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

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

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