitanglad


1570
1570

Everest Base camp (Kalla Patar)  from Lukla
43.2         
86.4           
3500
3500

 Traverse routes





Talinis – Dauin to Valencia                             

11.4          
1000 
1200

Dulang to Kitangland traverse                       

16.5          
2250 
2150   

Bokod - Japas to Pethel                                         

17.6        
1230 
1600
per Bokod tourism, 26km or +48%
Amuyao – Barlig to Battad                                    

17.5        
2290
2450

Apo
Edc to Kapatagan                                        

10.4        
1300
1600

Apo
Kapatagan to Kapatagan via Century tree

18.0        
1600 
1600

Apo  
Kapatagan to New Israel                             

18.5        
1780  
2325

Pulag
Akiki to Babadak                                      

12.5        
1950
750

Pulag
Tawangan to Lusod to camp 2 to ranger station   

17.2        
1400
600

Pulag
Akiki to Ambangeg                                       

19.7        
1950
1850

Pulag
Ambaguio to Babadak (no summit)           

23.5        
2070   
175 

Pulag
Ambaguio to summit to Babadak              

33.3        
2620
725

Ugu  
Kayapa to Tinongdan                                  

23.1        
1500
1650 

Ugu  
Tinongdan to Amabasa to summit to Lusod                              

24.3        
2175 
2175

Kibungan     


1600
1600

Sicapoo
 up to Pakapako camp                            

26.1         
2500
2500

Sicapoo
Up to summit                                        

30.5         
3300  
3300
per pinoymount, 49km or +60%
Around Annapurna, Nepal                                      

175         
8400
7700 
per backpacker 2009, 128mi  or  206km,  or 18% more