Ivan is back from U.S. and Jeka just celebrated her birthday – two good reasons to do a Hardcore climb! We plan to go to the beautiful Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales by traversing Mount Pundaquit.
By just looking at the mountain from afar, you may say it’s almost impossible to get lost there because of the few patches of trees… and that is why we didn’t hire a guide. The jump-off is a long walk on a sandy grassland slowly turning to a rocky terrain -and then a river. We got lost after trekking the river, so we pioneered a hardcore trail that stretched the supposed to be 3 to 4 hour climb to a long 8-hour exploratory trek.
The trail we took before finding a spot for an emergency camp is 70% streaming water and 30% bamboo. One of our friends got so tired, he had to leave some of his belongings behind (including a PlayBoy Magazine *Finders keepers to the next climbers*) just to make his backpack a lil’ lighter.
It’s already dark (I think around 8PM) and we’re still lost on an almost vertical trail, so we decided to set our E-Camp once we get into a horizontal surface. A few more climbing and there we have it, a horizontal spot! Pointed rocks are scattered along the area where pitching tents is no way possible. Everybody were too exhausted to whine. We’re like find-your-own-comfortable-spot on that rocky site using our bags as pillows and layered jackets to get rid of the breeze. We’re just thankful it didn’t rain that night since internet weather forecast predicted a thunderstorm in Zambales. We reached Pundaquit’s summit and Anawangin Cove the next day. The views were breathtaking!
We took a boat ride from the cove to Barangay Pundaquit (jump-off point). I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to visit Capones Island which is included in our side trip coz of the delays caused by getting lost in the mountain.