I can still remember the first time I ascended this mountain, it was March 26, 2012 (the day after I graduated from college). We were also on a quest to traverse this mountain but ended up not pursuing it because of an unexpected circumstance, parang kaming mga basang sisiw noon. You might want to check out that experience in this link: Mt. Cristobal Failed Traverse.
About 9 months have passed, and I, once again, faced the same mountain where, for the first time, I felt that I was defeated.
Sunday - January 6, 2013
Two weeks prior my very much anticipated Mindanao Mountain Madness, my Talomo-Apo megatraverse team decided to have a preclimb event on this so called Devil's Mountain, a traverse dayhike.
Just for those who do not know what a preclimb is, it is an event, be it a climb or just a simple table meeting, that is usually held a few days or weeks before the main climb event. Participants of the main climb are of course the expected attendees of a preclimb event since it aims to discuss matters that are important and needs the whole group's consent (i.e. meal plan, budget, final itinerary, down payment, load distribution).Traveled by bus from Manila to San Pablo City then transferred to a chartered jeep for the jump-off in Dolores, Quezon, it took us about 4 hours in total.
When we reached the jump-off at around 08:00 AM, I looked up on the sky, it was so blue, very promising. Of course, it brought big smile upon my face, I knew I will finally get done with my unfinished business in Mt. Cristobal.
Geared up with my fullest energy, we started the first climb of the year (yes, ito ang unang akyat sa taong 2013) at 8:30 in the morning.
|Promising weather! awesome|
|along the way to Montelibano House, we saw Mt. Banahaw partially covered by clouds|
|then we reached Montelibano house at 9:00 AM. |
walang tao sa loob
|From the Montelibano house, our trek continued on a steep ascending trail through a forest. It was really an exhausting trek, I must say.|
|Dahil nga exhausting yung trail, we had some couple of rests along the way.|
|some parts of the trail were blocked by fallen trees and landslides, kaya medyo kailangan umeffort|
|Me with my friend Oscar (left) and our very energetic 14-year old guide, Angelo (center). Siya ang salarin kung bakit kami sobrang hiningal sa trail.|
|The flora has become more fantastic as we reached the crater area. Moss-covered surfaces in the scene|
|meet the team.|
|the swamp which is believed to be the crater of Mt. Cristobal|
|just another captivating scene from the crater area.|
|Bulwagan Saddle campsite, the forever chilly spot in Mt. Cristobal.|
We had lunch here after having a great photo op session
|ang napaka-matalahib na trail ng Mt. Cristobal|
|reached the place at 12:40 PM.|
The rare clearing of Mt. Cristobal appeared before us!
Satisfied with what we've seen, we decided to carry on with the trek. From the summit area, our guide led us to a downward trail which was steep and muddy. The only support we could use was the tall talahib found along the trail.
|somewhere on those tall grasses is the steep downward trail to Brgy. Tala in Rizal, Laguna, the end point of our Mt. Cristobal Traverse day hike.|
|as we go along the trail, we would hear butts slamming on the ground|
hindi ka in kapag walang putik sa pwet.
|gradual descend from this point of the trail|
|at the foot of Mt. Cristobal, grassland. The trail here was quite confusing, with several splits and branching trails|
|click the photo to enlarge|
|Tayak Hill seen somewhere from the trail below Mt. Cristobal|
It was a nice and refreshing experience at Mt. Cristobal. Really glad to have finished what was left unfinished for 9 months. Awesome! I finally completed a Mt. Cristobal Traverse.