|At the starting point (Sto Tomas side)|
My Nepal climb team had decided to do a weight training climb last weekend. While multi-day with 5h+ each day of uphill hike would be ideal, we just have to make do of what our schedule allows us to. Initially, I suggested Mt Daguldol but one member suggested that would be too easy. And he was right of course!
Not knowing what the so-called "MakTrav" (Makiling traverse) was about, I just said "let's go!"
I only partially climbed Makiling once, 20+yrs ago and I can't recall any detail.
So was it easy? With heavy packs, bad weather and relentless limatik attacks (jumping leeches), I can't say that the climb was easy, not even moderate! It took us 9h+ to complete the traverse from Sto. Tomas jump-off, through the mountain's main ridge and all the way to Agila camp in Los Banos side. Luckily, motorcycles and a kind of rickshaw were waiting there when we arrived late in the afternoon.
|Mt Makiling dominates the landscape of the SLEX (South Luzon Express). It looks small and easy... but beware.. The mountain's mythological 'history' made it a popular peak - heard of Maria Makiling? Probably the most popular Diwata in the country.|
|At the starting point in Sto. Tomas jump-off. With the locals - the As-pins (Phil street dogs)|
|Nepal team and members of UP Mountaineers - the "before" shot|
|Nice and easy approach during the start|
|Kids at play - still better than today's mall with artificial play houses|
|First rest stop and we were like "How far pa?!"|
|With GMA7's Born to be Wild crew... a "candid selfie" shot|
|When the going gets tough, you just have to toughen up :)|
|Rest stop, again limatiks kept pestering us so all stops were quick and short. Food we brought were not enough for the self-induced grueling climb...|
|Towards the rocky ridge section... narrow trails, sometimes steep and deep requiring rope support|
|Awesome view at the rocky ridge section towards peak1|
|Rich flora in this mountain, we didn't see the animals playing hide and seek. Oh except for those limatik invaders...|
|The Born boys somewhere there (yellow object) inching up the rocky ridge|
|Of course you have to have a photo taken here! One needs to always capture fleeting moments somehow...|
|A window view in a rocky ridge|
|UP Mountaineers at one of the camp sites. And rain poured after this shot was taken! As if the limatik attacks were not enough challenge already...|
|At some point before Peak2 (near 6h), I've decided to ditch some of my load. Here, Henry doing a quick shower from my 10li container.|
|Exhausted, wet, cold, and bitten (by many limatiks) - the hike seemed to go on forever... May forever?|
|Finally finished! here with Born crew|
|'Class picture' at the end of the hike - at Agila base in Los Banos Laguna.|
|My weights. 18Li of water, small stuff/food. Last minute, I ditched the 10lb weight plate (looking back a smart decision given the long hike). 'Very Heavy' (w/ plates) is good for shorter, safer treks but Heavy for Makiling is manageable.|