Friday, May 25, 2012

Blood,Sweat,Mud and Dust..The Amuyao traverse barlig to batad

If you mentioned Mt Amuyao traverse to every outdoor enthusiast , they will tell  you ,specially those who have climbed it, that this is a difficult climb.With difficulty rating of 8/9 Mt amuyao traverse is a real deal, and a real challenge to every mountaineer. Thus, this challenge what prompts me to try to push my limit on how much I can and cant do with this new found hobby . After climbing some of the great traverses of cordillera, Ugu,pulag and napulawan, now I believe its time to take the challenge to a new level by conquering one tough mountains of the north. The Amuyao traverse barlig to batad trail ..
                                                Welcome Sign

                The not so monster jeep. Getting ready from banaue going to barlig
                                               Arrival at barlig

Due to heavy traffic in Gapan and vehicle accident in bambang, Our itenary was delayed. We arrived in Banaue at 9:00am.We allow one hour for final buys, breakfast and bought packed lunch. At 10am we board our rented jeepney and start our journey to Barlig. At 1:00pm we arrived in Barlig, registered at the police station and tourism office.The other groups also ate their packed lunch before we start trekking. The tourism offices arranged our guide. But to the group dismay, it starts to rain when we are about to start walking. It rains all day during our ascent to the summit of Mt Amuyao. Thus we dont have much picture of the beautiful scenery on the barlig trail. The weather and the terrain made our ascent difficult, And we have to keep going because just a few minutes rest, the cold started to seep in to our tired body and that proves to be a warning sign of hypothermia. At 8:00pm the first group arrived at the bunker. Tired and battered, We still have enough energy to prepare our dinner and congratulate each other for a successful ascent on top of Mt amuyao. Little did we know that the day after, will be much more difficult and the terrain will be less forgiving..

                                               Inside the Bunker

We woke up at 4:00am and start prepare our breakfast and packed lunch. When the sun starts to shine to the wilderness, every one was excited to have a picture taken of the famed sea of clouds on top of Mt amuyao. Our energy was recharged, our spirit was still high, and our team work was re-united by that morning sun, as we all hope for a nice weather ahead..
                                            The forest of Mt Amuyao

                      Just another beautiful scenery in Mt Amuyao traverse trail

 We start our descend at 8:30am the first part of the descend trail was not that difficult, it was more like a trail of maktrav.However , the left side of the trail was a cliff, and you always need to be careful and focus on each one of your steps. One mi's steps you will slide down on the cliff and you will be just another mountain disaster. We reached the pat-yay river at 1:00pm.

                                          Fitrum model at pat-yay river

We fill our water supply and ate our packed lunch.We resume trekking at 1:30pm . We all thought that the trail will be just like that an easy descend, rolling terrain. Little did we know that we need to ascend another 400meters to reached the summit of pat-yay, We reached the summit of pat-yay at 5:00pm. Our guide ,porter and local that we met on the trail, gave us an estimated time of 4 hours from the pat-yay summit to cambulo village. The trail to cambulo from pat-yay is the most difficult part of the traverse. The trail was made slippery with the rain. And theres a lot of landslide , soft mud and cliff on the left part of the trail. And after 5 to 6 hours of descend, we reached a water irrigation of pat-yay, this time our porter became disoriented because of fatigue, lack of sleep, hungry and dead tired. He cannot remember where the right trail is, We regroup and decides it will be more dangerous if we pressed on to reach Cambulo, so the group decides to e-camp at the first ,flat area we encounter since we descend from the summit of pat-yay.

                                              Pat-yay rice terraces

 E-camp will give you and idea, if your group is matured enough to handle this kind of situation. All of us showed grace under pressure, never did I hear someone is blaming someone for the situation. All of us took this as part of our adventure and we need to evaluate the situation and decides what to do next once we regain our energy. Somehow , I am thankful that I have decided to have the team injury to bring 2 tents for their group, otherwise we will all left standing or sitting outside. The other groups dont have a tent ,but we have a groundsheet and a tarp that accommodate 11 of us.
Thus minutes after we set up our sleeping ground you can hear all the snore that came from our tired body, Thus day 2 is over and we have another day to trek to Cambulo and Batad. We all hope that we could reached the Batad saddle on time ..Our ticket back home was already secured..

The trail going to cambulocambulo. Our spirits was on top again, because now we know we are on the right trail

                                                 Cambulo Village

                                         Cambulo Elementary School

We just spent minutes in Cambulo,taking picture and get some water.After 2 hours of non stop walking we finally reached batad rice terraces. Everyone's tired body was uplifted by the view. We tried to take pictures to our hearts delight and enjoy the beauty that God gave us.
                                             Batad Rice terraces

                             The expedition leader planking in Batad

We decide that we must pressed to to reach the saddle by 4pm. So even though we dont want to, we continue our journey by another ascend to batad saddle. We take a break in Batad view point, here we ate our late lunch. After 30mins we resume to trek to saddle by 4:00pm , The group reached the saddle and after 30 mins the team dulo reached the saddle as well. At 5:00pm we board the rented jeepney back to banaue. At 6:00pm we reached banaue, we need to act fast, we need to eat dinner and take a bath in less that one hour so that we can board the bus bound to manila at 7pm.. The group was really organized, they know what to do , with time concern, they do it fast.. At 7pm we are all inside the bus and relieving our own story of the classic,epic and wild journey that we have.

Mt Amuyao traverse really lives up to its expectation . It will give you a challenge you can never forget. So if you want to try to do the traverse- Be prepared both physically and mentally . And make sure that the group you will climb with have a strong spirit and will to finished the whole journey. They say that doing the traverse is a retirement climb for a mountaineer . Now I understand why..In my case,this will be another challenge to make myself strong for another climb..

Additional useful info :

Since theres no signal in Barlig, you will need to coordinate in Banaue tourism council
You can rent a jeep from banaue to barlig, and have the same jeep picked you up in Batad saddle.
Going to banaue you can only bound the ohayami bus , since its the only bus that have a direct banaue trip
first trip is 9pm. followed by 9:30pm and last trip is 10pm . Travel time is 9 hours depends on the traffic in Gapan
For guide : Since you will start in Barlig, its mandatory to secured your guide there. Once you registered in Barlig tourism office, the tourism officer will be the one to arrange the guide for you, and also if you need a porter. Let the tourism officer knows how many porter or guides you need. The standard guide ratio is 1:5, meaning one guide for 5 people.

Theres only one water source on the trail of MT amuyao. Theres also water source in the bunker but its only good for washing . You will need to boil it in order for it to be drinkable.
On the way down, the only realiable water source is the river.
Theres a water source in Cambulo village and Batad village as well.

You need to have a trekking pole, arm sleeve, Gloves, poncho or water proof jacket, flashlight or headlamp and lots of trail food..

This video was made by my buddy , enjoy..

For complete information you can visit

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