Monday, September 7, 2015

Mt Makiling Traverse

At the starting point (Sto Tomas side)

My Nepal climb team had decided to do a weight training climb last weekend.  While multi-day with 5h+ each day of uphill hike would be ideal, we just have to make do of what our schedule allows us to.  Initially, I suggested Mt Daguldol but one member suggested that would be too easy.  And he was right of course!

Not knowing what the so-called "MakTrav" (Makiling traverse) was about, I just said "let's go!"
I only partially climbed Makiling once,  20+yrs ago and I can't recall any detail.

So was it easy?  With heavy packs, bad weather and relentless limatik attacks (jumping leeches), I can't say that the climb was easy, not even moderate!  It took us 9h+ to complete the traverse from Sto. Tomas jump-off, through the mountain's main ridge and all the way to Agila camp in Los Banos side.  Luckily, motorcycles and a kind of rickshaw were waiting there when we arrived late in the afternoon.

Picture-story below...
Mt Makiling dominates the landscape of the SLEX (South Luzon Express).  It looks small and easy... but beware.. The mountain's mythological 'history' made it a popular peak - heard of Maria Makiling? Probably the most popular Diwata in the country.

At the starting point in Sto. Tomas jump-off.  With the locals - the As-pins (Phil street dogs)

Nepal team and members of UP Mountaineers - the "before" shot

Nice and easy approach during the start

Kids at play -  still better than today's mall with artificial play houses
First rest stop and we were like "How far pa?!" 

With GMA7's Born to be Wild crew... a "candid selfie" shot

When the going gets tough, you just have to toughen up :)

Rest stop, again limatiks kept pestering us so all stops were quick and short.  Food we brought were not enough for the self-induced grueling climb...

Towards the rocky ridge section... narrow trails, sometimes steep and deep requiring rope support

Awesome view at the rocky ridge section towards peak1

Rich flora in this mountain, we didn't see the animals playing hide and seek. Oh except for those limatik invaders...

The Born boys somewhere there (yellow object) inching up the rocky ridge
Of course you have to have a photo taken here!  One needs to always capture fleeting moments somehow...

A window view in a rocky ridge

UP Mountaineers at one of the camp sites. And rain poured after this shot was taken!  As if the limatik attacks were not enough challenge already...
At some point before Peak2 (near 6h), I've decided to ditch some of my load.  Here, Henry doing a quick shower from my 10li container.

Exhausted, wet, cold, and bitten (by many limatiks) - the hike seemed to go on forever... May forever?
Finally finished!  here with Born crew

'Class picture' at the end of the hike - at Agila base in Los Banos Laguna.

RECOVERY MEAL.  The only good thing about being starved is that you can pig out afterwards!  I ate (more like swallowed by chunks) Bulalo, kare-kare, ampalaya, tawilis, shrimp, egg, big cup of rice!  Then I ate a follow-up dinner when I arrived home - volume of recovery food is a good measure on how effective the training was.

My weights.  18Li of water, small stuff/food.  Last minute, I ditched the 10lb weight plate (looking back a smart decision given the long hike).  'Very Heavy' (w/ plates) is good for shorter, safer treks but Heavy for Makiling is manageable.


Dennis Lopez said...

isa pa!

Anonymous said...

It’s so nice to see Mount Makiling up close aside from its unreachable profile view from our terrace. Mountain flora always fascinates me. :)