Day 1 - April 13, 2013
Great excitement we felt the moment we landed in New Bacolod-Silay Airport. As if the connection between us and the mountain we were about to climb has finally been established. Parang may electrifying connection talaga. Maybe because we already knew that in a few more hours, we will be setting foot at another geologic marvel, which is Mt. Kanlaon.
|Touchdown Negros Occidental|
|Riding the bus down to La Carlota City took only less than 2 hours. Mabilis lang and it offers views of the vast sugarcane fields of Negros.|
Since we don't feel like rushing things to Mt. Kanlaon, we allotted our first day to preparation and body conditioning. Wala munang intense hike. Climb proper should begin on second day. So instead of doing nothing after settling down at Guintubdan ranger station where we plan to spend our night, our guide excitedly brought us to the twin waterfalls nearby.
|our home for the first day|
|Busay Kapid (Twin Falls) as seen from the view deck.|
sabi ng guide pwede daw puntahan yung mismong falls pero mahirap, kaya dun na lang daw sa source kami pupunta.
|the clear and chilly water pools, source of Busay Kapid|
We went swimming, it was so damn cold.
We stayed at the waterfalls for like an hour only. When it started to get chilly, we decided to leave the place and return to the comfort of the ranger station. Before we left, we jokingly said, "wow nauna pa yung side trip natin kesa sa main destination."
|at the ranger station, quite chaotic!|
Day 2 - April 14, 2013
We woke up the following day with one great goal—take a hike at Mt. Kanlaon via Guintubdan trail. We started at 07:30 AM and reached Pagatpat Campsite at around 2 in the afternoon. A total of 7 hours on the trail.
|my friends Dane and Agnes with Kuya Ronald, our guide.|
Register first before heading up to the mountain.
|densely forested Guintubdan trail|
|we passed by a waterfalls, Buslugan Waterfalls, just a few minutes from the main trail. The cascade wasn't so strong though when we visited.|
As far as I can remember, this was the only watersource during our trek.
|The mountain is protected by DENR, trail is very well established.|
Hindi ko maalala na may nadaanan kaming confusing part.
|It was around 11:45 AM when our group had our first long break in a small campsite. There, we ate lunch.|
When we finally reached Pagatpat campsite at around 01:50 PM, we were so relieved, knowing that the day's trek was finally over. whew.
|the wide Pagatpat Campsite.|
This is also the location of Guintubdan-Wasay junction
Still too early to settle in our camp, I decided to join our guides down Margaja Valley to get water for our dinner (there's no other water source available nearby aside that from the valley). From Pagatpat Campsite, we descended on the trail that lies somewhere not too far.
|the beautiful soccer field-like Margaja Valley as seen from the trail.|
It is the old crater of Mt. Kanlaon.
|goofy pose in the middle of Margaja Valley|
|See what I mean? |
Look at the layers of terrain covering the summit area. From deep green it transforms to rocky grey the closer it gets to the summit crater, like a true volcano.
|sun set light at Pagatpat Campsite. beautiful.|
|As soon as the sun went down, we started preparing our pork sinigang for dinner. yum yum!|
Day 3 - April 15, 2013
The next day, we woke up very early to finally feed our eyes with views that are awesomely good, picture perfect they say, at the summit of Mt. Kanlaon. I really can't wait anymore. Leaving all our things at the campsite, makes our trek to the summit fast and easy. The assault was not that overwhelming, in fact, I would say it was generally easy all the way.
|foggy summit assault.|
|Pagatpat Ridge visible from the trail.|
|assaulting the summit.|
clouded Margaja Valley at the backdrop.
|clouds trapped in Margaja Valley, the old crater of Mt. Kanlaon.|
|almost at the summit still too foggy.|
|crater of Mt. Kanlaon, surreal!|
|Batang Lakwatsero meets the crater of Mt. Kanlaon|
|standing at the rim of the volcano|
Sabi ng guide namin, may malaki raw na crack sa ilalim niyan, kaya bawal ang malikot sa summit area.
|picture picture at the summit|
|Margaja Valley again, seen from the summit. It was my most favorite sight at the summit.|
|Margaja Valley finally cleared up at around 7 AM. Visible from Pagatpat ridge.|
|bidding goodbye with the crater summit as we continue towards Wasay Trail.|
Throughout the trail, green moss covers almost every surface and it gets more intense as we go deeper into the forest.
|In no more than an hour of trek from the time we left Pagatpat Campsite, intense mossy forest dominated the scene.|
nung hinawakan ko, lumubog yung kamay ko dahil makapal yung moss
|sobrang green lang talaga ng mga dinadaanan namin|
|a thick mossy forest somewhere between the two lagoons|
Wasay trail runs on a series of ups and downs. Some parts were very steep, but most of the times its just gradual. The overgrown trail did not make our trek very easy, we were constantly dodging the large branches that block our way, wherein some parts, we had to go over or under these obstructions. There's also a part where we had to trek on a cliff side and would just cling on branches growing from the sides, our guides call that part Monkey Trail.
|a steep part of the trail|
|the 80° steep descent|
|the Monkey Trail|
Another pleasant thing that makes Wasay trail really remarkable were the interesting plants we met along the way. There's a swampy area filled with stunted plants and covered with vibrant moss, locals call it Hardin. Getting there is quite a challenge though for it is really muddy, and it is about 10 minutes off the main trail.
|odd-looking but beautiful trees in Hardin|
|orange colored bryophytes cover the surface of the swampy place|
|the trees looked so dwarf in Hardin.|
From Hardin, we ran the long continuous descending trail that was full of hurdles and obstacles. It took another 2 hours until we reached another biological wonder. There is a trees of titanic size—it was so big that if you pose beside it, you will appear dwarf.
|humongous tree along the trail.|
nagmukha talaga akong dwende
Although its length, as well as the elements that make up this trail, has proven itself to be really very challenging, beyond doubt, Wasay Trail was too gorgeous, ecologically rich, and full of natural marvels. I fell in love with it. Actually, it greatly exceeded my expectations to the point that it is now one of my most favorite trails.
By 04:45 PM, after trekking a total of 7 hours from Pagatpat Campsite up to the base camp where we will be spending our second night, the day's trek was finally over. We quickly set up our camp, dipped ourselves in the refreshing stream nearby, and hastily prepared dinner. Before we ended the day, we had a good socials, thanks to our guides for making the night really funny with their jokes.
|at the base camp or ilog campsite|
Day 4 - April 16, 2013
We're down to our last day in Mt. Kanlaon. Parang kelan lang umaakyat pa kami, at ngayon pababa na. Time flew so fast.
Our last day in Mt. Kanlaon happened so fast and was quite uneventful, and was really easy might I add. We just descended the mountain using the continuous, very well established and straight forward trail. Perhaps the only interesting thing that happened during our descent was the band of military men which we came across. They scrutinized our group, asking for all our permits. It took several minutes before they let us pass, but that's just ok for we know they were just doing their job.
|somewhere in the middle of the trail, there's a concrete road. |
Dito namin nakasalubong yung mga militar.
|well established trail|
Our Mt. Kanlaon traverse officially ended when we logged out at Wasay Ranger Station, time was 09:22 AM. whew. Another great mountain, the highest in Visayas, has been accomplished by our team. woohoo
After the hike, we went straight to Mambukal Resort to pamper ourselves—continue reading here.
Mt. Kanlaon Traverse via Guintubdan-Wasay trail ranks 2nd (just after Talomo-Apo Mega traverse) in my top favorite mountain adventures. The grandeur of this mountain is overwhelmingly beautiful, truly remarkable. If there is one mountain that I would recommend to every mountaineer, it is Mt. Kanlaon.
I thank my Tramping Philippines friends, Dane and Agnes, Ron, Bryan and Jam, as well as our guides, Kuya Ronald, Kuya Rutchel and Kuya Gudo, for being part of this unforgettable hike.