Sunday, December 22, 2013

The complete idiot guide for Luzon 312

To be able to climb multiple peaks simultaneously is a great achievement for any hiker. Thus to be able to climb the 3 highest peak of luzon, Mt Pulag, Mt Tabayoc and Mt timbak brings great pride and sense of accomplishment to whoever successfuly climb these giants. 

However in the past few years, almost everybody are doing it. Climbing and Organizing Massive climb for what they have called Luzon 321. They start in Mt timbak to Mt tabayoc and ends up to the most prized of them all Mt pulag- the third highest peak in the Phillipines  and the home of the famous sea of clouds.

The Group at Mt Timbak Jump off

The organizers rented a jeep to pick them at Baguio then it will bring them to mongoto school and then they will start their hike up to MT Timbak, after that they will board again the monster jeep this time they will proceed to Lake tabeo in Ballay. The next morning they will hike up to Mt Tabayoc summit, go down , board the jeep again and proceed to tawangan where they going to camp for the night and there they will start their Mt Pulag entry. After camping in saddle campsite, they will exit in Ambangeg and once again they will board their rented jeep to take them to Baguio city.

You see, they save a lot of walking hours by renting the jeep and the challenge and difficulty of the climb is lessen, its become too convenient thats why everybody are doing it.
Now comes the twist, and we called it the Luzon 312.

Mt Timbak Summit

The plan was to finish the 3 mighty peaks without renting a jeep. and It will be a pure walkathon up to the end.

The plan was from Baguio board the bus to the Jump off of Mt Timbak, proceed by foot to kabayan central, walk all the way to the jump off of Mt Pulag. Ascend the peak via akiki trail then descend to tawangan
then walk uup to 6 hours to lake tabeo and camp there . The next morning that will be the start of ascend to Mt Tabayoc then before 12pm proceed to kabayan central by habal habal and ride the van to baguio.

This idea is much more difficult than the traditional Luzon 321.

I started to coordinate my plan to Madam mering, Ranger Heron of Akiki and Ranger Arlan of tabayoc and teddy - guide of Mt pulag to Tawangan trail.

From Mt Timbak to Kabayan Bario Trail

And I assemble a 7 man team for this journey. They were my friends and hiking buddy and they are strong climber as I must say.

However due to family emergency - and to my deepest regret , I was not able to participate to the climb that I designed.

Akiki Trail

Let me just share to you how it can be done.

Saddle Campsite

From Mt Timbak you can trek down to Kabayan Central - 4-6 hours depends on your pace
Kabayan Central to Akiki Jump Off  : 1-2 hours
Akiki to Saddle                : 7-8 hours
Saddle to Tawangan exit : 5-6 hours
Tawangan exit to Balay   : up to 6 hours - you can take habal habal to save time
Lake Tabeo to Mt Tabayoc Summit : 2-3 hours depends on your pace

Tawangan Trail Forest

Here are the projected expenses :

Manila to Baguio : P 450
Baguio to Km 55 : P 120
Reg fee mt Pulag: P 200
Guide fee akiki to Tawangan      : P3800 up to 7 hikers
Habal Habal Tawangan to Balay : P300
Guide fee : Tabayoc                 :P1000 up to 7 hikers
Habal Habal from Balay to kabayan central : P300
Kabayan central to Baguio                         : P220
Baguio to Manila                                      :  P450
If you want to save the P300 habal habal fare from Balay to Kabayan central, you need to spend another night in Balay in order for you to take the Bus to Baguio. Bus have only 2 trip a day. 7am and 10am.
Contacts :
Madam Mering               :  0919951316
Ranger Heron (akiki)       : 09087578319
Ranger Arlan  (tabayoc)  :09469528483
Teddy            (Guide)     : 09079873719

All picture courtesy of Randel Balio the last man standing to complete and finish
the Luzon 312 walkathon.

My Buddy at the view deck of Mt Tabayoc Summit

Due to insistent public demand, I will now include the draft itenary I created before the climb based on logistics provided by locals in Atok Benguet, Ranger Heron and Ranger Arlan, and the Guide in Akiki-tawangan trail.

Day 0  10PM etd cubao
Day 1
4am   : EtA Baguio, Walk to Dangwa
415am : ETA Dangwa,buy packed lunch and pack dinner. Take breakfast
6  am : ETD DAngwa to km 55
8  am : ETA timbak jump off. HIke
10 am : ETA Timbak Summit,photo ops,pic
11 am : Start Descent
01pm  : Lunch  on Trail
04pm  : Kabayan Central
05pm  : Akiki Jump off-register get guide
sleep in the ranger station or in the school-or in eddet
Day 2
5am wake up call, prepare coffee and packed lunch
7am start trek
11am : ETA Marlboro lunch
12   : start trek
3pm  : saddle campsite, pitch tent
4pm  : optional summit sunset
5pm  : prepare dinner
6pm  : dinner
7pm  : social

Day 3
3am  : wake up call,prepare coffee and noodles,packed lunch
5am   : Summit Assault
6:30am : Descent
7:00 : break camp
7:30 : descend via tawangan trail-pinoymountaineer i.t
0815 Enter mossy forest line
1200 Lunch on trail
1300 Resume trek
1600 Arrival at Brgy. Tawangan. take guide to Ballay
8pm arrival in balay stay in lodge
* Or you can rent habal habal from tawangan to balay for P300/head
Day 4
3am : wake up call ,prepare coffee and packed breakfast
4am : start trek to balay basecamp-
5am : basecamp proceed to mt tabayoc
7am : summit breakfast
8am : start descend
9:30: basecamp
10:30am : lodge, fix things,
11:00   : Etd Ballay
12:00   : ETA kabayan central , lunch
01:00   : Take van to baguio


  1. Hi po...I think doing the 312 without the aid of rented jeepneys is much better than 321 (though this ones also very good) since it would consist more of walkathons.. I plan on doing this one maybe during Holyweek or new years eve..would it be alright to ask for an itinerary??...Thanks! :-D

  2. Hi po...I think doing the 312 is much better than doing the 321 (though this ones also very good) since it would mostly be walkathons rather than renting jeepneys...I plan on doing this maybe during the Holy week or on xmas/new years eve...would it be OK to ask for an itinerary?? I'm not that familiar with these mountains yet...Thanks much! :-D

  3. 312 revenge climb kami sir in 3 days sirang sira I.t namin naging comedy ang climb namin...

    1. anong nangyari sa climb nyo? di naman kayang 3 days ang 312 unless kung takbohan..

  4. Will be having this L312 this feb 22-25 4 day ITE Similar this ite :) Wooo.. I hope we finish this...

  5. @Leojino

    Good luck po, at paki share din po ng experience nyo. Para malaman ng iba na nag hahanap ng challenge at ng hindi na dumaan sa overcrowded na ambangeg trail..