"A wise mountaineer knows when he needs to stop"
Aborting a climb is probably the decision that a mountaineer would never wish to call. It usually comes as the last resort if and only if unexpected circumstances such as bad weather, local trouble, logistics problems, health issues, or the worst, "naligaw lang sa trail" were encountered. Although it really hurts so bad, calling for it can sometimes be the wisest decision.
So far, I have two aborted climbs. First on Mt. Talamitam and the second was on Mt. Tapulao.
Mt. Talamitam - Aborted
I ecstatically invited my old friend Roan to accompany me in a dayhike in Mt. Talamitam when she expressed her great interest in joining one of my mountain adventures. To infect someone with this highly contagious addiction can make me really glad.
August 20, 2012, we went to Nasugbu, Batangas with great excitement. Finally I will be able to introduce to her my love for hiking. But series of unfortunate events unexpectedly came that day.
We were on our way to the jump-off of Mt. Talamitam when we're suddenly stuck on a slow moving traffic. There was a car accident hundreds of meter ahead of us kaya sooobrang tagal namin sa bus, around 2 hours na siguro kaming late sa itinerary.
Past the bottle neck of the traffic, the flow ran smoothly. Then we started counting the kilometer markers, KM 75.. KM 76.. KM 77.. then I fell asleep. Nagising na lang ako when the bus conductor shouted Bayabasan. Knowing that it is already our destination, we alighted the bus near the marker. But ooops, nasa KM 82 pa lang pala kami.
I was preparing to walk the kilometer length of highway towards KM 83, but the rain that has been pouring from the time we left Manila suddenly grew even stronger. We sat on a shed, tried to wait for the rain to subside, pero nagptuloy pa rin ang ulan hanggang sa... LET'S ABORT THIS CLIMB.
At para hindi masayang ang punta namin, we just had a great Bulalo for lunch at Mahogany Market in Tagaytay.
|Mahogany Market's Bulalo|
Mt. Tapulao - Aborted
My supposed 21st mountain ended up in another aborted climb.
September 10, 2012, we reached the jump-off at 5AM. Everyone in the group (lahat first timers sa Tapulao) was set and ready for a fast paced dayhike on Mt. Tapulao. We excitedly started our trek at around 5:30 AM and we're all confident that we can do this climb without the help of a guide, malawak at very obvious daw ang trail ng Mt. Tapulao. Since no one in the group have done this mountain before, everyone carried on with the trek even when we took the wrong way from the very start.
|Trail to Bagsit River|
Unsuspecting and clueless, we took the wide trail parallel to a river. At the back of my mind, I was wondering why we were not ascending at all, ang pagkakaalam ko kasi sa simula pa lang dapat puro ascend na pero hindi ko na lang pinansin kasi ang alam ko tama naman yung dinadaanan namin.
It was around 06:20 AM when the trail suddenly ended up on a river. Dun pa lang kami nagsimula mag-duda na mali ang trail na dinaanan namin. We tried to cross that river but we just realized that it was a dead end. A local then appeared from nowhere, we thought he'll save us from misery so we asked him where we can find the trail to Mt. Tapulao. He directed us to an ascending trail behind some loose rocks. Again, we thought it's a hunter's trail that will soon lead us to the main trail.
More and more, we became doubtful of the trail. After some 2 hours, the trail became so masukal until it ended up on a corn field. We tried to bushwhack our way hoping that we'll hit the main trail, pero habang tumatagal, lalong nagiging masukal ang dinadaanan namin. Gustuhin man namin na ma-summit ang Mt. Tapulao sa araw na iyon, mukhang nagiging imposible na. That's why, even if it hurts so much, we decided to ABORT THE CLIMB.
|into the wilderness|
|abort na talaga|
Kulang na sa oras, kulang din ang supply, pursuing the summit on that same day is not ideal anymore. That's why we just decided to head back to the jump-off. Di bale nang hindi nakapag-summit, hindi naman masyadong pagod.
|nag-lunch na lang kami sa ilog|
|at bumalik sa jump-off na bigo|
For twice, I experienced an aborted climb but still, I am happy. I guess it's not always the mountain that makes me happy, sometimes it's the people I am with that makes a climb an unforgettable one