The call for a revenge climb kept bugging me in the weeks that followed our aborted climb, halos hindi ako mapakali at talagang nangangati ang mga paa ko na balikan ang Mt. Tapulao. I was about to do it solo when I received an invitation from some college buddies. They're gonna hike Mt. Tapulao on All Souls Day.
Thursday - November 1, 2012
Came All Souls Day, me and 3 climb buddies were on our way to Mt. Tapulao. We traveled by bus from Manila to Iba (P350), tricycle from Iba to Zameco Junction (P200), then another tricycle from Zameco Junction to Mt. Tapulao jump-off (P250). Travel from Manila to the jump-off took about 6 hours all in all, medyo nakakapagod pero sobrang exciting naman. One tricycle driver there even recognized me, he remembered our previous epic fail climb, nakakahiya.
The four of us arrived at the jump-off early at 04:45 AM. We settled first, reduced the load of our packs (iniwan namin yung mga pampalit na damit at tent sa jump-off), had a quick breakfast, then paid the necessary fees (P20 reg fee). Again, the woman on the desk recognized me and our previous epic fail climb. According to her, more cases similar to us (yung iba nagpa-rescue pa daw) had occurred in the past month. Thus, they are now mandating the service of guides (P500 per group; P700 if porter/guide). Just to give emphasis, GUIDES IN MT. TAPULAO ARE NOW MANDATORY, even if you've climbed Mt. Tapulao before. Hindi na kami nagtanong pa, ok na rin yun para makatulong sa locals. Once everything was settled, we started our trek.
|Here's a trick to lessen your load, we left all our pampalit at the jump-off|
|take 5 muna|
At 08:00 AM, we reached the first water source located at KM 5 of the trail, it took us 2 and half hours. Medyo napagod talaga ako, ambibilis kasi ng mga kasama ko, and still hindi ko pa nakukuha yung tamang buhat sa pack ko. We rested for only 5 minutes before we carried on with the trek.
Kuya Rolly, our guide, told us that our pace was quite too fast. According to him, if we maintain that speed, we could reach the bunker houses early. woohoo nakaka-proud. Somehow, medyo comfortable na din ako sa bitbit ko.
|still a very long way ahead of us|
|we reached the first water source at 8AM|
|ganito katindi ang mga bato sa trail ng Tapulao|
|Adobo for our early lunch at the 2nd water source.|
|Fog began to accumulate after we had lunch|
The rocky trail ended only upon our arrival at the pine forest area (between KM 11 and 12). That's right, Mt. Tapulao has a beautiful pine forest trail. I liked the pine forest trail so much, aside from the cool climate, it also suggests that we're nearing the bunker houses.
|still a rocky trail|
|here comes the Pine forest|
|and it was very picturesque|
|Bunker houses at last|
|punong-puno ng vandalism ang mga bunker house, shame on these people|
At 06:30, we were already munching on our maling and egg dinner (it was supposedly a Pasta Putanesca for dinner to be prepared by me but the group decided to have the pasta at Potipot Island, yup nag-Potipot Island side trip kami after ng Mt. Tapulao, will create a separate blog post for that trip).
|prepping our dinner, Maling at Itlog|
Friday - November 2, 2012
We woke up at 3 AM the next day. I looked up on the night sky and it was promising, "there will be a good sunrise for us," I told myself. We then had a quick breakfast, before we started the exhausting assault to summit. Sa totoo lang, throughout the length of Mt. Tapulao trail, doon lang sa final assault ako hiningal ng todo-todo. The trail was so steep and tiring that it made us stop 3 times. Habol hininga sobra.We also passed by a mossy forest which has some confusing parts.
|hingal na hingal sa assault trail|
|a great scene, sobrang ganda lang.|
|here comes the sun, tananana ♫♪♪|
|Cordillera mountain range seen from Tapulao summit, Mt. Pulag is the prominent summit|
We decided to leave the summit at 06:15 AM. We descended the summit so swiftly that by 7 AM, we're already at the bunker house preparing our stuff for our trek back to jump-off.
|pose muna bago mag-descend.|
On the side of this tree is the traverse trail to Tarlac.
|here's our group. L-R: Dan, Josh, Raymond and me|
we're done packing and ready for the descent
|some random scenery viewed from the trail|
|some random scenery viewed from the trail, Masinloc Power Plant is visible|
I rested on a side and started computing the total trek time: 9hrs ascend: 1.5hrs assault to summit: 4.5 hrs descend. woohoo. Success ang revenge climb! Mt. Tapulao is now my 27th mountain.
Done with my revenge climb, 27th mountain success!
After Mt. Tapulao, our group headed to Potipot Island. Follow the story here..