Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sunday Afternoon with MCAP

Last Sunday I was invited by my friend to join the ropemanship and knot tying training with Marc Gana. Those people who are into rock climbing and rappelling they know and climbed with  Marc. He was the founder of the extreme adventure zone, and have years of experience using the rope. He is a rockstar (working with rocks ) on his own right.

                                   Marc showing his ways with the rope

Mcap-short for- Mountain Climber Alliance of the Phillipines another group created on facebook by Edwin Gatia- whose name always associated when you mentioned Guiting Guiting.As he, among others-included in the first group who was able to reached the Peak of  Mt Guiting Guiting back in the days.

Ropemanship is the skill climbing with ropes. All outdoor enthusiast, from some point of their lives probably used ropes one way or the other. Ropemanship is also important skills to have to rescue lives during natural disaster and catastrophe-such as typhoon- flash food, landslide, earthquake or any other emergency that requires rope to save lives and properties. Having said that ,being an ourdoorsman requires us to have a few skills with knot tying.

                                Marc is sharing some of his favorite knots

Ropemanship always goes hand in hand with knot tying. According to Marc and from the internet there are thousands of knots available. But you dont need to memorize all of it, you just need to learned  a few knots and how to used in a given situation really matters. Bear Grylls shared his Top 10 knots on his ipod/iphone applications . Marc Gana shared his top 20 on the training.

For simplicity, I will just share some of it. These are very easy to learned and to remember. As of all other things, practicing it ,until it becomes second nature should be your main goal, because you really never know when and where  you're going to need it-maybe the life you will save will be your own.

The following knots below are some of most used knots in backpacking and hiking. From tying your guyline to the peg, or making a makeshift tarp or tying your hammock to a tree.  These knots are very useful in the outdoors. 

1. Bowline - makes a reasonably secure loop in the end of a piece of rope. It has many uses, e.g., to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post. Under load, it does not slip or bind. With no load it can be untied easily. Two bowlines can be linked together to join two ropes. Its principal shortcoming is that it cannot be tied, or untied, when there is a load on the standing end. It should therefore be avoided when, for example, a mooring line may have to be released under load.

2.Figure of eight - allows the simple and reliable Figure 8 loop to be tied to a ring, a carabiner, or your own harness. It is reasonably easy to remember, tie, and check. When completed it forms a Figure 8 Loop

3. Clove hitch -A clove hitch is a type of knot. Along with the bowline and the sheet bend, it is often considered one of the most important knots.[1] A clove hitch is two successive half-hitches around an object. It is most effectively used as a crossing knot. It can be used as a binding knot, but is not particularly secure in that role.[2] A clove hitch made around the rope's own standing part is known as either two half-hitches or buntline hitch, depending on whether the turns of the clove hitch progress away from or towards the hitched object.

4.Cow Hitch - The cow hitch is a hitch knot used to attach a rope to an object. The cow hitch comprises a pair of half-hitches tied in opposing directions, as compared to the clove hitch in which the half-hitches are tied in the same direction. It has several variations and is known under a variety of names. It can be tied either with the end of the rope or with a bight.

5.Overhand Knot - The overhand knot is one of the most fundamental knots and forms the basis of many others including the simple noose, overhand loop, angler's loop, reef knot, fisherman's knot and water knot. The overhand knot is very secure, to the point of jamming badly. It should be used if the knot is intended to be permanent. It is often used to prevent the end of a rope from unraveling.

6.Sheep Shank - The sheepshank is a type of knot that is used to shorten a rope or take up slack. This knot is not stable. It will fall apart under too much load or too little load.

7. Sheet bend (also known as becket bend, weaver's knot and weaver's hitch) is a bend, that is, a knot that joins two ropes together. Doubled, it is effective in binding lines of different diameter or rigidity securely together, although it has a tendency to work loose when not under load.

 8. Square Knot ( Reef Knot ) - The reef knot or square knot is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. Although the reef knot is often seen used for tying two ropes together, it is not recommended for this purpose due to potential instability of the knot.
A reef knot is formed by tying a left-handed overhand knot and then a right-handed overhand knot, or vice versa. A common mnemonic for this procedure is "right over left, left over right", which is often appended with the rhyming suffix "... makes a knot both tidy and tight". Two consecutive overhands of the same handedness will make a granny knot. The working ends of the reef knot must emerge both at the top or both at the bottom, otherwise a thief knot results.

9.Taut-line hitch -The taut-line hitch is an adjustable loop knot for use on lines under tension. It is useful when the length of a line will need to be periodically adjusted in order to maintain tension. It is made by tying a rolling hitch around the standing part after passing around an anchor object. Tension is maintained by sliding the hitch to adjust size of the loop, thus changing the effective length of the standing part without retying the knot.It is typically used for securing tent lines in outdoor activities involving camping, by arborists when climbing trees,[1] for creating adjustable moorings in tidal areas,[2] and to secure loads on vehicles.



10.Siberian Hitch (or Evenk knot) is a knot used to attach a rope to an object. The hitch is thought to have originated from the Evenk people of Siberia.[citation needed] It is a quick release hitch often used by Ray Mears during his bushcraft television series. The hitch is known for the ease in which it can be tied even whilst wearing gloves or mittens in cold climates. This hitch is also slipped and therefore can be released by pulling the short end of the rope.[1]



Disclaimer : 

 All pictures of the knots above and its descriptions came from the internet. 


I wanna say thank you to all Mcap members for their warm welcome and hospitality . And to Marc Gana for sharing his talents and time to make this event possible.





Saturday, January 26, 2013

The longest night

Talomo-Apo Traverse Day 4

We camp on the summit of Mt Apo campsite, near the peak facing the Boulders. The wind was so strong that I need to tie a guyline to my mountain hardwear sprite 1 for another protection. The dinner that we have that night is my pre packed power oat meal, to give us an energy boost and to warm our core. We keep on hoping and praying that Sir Castell,somehow is also warm and cozy on the place he choose to spend the night. We made a plan that first thing first in the morning , Bigboy and Datu will look for him on the trail to Sta cruz, because we know it will be for difficult to find him at night, with the cold weather and strong wind, we don't want to add more people to be worried about.

My SOL heatsheet emergency bivy protected me all night, high altitude, cold weather and strong winds, somehow I was warm inside my tent , not fearing any signs and symptoms of hypothermia.
But you see, I might have asleep with one eye open because I know that on the other tents, they are also worried about our lost companion. The night is darker just before the dawn as they said, this is our longest night, We havent had enough sleep, We keep on checking the time if its now safe to look for Castell.

                                         Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1

                                            Silangan Tent in Mt Apo

At long last the darkness fade giving Bigboy the chance to descend to the trail which he believes Sir errol spend the night. And indeed he found Castell there, preparing his things to ascend to the summit.Imagine our Joy when we found out that he is safe and sound.Earlier , Max and I ascend to the peak of Mt Apo near the boulders to catch the sunrise, to witness the Gods wonderful creation. We have a sea of clouds everwhere, we were stunned by beauty of surroundings while the sun illuminate the entire area giving us the most magnificent view we have seen on top. As I said to myself, there I am on top of the highest peak in the country, Im not a newbie anymore, those people who have been looking down on me because Im not able to set foot on Mt Apo,well Im not only summitted Mt Apo doing your regular trail , I was able to conquer it coming from Mt Talomo.

                              The mighty Maximus and Jm on top of Mt Apo

After our reunion on the campsite, we prepared and ate our breakfast , quickly breakcamp , then passed by the summit again , then start our descend to boulders. This is the most difficult part of the descend. We need to make sure that when we set foot on the rocks, it will not slide. So slowly but safely we descend to the boulders, sniffing the sulfurs thats venting out of surface. After an hour the entrance to the forested trail emerged, then its an easy up and down trekked. We arrived in Gudi Gudi campsite only to be disappointed with a lot of trash everywhere. We know for a fact that organizers from Manila just went there a week or two prior to us, They charging their participants way to high, Imagine if they hire a locals who can manage their trash and bring it all the way down ? They dont want to slice up their profits, you corrupt mountaineers, shame on you.. You bring up a lot of people on the mountains but you cannot bring your trash down ?

                                   Mt Tampurong seen form the boulders

                                    The famous boulders of Mt Apo

                                        Camp Gudi Gudi trash area

Much to has been said about that issue, we continue our descend and 30 minutes past 3pm we arrived in the area they called paradise, and at 4:15 pm we arrived at the end point of the trek the sitio mainit area. We tidy up, wait for habal habal to take us up to digos. After an hour of habal habal ride, we arrived at Digos bus terminal, have our dinner and post climb meeting. Then after that, we take bus to Davao. We arrived at Davao ecoland bus terminal at 8:00pm and then the fellowship went their own way with the unforgettable adventure inside their hearts and mind.

                                          Mcap Max on the summit

                                   The Glorious Sunrise on Top of Mt Apo

                           At Sitio Mainit, End of 4 days Talomo-Apo Traverse

Special thanks to Bigboy Sator and Jun Sicao for accompanying us to the toughest traverse in the country. For making sure we will not trek at night, and for always preparing our food in the entire journey. I will never forget the two of you..

Special thanks to Castell Faber for joining me in this climb.

and many thanks to sir Maximus for the help and support in making sound decisions on the mountains, for securing our ride from the airport to the jump off . For always walking with me on the insane difficult trail of the entire traverse, and for helping me document the climb and of course for the many pictures that will be forever cherished in our memories..

All of this would not be possible without you.. 

Until next time..

All the pictures used courtesy of Maximus tercerus

This itenaries based on Maximus documentation

This is a 4 day itinerary as based on the trekking we did for the Mt. talomo- Mt. Apo Traverse.

One can extend it to a 5 day traverse for a less exhausting trek though it may add to your expenses for food and guide/porter services.

Day 1:
0600 – ETA Davao City International Airport (for the people coming from Manila) / Meet up with guide and transport service.
0630 – Purchase additional supplies at Bankerohan Market.
0700 – ETD Tamayong, Calinan
0830 – ETA Tamayong, Calinan / Breakfast and Repacking
0900 – ETD Sicao Village
1000 – ETA Sicao Village ; Register: P150/head ; Meet our porter and co-guide
1030 – ETA Mt. Talomo
1200 – Lunch on the trail
1400 – ETA Utan River

1730 – ETA Camp 2/ Lumot Campsite ; prep dinner
2030 – Lights out
Day 2
0500 – Wake Up Call / Breakfast
0640 – Break Camp / ETD Mt. Talomo summit
0920 – ETA Mt. Talomo summit
1000 – Descent from summit, ETA for Lipopoccan Peak
1100 – ETA Lipopoccan Peak
1200 – ETA Canlelang Peak / Lunch
1500 – ETA Kabacan Falls / River
1730 – ETA e-camp site
1800 – Dinner
2100 – Lights out
Day 3
0500 – Wake Up Call / Breakfast
0645 -- Break Camp / ETD Basinan Campsite
0850 – ETA Basinan Campsite
1400 – ETA Lake Venado
1500 – ETD Mt. Apo summit campsite
1800—ETA Summit Campsite / Dinner
2000 – Lights out
Day 4
0520 – Wake Up Call
0545 – Assault peak, viewing and picture taking
0630 – Breakfast
0800 – ETD Descent to Boulders
1030 – ETA Godi-Godi Campsite
1200 – ETA Baroring
1300 –ETA Upper Sabwag / Lunch
1530 – ETA Sitio Paradise
1615 – ETA Sitio Mainit / End of trek / Clean Up
1700 – ETD Digos Bus Terminal
1800 – ETA Digos Bus Terminal / Dinner
2000 – ETA Davao City

How to do it : 

Please contact Bigboy Sator for complete information and climb package. He will be happy to help you. 

Bigboy : 09297976642

For another information : 

Please visit pinoymountaineer.com

For maximus own word description of the traverse please go to this link


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Talomo-Apo Traverse Day 3

We woke up at 5:30am and quickly prepared our breakfast. We are still too far from Basinan campsite. It will took up to 3 hours to Basinan Campsite and from Basinan 4-5 hours to Lake Venado. The trail from e-camp to Basinan is the continuation of the trail from Talomo Summit. Still difficult , muddy, slippery, lots of logs crossing and to top if all , theres the chill being on a high altitude the trek became more challenging. We constantly found ourselves taking a small break,sitting and standing on the heat of the sun, trying to warm our bodies. Eventually , after couple hours of walking, we reached Basinan Campsite at 9:30am.

                                    Resting under the sun, getting warm.

                                     Approaching the Basinan Campsite.

From Basinan campsite to Lake Venado, the trail became less hostile, allowing us to walk without balancing on logs. Its 2pm when we reached Lake Venado , and took up our lunch facing the Almighty Mt Apo's Peak.

                                          At the Basinan Campsite

We know that it will be 3-4 hours ascend to Mt Apo Campsite. This time there will be no E-camp, We will pushed to reach the summit, even if it means we need to walk at night.

                                             Another forested area.

                       Almost there, I can see from here the peak of Mt Apo.

                           Lake Venado and Mt Apo, just a few minutes away.

 We expected that we will run out of sunlight before reaching the campsite, and with the constant ascend,meaning we are gaining altitude,We know that it will be windy and cold up there. So I ready my jacket and headlamp, I dont want to be caught unprepared when the sun's out and im already cold.

                                      Looking back at Lake Venado.

Slowly the air is getting thinner and the sun's moving quickly to set, so with little rest to take the pictures and enjoy the view,  we are constantly moving forward.

                                          The fogs are getting lower.

It is so difficult to walk at night up there, specially with the wind blowing in all directions, you might lose your balance. Lucky for us , it didnt rain. It just that the wind is so fierce,that my buddy got the first stage of hyphothermia. I was protected by my choice of gear. So the wind is not frightening me at the moment, because Im not getting cold.

                              Getting ready for the nasty weather up there.

I was constantly moving,only resting for a minute to check if Max still behind me. I can still see his headlamp , but we cannot hear each other because of the strong wind engulfing the whole surrounding. I know it will be more trouble if I proceed alone in the dark, so I decided to wait for my buddy finding cover on the big rocks on the trail. If your not moving and your on the open area, the wind will give you creeps, as it is so fierced and hostile, that I sometimes wonder what the hell am i doing there ? With constant movement and hope and will power, we made it safe.,then our guide approach as just before the campsite, saying that one of us is missing. We are shocked because we know that he went ahead of us. He was with our two guides. Imagine our fear and dismay to find out that he is lost somewhere on the trail, under the darkness and violent wind.

                       It might appear that this is an easy ascent, but hell no!!
                         The air is thinner and the wind is so fierce up there.

We just hope that he will not panic and stay safe all trough the night. We hope and pray all night that he is safe somewhere in the wilderness.

To be continued..

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Phillipines 2thousander

I now have a new mission. Something that will needed more time and budget. I am now planning to complete the Top 10 highest peak in the country. However, Mt Ragang is not open yet.Even Pinoymountaineer and the Mindanao explorer havent climbed it yet, so why should I ? Meaning I will not be able to complete the Top 10,but what I can do is to replace it with another mountain in the list of Top 20 and I have my own version of top 10. Or if time and budget permits, and if the mountain is climable-meaning its open and safe to climb, I might have this crazy and out of the world idea to climb the Top 30 in Pinoymountaineer's list of 2thousander mountain in the Phillipines. No matter how long it takes, whether Im on my 40's or 50's.

I dont want to grow old and dumb, like other aging mountaineer, who still wants to control the scene. They forgot that times have changed, this is now a level playing field. We are forever thankful and grateful for what they have done and contribute to the mountaineering community. Their names will be forever mentioned in the mountains.Lots of them grow old gracefully, others still hanging on to their long lost famed.Still trying to be part of the scene. They forgot that what we have right now is a totally different ballgame.The mountaineering society evolves and develops into one helluva sports and lifestyle.

This time, they should pass the torch, and entrust the field to the next generation. 

Below are the list of Phillipines Highest Mountains according to Pinoymountaineer.com
  1. Mt Apo                          - Finished
  2. Mt Dulang Dulang         - Scheduled for Dec 2013
  3. Mt Pulag                       - Finished
  4. Mt Kitanglad                  -Scheduled for Dec 2013
  5. Mt Kalatungan               -Finished
  6. Mt Tabayoc                   - Schedule for Jan 2013
  7. Mt Ragang                    - Closed ; Not Open to Mountaineers
  8. Mt Maagnaw                 - Scheduled for Dec 2013
  9. Mt Timbak                    - Finished
  10. Mt Amuyao                  - Finished
I was able to complete some on the list. This year with God's and nature's help I might be able to finished the Top 10 with exception of Mt Ragang- which is not yet open to mountaineers or even to everbody else. I will just replaced it with another mountain next on the list.

11. Mt Panotoan                 -No info yet in Pinoy mountaineer
12. Mt Kapiligan               - No info yet in Pinoy mountaineer
13. White Peak     - Might not be climable for the next 2 years because of Typhoon Pablo's damaged.
14. Mt Abao                      - No info yet in Pinoy mountaineer
15.Mt. Napulauan              -Finished
16. Mt Osdung                  - Open
17. Mt Lumuluyaw           - No info yet in Pinoy mountaineer
18. Mt Halcon                   - Still Close
19.Mt Cauitan                   - Not sure if it is the same as Mt Kalawitan, if it is - its Open.
20.Mt. Alchanon (Alchanar) - No info yet in Pinoy mountaineer

I will update this post ,once I have new or more facts about the other mountains on the list that doesnt have logistics and complete information .

To quote my Mentor

“I believe that, with anything in life, if you have the patience, desire and passion, you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Ed Viesturs

For complete information
Please visit Pinoymountaineer.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Talomo-Apo Traverse Day 2

Day 2

We woke up on the cold and rainy morning in Camp 2. We still need to hiked for 2-3 hours to reached the Talomo summit. After a quick breakfast,with renewed body and spirit. We break camp under the rain and chilly weather,then continued our journey to the wilderness.

                           Camp 2. 2-3 hours away from the Talomo Summit
                                  Just another mossy logs to crossed

As we near the talomo summit the trail became more slippery, dangerous and mind blowing difficult. Imagined walking on it while raining. Being wet,cold and in high altitude already the hiked became more taxing. We reached the foggy Talomo Summit at 9:00am.

                  Hail Salute once again to our fallen comrades who didnt make it.

                                           Mt Talomo Dense Forest

From the summit it would take another 8-10 hours hiked to Basinan Campsite. With a couple of another peaks to crossed, we didnt stay too long in the summit. After savoring the cold and the view to our hearts delight, this time the rain already subside, We continue walking trough the dense forest.

                                            Talomo's Jungle Canopy.

We thought that the worst is over,but not yet,,The trail from the summit to Basinan is the most challenging and mind puzzling part of the traverse. This time theres a lot of logs crossing and lots of ascend and descend with very slippery rocks and most. Theres a two 90 degrees descend, One is supported by makeshift bamboo ladder,that some part is loose. The other one is supported with vine.
That vine gives up while Max is holding it to descend, good thing he was not injured.

                                     The Almost 90 degrees descend.

                                             At the Cabacan River.

We failed to reached the Basinan campsite just before the sun sets, Our guides being knowleadgeable of the danger hiking at night. We set up camp somewhere in the jungle canopy of Mt Talomo.

                                           Just another part of the trail

Another day just passed, just one more day and for the first time I will be able to set foot on the Grandfather of the Phillipine Mountains. The formidable Mt Apo.

                                        Mt Apo. So near, yet so far.

                                          The Almighty Mt Apo.

Note :
All photos that were used was courtesy of Maximus Tercerus

To be continued..

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mt Kalatungan Circuit


Entry point : Brgy Mendis
Exit   point:  Brgy Mendis

Days required    : 2-3 days
Trail conditions : Forested and Open Trail , Lots of rattan torns and sharp grass.
Peak : 2880 Masl

 Note :

This is not a back trail, The Goverment of Pangantucan created a trail that connects the two peaks and exits on the same location. The trail connects at the entry point before the river crossing.

Mt Kalatungan is the 5th highest peak in the Phillipines. According to Pinoymountaineer measurement the peak have 2880 Masl.

After our 4 days Talomo-Apo Traverse, I just rest my legs for 3 days and then when I thought I was ready, I know venture to Bukidnon to do another traverse. Originally It should be Dulang-dulang to Kitanglad traverse. However I thought, that I already have a schedule to go back to Cagayan De Oro in Dec 2013 and If I do the K2D now, I dont have enough days to include Mt Maagnaw on the list. So meaning I will have another mountain left fulfilled to climbed. So logistically wise,I should conquer first Mt kalatungan, then come Dec 2013 the Bukidnon Almigh-3 mountain will be scale.

I was joined with my 2 friends from Bukidnon. We are both came from finishing another ardous trek. The Talomo-Apo Ultimate traverse. With a little doubt with our strength, not with our perserverance, We summited Mt Kalatungan on a rainy and windy Afternoon.

Day 1

From Davao City it will take between 4-5 hours travel to Maramag bukidnon and another 30 mins travel to Pangantucan municipality. In City Hall conference room we spent our first night in town.

Day 2 up to Campsite

All logistics have been carefully arranged before hand.We also have the live chicken that was needed for the ritual.  So at 6am, we are fetched by Habal Habal that can take us to Brgy Mendis, where the actual jump off is. It was a 40 mins ride . At Brgy Mendis our guides already waiting for us. At 7am we start our journey to Mt Kalatungan.

                                    River Crossing with the bamboo bridge

The trail have a gradual assault ,then when you exit from the forest to the open trail that have a tall and sharp grass. So full skin protection is required. It would be much better if you used a gloves as well, because who knows you might hold on to thorny rattan that can tear your skin apart. And make sure that what you wear is not your favorite and expensive tnf shirt because it might get some ripping too..

We arrived at the Peak at 3:30pm and because of strong winds and continous rain, we stay there for only 10 mins enough to take some pics and enjoy being there .

From the peak to the campsite it will take between an hour to an hour and a half.

We arrived at Campsite with nearby water source at 5:30pm and Immediately set up camp on a hard rain and cold environments.

                                                   Muleta Falls

                               View from the Summit , just before the rain
Day 2

We woke up at 6am and it still raining. Before the cold seeps in to our body we immediately proceed to Mt Wiji. The cold will lessen if you keep on moving, when you stand still that's where the danger of being too cold steps in. When you plan to scale the some of the two-thousander,always make sure you have protection from wind and rain. It will save your life. Never under estimate the mountain and the weather.

                                                  Mt Wiji Peak

Thank God as we descend from Mt Wiji, the rain stop. And as we descend faster, the Wind becomes less dangerous. It was a continous descend to the exit point. Make sure you prepare your legs also. Otherwise, youll be a burden to the team and to yourself if you got injured along the trail.

                                             Grass Land eh ?

We arrived at the exit point at 1:30 pm. Tidy up , took our lunch and get warm there until 4pm. At 4pm our guide with his habal habal take us to Pangantucan Terminal. There are buses there to Cagayan de Oro until 5pm. I arrived at Cdo at 9:30pm proceed to Golden pension House and finally able to rest on a warm and soft bed.

Now who needs a big group or the renowned Mindanao explorer to make this climb happened ? 

Special thanks to Tupe Diaz for all the help and support

and to the people of Pangantucan Municipality.. You are all great!! See you all soon..

As it happened itenaries :

Day 1 

12:00pm : From Davao Ecoland terminal Travel to Maramag Bukidnon
5:00 pm  : Arrival in Maramag, take van to Pangantucan Municipality
5:45 pm  : Arrival in Municipality
6:00 pm  : Stay in Conference room

Day 2
6:00              Fetch by Habal Habal to Brgy Mendis
7:00              Meet the guide and porter / give the chicken
7:15              Start trekking (with river/water source along the way)
10:00           ETA to next water source
11:30           ETA Buko-buko sa Anay Ridge
12:00          Lunch; rest; picture taking (Muleta Falls visible)
12:30          Trek from Bukobuko sa Anay to the Summit
     with last water source in between
3:30             At the Summit
3:45             Descent to Dwarf Bamboo Camp (abundant water source)
5:30-            Set up camp, cook, rest

Day 3
6:00             Breakfast and Breakcamp while raining
7:30             Ascent to Lumpanag Peak
8:30             At the Summit; picture taking (Kitanglad Range visible)
9:00             Cross along 3 minor peak
12:00           Descent to brgy Mendis (it's not a backtrail)- Dead Nails Trail
1:30              Mang Tanyong Sari Sari Store. Tidy Up , Lunch
4:00              habalhabal to Poblacion Terminal
5:00             take a bus direct to CDO
9:30pm Arrival in CDO

Expenses : 
From Davao to Maramag : P290
Maramag to Pangantucan : P30
Registration : P200/each
Guide :P 250/day
Porter :P 250/day
Habal Habal to Jump off :P100/head
Habal Habal to Bus terminal : P50/head
Bus to Cdo : P 220

 Contact : 

Pai Pai : Administrative Assistant : 09067405024
Mr. Renato Sabado (Tourism Officer) : 09177077805

Tip :

* Worn Full cover protection
* Use inexpensive gloves
* Start Early
* Dont forget the live chicken
* Guide/s and Porter/s should be included in your Meal Plan

This is just my personal opinion- The guide fee and the porter fee is the lowest fee that Ive known so far. With the trail difficulty, I believe that we should try to add a little more than that. In Mt talamitam the guide fee is P300,Balingkilat P600, Palali its P1000. Napulauan its 1000/day in Amuyao its 1500/day. In Malipunyo its P900-1200.

So what I did to compensate them in my own way, I left them my SOL emergency bivy and My sleeping bag. They need it more than I do. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pain and Despair


Davao City and Davao del Sur
Entry point: Purok 6, Tamayong, Calinan, Davao City
Exit point: Sitio Mainit, Brgy. Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur
LLA (Talomo): 2674 MASL (#13)
LLA (Apo):: 7°0′30″N, 125°16′33″E, 2,956 MASL (#1)
Days required / Hours to summits: 4-7 days / 10-14 (T); 20-28h (A)
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 9/9, Trail class 2-5, Exploratory
Features: Mossy forests, Sulfuric vents, Lake Venado, Boulders

*Souce : Pinoymountaineer.com

                           The group at Lake Venado before Summit Assault
                                   *pics courtesy of Maximus Tercerus

The ultimate traverse will start in Brgy Tamayong and will end up in Kapatagan Digos. This is a ultimate adventure that will truly test your mettle. I have never been yet to Guiting Guiting, Mt Halcon and Mt Manta, these mountains have a 9/9 difficulty according to Pinoy Mountaineer, it was the level the blogger decides based on his own level of difficulty. I also noticed some itenaries on the internet that they used a Day 0 for the days that they dont actually hiking. Our itenaries, we dont have a day 0. When we arrived in Davao, that day counts as Day 1.

And here's our story..

Day 1

We arrived in Davao at 6am. We met by Max and Bigboy who are already waiting for us. We have a rented Van, organized by Max. We proceed directly to Bankerohan Market to buy some supplies that we need for our 4 days torture. We arrived in the Jump off at 8am, took our breakfast, prepare our backpacks and walk on the wide road to Sicao Village. We arrived in Sicao Village at 9am,met Datu Jun Sicao, made some final preparations and briefing then the adventure begins. The first part of trail was very muddy. So make sure that your shoes was durable enough,otherwise you might lose a sole . Some of the muds was ankle deep, make sure of you footing first before you put your whole weight on your steps.

                              Mt Talomo can be seen here in Brgy Calinan

The Talomo forest is very enticing as well, although not as mossy as the other Mindanao forest as they said, It offers its own unique flora and fauna. 

                                        A glimpse of Talomo forest.

From Sicao Village up to Talomo summit it will take between 8-10 hours depends on your pace and number of rest. Due to the terrain difficulty , continuos rain and time constraints,we failed to arrived on the summit in Day 1. We set up camp in Camp 2. Our guides suggest that we need to take a rest because the trail is much more difficult from here onwards and navigating it at night will add more challenge for us. So we rest our tired body, tired from travel ,lack of sleep, and continuos hike with minimal breaks, in the cold and rainy nights. So you see, we dont have a Day 0 here.

             Utan River,The Last Water source before camp 2 and Talomo's Summit

From Camp 2 to Talomo summit it will take 3 hours and from Talomo summit to Basinan Campsite another 8-10 hours of trekking , with a lot of 4x4 options and tree hugging and logs crossing . One slipped and your balls will smashed trough the logs. 

                                         View from Talomo Summit

                             Mt Apo can be seen from Hipupokan Peak

To be continued..,