Monday, November 14, 2016

Mt Purgatory Traverse Dayhike

MT. PURGATORY (MT. PACK-MT. KOMKOMPOL)
Bokod, Benguet
Entry point: Japas Jumpoff, Bokod
Exit point: Brgy. Ekip, Bokod
LLA: 2290m (Mt. Pack); 2080m (Mt. Purgatory); 2329m (Mt. Komkompol)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2-3 days / 4-5 (Pa); 5-7 (Pu); 9-11 (K)
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Pine forests, mossy forests, Views of Benguet mountains


Jump off point
The mountain was usually climbed in 2 days, having to spent the night in Bakian School or in Tangbaw campsite. However due to increasing popularity of day hikes, and our team already some mountain in one day, We all agree to climb the Mt Purgatory in one day.

Climb in Style
Most of us was going to climb this mountain for the first time. I have climbed this mountain twice in an overnight climb. The first one was the real deal as the short-cut was not established yet. The second time was much easier as the trail was cut-short in tangbaw. 



We arrived at the jump-off at 20mins past 7am. A short orientation and preparation and off we go. 



Here is our itinerary 

Start trek :                        7:20am 
Mt Mangagew                   8:30am
Rest house       :                 9:30am
Mt Pack Lunch                 12:15pm 
ETD to Purgatory Peak     1 :00pm
Arrival in Mt Purgatory     2:20pm
Arrival in Tangbaw           4:00pm
Start Descend                    5:00pm
Arrival in the exit point    7:00pm
Etd to Baguio                   9:00pm
Arrival in Manila             4:00am


For other useful information you can visit : http://mtpurgatory.weebly.com/

The Team

Boss Marge
Tito Macky
Eru
Jules
Eugene
Cars
Ed
Digs
Borj
Omar
Xaan
Vaneng
Jm
Raffy

Group picture in Mt Pack ( from Mark Bolences )


Foggy Mt Purgatory Summit

Team Inov-8 





















Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Amuyao Traverse Dayhike

The idea of Amuyao Dayhike Traverse came to my mind when I saw the photo of Roland Wang Wang and friends doing a sky run on the said mountain. Meaning, if they can run it fast, we can hike it slow. So I coordinated with him to ask about all the necessary information to make the dayhike a success.

Once I gathered the logistics, I look for the contacts in Barlig. More importantly the guide who will join us on this never heard quest. Funny, I found the contact in Facebook when carrot man was viral. I saw the picture of him posting in Barlig Police Station. I made the necessary inquiry, good people point me to the person who can help me made this journey complete.

The marker near the summit - (courtesy of Mark Balonces )
So you see, We make this climb happen without help of a well known mountaineering group and individuals. We are just a bunch of newbie, shy type, all have a regular day jobs. We are all just love the outdoors and new challenges. We just all finished some Cordillera Mountains, so we all know each other's capability and strength on the trail. And most of all - We trust and care for each other and our bond is strong enough to believe in one another.

We could have finished up to Batad as we arrived in Cambulo at 5 pm with still an hour or more daylight. We are all feel good, We still have supplies , no one in the team have injury or even a blister. Meaning, If we choose to proceed to Batad, we can actually do so. However due to landslide that happened in Barlig, We were faced with unexpected problem, that needed our attention. That issue was delayed us for one night. We'll that's part of life, sometimes you just move on, think of what to do next and still have fun. All of us have a great mind set, no one sulk in bitterness as most if not all of us will be absent on Monday.

The clouds on trail -Photo courtesy of Mark Balonces

Some might not believe it,  Some were proud we nailed it., Others might think it's impossible

So let us share how we did it.

Sunday

1am - Start trek
5am - Amuyao Summit - Rest, Photo-Ops, Breakfast
7am - Start Descend
11am - Patyay Village - Lunch
12pm - Start trek to Cambulo
1pm  - Mt Umayao
5pm  - Cambulo - End of Trek. Awarding of Certificate
From Cambulo it will be just another 2 hours of easy trek to Batad.

We just call it a day there..


Thanks to Sir Wangsky for paving the way and inspiring my imagination to do this.
Thanks to All the people of Barlig for welcoming us, specially our host in Sea World Inn, Madam Jansen for all logistics and for the climb certificate and to our 2 guides - for pushing us to move forward.
To our Guide / Driver - Raffy - who happened to be left behind in Barlig for a day due to landslide.

And of course to everyone who joined me in this not so normal Dayhike.

The baby ducks of the team

Jem
Vaneng
Xa-an
Janine
Cars
Gela

The boys and not so boys

Mark
Ed
Direk
Don
Allan
Omar

And to Almight God for give us this mountain to climb, for giving us a good weather and a full moon on our hike. For giving us all the strength to finish the entire length without injury. and most of all for giving us each other - to be together - and to experienced and finished this wonderful and beautiful mountain trail with one another..

Resting at Cambulo - Photo courtesy of Mark Balonces
As I told them, If we complete this climb, our self confidence will boost, our bond will get stronger. We will now have a mindset that together we can complete any Mountain we set our hearts and minds to.

At the summit of Mt Amuyao
The complete TeamAttitude at the Summit







Monday, May 16, 2016

Dayhike Essentials

I love Day hiking and Peak bagging more than camping and spending the night in the wilderness. Why ? Because I have only 2 days off and of course there are other things I want to do beside spending it on the Mountain tops. There are other important things to do, to focus on and to spend time with. Thus, If the summit can be reach in one day, then Ill do it and find someone who would join me.

Thus, having doing it for years, I might or might not found ways of doing it more efficiently and to know the necessary and useful gears to bring on day hikes. 

This works for me on major and minor mountains alike, it might work for you as well, or you might found something useful to add to your gear list.


My Day Hike Essential Gears not necessarily in order of their importance. 

1. Umbrella - This is very useful for both rainy and sunny condition. It will reduce the amount of heat your body is absorbing on a very sunny day that can save you from being insane from the heat and from having a heat stroke. This is very useful also on rainy days without strong winds. IT blocks the rain from making you too wet and also have the ability to protect your packs if you forgot to water proof your gear. The umbrella also keeps you dry after the climb and to you travel going home. 

2. Headlamp / Flashlight - Even the very minor day hike can go wrong. Shit happens out there so it would be useful to have a means to light your way when the darkness creeps in.

3. Nutrition and Hydration - Foods for your energy and water for your hydration. Always research in advance the available water source on the trail for you not to bring too much water. Water is heavy. 
If you find the nutrition of trail runners, they dont rely on jelly ace for their fuels , the same should be applied to hikers. And also, do not bring your 1 liter Nalgene bottles on day hikes as it was bulky. 

4. First Aid Kit - Basic medicine will do. I always bring loperamide and ibuprofen

5. Disposable poncho - To complement the umbrella if the wind is too strong. Also poncho can keep you warm on a cold dark days. 


6. Cellphone with load- I always turn off my phone on a day hike. I just turn it on on breaks. So I do not need to carry an extra weight by bringing a power bank. 

7. Lightweight fleece - Depends on the mountain and season-  if it is nearby and can be finished in 6 to 10 hours I will not bring it. If the Mountain is on Cordillera Region and in Mindanao I will packed it. 

8. Shades - To protect your eyes from the sun. 

9. Headwear / Buff - Multiple use. On all my climb day hikes or not, I do not bring a bath towel. Headwear is enough. 

10. Slippers - Nothing can give you much comfort after a long and hard day's on the mountain than removing your shoes and socks and slip on  your slipper. 

11. Plastic Bags / Black bags - Plastic bags can be use to water proof your gears and clothes and for your trash and for your dirty clothes and shoes. Black Bags can also be used as windbreaker. 

12. Tissue ( Wet or Dry ) - You never know when you might need to use it, better be ready. 

Always use your common sense on what to bring. Research the mountain first and you will enjoy your hike more.. 
























Sunday, February 7, 2016

Random Thoughts

I have been reading a lot of post, comments and violent reactions regarding the state of hiking boom on nearby mountains and a lot of self pity and bitter individuals who try to find solace and comfort in the mountains.

Yes, there are lot of interest focus now in hiking or backpacking, as all the information now can be easily get on the internet. If you are just plain lazy like the most, you just post your questions on the Facebook group and hope you can find what your looking for or there are someone interested to answer your post.

I have been lucky to be able to complete the Great Cordillera Traverse individually just before the hiking booms. Those are the days that Facebook group is not that big, we are just relying on Pinoy Mountaineer and some other hiking blogs for itinerary and contacts. Some contacts are not active, so you will do the hard part trying to gather information on different sources. I have been established contacts trough Department of Tourism, Local Government and even just a mere local of that place. I have successfully organized my climb from Luzon to Mindanao without doing a pre-climb meeting, but I am always hiking with a small group that might differ from your way of doing things.

I have a lot of respect and thanks to our Old School Mountaineers, without them we might not have been inspired to follow their footsteps. However, we are just to concern about the good old days, the glory days of external backpacks, maong shorts, cotton shirts, hiking boots etc, can you imagine yourself now with that gear ?

Margaja Valley
Technology was created to make our life better, for us to be able to connect with the world much easier and faster. Can you think or organizing a climb now without internet, without mobile phones ? Before  you need to do a long distance call if you plan to gather information or to set up a climb outside metro manila. Now, trough Facebook messenger and text messaging we can connect without much cost and effort.

In terms of gears, lightweight packs, technical shirts, light weight and trail specific shoes are created so that we can enjoy the outdoors more. Indeed, you can still wear your combat shoes or your chuck taylor and take a lot of selfies , no one will damn care.

About the trail traffic, it is the hiker's choice to start early or start late, or as sir Gidz said, climb somewhere else. We cannot tell others not to climb the mountain because our group will climb it, your only choice was to start early you that you will be ahead of them when they are just starting.

The hiking boom creates more income to the community and weekend jobs to the locals. We should be thankful that they have now means to feed their family or to support whatever needs they have. Of course for the hard headed and self concern individuals, they always have the habit of finding fault, seeing the negative effects, take pictures , post it on Facebook attitude. Remember if your not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

No Trail Traffic here. (Trail connecting Dulang to Maagnaw )
One more thing, nothing drives me crazy than seeing a lot of Hugot post shit. No one cares about your bitterness, negative thoughts, and self pity , why post it on Facebook to gather sympathy and attention. You climb mountains, go places with that shit and you are just infecting others who are just trying to have a good time with people, places and themselves.  No one really cares if you dont have your Forever, or you just lost your Forever, We all have shits to deal with so your self pity and bitterness can just add to what we already have. Why most of us are just to damn dependent on other person for our happiness ? Cant you just let go and move on? Just accept it and move on with your life, If you are worth it, someone will come along eventually and make your adventure comes true. No one wants to be with the persons who just complaining, who are wallowing in self pity, revenge, negative thoughts and habits.  Cant we just climb on a good frame of mind? Cant we just go places just to enjoy it and enjoy it with the people around us ? Just leave your self inflicted pain and bitterness just deal with it again once your at home.

I have been blessed to have friends who somehow have the same thoughts as I have. We all have problems, issues, pain, disappointment , relationship failure, difficulty connecting to other people and yet when we are together we just enjoy that we are once again on the mountains and places and do not bring negative thoughts and energy among ourselves. Once we get back to our personal lives, we deal with it on our own. Of course we talked and shared about our personal problems with our friends, we just dont let the world know about it.

My Friends on top of Mt Napulauan. (picture courtesy of xa-an)
Just climb and enjoy it. Enjoy the people you are hiking with. Make new friends, strengthen the bond with your old friends, Enjoy the places , share stories with the locals. Make friend with your guides and porters, talk to them and soon you will find new meaning in your hiking and adventure life.


See you on the trails.





























Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Slow, Smooth and Light. Mt Napulauan Dayhike

We all have favorite Peaks to climb. It might be the view from the top, the challenges, the trail itself or the locals you met that wants you to go back. It might be a different reason, personal or what-nots we all have reasons to try to summit again the same mountain.

I have first climbed Mt Napulauan in 2012. This is my first mossy forest encounter and the moments and feelings I have inside the mountain lingers with me for so long. Since then, I had been to many enchanting forest and deep jungle floor, and nothing can compare to the same thrill I have for the first time I engulfed in the forest of Mt Napulauan.

Few minutes rest (From Eugene's Go Pro )
I have been wanting to go back for the past few years. However, something along the way keeps on aborting the plan. Now, with the right team with me and maybe it is now the right time. We make it happened. This time it is only on a day hike.

Group Selfie (Picture courtesy of Eugene )
My closest friends joined me on this journey, and I am very thankful with them.

The Girls are all smile with photo bomber luigi
Day hiking a major mountain is not to popular in our society. Many wants to sleep on the campsite or the peaks. Many just wants to experience more of nature, some just wants to drink and be merry at the campsite. Fortunately for me, I have found friends who share the same thoughts with me. We can still experience the mountain without camping or spending the night on the campsite. For this,we can just carry less foods and supplies, thus makes our journey lighter, and somehow faster than carrying a full pack.

We stayed at the Municapal Hostel in Hungduan. We spend our first day, bonding and connecting with each other. And this experience made us all closer and comfortable with one another, even after the climb, we are still connected as friends.

The session
We start to hike at 3:30am with light drizzle and morning cold. Slowly but continuously ascending, made our body warmth and shortly thereafter we remove our jackets. We did not witness yet the grand forest of the mountain because its too dark yet. Our headlamps only lights our way up. With continuously putting foot on top of another, we reached the summit a few minutes after 9am. We dont have a sea of clouds or clearing to have a great view on top. However reaching the summit is just a reward in itself. The view is just a bonus. We ate our foods and at 10am we start to descend via the same trail. We did not push on our plan to either hapao or balentimol falls exit, because it keeps raining at the time, and it will be dangerous for us if we proceed to Balentimol falls as the trail, according to our guides was steep and slippery, and they also opposed us on the said plan of traverse.

At Mt Napulauan Summit. (Picture courtesy of Eugene )
Our descend is much faster, it only takes us less than 4 hours to go down. The trail was wet and muddy as most of us fell a few times. We just carry on and continue moving as its beginning to get cold due to continuous rain.

We all arrived in Hungduan Jump off wet and cold, but still laughing and smiling as we talked our experiences on the trail.

They say its about the view, sea of clouds, mountains nearby or some others things you fancy every time you hike.

For us, its all about the people your hiking with. Its all about the connection and friendship you build along the way that really matters. Someday, we can forget all about the views and challenges that the mountain brings, but the people we have shared the journey with, will forever stay in our hearts and mind long before the journey ends.


Our humble team :

Luigi
Jem  
Xa-an
Vaneng
Gela
Kristian
Eugene
Ed
Eru
Mark
Jm

Special thanks goes Janice ( our host ) Jascel Bugan, Weng Sicat, and to our two guides. Who all helped us to make this hike happened.

Group picture. (Picture courtesy of Eugene )
































































Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Conquer 2nd TarakRidge 25km Via Paniquian Falls

I joined Conquer's year opening event tagged as 2nd Tarak Ridge. This was my second time to join Conquer's organized event, the first was 25km in Tanay Rizal last September of 2015.

Standing on the starting line with some known names and faces in the trail running community might give you chill or inspiration what ever you want it to be. Sure, there are lots of strong and dedicated runners, however, I just want to run and experience the fun, rather than to compete. For this race, I experience to get cramps in my left calves early on, just after I enter the trail going to Paniquian falls. I just walked with the pain reaching the falls and rest a little on the aid stations, as I know it will be all uphill until the summit.

At the starting line
As I reached the summit the pain subsides and I descend with much faster pace and confident only to be affected by cramps again this time in my right leg. I just smiled and continue to descend walking slowly until I reached Papaya River.

Trail Friends
At the Papaya river I met my friends who support me on this race. They gave me trail foods and drinks to continue.

Descending from the summit
From Papaya river, I have no options but to continue walking to the finish line with my right leg still in pain.

I reached the finish line after 7 hours and 30 minutes.

The event was well organized. There are lot of trail markers, local support, event marshall, first aider, and photographer.

Congratulations to Team Conquer and to Race director Benedict Meneses for a job well done.

Special thanks to Eru and Luigi for the support on this race

Thanks to sir Don for joining me on this event.

With master and coach Don
Thanks to Active Pinas and Running Photographer
for all the pictures used on this post.

and Thanks to the Almighty for giving me strength and keeping me safe throughout the race.

Happy Finisher. 



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Finding the Dont Look Back Trail


I first heard the dont look back trail when a race was organize in Mt Balagbag. I have been to the mountain a number of times as it was near to my location and the expenses is less than P200 pesos only. I am not aware that there are longer trail connecting to Mt Lubog and traversing to San Isidro Montalban or going back to the Mt Balagbag area via a circuit. There are 2 circuit trail there. One is the easy but much longer trail, and the other one is called Dont Look Back, as it was a cardiac assault on the loose soil and ridges under the heat and humidity.

Dont look Back trail 
I have been scouting this trail for 3 weekends now. First I try to find the trail connecting to Mt Lubog, then another weekend, me and my friends try to find it again, only to our disappointment that we end up on a different trail - the longer trail leading to San Isidro, and the other one connecting to dont look back on the left side of the trail is exiting to Balagbag Area, on the left going up is the Dont look back trail exiting to registration going to helipad.



As far as I know the trail is only used by locals and trail runners, there are no hikers yet passing by on that trail. All hikers are either going to Mt Maranat or the Helipad to camp and spend the night there.
Will remind you of Batulao without the hordes
Rolling terrain

Balagbag-lubog Circuit

The hike and recon would not be possible if without the support of my trail buddies. Eru , Luigi and Boss Don, you guys rock.. Soon we can try the much longer and challenging route exiting
toAnginan San Isidro, Montalban Rizal.