Monday, August 12, 2013

Mt. Gulugod Baboy, My Third Climb for the Year

I don't really consider myself a mountaineer yet.  It's just one of the things I enjoy doing and I'm still pacing myself to conquer more difficult trails.  It was my sister who influenced me to climb.  When she left to migrate to Canada, she left me all her equipment and might as well put them to good use!

It was a long weekend with April 9, Friday declared a national holiday.  The night before, I went out with friends and had very little time to pack.  Before the night out, I was just able to take out the dirt inside the tent from my previous climb.  When we got home, half drunk, I packed clothes, my costume, because it was supposedly a themed climb, the tent I just cleaned earlier and whatever toiletries I could grab.  I also included what I can spare from our pantry, a can of tuna, pasta mix and chocolates.

I finished packing around 3AM and checked the itinerary.  With the call time at 9AM, I still have 5 hours to sleep.  Our meeting place was at Buendia, Taft, where terminals going south are located.  Woke around 8:30AM and was on my way to the meeting place with my partner driving the car.  I was the 9th person to arrive and by 10AM, all eleven of us took the bus to Batangas City.

From the Bus Terminal, we transferred to a Jeepney that would take us directly to the jump-off at Philpan Dive Resort for 100php per head. We made a quick stop to buy last minute provisions and lunch that we will eat along the trail.

We arrived at the jump-off around 2PM and started following the continuous uphill paved road to the registration area.  From there we paid 20php registration fee and started following the narrow trail to the campsite.  There are houses that offer shade and sells soft drinks at 12php per bottle.  After almost 3 hours, we reached the campsite in time for sunset.

Cloudy Sunset

Immediately, we pitched our tent and settled our things.  I made a quick trip to the summit, which was not very far to get a better vantage of the surrounding scenery.  When I got back, some have already started preparing dinner.  We had pasta, salad, a really good pesto sauce and vinaigrette dressing complimented with canned meat and tuna.  You eat however you want to combine them.

Socials started afterwards.  We have 6 bottles of brandy and 11 of us.  With the amount of alcohol consumed that night, just imagine how crazy our topics were.  Not even the rain stopped us.

Was glad to catch the sunrise!  Isn't this enough reason to climb?

Woke up early to catch the sunrise.  Another reason is that I am so gassy that morning and would like to spare my tent mates of toxic gas I was about to release. It wasn’t long until one by one, people started waking up and prepared breakfast.  After the meal, we cleared the camp and were on our way back to the resort.  We made a quick trip to the summit to have the group photo, but the clouds didn’t cooperate blocking the view, also insects that somehow want to be included in the picture joined us.

The trek down was much faster but more challenging.  The rained caused the trail to get muddy and slippery.  Some of us actually slipped once or twice going down.  We were back at the resort in about an hour. 

This is also the Anniversary climb for the group I joined, Guys4Mountains.  To celebrate, we took the opportunity to swim and catch up with other members who decided to follow at the resort.  Our contribution for the entrance and cottage amounted to 100php per head.  Around 2PM, we took the same jeep that brought us to the resort, back to the terminal with a cheaper fare of 80php.

By 3PM, we were on the bus bound for Manila.  As always, it was fun and I have gained new friends.  Looking forward to my 4th mountain next month!

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