Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mt. Maculot 2013

A Redemption Climb. BP Ivan and BP York's Birthday Climb 
 A Pre-Climb for Mt. Apo Climbers.
Mt. Maculot
By Heinz Lopez Alvarez, Jr.



The BACKPACKERS' Mt. Maculot Climb on February 2 and 3, 2013, was an important activity for the Group because of three main reasons. First, it was the Group's redemption climb after being actually lost in the wilds and slopes during its first attempt to invade the said mountain two years ago. Second, it was the Group's avenue for the BP Lead Ivan and BP York's birthday celebration. And, last but certainly not the least important, it was a preparatory climb for BP members who will climb the highest point in the Philippine archipelago, Mt. Apo, on February 15 to 17 this very year.




A Redemption Climb



The BACKPACKERS’ first attempt to invade Mt. Maculot was in June 2011. But it turned out to be one of the most exacting mountain experiences for the group because we got lost when we thought that from the very first fork by the commemorative stone, it was the right trail going up. Because of that incident, we use to refer to that Group fate as “Macu-lost”. Then, in July 2011, six of us went back to Cuenca, Batangas for a climb we refer to as our “Resbak” climb, where we succeeded to hit the campsite and explore the Rockies.

Thee birthday boys: BP York and BP Lead Ivan
February 2 and 3 of this year was a good weekend for us and our guests after a successful mountaineering in Maculot. We tagged it as a “Redemption Climb” and this time, more BPs were able to join scaling this relatively small mountain south of Manila.

The group's prayer for safety before the actual climb
It was surprising though to learn that the old trail has been closed. According to the locals, the reroute was due to some landslides that significantly affected the old trail. Personally, the good thing is- people took it as the right time to start rehabilitating that part of Mt. Maculot. We then said our goodbye to the easy zigzag trail with a good resting area in each intersection. Then we faced the relatively more effort-exerting new trail going to the campsite.

Reliable sources confirmed that The BACKPACKERS was one of the first groups to climb Mt. Maculot via the new trail, which was scratched against its western side just Monday of that week. Compared to the old trail, it required us to be more careful because footholds were not that established yet. We also passed some difficult parts where the soil was sandy and soft and not a single young tree was there to hold on to so we needed to rely on some grasses in order to move forward along that trails in the slopes.

We started the trek at later part of that Saturday afternoon; the plan stated that it would be a night trek for all of us. The group was divided into two during the course but was already intact in the campsite before the clock hit 08:00 PM.

The campsite was almost fully occupied when The BACKPACKERS reached it. We pitched our tents in the eastern part in a circular formation so that the center space would serve as a good dining and socials area later on.
  

Ivan and York's Birthday Climb


Perhaps, it was one of the happiest dinners we had in atop a mountain as a Group. Guest Mau’s creativity was showcased when he transformed our rice and ulam (viand) into a cake! We all sung the Happy Birthday song for Ivan and York before happily devouring our delicious meal. After which was a short rest.



Socials was held and it was where we got the chance to know more about our guests. And to further celebrate the two boys’ natal day, each one was challenged to drink their respective birthday shot. So, how do we do a birthday shot? Each one in the circle will give a message and his or her wish or wishes to the celebrant. After that,  he or she  will add liquor contents to the celebrant’s shot glass. We were a huge group in Mt. Maculot so imagine how much bravery Ivan and York needed just to gulp it all in! Whoahhh! Both succeeded in drinking his birthday shot! In my observation, both celebrants did enjoy the night. And, the rest as they say, is history.

BP York's birthday shot

The socials actually lasted until almost 6:00 AM, when it was already a bright Sunday morning in that part of Batangas. At around 9:00 AM, the Group proceeded to the Rockies.

In order for one to see the breathtaking views that Mt. Maculot has to offer, he or she must push to reach the Rockies. It was named such because it’s literally a rock formation, a beautiful rock formation actually, and from there you will have a bird’s eye view of the lovely Batangas and Cavite Provinces.


The Group started the descent after eating soft breakfast and clearing up the camp.

Rockies



A Mt. Apo Prep Climb

It was in the third quarter of last when BP Lead Ivan invited his friends to join in his supposed birthday climb, a course to the summit of Mt. Apo. But when he finally preferred to share the adventure with a larger group, he moved the date to when Tiger Airline Promo Fare could accommodate more The BACKPACKERS; hence, the final date February 15 to 17, 2013 (where flight to and from were plotted February 14 and 18 respectively).

This Mt. Maculot climb did serve as a good preparatory climb to those who would be climbing the Philippines’ Highest.

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Our Guests

The Backpackers
SHARING SAMPLE ITINERARY HERE
Created by The BP Lead

DAY ONE
1130AM - Assembly at KFC Buendia
1200PM - ETD to Tambo
130PM - ETA Tambo
230PM - ETA Cuenca
240PM - ETA mountaineers store
300PM - Start trek
530PM - ETA Campsite
700PM - Dinner
800PM - Socials

DAY TWO
700AM - Breakfast
730AM - Head to Rockies
800AM - Rockies, Photo ops
900AM - Head back to camp
1000AM - Start traverse
100PM - Lunch
200PM - ETA Grotto
Head to Mau's house to wash up and rest
600PM - ETD to Lipa
640PM - we can have dinner together at Jobee Lipa
740PM - ETD to Buendia
940PM - ETA Buendia


Mt. Maculot View Resort: A Side Trip
To celebrate this successful activity, we enjoyed swimming here.


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