Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Climbing Mt. Batulao [via iPhone]

"OMG we smell like fertilizer!!!"
I can't recall what we were overreacting about in this photo, but the caption suits it! Steph and I are total drama queens. 

I didn't even notice this sign, Dondi was able to capture it. Get a guide or you're sure to get lost! 

About 3 hours in we decided to have lunch and take some obligatory souvenir photos at Camp 1 

I always have this type of photo wherein a friend is assisting the elderly

approaching the summit 

Steph reminded me of a woman from Kosovo 

a rope was there to help us haul ourselves up in some parts  

I look decent in photo ops but in reality, it's a nose-flaring experience. 

Don't... look. down. 

Tryin to werq as we reached the summit! 

The most maarte group of mountaineers 

We came all the way here for some coconut juice! 

This stuff works. Shared this with the rest and only those who applied it were saved from looking like lechons. 

Ray-Ban caravan sunglasses + Folded & Hung top + Zara tank top + H&M leggings + the North Face backpack + Pacsafe belt bag + Nike trainers (I have yet to buy decent shoes) 

"We climbed those mountains?!"

We took a chance and decided to head to Nasugbu, Batangas last Saturday even if the weather in Manila was horrible. We decided that we could always stay and chill in Tagaytay if the weather wouldn't permit us to climb that day. As we were nearing Batangas the skies were bright and clear so we asked some locals for directions (our unpreparedness for these trips deserves an award in itself). A few missed turns and we reached the starting point where we hired a young guide that agreed to a fee of Php 400 (read somewhere that these fees helped send them to school). This proved to be a good move since unlike our last hike (Mt. Pico de Loro), there weren't a lot of markings and there were so many diverging routes. 

The trek to the summit was about 3 hours long. We spent about 30 minutes at the peak, enjoying fresh buko juice and taking photos, before descending and reaching our starting point in 3 hours. It took us less than 7 hours to climb and get back to our car, and we were glad that despite arriving late (got there at 10:30 AM) we were able to drive back to Manila a few hours before sundown. 

Mountaineers' accounts online state that this was the same level as Pico, but throughout the hike & climb we kept commenting that it was slightly easier. It was Dondi's first time to climb and during the first 10 minutes he kept asking if the path was going to be as wide all throughout, but as we kept going he commented that they were indeed getting narrower. It got to a point where the paths were less than a foot across, and the ravines would make your knees shake once you stop to look at your side. 

Some challenges during this climb: 

• Steep portions that required you to use a rope to haul yourself up- it's just like any other climb requiring a rope, so you have to be able to lift yourself up 
• It's a bit harder to go down because of the loose rocks. It's important to wear the right shoes or have a trekking pole to assist you if you're not that accustomed to these things yet. 
• There aren't a lot of trees to serve as shade so wear a hat! My scalp is sunburnt since I forgot to bring one and an umbrella. 

Some more notes:

• You can buy buko juice / soda / beer / halo halo at most of the stops, but they don't have water! Bring a lot of water with you. 
• Registration fee is just Php 40 and you can also camp for a fee. 
• Pace yourself. Javy had a brilliant way to conserve his energy- he'd stop at the windy spots and then run to catch up when we were already far away from him. 
• Sunblock, salt (for cramps), first aid kit, water, scarf/hat, sunglasses.
• Some plants have sharp edges and we got cuts all over so it's better to wear something that can cover your legs and arms. There are lots of bugs, too! 

Overall it was a really fun climb and I am having climbing withdrawals, it's insane! I can't wait for the next trip! We learn a lot from each one since they're never the same, and you can never be too prepared. It's challenging psychologically as it is physically.

We do it for the view-- nothing beats a 360 from the summit!


Diana de Belen said...

Wow! All I can say is Congrats Ral. Never tried this before but I want too. I know I'm a little maarte also, but I can be brave for something exciting like this. :)

xx Diana

Raleene said...

It's okay to look maarte just for photos! Hehe. Go go go! Cardio and plyometrics help a lot to prepare for each climb ;)

Melai said...

Ral congrats! I used to climb mountains when I was in college. I knoooow and I understand how difficult the climb is. Lalo na Mt. Pulag (try it!!) but the breathtaking view of the sunrise was worth it! :)

Melai of Style and Soul

Raleene said...

@Melai: coool you used to climb, too! Yes Pulag is scheduled this September. We're just waiting for the rainy season to be over. The climb this Saturday is harder than Pulag, wish me luck! Lol :))

Michelle Azuelo said...

Is this via old trail? Bakit P40 reg fee niyo?

Raleene said...

@Michelle- new to old :)

Angeli Aguas said...

These pictures are gorgeous! Kudos to you for doing such a crazy hike while in style.

I did have a question, what photo editing app did you use?

Raleene said...

Angeli- I edited them on Photoshop :)

champoy said...

cant wait for our monday climb, thanks for the tips :)