“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment; and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.” -Harold V. Melchert
New year has come again and as part of my personal tradition to at least climb a mountain once a year and that did not fail. =) Word of mouth passes from one another about a major climb at Mount Kitanglad would be December 2009 as our year end climb but it did not pursue due to reservation issues. – no slot for the last week of December 2009.
Communication with the PAMB (Protected Area Management Board) and with the help of Ronan Montero of Panahik Outdoor Shop located at Malaybalay City shed hope for us to climb Mount Kitanglad. Only 2 days before it was confirmed that indeed we are set to climb the Mountain! – and I love it! Hehehe
Year end climb was gone but year starter climb was realized, 8 individuals confirmed and joined the ascent and 7 of us met at Davao Ecoland Terminal. Our assembly time was 1 a.m. but since we gathered sooner than our scheduled time, we left the terminal at 12:30 in the morning aboard Bachelor Express bound for Cagayan de Oro. Deluxe bus Fare from Davao to Maramag was 200 pesos.
As decided, we dropped at Maramag Terminal at around 3:30 a.m. and fetched by Roy as our eight man on the team and who is from Maramag. From there, we took our early morning coffee snack on one the opened bakery near the terminal.
4:15 in the morning and we travel north going Malaybalay and took our breakfast at one of the eateries in the terminal. Hot soup with tender cows meat , Paklay and other meal was served together with our freshly cooked hot rice. The food was cheap and the cooked rice was heavy for 7 pesos per order.
1 hour past and we started our travel to Sito Intavas, Barangay La Fortuna, Municipality of Impasug-og, Bukidnon. We then arrived there and coordinated with Barangay Kagawad Walter Galasanay, he is also the head of the Kitanglad Porters Association.
We proceeded to the Sitio’s Plaza and we prepared our stuff, provided 1 porter and 1 guide for the duration of the climb. It was already 8:00 in the morning when we started our trek. From now on, I based my time here on the sweeper (last man of the team) which happened to be me. =)
Sun and cold breeze of wind greeted us in the open trail heading the foothills of the mountain. Scenery is awesome! Vegetable farm all over the landscape, Mountains at the far side of the area is also beautiful with the clouds over it. For almost 2 hours (10:00 a.m) we passed the open trail and we arrived at the base camp. This is where the open trail ends and the start of the forest ascent.
Tall fern trees, white and green moss all wrap in dews, lush greens in the surrounding started to block the rays of the sun from going deeper into the forest. As expected, the trail was a bit muddy and clay mud is all around covered with dried leaves on the ground.
Big trees are starting to be seen as we go deeper and ascent higher, leaves are getting different as it became hairy and thorny and greens are all over. It was an awesome experience while I am on my way up to the peak.
The trail has 6 metal ladders and placed in every steep ascent. The team was divided into two, the lead and the sweeper team and I was with the latter group. From time to time we rested and did some chitchat from anything under the canopy of the forest.
It was 2:00 in the afternoon when we arrived at the aerial roots of the mountain; Our trek was mostly at the ridge of the mountain with lesser forest canopy. It was called aerial roots because the ground were we stood was a hollow underneath.
It was just like an extension of the ground caused by hundred years of big and old roots covered with dry leaves and woods on top of each other that’s why it looked like a firm ground. Rain poured before we leave the aerial roots but not that heavy, it was just a light scattered rain that did not last for 15 minutes.
We rested on the big rock at the edge of the mountain ridge overlooking the other valley of the mountain with clouds and fogs fast moving way up to the thin air.
Past 5 more metal ladders going to the top of the peak and the trail is mostly inclined with less downhill. As we got higher, the fauna are getting shorter and more Fern trees are visible in the area.
Lead team arrived at the peak around 2:00 in the afternoon while the sweeper time arrived at around 5:00 in the afternoon. Coffee and Dinner was prepared to those who arrived late at the peak. Dinner was served after all have rested and changed clothes for bedtime. The temperature at 8:30 in the evening was at 15 degrees Celsius. Dinner Socials followed with chit chats, laughter and knowing each other more that night. Well, it was a very good night for us. We did not setup a tent as we have a Bunker building from PAMB complete with electricity, rain water, electric stove and some kitchen utensils for us to use.
Wake up call at 4:30 in the evening and the temperature was chilling at 8 Degrees Celsius.
We then boiled water for us to sip anything warm for the stomach. Break of dawn and we proceeded to the open area where the sunrise was visible.
Picture taking, amazement and joy filled in us as we saw the vast area looking from above… Mount Dulang Dulang was visible from our vantage view as well as mount Ragang and other nearby mountain ranges. The flat lands seem connected to the clouds above it. Clouds give way and the flat lands are visible, It was a very spectacle moment as the sun was making an eternal grand entrance causing the horizon to turn yellow with red in different tones. What a view!
We stood there for more than an hour. It was a pleasant feeling to witness the glow of the sunrise! We head back to the bunker to prepare our food for breakfast as well as for our pack lunch. The cooking oil hardly melt due to the cold and it froze into white substance. I suggest that eating with fried food should be serve hot as well as soup. =)
We started our descent at around 8:20 in the morning. All are in hype to trek down the mountain. Trek time is much shorter now since we are in a down slope. Lead pack group arrived at around 12:00 noon while the sweeper arrived later in the afternoon since one of our team mate had a problem in dealing the trails going down from the mountain. Last member of the group arrived at around 5:00 in the afternoon.
While waiting with our team mate, it so happened that the Kitanglad Porters Association is having their awarding ceremony and accomplishment report meeting held just in front of us at the Plaza.
It was a brave story we heard about what the porters did to protect the mountain range and help save the lives of other people whether they were lost, rescued due to injury or forest fire and other events that did happened in their jurisdiction.
Sun dropped to dim as it was 5:20 in the afternoon as we left Sitio Intavas for our journey to go back home. We then stop by at Malaybalay City at around 6:15 in the evening for a dinner sponsored by Roy of Maragusan. It was a relief to have ate chicken lechon, chicken barbecue and “tinolang tangige” to consummate our craving for food. Burp! Thanks Roy
We traveled again back to Maramag at around 7:45 in the evening as we decided to have a ride from there back to Davao. It was already 8:50 in the evening when we ride the bus and the bus fare was 210 pesos.
We arrived at Davao Ecoland Terminal at around 11:30 in the evening. It was a very nice climb to start my year.
I would like to thank Sarah Elizar, Kristina Corpuz and Ronan Montero for the coordination to make this climb a successful one. Thanks to Roy for the ride and food and the rest of the climbing team Caroline, Lilian, Cris, Kim, thank you very much for the company. It was fun! Until next adventure!
Official Itinerary for the Climb (Sweeper time)
12:00 am Assembly time @ Ecoland Terminal
12:30 am Departed Ecoland Terminal
03:30 am Arrived Maramag TerminalRest – Breakfast – Rest –Travel to Malaybalay
06:00 am Travel from Malaybalay to Sitio Intavas
07:00 am Arrived Sitio Intavas
Contacted porter and guide coordinate with Sir Walter – Prepare for climb
08:00 am Start Ascend
10:00 am Arrived Base camp
02:00 pm Arrived Aerial Roots
05:00 pm Arrived at the Peak – Bunker house
06:00 pm Dinner and Socials as well
11:00 pm lights out
04:30 am. Wake up call – hot coffee hot tea , anything hot.
05:00 am Sunrise shoot – view horizon
07:00 am Breakfast and prepare pack lunch
08:00 am Descent from peak
Lunch along the trail
05:00 pm Arrived at Sitio Intavas Proper – lead pack arrived 12 noon
05:20 pm Left Sitio Intavas
06:30 pm Arrived Malaybalay City Dinner
07:45 pm Travel to Maramag
08:45 pm Arrived Maramag Terminal
11:30 pm Arrived Davao City
Home sweet home