After a 7-hour trip to Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, we reached Brgy. Madianggat – the jump off. Our group is arguing whether we’ll get a guide or not. We ended up hiring one because locals said there are a lot of confusing trails and several climbers already got lost before. Besides, we’re already an hour late on our itinerary, it’d be faster if backtracks would be avoided.
We were ten including two girls – eleven, plus the guide. Some of them have a really slow pace resulting us to break into two groups. The interval is really big that it would take us an hour or more if we wait for them. So “our group” just went on while leaving trail signs for the others.
We reached the grand view deck “Haring Bato” at around 5PM. The 360 degree view is magnificent.
Darkness bites and rain started to fall, the left out group still hasn’t catch up. One of my friends, Chong, suggested we leave Haring Bato, go down a little bit and set an emergency camp somewhere with trees. The others were too tired to go back down, now we’re divided to 3 groups; Chong and I went down to search for a good emergency camp spot.
Our night at the e-camp was horrible, we have a can of butane but we don’t have a burner (portable stove is packed by someone on the left behind group), all we have is a can of mushroom. It took us all night to open the can with a spoon. Things just got worst when water started getting inside our tent. We took off our socks and used it as sponge to absorb the water and squeeze it out of the tent. We couldn’t sleep because we’re wet & it’s extremely cold. I’m shivering and Chong actually thought I was dying.
We were regrouped on day two at our e-camp. Since the others don’t want to push through the summit, we decided to leave our bags at camp so the assault would be quicker. Only three of us pushed through – four plus the the guide. Reaching the water source and the “proper” campsite took an hour from the view deck. No one else is camping that time. The water is crystal clear and cold, the ambiance is so serene. There, we refilled our water bottles then continued assaulting to the peak for another hour. I was expecting a great view but I didn’t even know we were already at the top until the guide said that we’re already on it. The view is covered by trees and you have to climb on a branch tied horizontally on two other branches to have a peek. Though the view isn’t as great as the scenery in Haring Bato, I can’t say going to the summit isn’t worth it — because after all conquering a mountain top is a great achievement.
To sum it all up, I got cuts all over my hands and legs from thorny plants and talahibs (sharp grasses). This is probably a perfect climb for the Holy Week! Penitensya!