Solsona, Ilocos Norte
Entry point: Gasgas River, Brgy. Manalpac, Solsona
Exit point: Solsona Dam, Brgy. Manalpac, Solsona
LLA: 2354 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 4 days / 16-18 hours
Specs: Major climb, Exploratory, Difficulty 9/9, Trail class 2-5
Features: Pine forest, Traverse trail, River crossing
*source : pinoymountaineer.com
|Group pics at the penguin beak.Courtesy of Russel De Guzman|
Dubbed as the most difficult traverse in the north, with the rating of 9/9, together with few known friends and first time climb buddies, we venture and accept the challenge to traverse sicapoo in 3 days. The climb labeled as "The climb of the abnormals". Onedegreemountaineer suggest in their multiply page that for much comfortable itenaries, the traverse should be completed in 4 days. However, we dont want to comfortable arent we? We all want a new challenges that can bring us to our knees and tell ourselves " Why on earth am i doing this ? ".
So the adventure begins..
|Start of the trek|
Melo Sanchez was popular in local mountaineering, as having done a enormous climb records and feats, he is one of the living legend in the field. Some called him "halimaw" (monster) for having successfully completed some of the country's toughest mountain in shorter itenaries, and to be able to have a long stamina and endurance as he can keep walking with no rest until campsite.
|Melo Sanchez. Picture of Dan Garcia Samarita|
And the climb begins..
We all met at Partas Bus station in Cubao. We arrived in Laog at around 3am, have breakfast, bought packed lunch and dinner, then rode the jeepney to jumpoff. We started to trek at around 6:30am.
First part was a long walk in the flat road,then we entered the first river crossing of Gasgas River. Luckily for us the water was only knee deep, so we dont have any trouble crossing the river. To my count there is at least 4-5 wide river crossing and 3 or more short river crossing or i might be mistaken.I have a climbing strategy to cross the river, as I knew that the rocks below the river might at times became too slippery or the current might be strong deeply, so I pick up a short walking stick, and never left it until Im back at the jumpoff at the end of the climb. Having a third leg in river crossing is also a safety precaution for me, and it help me secure my footing many times, and I have escaped a number of slip and fall.
|The First River Crossing. Picture of Dan Garcia Samarita|
|River Crossing with Walking Stick.Picture of Dan Garcia Samarita|
|Start of the Assault. Picture of Samuel Solidarios|
|Assault under the heat|
|Picture of the Gentleman, Russel De Guzman|
|Campsite.Picture of hiking buddy Dan Garcia Samarita|
To be continued...