Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mt. Mariveles (Tarak Ridge) | Tramping the River and the Ridge in a Day

From the time I was exposed to this so called "mountaineering", all of my weekends starting from the second week of January has been occupied by this addictive activity. In fact, I have hiked 7 mountains already and these were all done in 7 consecutive weeks (ang adik lang noh?). And just like how Doc Gideon described the young mountaineer in his essay (please read this essay, it's inspiring), I can't help myself but to brag each successful hike in my FB page (you may check there my album Kabundukan for my mountain photo collection).

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 - we reached this popular camp site around 7:45 am (2 hours from the jump-off). No one was there but us, solong-solo namin si mother nature. The water that flows though this river (pero mas mukhang syang stream), is so clean and clear, it's even potable according to Dane.

Papaya River (but it's more like a stream)
shooting without the cf card. haha
happy feet.
The ambiance in this place is very relaxing, ideal place talaga to set up a camp. Butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies fly freely around the area. We took 15 minutes break in this peaceful place before we continued for the Tarak Ridge, which was just an hour and 30 minutes away.

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
rooty trail
assaulting the ridge, the hardest portion of the trek
We reached Tarak Ridge at 09:15 am and I was blown (quite literally) by the strong winds that greeted us. It was my strongest wind encounter after the typhoon Milenyo that stuck Manila in 2006. Grabe lang talga, tapos malamig pa. So we headed straight to the hidden camp site, no more strong winds pero sobrang lamig pa rin.We then had an early lunch (delata meal for me). A bit tired from the trek, we soon fell asleep (talagang humilata kami kung saan kami inabutang ng antok).

Mt. Mariveles with Tarak and El Saco peaks
at the camp site
hearty delata meal
first major climb - success
At dahil nga tinamad na kaming tumuloy sa Tarak Peak, natulog na lang ulit kami.

We started the descent at 11:10 am. Fast forward >>> We reached Aling Kurding's place again at 2:40 pm, hoping that she's selling ice cold buko juice, but there's none. Before we leave, Aling Kurding saw my beloved sobrero, and I felt that she likes it so much (balak pa ata hingiin). Kaya naman, nagpatuloy na kami bago pa mangyari iyon.

Along the way, there's a shower station where mountaineers can wash themselves, for a fee of course (P20 per ligo). We stayed there to freshen up while munching my baon na marshmallows.

Me with Dane and Agnes
It was almost 04:00 pm when we reached the jump-off. We signed out at the barangay hall, had a tusok-tusok food trip (kikiam, fishball, kwek-kwek) and finally rode a bus back to Manila. We're back in Manila around 07:00 pm.

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.


  1. Ang saya niyan Ivan. At wag na wag mong ibibigay ang sombrerong yan ilang bundok man ang tatawirin, haha!

  2. Your fascination with mountains is infectious, to say the least. Sana makasama ako next time sa climb mo. Cheers!

  3. ayan! sobrang ganda nooo! that's my favorite mountain so far. haha! next climb ko sa G2:) matinding training before magG2.

    more climbs pa Ivan:))

    1. ay pucha (*sorry for the word), G2 ka kagad? wahaha.

  4. i love the "first major climb" shot! go ivan! bundok naman ang trip mo ngayon ha... uy gagraduate na siya oh... hihi

    1. hehe. kunyare hndi ako hinahangin. pero sa totoo malakas yung hangin noon.

  5. Nakakainggit.

    I think I should start getting in shape ulit so I can endure tramping. It seems like a very fulfilling hobby. Hahaha.

    Tama yung comment sa taas. Nakakahawa na ata yung pagkahilig mo sa bundok. At nakasama mo pa sina Dane! :D

  6. I like your delata meal hindi na kailangang iluto.

  7. Wow, this is a great adventure. Only nabitin ako sa di nyo pagtuloy hehehe. Pero di bale, aabangan ko ang next. I'm sure, it's gonna be a notch higher than this one.

    I really enjoy reading your posts because they are all exciting and very well written. At dahil dun, I have mentioned your URL on my own latest blog entry entitled World-Class Airport With The Most Reasonably Priced Food.

  8. sige lang ang akyat! makikinuod na lang muna ko sa blog mo hehe :P

  9. haha nakita ko ang san marino! dami mo ng bundok na napuntahan ha. feeling ko nakaakyat narin ako ng bundok....

  10. Kelan kaya ako makaka first major climb! Nice shots!

  11. OMG d na yata kaya ng tuhod ko umakyat jan. Nice pix!

  12. unstoppable ivan. batang bundokero. ito na bago mong title. sana talaga iakw sumali sa TNF Seven Summits. ill introduce you to a friend who also hikes almost 2-3times a month.

    1. mukhang makakasundo ko yang friend mo kuya dom. hehe.

  13. San Marino? Naku po hindi ba sumakit ang tyan mo jan? Yang Paella na yan sinira ang sikmura ko sa Pico De Loro.. nagmadali ako sa descent para maka CR agad... :c

  14. Very well said Ser Ivan.
    Been there last month, binagyo kame nung gabi sa camp! haha
    Balak din namin iDayhike, sana palarin. hehe
    Cool, natawa ako sa sombrero mo! hahaha.
    Makasama ka din sana namin sa mga climbs mo. ;)


  15. hello po, we're actually planning to climb tarak ridge on Aug. 31-Sep. 2,2012, is it advisable for the first timer? kasi baka may mga sumamang newbies eh, thanks! www.darwinfdalisay.com

  16. wushhhuuuuuu. favorite blogs on mountaineering amp. hahaha.



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