Friday, June 15, 2012

Makiling traverse via sipit trail

Mt Makiling traverse is one of the most popular and challenging hike for a hiker to experienced ,whether you use the easier uplb trail, or the more challenging traverse. Also this mountain is full of mystery and fantasy , that most hikers have some thrilling tales to tell about their spine chilling experienced in Mt Makiling
                               Welcome sign at the registration center

 Moreover, Maktrav can also be considered as a training climb for any major climb in the country. Recently announced that the palanggana using san bartolome will be closed and the sipit trail will be recommended and will be the main entry for doing the traverse. Also the sipit trail was used during the makiling quest , a trail run event last February. Last lenten season the make it makiling campaign was also launched using sipit trail , promoting Mt makiling for the hikers and campers to visit the mountain.
                                            Start of the trek

 Last sunday , we tried maktrav using the sipit trail . All of us have done the traverse using the palanggana trail So we all know the challenge that lies ahead. Before the climb I coordinated our plan to the officer of ecopark in sitio jordan, He help us with our logistics and guide/s.

We met at Jac liner bound to Lucena , after an hour and a half , we drop off at San felix, take a tricycle and proceed to registration area. The registration is free and the guide fee is negotiable. The sipit trail is much longer that the palanggana trail. The trail have a marker for each station . The trail to station 1 is a rolling , sometime flat terrain. Just a few minutes ahead, the station 2 will be reached. Here, you can rest up, theres a water source here, restroom and a small river and falls. After station 2 the trail will be uphill assault on most part , however the trail was assisted by rope to make it somehow easy to negotiate the steep part of the trail . After an hour or two , you will reach station 7 , this is the grassland entry and crossmark between the palanggana and sipit trail. The trail here is now more familiar , 2 of the guides left, and one guide stay with us until station 14 ,much populary known as melkas ridge.
                                             Station 2 base camp
                        Small river at station 2(photo courtesy of guzman)
                                      Start of assault up to station 7
You see the officer in charge of the sipit trail was so accomodating. He gave us 3 guides to accompany us to the hike, he made sure that were okay , and we will not get lost. We take a small break in station 14 before the assault to peak 3, from here onwards it will be all uphell, and that part of the trail was infected by limatik. It was like a party, every now and then we stop and remove the limatik, we make sure that they wont get the first bite. Otherwise, they will be more harder to remove and there might be blood from the bite.
                          The rope section to peak 3(Pics of roderick tuano)

The Makiling quest trail run and Make it makiling event made the trail visible by trail sign, pink ribbons was everywhere. We reached peak 3 at 12:30pm and peak 2 at 1:30pm . On peak 2 there are now 3 wooden cross. I believed it was set up there last lenten season.
                     3 wooden cross at peak 2(photo courtesy of guzman

The part of the trail where most hikers lost when going down was now closed by rope, and theres a lot of trail sign to guide the hikers on the trail. After 30 mins of rest, we started our descend. This time is the only time I hiked in Maktrav on dry mud. We do not encountered any drizzle,so the path was dry and not slippery; so our descend was easy and smooth and we are almost running. The wide path trail going to Agila base was rocky so prepare accordingly.
                                  Photo courtesy of guzman
                     The long and endless road. Photo courtesy of guzman

 It only take us an hour to reach the kubo where we had our rest stop for buko. And it took us an hour and 10mins from kubo to the entry point of Makiling in Uplb side. Here, you can take a bath and change clothes. Just walk ahead for a few minutes to reached the part where you can take jeep to crossing calamba. From Crossing calamba, there are buses bound to cubao and pasay. After an action packed dayhike adventure,what better way to end the day that a hot , delicious dinner. We ate at totoy's restaurant, to our suprise the servings was huge,it was good for 2-3 people. So we had a fiesta of 2 kinds of pancit and one order of lomi, well it is just another way to celebrate my post birthday climb. Thanks to sir russell and sir rick for the great maktrav dayhike adventure..

                                 Visitor registration area at uplb

How to go to sipit trail

Take bus to lucena , tell the conductor to drop you off at san felix. Marker ( sea oil station ) : Fare : P110.50
Take a tricycle to sitio jordan ecopark ( old dumpsite ) : Fare : 60
Registration : free
Guide fee     : 300 (up to station 7 or station 14

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gear review : Columbia master of faster

I bought columbia master of faster october last year and since then its been my hiking companion in most of my major climbs. Most people say that what made them buy their hiking shoes because of durability ,realibity and all that nonsense shit. You dont know that yet when you are just about to buy the shoes, so you are just relying in online review and the strong brand presence of the shoes manufacturer.
What I liked about the columbia master of faster is the style and weight,compared to my teva forge pro,its much lighter. And with omni-grip technology,as well as the design of the outsole ,you can be sure that it can handle the most difficult terrain out there, both real and imagined.
                                    Master of faster at Maktrav peak 2
                                     At the highest peak of luzon
The first time I used the shoes was in the terrain of Mt Maculot. I ascend the rockies with ease without any blister, and the descend was sweet as well with no pain in my toes and other discomfort. Then I tried it on the wicked and unforgiving trail of Makiling Traverse . Anyone who had climbed maktrav will tell you that this mountain have all kinds of trail. Rocks, roots, muds , you named it Maktrav have it. And the shoes once again reached the summit of Peak 3 and Peak 2 in one piece. And the descend trough the muddy part of Uplb trail the shoes feels like its glued in your feet , you can actually trail run without the fear that the shoes will fail you ,to caused you to slipped. If you slipped,its not because of the shoes grip,it might be because of your balanced, and tired knees. The Master of faster can handle light rain and downpour,if you want a waterproof version theres a Master of faster Omnitech and Master of faster outdry.
                                          Mt napulauan marker
The master of faster have reached the summit of Mt Napulauan traverse, Mt Pulag akiki-amba ,  and Mt amuyao traverse and its still looks the same way as the first timed I used it.Im sure and confident that it can take me to the mountains of Visayas and Mindanao.
Now tell me,where can your trail shoes take you..

Recently,Last June 2. I used again the columbia master of faster in the rugged terrain of timbelarnd heighs running 21km for the merrell adventure run. And once again it proved its worth and passed again with flying colors running trough those muddy and slippery trail.

Last June 11 , I used again the master of faster for another action adventure dayhike the makiling dayhike traverse using sipit trail..
On a lighter note, My climbing buddy defy all my theories , He climbed with me on those peaks with just his sandugo sandals.
                                       Sandugo sandals

Monday, June 4, 2012

Merrell Adventure Run 2012

This is my 2nd year to participate in the merrell adventure run. and this time its wild. In 2011, I registed for 5km. This year, I upgraded it to 21km. I have no idea how far the 21km is, I never ran half marathon before, and Im not a regular runner who attends running clinic or run for practice.And the last time I sign up for a running event was the merrell adventure run 2011. So doing a 21km for the first time might sounds like a little farfetched, they said that you should do it slowly. Run for 5km ,then 10km before doing a 21km. Well im hard headed, I did not follow the advice though. Prior to this event , I have no running exercises, Im still recovering from the recent Amuyao traverse climb.So while others are training religiously for the event, Im just relaxing and thinking of where will be our next climb.
                                                Pics before gun start
                                              Merrell adventure runners
                                               Master of faster

Going back to merrell adventure run, it was always set for the month of June, I dont know why, maybe just to have a little rain on the trail can just add up to the excitement and thrill for doing a trail run.I imagined it might be not as fun as doing it on the rain and it will be more hell running under the heat of the sun. The river also might be dry if it is not a raining season , so the place might be dull and boring.

Just before the event, the first typhoon of the year enter the country. So its raining the whole day before the event, and it made the trail muddy and slippery. Theres a lot of elite and pelit runner, some are doing the trail run for the first time,and some have already been participating in skyrun(skyrun is a trail run that held more than 2000 feet above sea level) , and some are mountaineers who are just looking for another challenge.

The first part of the trail was wide,the hordes of 21km can run simultaneously on this part, then it becomes narrow with slight uphill and dowhill. It was a rolling terrain all the way to the river.The river crossing, is something you will not experience on the road run, some runners dive into the deepest part of the river, while others just walked on the side, while most used it to lessen the mud on their shoes as the muds add weight to it.
                                           The uphill part of the trail.
Then an uphill part comes up, with rope to assist the runners. Some runners who have not used to descend on a slippery trail,just sit down and used their butt so slide safely downhill. While others who have good trail shoes and balanced just run all the way down with ease and comfort. The difference of road runners and mountaineers will become evident and obvious in some part of the trails.
                                    The mud crawl from sir thumbie
                                 The bamboo bend.,,pics from sir thumbie..

 Then another interesting part if the mud crawl. All of us have fun crawling to the mud. The trail of 21km means that you need to do another round of the race course,and that made it more challenging , since the trail is now paved and damaged by runners, and it was now more slippery and no more foothold for descend . With the mud so thick and stuck in your shoes that you can feel the weight as its getting heavy for every step you take . Many running shoes failed,many runners slipped and fall ;and all of them was just smiling and keep going. Others did not finished the entire 21km for their own personal reasons,while others tired as they were still finished the event, savouring all the fun and glory running in the hills of timberland. Most of the time I was just walking chit chatting with my new found friend until the 10km loop, then in the 2nd round I run and hike trough the muddy terrain. It took me 5 hours and 22 minutes to finished the entire 21km with just one slipped, no bruises and cuts. My spirit was still high and my legs are still strong that I feel I can do another loop, just walking,jogging and hiking.

After I passed to the finished line, I went directly to the adventure booth to claimed the medal and finishers shirt. That is the main reason why I sign up for the 21km in the first place.
                                    Crossing the finish line at 5:22 hours

This years adventure run attracted a lot of trail newbie and elite runners and we all have fun. We are now looking forward for next years Merrell Adventure Run.