In this post, I will share my fun experience in my 5th mountain, Mt. Mariveles (Tarak Ridge), with the authors of one of my favorite blogs about mountaineering.
I was invited by Dane and Agnes, the trampers behind the trampingphilippines.blogspot.com, to join their dayhike adventure to Tarak Ridge on the 4th of February of this year. They invited me because of two possible reasons: 1) they saw my budding interest and eagerness on the mountains, 2) nakulitan sila sa akin sa mga comment at PM ko na "isama nyo naman ako sa next climb nyo". Well, I guess it's the latter :)
Mt Mariveles (I learned from them that Mt. Tarak Ridge isn't really its name) is my first major climb. Oh yes, it's time to level up from level 3 mountains to level 4 (based on Pinoy Mountaineer's difficulty scale). My excitement on this hike was really high.
We met early on Saturday at 01:00 am at Genesis Bus Terminal in Cubao. Since I'm a "sabit" in this climb, I did not bother making a research on this trip, all I knew about the Tarak Ridge was it's location somewhere in Bataan. We took a bus that will bring us direct to Mariveles, Bataan (fare is P267, travel time is about 3 hours). We haven't slept yet kaya sinamantala na namin ang tatlong oras na byahe.
It was still too dark (around 04:00 am) when we arrived at Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles (the jump-off), Bataan, and headed straight to the barangay hall for the registration (registration fee of P40). But since we arrived earlier than the expected ETA, we stayed first in a 24 hour food stand to have a quick breakfast meal (-silogan).
By 05:45 am, our trek has commenced. I have not seen much of the surroundings while we're trekking since it was still pretty dark by that time. I just walked with Dane and Agnes (wala akong ilaw e) while listening to their stories of great mountain adventures. It took us about 30 minutes until we reached Aling Kurding's Place (Aling Kurding reminds me so much of Elizabeth Ramsey, magkaboses sila e) .
From thereon, we followed the trail that is so clear, there's really nothing to worry about. However as we go a little farther, it became a little narrower and a little "masukal" - fallen trees, huge rocks, and tall grasses constantly block the trail.
After about 25 minutes of restless trek from Aling Kurding's, we reached a steep portion of the trail (roughly 40 degrees). From that point, I was already panting quite too much. Pero kaya pa naman so we trekked further until we reached a small clearing. We had a short break muna for 5 minutes before continuing the trail.
We continued the trek, and after about 10 minutes, a great scene did not fail to pop my eyes out. "Wow, Corregidor!" I exclaimed upon seeing the island from where we're standing. Yes, the historic island of Corregidor is clearly visible from Mt. Mariveles. We rested again for like 3 minutes before we continued.
|that's Corregidor and Caballo Islands|
|Papaya River (but it's more like a stream)|
|shooting without the cf card. haha|
The trail became steeper, rocky and rooty (rooty = having many roots). And the wind became cooler and stronger as we assault the ridge. Truly, it's more difficult than my previous climbs but not that much, the assault to the ridge made me use both of my hands. Medyo madulas na kasi.
|pahinga muna si mam at sir|
|nakakahingal lang ng sobra|
|assaulting the ridge, the hardest portion of the trek|
|Mt. Mariveles with Tarak and El Saco peaks|
|at the camp site|
|hearty delata meal|
|first major climb - success|
|Me with Dane and Agnes|
It was a fun dayhike, my first major climb. It was my pleasure to meet the people behind the "Tramping Philippines", thank you so much, 'til our next climb guys.
*For budget and itinerary, check out this post.