Bakun Trio of Bakun, Benguet

One of the popular and in my opinion the most serene landscape hiking destination in the country lies at Bakun, Benguet province. There are 3 popular hiking destination which most often dubbed as Bakun Trio.  They are also promoting Mt Gedgedayang to comprise the Bakun Quadro. Mountains here are commonly characterized by a grassy slope and pine tree forest. There are several attractions that will make the hiker enjoy the trip. These mountains includes the following:

Mt Lubo – It is said to be the highest mountain in Bakun rising to 2087MASL and yet the shortest and the easiest hike. They often called it Mt Patullok meaning pointy. From afar it is look like a conic sharp mountain, very visible at the hydroelectric part in Mt Kabunian. In terms of difficulty, it is the easiest. It will require 2-3hrs to get at the top depending on the hiker’s pacing. The challenging part is when you are closest to the summit which is characterized by loose scree and semi steep slope but railing was put in place to secure the hiker.

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Last assault to the summit of Mt Lubo

Mt Tenglawan – Rising to 1943MASL. The longest in terms of trekking length, passing through a community. The highlight of the journey is the infamous Carrot Peak. A short, very steep and pointy Carrot Peak which is just 10 minutes away from the summit. It offers a good panoramic view. In terms of difficulty, it is not easy but not that hard, Average but lengthy. The only challenging and dangerous part is assaulting the Carrot Peak. It is very technical. Normally summit can reach between 6-8hrs.

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The view of Carrot Peak from Mt Tenglawan Summit

Mt Kabunian – Rising to 1840MASL. The lowest yet the most challenging among the three because of precarious part but this might be the most serene and beautiful among the 3. An old traditional route for native Igorot to trade their product from coastal people to get the salt and other specialties. There is a lot of good panoramic view here specially the higher section of the mountain. This might be the scariest among the 3 because you are passing through narrow ledges. It will take you also for crossing the several hanging bridges. Another highlight here is the steep ascending trail which they often called STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Lastly, trekking composed of several hanging bridge to pass through.

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Mt Kabunian Summit

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Mt Kitanglad-Mt DulangDulang-Mt Maagnaw Traverse 3D/2N of Bukidnon

Langkayugan view of D2K

View of Mt Kitanglad and DulangDulang at the background. Picture taken at Mt Langkayugan close to Mt Maagnaw

Four of the top ten highest mountains in the Philippines are located in the province of Bukidnon. Here are Mt Dulang Dulang (2922MASL, 2nd highest), Mt Kitanglad (2899MASL, 4th highest), Mt Maagnaw (2742MASL, 8th highest) in Kitanglad mountain range. The final is the Mt Kalatungan 2890MASL on the other side of mountain range.

These are known as KD2LM or sometimes KD2M, one of the longest and hardest mountains in the country. Normally it would takes 4 days and 3 nights in the mountains because we are only a small group and strictly follow the itinerary so we have been able to do it within 3 days and 2 nights but the fee is also the same for four days. In terms of difficulty Mt Maagnaw can be classify as 9/9 because of the long journey and difficult obstacle along the way. (more…)

Mt Kihandal of Dinalupihan, Bataan 696MASL

Mt Kihandal SummitA mountain that lies behind Mt Malasimbu (conic-shape mountain) rising 696MASL, sitting beside with it is Mt Tambo. The mountain is characterized by plenty of wild Banana shrub at it’s slope that Aeta people use this primarily as their source of livelihood, to sell banana fruit and blossom on very cheap price. We were told by Aeta people that we were the first outsider that they take it up and reach to that area.

There are 2 possible route:

  • From Brgy Bayan-Bayanan jump-off (barangay hall) will take 4-6hours one way up.
  • From Mt Malasimbo traverse will take 6-8hours

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Mt Malasimbu of Dinalupihan, Bataan 411MASL

Mt MalasimbuA mountain in proximity at Manila located at Dinalupihan, Bataan called Mt Malasimbu, others called it Mt Salakot because of conic shape like a hat. Others called it Mt Susong Dalaga. This mountain is highly noticeable when the bus make a stop-over at Lubao, Pampanga or passing through SCTEX. This mountain can easily recognize by its conic shape.

The mountain in the front line of Casibulan Mountain Range where Mt Pinatubo belongs. The mountain has a height of 416MASL. Not so mountain but it can offer a greater view of the plains of Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales. Summit is marked by a cross and during easter holiday, an influx of pilgrims climbing up the mountain. Mt Sta.Rita or they called Mt Tipo  and Mt Natib is also visible. The summit can be reached between 2-4hours depending on where you prefer to start. (more…)

Cagua Volcano Traverse of Cagayan 1100 MASL+

December 2017Cagua Volcano CraterFar away closer to the northern east of Luzon located a stratovolcano named Cagua Volcano. The highest point is roughly 1100+ and the highest point that hiker can reach is up to 911MASL. The journey might be pain in the ass if you are travelling by land but worth it. From Manila it will take a travel time of 14-15hrs by land, in order to cut the trip, one can take airplane to Tuguegarao and take another 2hrs ride to the town of Gonzaga. Then from Gonzaga Municipal Hall, one can charter a habal-habal or small passenger jeep.

The highlights of hiking this mountain are the following:

  • Peak that offers the view of the crater and the northern coast part of Luzon
  • 15 meter high waterfalls which we named it as Wallet Falls. According to our guide, it is still unnamed so we a put a name on it. This is to honor one of our hiking buddy who lost his wallet and later on found it.

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Mt Kalatungan-Mt Wiji Traverse 2880MASL of Bukidnon

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Mt Kalatungan Summit

A massive mountain surrounded by the town of Pangantucan, Talakag etc in Bukidnon. It is now officially the 5th highest mountain in the Philippines at a height of 2880MASL after confirmation from several altimeter reading. It displaced the Mt Tabayoc of Benguet.

The summit can be reached within 8-11 hours with difficulty 8/9.

In the past, the mountain is very difficult to access due to insurgency issue but with latest development. The mountain is accessible and all permit shall be put in place prior to hike. Guide are organize by the Pangantucan tourism officer. The initial part is very easy but as you reach the Buko-buko sa anay ridge it is moderate to difficult. (more…)

Mt Giluwe 4367MASL of Papua New Guinea

Mt Giluwe Viewdeck2If there is a so-called Seven Summits (Highest mountain to each of the seven continent), there is also Seven Volcanic Summits (Highest volcano to each of the seven continent). One of them is Mt Giluwe which is rising to 4367 MASL located at Southern Highland Province, Papua New Guinea. This is also a 2nd highest mountain in the country next to Mt Wilhelm at 4509 MASL. From a distance this giant volcano is highly visible 80 km apart from Hagen if the weather is very fine. It is look like a giant massif with a crown, the crown are the peaks. The highest part is at the Southern Highland side. The summit can be reached between 15-20 hours.

This giant volcano is dormant for very long time but there is an indication thousands of years ago that eruption occurred. The summit is a steep pointy rock and offers a 360 view of the surrounding. Occasionally the summit is getting snow because of the altitude and distance to the equator.  (more…)

Mt Wilhelm 4509 MASL of Papua New Guinea

Mt Wilhelm Summit

A mountain that is straddle on the Bismarck mountain range. It is said to be the tallest mountain in Papua New Guinea rising 4509 meters above sea level. There is some accounts disputing that this mountain is belong to Seven Summits (seven highest mountain on each continent) representing Ocenia Continent. This is due to Carzten Pyramid (4800+ masl) lies on west Papua under territory of Indonesia which is part of Asia. West Papua and Papua New Guinea(PNG) mainland are lying on the same landmass however it is politically divided.

It is located between the boundary of Madang province which is mainly facing the coast line and the other side is the rugged terrain of Chimbu Province. The common route used is Chimbu path  and it will take you 2days and 1 night on the mountain while Madang path which is rarely used will take more than 4 days. Summit can be reached with 9-15 hours depending on the physical strength. All in all it is a 36km back and forth. Up to the lake is relatively easy hike but across the ridge is moderate to difficult and close to summit will need skill to scramble , rope should be in place but they don’t do that and good thing is the rock is rough enough to hold your shoes. The summit can offer a 360 view, you can see the high mountains like Mt Giluwe etc and the Kalibobo lighthouse and coast of Madang.

A. Narration of the Climb

I’ve been working here in PNG for a 3 years contract so I have the opportunity to climb mountain and don’t want to miss it. PNG have a very rugged terrain and plenty of high mountains rising above 3000 MASL and mostly unexplored. It takes me 1 year and 8months before I was able to organize my trip.

Organizing the DIY (do-it yourself) climb is quite challenging from itinerary, budget, logistic, security, local guide and contact person. There are several tours that offering to Mt Wilhelm but it is quite expensive. I did several research and interview people who climbed this mountain. Being an organizer back in my country, I am familiar on how I’m going to start and I climbed several mountains so this is not new to me. I came across with Benjamin (one of our company staff) and he had done 13 times to climb this mountain when he was still young. We offered him that all expense will be shouldered by us, lead us going to the top and be reunited on the mountain. Unfortunately, his contact person is unreachable so we have to look for alternative contact. Again, we find one of our staff who has contact with Betty which her name was written on the blog and even on article. She is a landowner who owns Guest House at the base of Mt Wilhelm. Benjamin contacted her and doing the negotiation to reduce the cost of our trip. Arrangement of the accommodation is a must, there are two landowner; one is Betty that is living at the base and the other one which I forgot is the owner of accommodation at the Lake. Two accommodation will be paid separately.

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With Benjamin at Betty’s Lodge

Joining with me is my co-manager and colleague Kevin who also aspire to reach the top of Mt Wilhelm. He came all the way from Lae (2nd Developed city in PNG) which is almost at sea level. The date was set on April of 2017. Prior to that, me and Kevin having conversation on what he need and don’t need to bring up the mountain. All the information was provided to him and budgeting. The challenge he is facing is the acclimatization on short period of time.

Prior to our Mt Wilhelm climb, 5 days ago I went to Mt Giluwe (Volcanic Seven Summit) to climb it but in the end I decided to abort. It is the least popular mountain and the forest is too dense. I was 4 hours away from getting to the top but I think about the safety of my 5 guides and mine too because we did the crisscrossing on the river for almost 6 hours. The month we climbed is end of rainy season but mountain is a mountain, it is very unpredictable. One big rain will cause a flash flood and there is no way that we can survive as both side are big wall of rock. Although unsuccessful, the total time we spent on trekking was 21hours (12hours up on first day and 9hours down on second day). I oath to myself that I have to make it on 3 days trip). My body was already battered but the show must go on.

Back to Mt Wilhelm narration, all has been set however the plane departure was delayed so as Kevin. He missed the chance to acclimatize unlike me who is already staying at Hagen with an elevation of 1765 meters above sea level. My body is more adapt than him. Kevin arrived on the day we are going to climb. I felt sorry for Kevin as we don’t have time to drop his thing at my accommodation house instead after picking him up, we go straight to Mt Wilhelm and we need to catch up on time to get at the jump off before night fall. Security wise, never travel at night for two reason; Avoid rascal (criminals) and road is very dangerous because beside the road is deep ravine. Kevin arrived at past 11AM. From Hagen to small town of Kundiawa (capital of Chimbu) will take 3hours. Before reaching Kundiawa, we picked up two friends and brother of Benjamin that will serve as a guide. One of our guide is native there and have climbed it in the past. We bought our supplies that will be bringing up in the mountain although we already brought some. After 30minutes, we resumed the driving to the base of Mt Wilhelm. From Kundiawa to Mt Wilhelm base (Kegsugl) will take almost 3hrs because of the poor road and portion of the road has a landslide. The population is very sparse. The view on the side of the road is very scenic however but mind you on the side of a road is a deep cliff. You need to have a skilful driver or a person who used to be driving that road before to avoid any problem. We are just 15 minutes away from the lodging house where we going to stay the night when we do stop-over just to buy vegetable. I am boasting to Kevin that here in Highland, my most favorite vegetable is water cress which is also available in my country too but different species and very rare to see in my country.

Night falls and we are close too then unexpectedly the vehicle stopped and having an engine radiator overheat. Luckily it is just a walking distance to the accommodation. Betty personally greet us and led us to the lounge and also show to us the room that we are going to use. Indeed, Betty’s Lodge is a very very nice place surrounded by lush vegetation and high trees. Vegetables are available on her garden and she is culturing “rainbow trout” that she serve on the guest when they ordered on Menu. Because we were hungry, I was in-charged to do the cooking of chicken we brought. I asked Benjamin to help me on preparing the ingredient. Although Kevin offer his help but I told him to sit and relax. Thanks to Betty, she allowed us to use the kitchen cooking stove, plates and utensils. That night, I cooked two Chicken soup meal but I served the Tinola (chicken soup in papaya) for our dinner and on breakfast will be re-heat Sinigang (chicken soup in tamarind with water cress). I am flattered when everybody enjoyed the meal I prepared meaning I am good chef hehehe!

Next day, at 6AM we took our breakfast then told to my team to prepare. We don’t hire a porter. At 7:30AM, we commence our hike together with the other fellow hiker. The trail path from Betty’s Place up to the main trail is so refreshing, the sun is not too hot and under the cover of the trees. It is well established and there is some certain point on the trail which has a resting place. There are four resting place. Whenever Kevin is too exhausted or need some rest, we make a stop-over and give him time to acclimatize his body.

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Me, Benjamin and Kevin at Mt Wilhelm 1st rest stop

The trail is too gradual from Betty’s Place up to Cambridge Country which is tropical rain forest, though there is some steep part that is short cut to the main trail but they made a separate one which is crisscrossing to reduce the quick ascend but take longer distance. How I am going to describe this short is similar to the ascending trail part of Mt Cristobal in my country. After 2hours, you will finally reached the fresh clean water source. I don’t mind drinking it as my stomach has very strong resistance but other westerner will be thinking twice. I told to Kevin that in the mountain you don’t have to be choosy, in the mountain, survival is the game. As long as the water is not disturbed like murky and the water is free running, you don’t have to worry. This is not different from mineral water.

 

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Water Source on the main trail

Mt Wilhelm 3rd rest station

Mt Wilhelm 3rd rest stop

After sometime on the jungle, we emerged on the Cambridge Country. It is the picture on one popular cigarette brand which has similar view. This place is an open savannah with portion of fern like tree. This is the last stop over resting area then it will to ascending part going to Lake Piunde. 18033254_1639122749450316_4957087402655111131_n

 

Mt Wilhelm Cambridge Country

Mt Wilhelm’s Cambridge Country

The trail path should be taken cautiously as your feet will submerged on the mud. It is constantly wet due to the water coming down from the Lake. It is quite slippery. This is quite steep ascend. As you are getting close to the Lake, you will reach a falls.

 

Ascend to falls

Ascending to the Lake

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Mt Wilhelm Falls. What a fantastic view at the Falls!!

After 30 minutes passing the falls, you will finally reached a swampy place which huts are erected for the guest to sleep. In front of the hut is the open view of the green lake which is sparkling and glittering whenever the light the strike it. Occasionally, mist and fog are hovering above the water because of the reaction of the cold water and dry noon time. I was not able to capture the mesmerizing view of the lake because I was too busy preparing the food.

As the sleeping quarter is sorted out, I immediately prepare the food for the lunch and early dinner as we have to depart early on the next day to reach the summit before sunrise. If you get late, chance of having a view will be missed out as the cloud will cover the summit. The elevation at the Lake is already at 3600MASL+. Before I fell asleep, I instructed that the call time will be 12MN to have a sip of coffee and 12:30MN we started to hike. We were the first group to depart and the next group followed after 30minutes.

Everybody were fully geared up and our headlights illuminating the way. The first part is quite easy passing through the side of the river then enter to the forest again. We are on the middle of the slope of the forest and take a rest when we looked back, we noticed the 2nd group already started to leave the campsite. I remind everybody to keep their moral high and have to push in order to avoid bottleneck as some part can be crossed only, one at a time especially above the “crash site” all the way to summit. Also, we have to keep moving so that your body will be in constant heat and nullifying the cold sensation from the environment. The 3rd group is trailing behind the 2nd group but later before reaching the Crash Site, they abort as they are struggling to climb up.

Kevin already started to feel the effect of High Altitude Sickness, having a difficulty of breathing then afterwards asking for constant rest. Fatigue is taking toll to his body thus slowing him down. Although he is physically fit running daily but the muscle on his leg is not adapt on uphill. Climbing up to the second Lake Yaunde is more challenging, it is inclined and very muddy. Second group is also catching with us in close proximity. If we keep on allowing the people to overtake then it will be a real struggle because the summit is too small and you have to wait your chance before you can step your foot up there. We were at the start of so-called Crash Site wherein a plane collided on the mountain in the past and remnants were strewn along the slopes. The trees are sparsely on this area and now slowly changing from muddy to rocky terrain.

Mt Wilhelm Crash Site

The Crash Site

Past 1:30AM feeling not comfortable and one of the strongest guy on the second group overtake us. I advised Kevin to climb which will make him comfortable and leave with him with 2 hired guide. Benjamin, I and with his brother  left them to catch the sunrise. Close to the end part of the Crash site, now we are coming to a ridge and Benjamin warned me take extra precaution as the wind might blow us. It is an open ridge for which both side are cliff. (Should I called it Knife-Edge?) The ridge is the start of the rocky journey to the summit. Ahead of us is the glimpse of the headlight from the person together with his guide who overtakes us earlier on the upper slope.

The ridge is a series of up and down, sometimes you have to do some scrambling. Occasionally I will ask for a rest and the distance between me and Kevin is already far, perhaps more than kilometer. Dealing with the ridge is not quite easy and you have to look for support to grip or put your weight opposite where the cliff is. Darkness is your enemy, although you have headlight your vision is very limited, added to that is the fog dispersing the light so you cannot see clearly the trail. There is some portion that is made of scree and slipping is a quite scary thing to happen. After 3 hours I’m running out of water and the only option I have is to fetch it on the water flowing on the fissure. From time to time, I have to keep asking Benjamin if we are close or not yet but he cannot give a conclusive answer because it is very long time since he is there. So to motivate me, I have to check my ViewRanger apps on how much elevation do I need to ascend. The three of us agreed that once we reach a “O Donnel Memorial” we will have a quick breakfast to replenish our energy. Although we were on the verge of exhaustion, our spirit and determination still pushing us. At exact 5AM when we reached this memorial, it is an open flat space. This is the point that I’m shivering uncontrollably, I want to move but my knees already asking me to rest. Winds are pounding in all direction. A shallow rain with strong wind peppered my clothes so I have to double it with raincoat but still the cold penetrating my body specially my hand which need the cover. My hand gloves is completely wet. This memorial was name to this guy who were last seen at this place and never found his body. In the past, there are already several fatalities recorded. Most of this occurred from Crash Site up to Summit which the hypothermia and altitude sickness is inevitable.

Our breakfast are the packet of mixed nuts which was given to me by Kevin. We have loaves of bread plus a butter (completely solid) together with canned Tuna. I ate few because I don’t want to feel very heavy. We stayed there for 30 minutes and resumed the hike. Nobody is closeby after finishing the breakfast.

From O Donnel Memorial (4350masl+) which is registered on my ViewRanger app, I am motivated that a little more push will get me on summit and projected in 30 minutes I will make it. I am wrong, the path is more dangerous and scree are everywhere. Ascending at screeWhite paint are marked on the rock so as not to get lost or by mistake get the wrong route, as I said it is quite dangerous. We are climbing on the boulders of rocks and passing through a trail beside the ravine. At 6AM, it is very rewarding view. The sun started to rise and I can appreciate the beauty of surrounding. Madang province and coastline is on our eyesight.

Mt Wilhelm Sunrise

Mt Wilhelm Sunrise. Right on time

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Captivating moment

Finally, the true summit shown up but I am disappointed that still I have a long way to travel.

Glimpse of Summit

Mt Wilhelm summit in front of us

At 6:20AM, this is the most challenging part. You have to use all your limbs and strength to scramble way up. At last 6:30AM, just in time I reached the summit. Summit is marked by a post supported by guyed wire.

Benjamin at the Summit

Close to Mt Wilhelm Summit

I am the 4th person (guide is included) to reach the summit that day, the first is the person who overtake us earlier. I am chilling but I just ignore it. Being a mountaineer, it is not always what rewarding view but being triumphant for overcoming the difficulties you encounter. Benjamin is cheering and congratulating me for the successful journey. I told him, summit is just halfway to our journey. We can declare that we are successful when we return home safe and sound. We cannot withstand the wind so we have to descend and going down is quite perilous. I stayed for 20 minutes but still Kevin yet to come. We saw some fellow hiker on the trail but he is not there but lagging trailing behind them.

7AM, when I finished descending on the boulders and arrived on the safe part. Then at 7:15AM, these person is a companion of this foreigner who arrived on the summit first. I greeted him and tell him that he is one step closer now to the summit. I asked him on where is my companion  and he said, Kevin is behind them but he overtook him when he is resting a O’Donnel Memorial. Well I’m glad. At 7:30AM, at last I saw Kevin escorted by his two guides with him. I cheered him and hand-over the extra trail food he gave to me, as what I saw him is very exhausted and yet he doesn’t want to give. I admired his tenacity. I gave him instruction that I will wait him at the Lake camp. Descending is giving me the appreciation of the full view what we passed through the dawn.

My stomach was crumbling as I ate a little breakfast. Past 9:00AM, I encounter the 4th group of Japanese elders were still on their way up. Despite of their age, this is not hindrance to them. I tried my best to get at the campsite by 10AM but due to several obstacle and the muddy section descending the Lake Yaunde I was delayed for an hour.

View of Lake

The lake Yaunde which looks like crater

The muddy section causes me to have 4×4 trekking but still I suffered from several slide. At 11AM, I finally arrived at the Hut.

At 12PM, Benjamin decided to descend straight to jump-off and inspect the vehicle to go back in Hagen. I decided to stay back and wait a little bit for my buddy Kevin to return. I know he is exhausted but I am patiently waiting and thinking that he will arrived at 1PM. Time passed-by, all the 2nd group were reunited and decided to head back at Betty’s Lodge. I kept on waiting but there is no shadow of Kevin.

2:30PM, the first person on the Japanese arrived and we asked on have he seen my buddy by describing him. What they told us is they last spotted him somewhere close to the memorial of a student who died in the past. With that information, they still far behind and definitely come late. Adding to the factor that the slopes are shrouded with fog and slight rainshower therefore this will slow them down. It is a make or break decision if I have to wait, my headlight ran out of power so battling the night all the way down will be a big problem for me. I have no guide with me so the only option for me is to join with the landowner of the hut who will come down too and cope up with her pace.

At 3:30PM, I gave up and leave an instruction to the guardian of the hut that when my buddy arrived, tell them to stay and leave early in the morning. They have to stay for a night because I know that they are worn-out. I left them with a food and pay an extra for their stay.

I was left alone when the landowner waited for somebody. I did the trail running and managed to get at lodge by 5PM. At 9PM, Kevin safely returned to the accommodation.  I learned that he took his time, enjoying the view and plenty of rest.

The next day, the vehicle struggling to start up even trying to push. Kevin need to catch up with his return flight and luckily Betty will be returning to Hagen. We pay extra to bring up and Benjamin said he will stay behind and have to fix the vehicle. Heading back is another bumpy ride.

Truly, Mt Wilhelm is a worthy journey.

B. Budget
Plane ticket (POM to HAGEN V.V or POM TO GOROKA)
Hire vehicle from Hagen to Mt Wilhelm (6-7hrs)
Guide Ratio – 1:1, 150 Kina per day
Betty’s Lodge
Lake Piunde Hut
Camping and registration

All in all, Kevin and I spent 1400K each, 500USD each on the trip coming from Hagen. Plane was not considered.

C. TIPS

  • From jump off to Lake Piunde, is like walk in a park. Although it is cold but still tolerable
  • From Lake Piunde to Summit. Safety precaution must be carry out
  • Always bring an extra money with you in case of any contingency
  • The best month to climb is June – September. October to March is rainy season, the road is prone to landslide therefore have to turn back
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, it is very difficult to find parts and tool due to remoteness of the place.
  • There is no place that you can buy some stuff, if you have chance buy it in Hagen or Goroka whatever you prefer staging point. You can buy some supplies at Kundiawa but it is very limited.
  • Mountaineering gear is very hard to find in PNG
  • Headlight is a must have, you will start an early assault
  • Raincoat is a must have, weather is unpredictable
  • Three layers of clothing plus gloves, it is very very cold up there

D. MAP

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Jump off to Lake Camp

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Lake Yaunde to Summit

Mt Obabis 410MASL Dayhike of San Pablo, Laguna

March 2015
Imok Hill3
Imok Hill or Mt Obabis or locals called it Telefast, located at San Pablo, Laguna. This has a height of 410 MASL and perfect hike for beginner. Like Mt Kitanglad or Amuyao, it serves as relay station for communication system so the hiker are off-limit to get into their premises but still there is some vantage point where you can see the vast plain of Calauan, Mt Makiling and Mt Kalisungan-Mt Atimla. The road elevation is already at 180m. All are accessible by foot and no specialize gear require. The hike would take between 1-2hrs. Better start early in the morning to enjoy the hike. This mountain can be combined together with minor climb Mt Prinza or Mt Kalisungan which is just neighbor of this mountain and line up along the road. (more…)

Mt Prinza Dayhike of Calauan, Laguna

March 2015
Mt prinza
A viable hiking destination in Laguna that can be done on a dayhike and even can combine with Mt Obabis (Imoc Hill) as doable for twin dayhike. This is one of the mountains that surrounds 7 famous lake of San Pablo. This has a height of 486 MASL based on google earth but on the GPS of my buddy is 510 MASL and offering 360 degrees view if the tall cogon grass will be cut. Just 10m below the summit, I called it viewpoint which is offering 270 degrees with a scenery of neighbor mountain like Mt Kalisungan, Mt Atimla, Mt Mabilog, Mt Cristobal and Mt Banahaw, Laguna de Bay with Mt Tagapo in Talim Island. The nearest among the seven lake is Lake Mojicap and second one nearby is Lake Palakpakin. It can be climbed within 1-2hrs and perfect for beginner. The cost will be

What attract me to climb this mountain is I was amazed at the view of Mt Mabilog and there is a protruding peak which we can identify as Susong Dalaga ng Laguna? Out of my curiosity, I begun to put it on schedule and was very eager to be the first to document this hike and share it with my fellow hiker. (more…)

Mt Udok Dayhike 750MASL of Maria Aurora, Aurora Province

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View from Mt Udok Summit

April 2015

A wonderful and fascinating mountain along the chain of mountain ranges which is located at Maria Aurora, just 17-20km before the famous town of Baler. Rising to 750MASL, it is situated at the innermost barangay of Bazal at the base of the mountain. Mt Udok play a vital role in lowland community which is the source of potable water and irrigation to their farm. (more…)

Mt Binacayan Dayhike of Rodriguez, Rizal

February 2015

Binacayan 21

“Hold on tight, you know she’s a little bit dangerous”. Lyrics of a song that came into my mind to describe Mt.Binacayan. A twin mountain of historical landmark which is Mt Pamitinan where it is located at Brgy. San Rafael, Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal. Rising to 338MASL based on google earth with coordinates of 14°43’30.39″N 121°11’24.67″E, this is one of the prominent mountain in the area. A budget friendly climb that may cost less than 500 pesos even for a twin dayhike. (more…)

Mt Pamitinan Dayhike of Rodriguez/Montalban, Rizal

February 2015
Pamitinan 1
It is situated at Brgy. San Rafael, Wawa Dam, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal with a coordinates of 14°43’52.67″N 121°11’29.60″E rising to 368 MASL based on google earth. In between those two mountain is the wawa river and its main contributor of water are coming from the Sierra Madre and Boso-boso in Antipolo as our guide told us.

An historically recognized place wherein Andres Bonifacio together with Katipuneros held assembly and officially declared their independence from the ruling of Spaniards. During the Japanese invasion, the japanese soldier took haven on this cave and mountain. According to folklore legend, Bernardo Carpio have separate the 2 mountains, on the left side is Mt Pamitinan and at the right is Mt Binacayan. (more…)

Mt Pinatubo Hike via Sta. Juliana of Capas, Tarlac

February 2015
Mt Pinatubo Crater

If there is one thing that hiker or tourist may ask me, what do you prefer a destination among the mountains in the Philippines that it is near, easy to access and worth travel for? The answer is Mt Pinatubo which is relatively a very easy hike. This mountain is bounded by 3 provinces such as Tarlac, Pampanga and Zambales wherein the main crater was under the territory of Botolan, Zambales. The famous attraction here is the crater of the volcano which form lake and surrounded by the rim. There were times that the color of the water is inter-changing depending on the season. The rim was a remnant of this mountain that survived after the powerful eruption. (more…)

Mt Daraitan traverse Dayhike + maytuntong Cave of Tanay, Rizal

January 2015
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A prominent mountain in front line of Sierra Madre rising to 2157 ft or 658 MASL. It is bounded by 2 province under the jurisdiction of Tanay, Rizal and Gen.Nakar, Quezon. Most of the hiking approach are coming from the remote barangay of Daraitan in Tanay. Surprisingly despite of the trees around the summit, there are limestone rock formation where you can have greater view of the Tinipak river and vast field. Few mountains have been mentioned to us that can be witness above like the Mt Batolusong, far distant Mt Irid, nearby mountain which will entail 3-4hrs coming from other sitios, lastly Mt.Mamara that you will encounter along the traverse trail going to Tinipak River.

There are 2 choices that you choose going to summit, you may start to: (more…)

Mt Ugo Traverse 2150 MASL of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya – Itogon, Benguet

January 2015
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Mt Ugo is one of the finest attraction and popular hiking destination among the mountains in the Cordillera mountain range which offer the scenic view across the trail. Rising to 2150MASL, the trailside is mainly consist of pine trees with breath-taking view of the surrounding and dubbed as “ A WALK TO REMEMBER” because of the long hike that hiker have to endure. The trail is quite lengthy and open, stretching 33KM from end to end jump-off from different province. It is bounded by 2 provinces, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya although majority of the territory is covered by Benguet. This is also attracts trail running activity be held on this place. This is not difficult hike but require long endurance and stamina due to lengthy trail. The summit is reachable within 8-13hrs coming from Kayapa and the descend through traverse will take 6-9hrs to Itogon. (more…)

Mt Cinco Picos- Mt Dayungan traverse to Nagsasa Cove Dayhike of Zambales

December 2014
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Nagsasa Cove

A famous duo that can be done on dayhike wherein they have the common point which is the Cinco Picos campsite which overlook the Silanguin Cove beneath the slope. The possibilities of having a dayhike and camping to Nagsasa campsite is by following strictly on the itinerary. During the summer time, most of the coastal mountains in Zambales are covered in grass which were burned and re-grow again during rainy season. At amihan season(northeastern wind), the wind is too strong that may topple hiker hiking in Mt Balingkilat and Mt Cinco Picos but it not that dangerous however I advised not to take Mt Dayungan coming from Mt Cinco Picos’ campsite that period because of the danger that you will passing ridge which is closer to the cliff. (more…)

Mt Banoi Dayhike 850MASL of Lobo, Batangas

December 2014
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The very visible mountain that will welcome the hiker upon arrival at the Lobo Town Proper. You can easily spot it by looking on your right side upon dropping to market and it towers at a height of 900MASL+ called Mt Banoi or other notes is Mt Banoy. Remarkably you can pinpoint it from a distance by seeing the 2 tower which were burned long time ago. Almost lower half of the mountains are inhabited by locals and the highest place that have community is Sitio Malabnig. (more…)

Bangkalan Peak of Lobo, Batangas

October 2014
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Bangkalan Peak as viewed from Nagpatong Peak

Just in striking distance in Manila with total travel time of 3.5-5 hrs away, it is dependent on how early the bus trip that you will take and the route it will ply-by. The fastest to get there is to take the 2:30AM trip from Cubao via Alps Bus and as early as 6AM you may arrive at the Lobo Town proper if you can catch up the “palusot” trip in front of the Lobo jeep terminal. Bangkalan peak  lies on the mountain ranges running across on Lobo, Batangas extending to San Juan,Batangas; rising to 670 masl. A grassland peak wherein the 2 popular destination such as Nagpatong Peak are located in the same area but only separated by fork so called “dalawang daan” or 2 route. Sometimes locals placed their cow on this peak to graze on grass. It can be reached within 3.5hrs to 6-hrs depending on the group pace. The trail is similar to Mt. Banoi wherein there are local house along the trail but differs on the following; (more…)

Mt Balungao Dayhike of Pangasinan

October 2014

Mt Balungao
Just 4-5 hrs away from Manila, Mt Balungao is prominent strato-volcano mountain seated on the boundary of provinces Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija; rising to 382 masl. I dubbed it as mini- Mt. Cristobal because of its steepness and forested trail features. Along TPLEX or rosales-umingan road, this mountain can easily be distinguish by its rounded peak and resembling like a lady’s breast. The main jump off is located at Balungao Hot and Cold Spring Resort, just (3.7km uphill)15-30mins away from the main road. LGU promote it as Hataw- Balungao which offer an adventure amenities likea dip through its spring, ATV, zipline and secondary is hiking. Every lenten season, there are pilgrims climbing from the opposite side of the mountain for who were establishing the trail. (more…)

Mt Tibig (560MASL+) of Lobo, Batangas

September 27, 2014

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An alluring hike located at the coastal town of Lobo, Batangas is Mt.Tibig rising to 560MASL. It is still consider a peak beneath the slope of Mt.Banoi. According to our guide (Kuya Erwin), the tibig side is part of Batangas City while the jump off is at the side of Lobo town and just separated by the river in between. From the jump off view, the Tibig summit can be easily distinguish among the peaks in that area because of light green grassland while the lower part are forested and in lush green. The difficulty set for this mountain is 2/9, very easy except on the first part which have  short cardiac trail. In a matter of 1-3 hours,summit can be reach. From the summit, you can have 360 view but the grandest part is in rock formation below the summit. (more…)

Mt. Pundaquit – Anawangin Cove Traverse via ridgeline

July 2011
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Commonly the Zambales Coastal town is famous of beach destination and secondary is having a hike to the mountain. One of those popular destination in this mountain range is Mt. Pundaquit. It is located at Pundaquit Beach in San Antonio Town, Zambales. Meanwhile Anawangin Cove is hidden on the other end either accessible via having boat ride from pundaquit beach or having traverse hike from Mt. Pundaquit. Next to this cove is Nagsasa Cove on the other end of Mt. Balingkilat and farthest in Silanguin Cove at the coastal of Cinco Picos.

My article will focus on hiking with swimming to this destination. (more…)

Mt Balingkilat Traverse Dayhike 1078 MASL of Subic, Zambales

June 28, 2014
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A famous hiking destination among mountaineers in proximity at Manila just 3-4hrs travel trip located at famous landmark in Zambales is Mt. Balingkilat (pointed peak) situated at coastal mountain range of Subic . Among the famous Cawag Trio Mountains, Mt Balingkilat is the highest; followed by Cinco Picos and co-equal is Mt Dayungan or commonly known as rounded peak in height. This mountain is popular as hiking destination because of its craggy landscape similar to G2, the astonishing 360 view at the summit and the beautiful cove on the opposite side known as Nagsasa Cove. This trail is quite very long extending up to 20KM+. (more…)

Mt Romelo of Famy-Siniloan, Laguna

November 1-2, 2011

The attractions that make the tourist and hikers visited this place are their famous multiple falls such as Buruwisan Falls, Lansones Falls, Sampaloc Falls and Batya Batya Falls bounded by the town of Famy or Siniloan, Laguna. It is a series of mini-mountain at the gateway of Sierra Madre, for hikers community they called it Mt. Romelo while locals called it Mt. Famy named after the town. The difficulty set for this climb is just 2/9 which is relatively easy however the difficulty became higher if the trail becomes muddy particularly during rainy days. There is no summiting involve here. There is regular ordinary bus plying to this area (Raymond Bus Terminal) bound to Infanta taking via Manila east road route. The jump-off starts at the highway leading to a road. (more…)

Mt Tagpaya 1807 MASL of Kibungan Circuit, Benguet

May 24-25, 2014

Kibungan circuit, for me is one of the best long distance hiking destinations in Cordillera which is equally as attractive as the Purgatory traverse but there is a twist of challenges along the way. The challenges offers are ridging, river crossing, steep pine tree rope, rock bouldering, rice terraces trekking etc. This town is located 4-5hrs away further north of baguio but on separate highway parallel with Halsema Highway. The highway leading here is almost cemented and partly has some rough road. For this climb I will give a rating of difficulty 6/9 challenging. This circuit is not typical, where the start of trek is in pure descend with great elevation drop then rise again. The final leg of returning to jump off is in ascend hike.

There are 2 versions here: (more…)

Mt Tagapo in Talim Island via Brgy. Janosa, Binangonan, Rizal (Easy Dayhike)

Updated hike: May 10, 2014
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My article will focus on more frequently used trail by hiker to climb this mountain. At the heart of Laguna de Bay, the Talim Island is located and rising to its core is this popular Mt. Tagapo famously known as Susong Dalaga which resembled young lady’s breast. Previously I have discussed the article for Mt. Tagapo traverse for which the hike start from Brgy.Lambac then descend via Janosa trail. (more…)

Mt Kinabalu Dayhike 4095 MASL of Sabah, Malaysia

One of the prominent mountain at South East Asian Nation lies at Sabah, Malaysia rising 4095.2MASL for which the city was named after it, formerly it is Jesselton City under british colonial. An icon of Mt. Kinabalu drawn in the flag representing the Sabah . From Kinabalu Airport, you can view this behemoth mountain rising majestically although you are still far from it. This mountain is under national park which served as sanctuary for endemic species of flora and fauna. One of the famous inhabitants here are the orangutans representing fauna and very rare rafflesia (corpse lily) representing flora, etc. (more…)

Mt Bulusan or Bulusan Volcano Hike of Irosin, Sorsogon

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One of the most active volcano in the Philippines. It is located at the southern tip of Luzon, a very beautiful mountain yet deadly the Bulusan Volcano. Rising at its prominence of 1565 MASL with the difficulty classification of 6/9 “challenging”, it is one of the highest mountain in Sorsogon province for which it is bounded by 5 towns, Barcelona, Bulusan, Irosin, Casiguran and Juban. Among the attraction it offer is the 360 views on its crater-rim summit plus the 3 lakes namely; Bulusan Lake, Aguingay Lake and Blackbird Lake and lastly the wide open hole of its craggy landscape crater. This mountain is protected and declared as national park under the prevailing law governed with the jurisdiction of DENR. Prior in climbing it, permit shall be secured first and arrange thru Wildboars Bulusan. They can be reached via email wildboarsphil@yahoo.com to document all your transaction and make reservation, then to make some follow up with your intent to climb; you can reach Ms. Angela thru +639192231536 or Sir Philip Bartilet. (more…)

Tirad Peak 1388MASL of Gregorio Del Pilar, Ilocos Sur

Tirad peak at the jump off

Tirad peak at the jump off

One of the most alluring hiking destinations in the Phillipines is Tirad Peak rising 1388MASL located at the famous  Tirad Pass National Park in the remote Gregorio Del Pilar town, Ilocos Sur. The attractions here is not only the beautiful and well maintained established trail but being historically rich places where our popular general Gregorio Del Pilar who battled and defended the Tirad Pass despite of their small numbers to help Pres. Aguinaldo to escaped from being captivate by American Soldier.

Reaching the Tirad Pass monument marker is accessible with an easy trail and trekking time varies from 1.5hrs to 3hrs. From marker up to summit is 2.5hrs – 4hrs. The trail class is 1-2 from jump off up to marker, class 3 on the upper portion of forest to small grass, beyond going to summit where segmented rope is needed is class 4.  Due to sharpness and steepness, the summit can accommodate 7 persons at a time which present a 360 view including the view of Sigay town, Salcedo’s mountain range, Quirino Province and Gregorio del Pilar(GDP) downtown. The perfect time for climbing is during summer time where river is not yet high. (more…)