I joined one of the travel blog site not only to promote my blog but to experience as well to write articles to another website. Honestly, I am quite nervous because its first time that probably more people going to read my post who are traveler enthusiast and writer or blogger as well. So fingers crossed that my first post will be appreciated more by many people.
I had vacation in my country last October 2010 since at that time I was still employed in Singapore. But to be honest the main reason I came back in my country after around 6 months (I had vacation last May 2010 too) was to sign a job offer for my next job back home. Yes, I returned to my home country to work (other people surprised because there are lots of Filipinos dreamed to work abroad and yet I am returning to my country). And I used the climb event as a reason when I requested for approval of my vacation leave so that I can return to the country without so much effort of reasoning.
The climbed that I joined in was a training climb for all the members of the group that will climb Mount Pulag which happened the following month as preparation since they took the difficult trail of the said mountain. I was not able to join that climbed as I went back to Singapore to formally submit my resignation letter to the company I was working with.
The climb happened last October 16-17, 2010 and the mountain was Tarak Ridge. Before my flight back home in my country I informed the group that I will be joining the climb. I missed the group because I was away in my country for almost a year. I was both excited and worried because it’s been almost a year that I wasn’t climbing. As most of us knows that there’s no really mountain in Singapore aside from Mount Faber.
The whole group that joined the climbed met in 5 Star Bus Terminal in Cubao early Saturday morning . We took the bus that goes to Mariveles Bataan. After almost 3 hours of travel from Metro Manila to Bataan, we reached our destination and we got off the bus near the jump-off area which located in Barangay Alas-asin.
Barangay Hall Alas-asin and nearby local stores (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
When we reached the jump-off, we spent sometime in preparations (buying water, food and other essentials) and registrations in barangay hall before we started the formal trek. Then, we begun our journey to reached the base of the mountain. I remembered that the climb was still unique from the past mountains that I climbed. I cannot really compare every mountain. They are like human with distinct personality inside.
The Group before the climb (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
Jump-off point before the start of the climb
At the start we had a long walk in a wide grassy plains before we reached the base of the mountain. Then it followed the forest trail. After a long walk, the real climbed started. The walk and trek up to Papaya River can be considered as the easiest part of the climb.
The pathway to reach the base of the mountain
The pathway to reach the base of the mountain (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
Like every mountain that I climbed, we passed trails where there were rocks besides the trail. Most of the time, if I can pass the trail normally like walking while standing and does not require me to sit down it will be an easier one, I used big rocks to hold myself or sometimes I used to stepped on them.
The Group while waiting inside the forest before reaching Papaya River (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
The Group while waiting inside the forest before reaching Papaya River
At the forest trail
As I remembered Papaya River, it was one of the river that is still used by people as a main source of water in the area not only for household use but for safe source of fresh water to drink. Yes, we drank the water from the river. That was why when we rested a bit for lunch near the river, we were prohibited to use dish washing or any soap detergents when we were in Papaya River.
At the forest before Papaya River (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
At Papaya River
At Papaya River (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
After lunch, our lead in the group gave us a heads-up that there were no more gradual trail ahead of us. This means that the trail all the way are all steep and it’s all assault. I was a bit nervous because I really don’t know what to expect. We got our backpack again and prepare for full assault climb.
The next trail we need to pass was the trail where the only way to do was to crawl to the roots of trees strayed and branched in the ground. Trekking pole cannot be used in the trail, both hands must be free from holding anything to be able to hold tightly the big roots while trying to push ourselves upward with the help of our feet. That moment of my climbed, I felt like we were spiders as we were crawling to the roots and branches of the trees, its similar to rappelling and the difference, we were not holding on to the rocks but were holding to the tree roots that we can grab on so we can hold on of ourselves while ascending in the trail as the roots were only our support.
I thought that the trail will never end. I reached the end of the assault trail. One of my group member experienced muscle cramps and it’s a good thing that before it become painful, he still able to reach the end of the assault trail. We advised him to rest a bit and one of us gave him pain reliever. We continued our trek, we carefully passed the narrow trail until we reached the campsite which near before the summit.
Just after the crawling trail (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
Tarak Ridge campsite is like an open area similar to Gulugod-Baboy mountain that I climbed. The summit is at the other side of the camp site. And for what I heard, the summit trail is not an easy task as well.
Surroundings of the campsite before the summit
Like the most climbed I had, we pitched our tent so we have place to stay at the top of the mountain. Next thing happened, the group prepared for its dinner and followed by “socials” (group activity where most of the members were gathered together to talk and chat about anything) that the group always does if weather in the mountain permits us. After hours of “socials”, all of us concluded the day.
The next day, we woke up early to climbed the summit of the mountain. The good thing about it was, we don’t have our backpacks anymore. We left everything in our tent.
On the way to the summit from the campsite (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
We started our trek to the summit. Like what I heard, the trail was not simple, though there’s some difficulty along the way, the group safely reached the summit. It was a fulfilling task. I felt it was really great to be at the peak of the mountain again.
The common hikers does when it reached the summit were the same things we did. We spent time for photo shots, individual and group pictures. At the summit area, there’s a huge rock where it is slightly hanging and some of my group went there for a great individual shot.
We came back to the campsite and started our break camp. We had the last moment of group pictures with the summit and we started descending the mountain.
Group Picture with the summit of the mountain (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
We used the same trail when we climbed the mountain. Therefore we passed again the treacherous trail where we become a spider. And because we have backpacks it’s more challenging to go down as our bags scratching to the roots and branches in the ground. Even it was more difficult, we successfully passed the trail and reached Papaya River again. We used the place to rest a bit and refill our bottles for water. Then, we moved on and passed the grassy wide plains.
Group Lunch (Photo Courtesy of SMB Mountaineering Group)
After the climbed, we had lunch altogether and we had a great time going back to the city to return once again to the real life that we have.
Instead of exploring first the Itsukushima Shrine, I decided to visit the Mount Misen because it seems that we need to spend more time in the mountain than in the shrine as I am expecting that there some part of the mountain that we may need to trek or climb. From the viewing area of O-Torii which just below or near Toyokuni Shrine, we followed the pathway to Momijidani Station wherein we passed the 5 Storied Pagoda, Itsukushima Shrine, office of Itsukushimi Shrine and a small town nearby. In Momijidani Station, there is a regular mini-bus available that pick-ups the visitors of Mount Misen. The bus will dropped all the passengers at Momidijani Park Entrance where the Momijidani Ropeway Station is just near. The mini bus is a regular service back and forth between stations. When I was looking at the map of Miyajima, I just realized that the park within the mountain seems a great place to discover as well but due to limited time we have, I snapped out the idea and focus on reaching the top or summit of the mountain.
While waiting for the bus, one of the local store owners approached us and showed us that we can buy ticket in their store and it seems the person is legitimate, we bought the ticket for our Mount Misen adventure in their store and other people does as well. The bus arrived and the good thing about it, all the four of us able to hopped on the bus from the queue we lined-up. It’s not really a long distance travel but because the area is already part of the mountain, the walk or let’s say the trek will not be an easy. We reached the bus stop and we walked-up a bit to Momijidani Ropeway Station. At the station, there is an office that you can also buy the tickets, since we already bought ours, we went straight to the stairs up to where the cable car is.
There are two types of cable car that we rode up to the Shishiiwa Station. First was a Gondola lift and second was Aerial Tramway. In Gondola lift, only the four of us got in which means we have exclusivity in the ride and we enjoyed our flightseeing up to the to of the mountain. When we reached the middle station or Kayatani Station, we transferred to another lift and we took the aerial tramway where it fits more people. We are the last group to get in the tram and that means we do not have great position to take photo during flightseeing but our eyes enjoyed the scenery on our way to Shishiiwa Station.
Shishiiwa Station Observatory Hall
Shishiiwa Station Observatory Hall (captured after descending the summit)
Mount Misen Map
We reached Shishiiwa Station where there is great observatory nearby. We spent time taking photos in the observatory and of course we took time to enjoy the sceneries. We found a map that Shishiiwa Station was not yet the summit of the mountain. I talked to my family and asked everyone who wants to see more of the mountain. Three of us agreed to come to the top and my mother decided to stay in Shishiiwa, she just stayed inside the station.
Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 1)
Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 2)
Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 3)
Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 4)
Our adventure continues in the mountain together with my sister and my father. We followed the track and the stairs to the summit. We reached the first place where we can rest and from the map it was the place where the following halls stands: Akaido Hall, Misenhondo Hall and Rekaido Hall (Eternal Fire Hall). With regards to Rekaido Hall or Eternal Fire Hall and sometimes called as Eternal Flame Hall is believed that the fire exist with more than 1200 years, if that was really true then its an amazing facts about the hall. My sister got tired and I decided to go up all the way to the summit. I thought that I am the only one who want to go up to the summit until I saw my father following me. Along the way, we saw another halls in the mountain: Sankido Hall, Kanondo Hall and Munjudo Hall. I thought the trek will never end until I just arrived in the summit of the mountain where Mount Misen Observatory located.
Captured on the way before reaching Eternal Fire Hall area
Reikado Hall (Eternal Fire Hall)
Kannondo Hall and Munjudo Hall
Scenery near Kannondo Hall and Munjudo Hall
At the summit we enjoyed the beautiful sceneries that surrounds the island. My father and I took photos of each other together with sceneries as our souvenir in the summit. After sometime we both decided to descend the summit since the time announcement that the last trip of the aerial tramway is up to 5PM in the afternoon. If we will missed it, it means that we will trek the mountain with our own legs and I was not sure if my family will be able to do that. When we descended the mountain, we used the same trail though based on the map there was another trail to go down the mountain and we never took that as we need to meet my mother back to Shishiiwa Station and we have to take the same lift we had when going up the mountain to go down too.
Fudo-iwa (Acala Rock)
Kuguri-iwa (Duck under rock)
At Mount Misen Summit Sceneries
At Mount Misen Summit
Mount Misen Observatory
We took the aerial tram and gondola lift from Shishiiwa Station to Kayatani Station and gondola lift again to Momijidani Station. We waited for the bus and go back to the bus stop where we started earlier our trip to the top of the mountain.
On our way to the ground
We passed few local stores and the office of Itsukushima Shrine. After mountain adventure, next stop was the World Heritage Site – Itsukushima Shrine.
Life Of Others (Post#1) : Wilson Promontory – Crimson Rosella
During the tour in Wilson Promontory National Park, one of the things I enjoyed while at the parking area was being up close and personal with the birds specifically Crimson Rosella (parrot native in Australia). This bird is commonly found in forests, parks, and farmlands. The young one has green with red patches and the mature one has red and blue with a patch of blue on their throats. I observed that they don’t afraid with humans and they easily approached you if you have foods with you. Snapshot captured last May 2014.
This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following: Saturday’s Critters – February 20, 2016
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#20): Mount Kinabalu
My first formal climb happened in Mount Kinabalu which became my way to be a member of mountaineering group in my country through my colleague at work. This mountain is the highest mountain that I ever climbed even though I haven’t reach the summit and only reached the hotel (Laban Rata – 3200+masl). Cannot forget my first climb experience and had been an eye opener that even I had difficulty on this climb I really love mountains. Photo captured last September 2008.
When we arrived in this place for walking and trekking adventure, I fell in love with the place. MacRitchie Reservoir is one of my favorite place in Singapore as the area has nature surroundings that helped me forget that I live in the city. The reservoir shot has relaxing view that kept me standing there for a while to appreciate the beauty in front of me. Photo captured last June 2010.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#18) : Mount Marami
I remember the climb we had on this mountain, it was the hottest climb experienced I had because we set the trek during summer season in my country. All of us emptied our bottle and we were struggling as all of us felt hydrated. It was good thing that it happened when we were on our way to descend the mountain. We saw a water source under a tree along the way and using water filter from one of our group we survived until we reached the jumped-off point again. The scenery is above is what they called Silyang Bato (Rock Chair) of Mount Marami and captured last April 2011.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#16) : Mount Tangisan
I am a member of mountaineering group in my country wherein we used to help and aid group of people and mostly students who live in remote areas that does not have easy access of help from other charity groups. Unlike other communities that easily receive help and easily reach out by other non-government group we made a simple vow to help others. Because we used to climb mountains and we are exposed in difficulties, challenges and quite adventurer, our group combined some of the climbs with charity events. There were cases that it’s only charity focus. When we went to San Pedro in San Jose, Tarlac we did a charity activities for the students in the area. The place is actually quite remote as we passed huge farm and to my surprise I never expected such community as no concrete roads towards the place, we drove long rough road in the middle of farms. Beside the community, Mount Tangisan is also to be found. Since it’s near the area, the group decided to trek the mountain. Photo above captured last July 2012.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#14) : Mount Apo Boulders
Mount Apo is the Highest Mountain in my country. I only knew this mountain by its name and by being the highest mountain. I never imagine before that time will come that I will be able to reach the summit of this mountain. I will never forget a risk life climb that I experienced on this magnificent mountain. Photo above was the boulder parts before reaching the crater and summit of the mountain which captured last March 2009.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#13) : Mount Maculot
It was first freedom climb in my country and my mountaineering group has been assigned to Mount Maculot. Mount Maculot has rockies part where its overlooking are Taal Lake and Taal Vocano. During the climb, I discovered a panoramic view along the way and for me it is a breath-taking scenery. Photo captured last June 2009.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#12) : Cradle Mountain
When I visited Tasmania Island in Australia, I included a tour for Cradle Mountain. The said mountain is located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Claire National Park and it is one the main tourist site in the island. During the tour we did one of the available walks in the said park. I love the photo above because of the scenic view of Crater Lake from within the Cradle Mountain. Photo captured last June 2013.
First mountain to climb – Mount Kinabalu, the mountain with the title of “Highest Mountain in South East Asia”. To be honest, I was not able to reached the summit of the mountain. Mount Kinabalu’s altitude is 4095 MASL (meters above sea level). Yes this was the first mountain that I climb when I joined the mountaineering club which headed by my colleague at work that time. I only reach the hotel in Laban Rata with altitude of 3200+ MASL. I never insist to myself to push over to my limits. I told myself that the mountain is not going anywhere and maybe time will permit me or allow me to reach the highest peak of this mountain. My group was composed of 13 mountaineers and 5 in the group were able to reached the highest peak. For me I made an accomplishment for a rookie member like me. But I will not recommend to do the same thing that I did because preparation for conquering high altitude mountain need training physically because it definitely helps. Photo captured last September 2008.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#11) : Mount Cristobal
One of our preparation or training climb before conquering Mount Apo (The Highest Mountain in the Philippines) was Mount Cristobal climb. The said training was held last February 2009. Mount Cristobal was quite challenging mountain as there were some trails where we need to walk huge rocks full of moss which quite tricky as one wrong move will result to accident and injuries. One thing that I will never forget on this mountain was the part that we took a narrow trail, the side of it is a high cliff that one mistake life may cost it. Another thing that I never expect was we were depending on solid roots of the trees that strayed in the trail that helped us to grip and hold on to ourselves while passing the treacherous track. Photo above was just one of the views to see while inside Mount Cristobal.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#7) : The Pinnacle At Grampians
Traveling to Grampians was one of my travel that I did by not joining a tour. I had a friend at work that offers to visit Grampians which I immediately accepted as I dreamed to visit the place. The view seen at the photo above was just one of the scenic view to witness while at The Pinnacle which showed Lake Bellfield and captured last July 2013.
The above snapshot was Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines located between Davao City and Davao Del Sur in Mindanao region. I captured this photo after climbing the mountain which lasted almost 4 days last March 2009.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#4) : Gulugud Baboy Mountain
Gulugud Baboy Mountain was the first mountain that I climbed in my country which located in Mabini in Batangas Philippines. Year 2008 was the year that I was reminded how I really love mountains. The climb was my first fun climb and second mountain that I trekked. Gulugud Baboy Mountain climb left so many memories for myself and for my group that I joined in. The trek happened last October 2008 and the snapshot was during the sunrise that we waited at the summit of the mountain.
The photo above was captured while we were on our way to climb Mount Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas in Philippines. The climb was the First Freedom Climb held in my country and Mount Maculot was assigned in our mountaineering group which happened last June 2009.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#3) : Mount Anawangin
This is one of the magnificent view that I had while at the top of Mount Anawangin. I captured this photo from Mount Anawangin when we had the climb last March 2009. The scenery is looking towards the Anawangin Cove where we enjoyed our time after the trek. It is one of the great holiday I had back home. This mountain is beside Mount Pundaquit which located at San Antonio in Zambales Province of Philippines.
This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
I captured this photo of Big Ben mall in Lipa City, Batangas in Philippines along Ayala Highway while inside the public jeep when we were on our way to Cuenca, Batangas for our Freedom Climb which happened in Mount Maculot last June 2009.
This story was written to remember my first fun climb since I joined the mountaineering group. Like what I said from previous blog a year ago, after my first and major climb, the next thing is fun climb…(well most of you will think, that is weird, you climb the major climb first then fun climb next?). Well, I am just telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
My first fun climb held in Mabini, Batangas last Oct 25 to 26 2008. And the lucky mountain we climbed was Gulugod-Baboy Mountain. As far as I remembered, the group met at 7/11 in Pasay,Rotonda where the bus to Batangas is stationed. We traveled by bus from Pasay, Rotonda until we reached Batangas City, then we rode jeep until we reached the jump-off area in Mabini, Batangas near Anilao.
The great thing about the jump-off area are the wonderful view that it offers. I saw some beach from the ground and the beautiful sea that seems no end.
Here are some seaside snapshots I had while staying at jump-off area.
While waiting for other member in the group that will join the fun climb, we took our lunch near the jump-off area. While having lunch, rain fell. And since rain fell, this means, the trail will be muddy or slippery. But rain will not be the reason to stop mountaineers to go for the climb.
For this climb I met other members of the group and honestly to tell you, I have so much fun meeting them and it’s really great to know them.
As much as I remember, on this first fun climb, I experienced new things about climbing. Comparing my first and major climb to this climb, I realized that it’s not good to compare it, because each mountain have their own uniqueness, have their own features and challenges. My experiences when I climbed Mount Kinabalu were far way different when I climb Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
For the photo above, I capture some part of the area where the rain already falling…
See the heavy clouds?
Here are the views that can be found while climbing Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
These are also the photos that the sky seems to be unfriendly for the mountaineers
because it means one thing…its going to rain (we are lucky, the rain is in far from us)
Gulugod Baboy Mountain is just small mountain (has 500+ masl altitude) compared to Mount Kinabalu (with more than 4000+ masl). I cannot forget my experience while trekking this mountain. First we took the semi-steep small road which partially cemented that time, then we rested few minutes before taking the rough trail. For this climb, I will remember when the only thing I can hold on to were just grass leaves that I don’t know if these leaves can handle my weight. There were many times that I slipped away because the track were muddy. It’s just a good thing that my trekking pole was there to helped me. We passed grasses even taller than me.
When I reached the top, the feelings were wonderful and the amazing view from top was worth to see after such exhausted climb in few hours.
Here are the afternoon before sunset views I caught after reaching the camp
near the summit of the mountain
After reaching the top of the mountain near the summit, we also had a chance to witness the sunset view. With this kind of seeing sun is slowly hiding itself to people, the feeling so ecstatic. Sometimes you will think, how world is so fascinating with just having that moment.
This first fun climb was also the first night having a great time with the group. I got a chance to get to know them for real. The group called it “Socials” where some secrets revealed, some information gave away either by just telling it through jokes or even in a serious way. There were lots of fun and laughter that made me feel that night will not be over. In that social activities with the group, I also had a chance to introduce myself to the group and my reasons why I like to climb.
This is the famous lonely tree branch – a significant mark used as a proof commonly
by mountaineers as evidence that they reached Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
Here is the summit of the mountain – where my group made their important jump shots
Its getting dark ..
Even the group had so much fun over the night for social activities, everyone still able to wake up to witness the sunrise from the summit. And I am one of them who trek the trail to summit immediately to glimpse the sunrise for a moment.
The moment – Sunrise
After enjoying the rising sun from the summit,
here are the photos around the Gulgod-Baboy Mountain Summit
I truly treasure my experience in this climb, as second mountain to climb I knew for myself, that I still have lots to learn in mountaineering.