Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mt. Maculot

Cuenca, Batangas
Jump-off point: Brgy. Poblacion, Cuenca
LLA: 13°55'15"N; 121°2'30"E; 706 MASL
Days required / Hours to Rockies: Half day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-3

The Backpackers:
Ivan Laurence Ignacio
Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.
Ralph Flores

Angel Cawaling
Mon Sarmiento 
Weng Topasi

On June 16 and 17, The Backpackers experienced the most exacting course they had to face as a group.

All-strengths was tested...
Challenged by a death-defying trail...
Lost and arrived at an emergency camp...

But after that event, the Group was proven to be SOLID 
With members believing in the "survivor spirit" within -  
So Mentally, Physically, and Emotionally STRONG.   

And They Readied for this...
Mt. Maculot: The REDEMPTION
By: Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr

Though PAG-ASA forecasted a bad weather approaching Luzon, the Team bravely pushed and travelled from Manila to Cuenca, Batangas to deal with (for them) an unfinished business - conquering Mt. Maculot.

"This is for The Backpackers," said BP Lead Ivan, who led the Redemption Team that included Heinz, Ralph (both BP Pioneers), Angel, Weng (both candidates for Induction), and Mon (a guest). 

Special Lomi fueled the Team
The assay jump-started after a carbo intake for lunch (a special lomi) which they enjoyed at the Mountaineers' Store. 

Everybody was very determined to reach the peak as quickly as possible. Everyone could not hide the assurance they felt inside - that this time, they would be able to vanquish the challenge of getting at the top of this small-but-terrible mountain. 

The group once again reached the commemorative stone which marked the "daang ligaw" (at least for The Backpackers it was). By the left side of it was a fork- one way was going up while the other was leading down.

The must-not-forget commemorative stone.

When we hear the word "climb" the first thing that may pop out of our head would be the thought of a direction that is "going up". And that was what we did on June 16.

The fork.

This time, the group knew what to do. Following the Climb Master's go signal, Ralph and Heinz led the group  by facing the way that was initially going down and continued the trek by chasing that more established trail to  the top of Mt. Maculot.
It was an easy climb recommended for beginners.
Climbing is always fun for this Climb Master!
This was just one of the stations for take-five's.
Common observation from the group was that the trail to Mt. Maculot was straight-forward,  almost a continuous ascend, enjoyable as there were several stations for take-five's, and most of all - easy. As a matter of fact, it only took an hour and forty-five for the group to reach the campsite.

It was a redemption. 

Guess what the group did upon reaching the campsite. Took some rest? Well, yeah... for a couple of minutes; but not really. Set the camp up? Nope.

The group went on straight to Mt. Maculot's must-reachThe Rockies!

From left: Mon, Heinz, Weng, Angel, Ivan, and Ralph


Redemption gained!

"One miss, you die!" was indeed TRUE!

Going up to The Rockies was expectedly (and may extremely be dangerous) as ravines and cliffs were left and right. 

Good thing the weather favored the group to succeed on this attempt so the trail was clear and was not slippery. 

Aside from the Photo Ops, the group did enjoy the picturesque view seen from the The Rockies- the reason it's a must-reach part on top of Mt. Maculot.

At the Campsite

Mon and Heinz joint forces so the group would have a well-cooked rice; and Ivan delivered very well to produce a good viand. It was a sumptuous and a merry dinner.

"Kahit anu pang food yan, kapag gutom ka na sa bundok, yun na ang pinakamasarap na food sa mundo." ~ Ralph



To celebrate a successful redemption, socials followed. It was a very good time for the group despite of the rain. Yes, it did rain; but for the group, it was one of those rains too nice to have after a victorious moment!

"Sa pagkaka-alala ko ito yung first time na sa loob ng tent ang socials kasi umuulan." ~ Heinz
Mon and his bottle.
The rain did stop. And when it stopped, it was Mon who rained the group with tears. But of course The BP, especially Ivan, was there for support. It was a healthy socials - a merry moment and a time to totally clarify issues which somehow affected the friendship... reconciliation "finale" session.


The celebration continued after the descend from Mt. Maculot. Everybody got to enjoy the swim at the Mt. Maculot View Resort. And yes, the group got a discount as it was their second time in there.

Mon: "Miss, pwede ba kame makahingi ng discount... kagagaling lang din namin dito NEXT week... Ayyy! Last week pala!"

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