Nature-ral High

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

July 25, 2008

Mt. Palong (Exploration)

I went to Initao, Misamis Oriental (capital of misamis is Cagayan de Oro, btw) last weekend to attend a wake. After the interment we still have 2 days left before heading back to manila. After checking our schedule, we noticed that the afternoon of Saturday was free. We decided to go to the farm and do a little bit of hiking. A series of mountain ranges (not so high) can be seen when you reached the farm. According to our companions this mountain can be climb and had been climbed by the locals. Although no offical exploration has been done and no name was given. Since we still have a few hours left before it gets dark, we decided to climb it.
This mountain is similar to Mt. Batulao, less to no trees can be seen. Its a good thing we climbed late in the afternoon plus there is lots of cloud or else its really gonna be like Mt. Batulao which is very very hot during the day. Considering its rarely been climbed, there is no established trail. You have to pass through knee to waist deep cogon grass along the way. The ground is composed of loose soil and small rocks, this made the trek a bit difficult.
My watch registered 450 masl upon reaching the summit. We name the summit Lilang's peak ( the name of the deceased). And the mountain ranges Mt. Palong which is the name of the farm. Since the trek up is very steep, going down, our guide brought us to a different trail. Its a bit of a rolling trail but of course is much longer than the way up. It would be much harder to go down the same way we went up, it will really hurt our knees.
We reached back at the jump off after more than 2 hours of trekking. Its a bit fast because we are carrying less to almost no load.
If Im just living near this place, maybe I could established this mountain as a hiking destination. More like of Mt. Daguldol setup. Guides are mandatory so that the locals will earn a living and since they earn they will protect the mountain. More like a symbiosis between man and nature. There is less impact on the environment and everyone is happy.

The ever popular mountain jumpshot.

July 22, 2008

My new partner.

I own a Adidas ClimaCool running shoe that I use whenever I go to the gym and do my occasional running. But since this shoe is more than 2 years old and is on its twilight years, I think it badly needs a replacement.
I previously owned a Nike running shoe and since Im not happy with its durability, this brand is out of the picture. My friend who is into running had been suggesting I try a New Balance brand, I had never own one of this so I kept it on my radar.
Then came My Mastercard, it gave me a 3K worth of Gift Check in any Adidas outlet. I guess NB is also out of the picture. The question now is what model of Adidas running shoe to buy. After some asking and browsing of the internet, it led me to Adidas Response Cushion 16. I think this model suited me well because of the high arch of my feet and the cushioning will give less impact on my already weak knees.
I test run it the other day and Im really impress. Its way way better than my old ClimaCool. Its so light that it seems Im not wearing any on my feet. The cushioning is great. The insole of the shoe also gives good traction on my socks/feet that it gave me better leverage. I guess Im a happy camper.

- Very soft cushioned.
- Light
- Insole has good traction
- Fashionable

- Mesh body is a bit thin.

Will add more review after more of my testing.

July 21, 2008

Mt. Makiling

It had been a while since I had been to makiling. Last July 12, I decided to climb it again and see what are the changes. As a primer, Makiling is situated between Batangas and Laguna province. It stands 1000++ masl (meter above sea level). Mt. Makiling was closed after typhoon Milenyo hit the NCR area, trail became confusing after the storm and there were reports of landslides. A popular mountaineering website announced it was already opened and thats the reason we decided to climb.
Upon registering at the Ranger checkpoint we learned the mountain was still close (bummer). But they are allowing hikers if they will just go up to the mudsprings. We signed up our destination was only upto mudsprings eventhough we had another intention in mind.
One thing I've noticed is that the clear path before entering the main forest was now a rough road. I remember it was made of asphalt before. Mudsprings now look like a muddy lake unlike before it was made of several potholes with boiling mud inside.
I never thought that Limatik ( a tropical leech) was very abundant during the rainy season in Makiling. There were like 5-10 attacking each one of us at a time. Length was between 1 - 3 inches. Its my first time to encounter this insect and its really horrifying LOL. I think 5 were able to go inside my pants and bit my lower legs, good thing I bought a spray bottle with alcohol. It worked perfectly.
Unfortunately we didnt got to summit. We got lost at a part of the trail entering somewhat of a deadend. Since we were only three and all male mistakenly we decided to proceed at this wrong trail. Entering a trees and shrubs covered part of the mountain. When we decided to backtrack we lost more than 1 hour of time. After backtracking we were able to find the right way but since according to my watch there are still 200++ masl remaining, we presumed that night will be on us if we proceeded. And since we dont have any light ( i forgot my headlamp). We decided to backout.
Its is still a good experience for me. Seeing limatik for the first time and also knowing the right way now, will be back to conquer makiling. But preferably during summer so that there will be less/none limatiks.

July 16, 2008

Mt. Pico de Loro

It was my second time to climb Mt. Pico de Loro. Other than I couldnt resist an invitation from a friend, i took the chance to bring a fellow hiker, I also remember there were parts of the mountain I hadnt been to.
As with most mountains you start at the DENR station and registered there. As we trek along I notice that the vegetation was greener, this maybe due to the reason that its the rainy season. The last time I climb it was nearing summer. The trail was bigger and wider (and of course more beaten) than before, hmmmnn.. maybe its true that mountaineering is now more popular in the PI.

To those who havent been to Mt. Pico de Loro, the trek is about 2-3 hours for a fit hiker. The elevation is about 600-700 meters. The trail is rolling,
the uphill part is when your nearing the summit, with about 100 meters of assault almost to the top. The last time I've been here we didnt climb the 'parrots beak' as they call it. Its a 100 foot rock located on the summit. To climb it you need to go to the side of the rock and use the stationed ropes. The funny thing is its only tied to a small tree (like a bonsai tree), youll only notice this whe your already on top. The good thing is it can hold he he. BTW, Pico de Loro is a DENR protected site.
Going down we decide to pass by the waterfalls. The waterfalls here is mor
e like a creek, not like the one we usually see on pictures. Water is abundant only when it rained, and the water is not crystal clear.
Since we started late, we hurried back going back to the jumpoff. Being so quick on our walking and its getting dark, we made a wrong turn in one of the trail(actually we did not made the turn) were there was a 'T' like intersection. We noticed that the surrounding was unfamiliar, this is the time we decided to backtrack and luckily (or maybe due to experience) we find our way. We made it to the basecamp at around 7pm. =)