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

May 6, 2018

Batulao on my mind. Batulao on a different perspective.

This post is 1 year in the making. Sorry for the late post, been busy the past year. 

Batulao has been one of my favorite mountains, specially if I would bring friend who are new into the hiking community. But the recent fad of the outdoors in the Philippines - particulary hiking has brought Batulao at the forefront of the tour groups. The mountain being close to Manila and one of those "easy" hikes made the mountain vulnerable to overcrowding. And with too much crowd brings uncontrollable fees which actually does not make sense. The trail to Batulao passes by several private land, and almost all those private owner charge a small fee for this.

  Anyway, I narrated this issue since this is the reason I had not been to Batulao for a while. Not until I learned that there was an alternative trail to scale the mountain, albeit more difficult and you will need a guide to traverse the trail. The trail starts in Brgy San Jose, and ends in Brgy Tuy Nasugbu Batangas. The trail is known as San Jose - Toong Traverse.

 Unlike the regular Batulao trail which starts east side of the mountain, San Jose trail begins from the south-west part. This trail will then meet with Camp 10(?) in the mountain (not sure on this but this is the place where there are rest huts in the New Trail). From here you may decide if you still want to go to the summit as the entry point to Toong trail can also be found in Camp 10. The Toong trail is exactly on the opposite side of San Jose which is on the North West side of the mountain. The trail is pretty much straight forward. The following are the main areas from memory. 
 - Ascend to Toong peaks, walking in its ridges
 - Open trail all the time
 - Very hot and humid
 - Passed by several sugarcane plantations. I even managed to ate some
 - Cross a small river under a deep ravine

We completed our trek already without daylight, I think around 7pm. It rained after Toong peak, this is the reason I have no more pictures after this spot. There is a dangerous climb in Toong peak that is very similar to Kiss the Wall of Mt. Guiting-guiting. 

   So how is the hike? I have to admit that I underestimated this hike. It is difficult since the trail is open, you will be absorbing all the heat. Plus the hike is very long, my friend recorded around 18-20 KM distance. 

Start of hike with the gang.

The trail to the river bed

Dry River

The way merging to the traditional trail (Batulao peaks)

Peaks of Batulao from another perspective

The same trail to the Peaks of Batulao

Descending at the start of Toong Trail

Going up to Toong Peak

Batulao viewed from Toong Trail

Highest Point in Toong trail

Highest of Toong Peaks

Pic c/o Cha Manalansan

Pic c/o Cha Manalansan

Pic c/o Cha Manalansan

Kiss the Wall - Toong Version
Both sides are dead fall.

Kiss the Wall - Toong Version

And Yes it rained which make it more difficult.

Batulao Trails Courtesy of Nomad Tera Crawlers.
Notice how long the San Jose - Toong Trail is. 

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