Situation critical! (Typhoon Ambo was striking). Wind blowing wild, rain pouring hard, and lightning striking badly. There's a flood of about 3 inches deep inside our tent. I wished it was just a nightmare, but no, it was all real. We want to sleep but we can't, aargghh, it is my worstest camping experience ever!
We [me and 2 other climbing buddies] were alone at the campsite of Mt. Marami on the night of June 1st when we experienced this traumatizing typhoon battery. It was really a terrifying experience (talagang mapapa-promise ka never to do it again). We felt so helpless. But what the heck are we doing on this mountain in the first place at this terrible time? Blame it to our undying lust for adventure!
It was Thursday night when I decided to join Josh and Christian in their exciting quest on Mt. Marami, the mountain famous for its handsome rocky summit. Mt. Marami also has a history of mountaineers getting lost on its labyrinth of confusing trails, hence, many mountaineers jokingly call it "Mt. Maraming Ligaw." Getting a guide here is highly recommended (pero hindi kami kumuha ng guide).
Friday - June 1, 2012
It was around 09:00 AM when we reached Magallanes, Cavite (after almost 4 hours of commute from Manila). The sky was clear, it's safe to say that we're blessed with good weather. But who would trust that clear sky, duh it has been raining all over Manila every afternoon for days already, so basically we're already expecting a rainy hike.
After registering our names at the Magallanes police station, we traveled by tricycle (P70-60 per trip) to Brgy. Ramirez (the main jump-off). We registered there again at their Barangay Hall and paid a P20 registration fee, they asked if we'll get a guide but we practically said no (tipid mode kami). We'd just ask the locals we'll meet along the way.
|Barangay Hall of Brgy. Ramirez. There's a P20 registration fee|
It was indeed "Mt. Maraming Ligaw." If I'm not mistaken, we had three wrong turns and with it we lost about 45 minutes, before we finally got the right right trail to the campsite (big thanks to the locals we met along the way).
Here's a series of photos of the trail we took to somehow help you out if you plan to trek Mt. Marami without a guide.
|We trekked despite the intensity of mud on the trail. Parang every 5 seconds may isang kilong putik na sa talampakan mo.|
|Our first wrong turn. If you go straight, you'll find an iron gate. The wider trail to the left is the right one.|
|We just followed the main trail, the wide muddy trail, until we reached the muddy river.|
At the river, we again had a wrong turn (our 2nd wrong turn).
|Don't cross the river yet and enter this bamboo fence just like what we did or you'll end up in a cattle pasture losing about 30 precious minutes..|
A local kid helped us and pointed the right direction towards the bamboo bridge (muchas gracias kiddo)
|The bamboo bridge, if you see this landmark then you're still on the right track. There are about 3 noticeable ascending trails to it's left, just follow any of these trails, they will converge into a single trail.|
|When you reach the higher ground, you'll notice a cassava plantation to your right. Just follow the visible trail straight ahead.|
|Then you'll meet this old large mango tree.|
|Past the mango tree, you'll enter a banana plantation. There's a split on the trail somewhere here, we turned left (our 3rd and last wrong turn, the right is the right way) towards another private property.|
The men on the shed on the banana plantation asked us why we did not get a guide. They said we'll surely get lost as there were more confusing trail beyond that point. We just smiled and asked them where's the right path, they pointed the trail to the left of the banana plantation.
Ironically, we did not lose our way anymore beyond that point. We simply followed the trail which is very obvious naman.
|The trail then led us to this walled area.|
|Just walk further following the muddy trail and you'll end up here in this wide muddy dirt road.|
You'll constantly meet locals with horses along the way (remember to always be courteous to them by simply greeting them "good morning or good afternoon" or just show a bright smile).
|At the end of the wide dirt road is this sign. Welcome to Nuestra Señora Dela Paz.|
|We followed what they told us, thanks to them, we reached this river.|
|the summit of Mt. Marami. we'll be coming' for yah.|
|Then through this dry bamboo forest.|
We continued following the trail which led us to an open area with a tall tree at the center. Beside the tree are three rocks fit for sitting (sakto sa aming tatlo). All of a sudden, the sun hid behind the clouds, not just simple clouds but rain clouds, yup, it began to rain drastically.
|it's raining. 'sigh'|
|The trail led us to this grass area|
|Clouds then formed around us, slowly putting out of sight the rocky summit.|
|Toinks, a cow then came out from nowhere, blocking the lone trail. We shooed it like a dog, and it moved away (thank goodness).|
Few more minutes and we finally reached the campsite. It was becoming really really cloudy that time so we decided to stop there and set up our camp. Temp was dropping as well.
|setting up our camp|
|the three of us. Josh, Christian and Me|
|and our dinner, actually we got very little food supply. Aside from the loaf bread I brought, we munched mostly on jellies and candies for our dinner and breakfast the following day.|
I couldn't remember how we wasted our time at the campsite. We just stayed inside the tent the whole time, talking about many things like mountains, getting fit, college life, other people's lives, girls and a lot more. Then all of a sudden, it was night time already, a cold drizzling foggy night.
I think it was around 7PM when the drizzle gained up strength. Wild gusts of wind soon follow. In less than 10 minutes, the strong rain grew even stronger, water started to seep into our tent, flood was accumulating, and wind was battering from all sides. Aarrgh, just imagine how terrified we were on that terrifying moment. This lasted for more than 30 minutes
After it stopped, we went out of the tent to check the damage. There was none aside from the ankle-deep flood inside our tent. So we drained it, almost everything inside bathed in flood, wtf. We prayed that the storm won't return. But it returned!
|draining the flooded tent|
|umbrellas up inside the tent.|
Saturday - June 2, 2012
The following day (around 6AM), we woke up wet and shivering. I did not noticed that I was able to sleep while both my feet were soaked in a flood of about 3 inches deep. grabe lang.
|We went out and it was all white outside. We almost lose hope of reaching the summit.|
But we are unstoppable now after experiencing nature's grudge last night. After dealing with some pork n beans for breakfast, we started the final assault to Mt. Marami's summit.
We followed again the trail somewhere at the grassy back of the campsite.
|We reached this bamboo forest. The trail here is very confusing, very observant eyes are needed.|
Lucky us, we still found the right trail, an ascending trail hiding behind a tree (I tied a trail sign there before we left). We followed that trail and
|it led us here (just don't mind the guy on the photo),|
|and finally at the summit!!!|
|It was however a very cloudy and very windy summit. There was no clearing at all, no view of any nearby mountain, 'sighs'.|
|WE CONQUERED MT. MARAMI|
|Back at the camp, we saw again our flooded tent. 'sighs again'|
|Drying up our bags.|
At 1PM, we're back at Brgy. Ramirez, freshen up there then rode a trike back to Magallanes, then jeep back to Naic, then finally bus back to Manila.
We survived Mt. Marami
I will definitely be back here for the summit view we never saw.
here's a video of our traumatic experience at the campsite
and a juxtaposition of the mountain that vanished.
Lagataw's awesome post on Mt. Marami served as our guide on this guideless hike on Mt. Marami. thanks so much sir Adonis.