Thursday, May 15, 2014

MT. BATULAO (Traverse)

February 1, 2014

(Traverse from Old to New Trail)
Nasugbu, Batangas

Mt. Batulao is one of the mountains that I find interesting because it somehow resembles like the Himalayas. Although we didn't have much clearing, still the view was undeniably beautiful. This event was organized by my high school friends namely Arzen and Leah. We finally saw each other after 11 years. Glad that the three of us have something in common.

Below was our itinerary going to Mt. Batulao:

0700 Meetup at Evercrest
0730 Start trek
0845 Arrival at Fork. Take the left, downward trail that enters some woodland
0900 Arrival at Camp 1. Register.
1015 Arrival at Camp 8, commence final assault
1100 Arrival at summit; lunch
1200 Start descent via New Trail, which is opposite the Old Trail at the summit
1300 Arrival at New Trail Campsite. Register again.
1530 Back at Evercrest; clean-up at nearby sari-sari store
1600 ETD for Tagaytay by jeepney (P30.00)
1630 ETA Tagaytay; anything goes from here

It was my first time to try traversing. The challenging part was the strong winds that made it difficult to reach the summit since the wind blew in different directions. Every time the wind blows, the sands were all over my body and I can hardly see the trail. I wish I brought my glasses during those times because I need to cover my eyes. One thing I noticed whenever I climbed mountains is that I always learned a lesson whether how small or big, it just made me realize how unprepared I am. Leah took out her contact lens because of the sands entering her eyes. I envy people who are tall, why? They don't need to exert too much effort when climbing mountains. It is easier for them to reach something or get into another side. Also, they have bigger steps (shorter people need to double their steps just to keep their pacing with taller people). Though it was an advantage being tall, I don't give up climbing. I may be short but I never give up! AJA! I just kept in my mind that being tall becomes an advantage only if you can't do what they can do. Damn right! I can still climb mountains even if I'm short! Enough of my silly rant. All I can say is I'm still thankful on what God gave to me. I always think I am blessed because I can still do things like this.

Since it was a day hike, I didn't get a chance to know all the peeps who joined this event but of course, I met new friends. Lucky me again! This is what I like whenever I climbed. I get a chance to meet people with different ideas and thinking. It made me think how great it would have been if I can also meet people outside of my country. Here's the thing, you get to know a person really well when climbing mountains. Why? Because you get to see their attitude and how they react in things that matter and don't matter to them. I think I'm giving up too much of my emotion rather than emphasizing what happened on this event. Okay, here it is.

I inserted some of the trail pictures we had on our climb. Since it was month of February, the weather was cold so I used my old and worn out jacket to keep me warm. It was a four hours climb. It rained a little and Leah lend me her rain coat which is still under my custody {grinning cheerfully}. Whoah! I guess I have plenty of collections that I've borrowed. LOL. Don't get me wrong. I've been meaning to return them but either me or them (person I borrowed from) don't have time to meet up so most of it is still under my possession.

By the way, just like in other mountains I climbed, there were also buko vendors setup on different points of the trail. I remembered a halo-halo vendor at the summit. LOL. We didn't buy because of the cold weather. Since it was fiesta, there were locals who prepared foods to all mountaineers who climbed during that day. The foods were given for free (it was located on the new trail). We had our lunch at the summit but we still wanted to eat more. It's fiesta so that means eat more! We're really thankful for the nice welcoming fiesta at Mt. Batulao. The food that they prepared was menudo. It was really tasty.

There were parts wherein you need to rappel and that's the safest way for you to get to the summit. If you're comfortable in just climbing up without rope then that's okay but make sure you have your balance. When I tried spelunking, there were points wherein I wished there were ropes for me to hold on unfortunately I have to keep my balance and focus on not falling. I have to really thank Arzen and Pides because they really pushed me to conquer my fear. Don't think that I'm all manly because I do things like this. I always have my frail point on whatever activities I do so I depend on my friends to help me break those point. Some would say, easy climb but I just don't know why I always felt challenged on all mountains I climbed. Maybe because it was my first.

There were slippery and steep paths that we encountered. Good thing that we all have trekking shoes which is far better compared to what I used before. I remember when I had my trekking at Mt. Daguldol, I used my running shoes and it was really hard because I fall more than three times. Whew! I'd never make the same mistake again. We didn't have a clearing when we reached the summit. Too bad. Anyway, I still enjoyed the good weather and the company of my high school friends.

Ooops! I won't forget posting our group shot. I wish I can place their names but since we didn't have much time to mingle, I don't know much of them. Maybe on some other climb I'll get to know them better. I added Tina and Cecile on my official bucket-friend-list.


Some things or people may come and go but the memories will always remain and as long as I have this blog, I'll have those memories with me. I may not be rich financially but I have plenty of unforgettable memories which I can consider as my greatest treasures. Until my next climb. Ciao!

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