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

June 24, 2010

MakTrav (Mt. Makiling Traverse)

I was finally able to join a MakTrav (Makiling Traverse) climb last ID12 2010 . There were two instances in the past I planned to join the climb to this mountain but due to untoward and unexpected incidents I had to backed out. Mt. Makiling will always remain close to my heart since this was my first climb at the tender age of 16.
This was my first time of doing the traverse of Makiling. The jump-off starts at Barangay San Miguel in Sto. Tomas Batangas. The trail starts in a rough road that gives you a grand view of Makiling from the Batangas side.

Then you need to make a turn to a dry river bed.This is the place where all the hikers get lost. We also got lost that we asked help from some locals who were harvesting mangoes. It seems that the trail is forever changing and adapting defending on the season. Most of the succeeding trails are fully covered by trees. Except for some parts where cugon-an are present (and reforestation is happening). There is also a hut halfway where you can rest and refill your water rations. The first destination is Peak3, where almost all of the assault climb are present. But there are stationed ropes to help you a bit on the climb. A majestic view of makiling can be seen on this part of the trail. The view is so beautiful that some climber compares these to Avatars Pandora (but there is no Navi species :P). Upon reaching peak3, we took our lunch.
After Peak3 the next destination is peak2, the trail is a mossy forest where there are several fallen logs and narrow paths for a climber to get through.It must have been harder for our American friend who is tallest one among the group because we had to go through low-hanging branches and fallen trees . Also its a good thing its still the end part of summer, and there were few limatiks (tropical leech) on the trail. Or else I think this place would be very infested, and since the trail is narrow there was no way you can avoid leaves and branches touching you, the place where the limatiks attacks their victim.

Mabuhay ang Kalayaan! (with Pandoras view)

Upon reaching peak2 the trail was now on a descent. This is traditional trail that will lead you to UP Los Banos exit (with regard to the traditional trail click here). Except on the early part where its muddy and slippery, the traditional trail is very easy but is very long. I learned that from peak2 to UPLB its roughly 9KM. We arrived in the forrest ranger post at 7PM. We hiked for 11 hours! After cleaning up, we had our dinner then head back going to Manila.

Peak2 Group shot

June 22, 2010

Mt. Maculot Traverse 2010

I organized a MacTrav (Maculot Traverse :P) last June 26. This is not a traverse per-se as the mountaineers define it (please see my previous post for the details). Its just a dayhike and I organize this mainly for these friends.. A former officemate who wanna try hiking, an American friend who is a veteran in climbing but is new to the tropics and two old buddies who is on/off on their climbing career. The last time I've been here it was raining and now its el-nino so surely the trail is different. Its not just the trail that is different but also is the cleanliness of the place! There a lot of plastic trash along the grotto trail and onward to the summit. My hunch is that the trash was the result of the recent 'holyweek' which several Roman Catholics influx this site. Seeing no trash going down the traditional trail confirms my observation. The traditional trail is normally the route of climbers
Maculot will always be one of my favorite mountains. The climb is not that difficult but the view is more than rewarding. And what a day to end our trip with a visit from my friends aunt who lives in Cuenca. To our surprise his father was a native of this city, there are several stores in Cuenca which bore their surname. And then his aunt served us their bakery's 'monay' bread which their family is famous for. After eating several pieces, now I know why.

Here lies two mountaineers... Jus Kidding!!!

Resting at the 'Grotto'

Rope a Dope

On the way to saddle

Group shot at the Rockies