2 Teams, 1 Mountain
Photo © PACKERS
Mt. Banahaw is still closed for hikers and mountaineers however a permit is given if a Climb organized has a purpose, like Clean up drive, Tree planting and the like. Luckily, PACKERS got invited by Sir Onin's Team.
Our entry point was at Brgy. Luquin, San Pablo City and the first half of the trail was more of gradual terrain and from time to time we passed by some farm.
From this trail, Mt. Kalisungan can be seen from a far as well as Mt. Tagapo and Mt. Makiling while adjacent is Mt. Cristobal.
Our target for Day 1 was to reach the campsite that can cater around 17 participants. While inside the forested area, the trail is no longer visible and from time to time our guide need to advance to look for the right path.
I think it is a good indicator that since the trail is no longer visible, it means less impact was made due to strict policy imposed by the DENR and let nature slowly rehabilitates itself.
No trail pictures on Day 1...... I was tired..
Drizzling by the time we reached the camp site then rain came pouring during midnight til early morning and some tarps became catch basin which served as our water source.
The sun was shining brightly however the temperature was too cold for mid morning. We stopped for a while and started boiling hot water for coffee as the group can no longer tolerate the cold temp., I even used my extra socks as mittens while waiting for the coffee.
As the team approaches the ridge, forest became dense and mosses were visible in every tree indicating how cold temperature could be in this area.
Walking along the ridge of Mt. Banahaw's crater, we witnessed how beautiful the Mountain was. The crater is covered with Trees, lots of it.
Camp Site 2. Along the Ridge
Photo © PACKERS
The camp site above could accommodate at least 4 tents and just a few meters a trail just like Mt. Arayat Traverse, ridge and some boulders to cross. However, one has to scramble all the way up to reach the portion this portion.
Reaching the 3 Dungaws could be dangerous because from each point, one has to pass the open ridge trail of the crater.
Mt. Makiling peering
Pangatlong Dungaw provide a wider view of the other side of the crater. A short rappel is required to reach Unang Dungaw and a rope was already stalled.
From Unang dungaw, we witness how the clouds enveloped the ridge and hide it from us.
Trail along the Ridgewhile waiting for the team
By the time we exited Unang dungaw, the undying descent awaited us.
I lost track of time and unable to remember the trail we followed, as far as I can remember we had a fast paced decent because we need to reach Dolores before night falls or at least before 8:00pm.
The team got lost for at least thrice however the 3rd one was the worst of all. Our guide can no longer remember the trail and it was already 10:00pm when we reached a dead river. Few of Sir Onin's mate were able to traverse the mountain before however they were not familiar our location. We need to look for a Dam as our indicator that we are already in the right track.the morning after
last jellyace for breakfast
Our guide called Bantay Banahaw team for rescue however all Bantay Banahaw team were in Manila that time and was then advised to wait until daylight. We had no choice but to comply for the safety of everyone, however the worst part was that most of us no longer have enough water and food for the night.
We gathered around at the Dead River and slept inside our sleeping bag.
We cannot pitch our tent because the place was purely limestone and no space for camping anywhere while Sir Onin's team gathered some stagnant water and boiled for drink. So eSleep it was.... slept inside our sleeping bag.
Early dawn, our guide and sir Onin went ahead to look for the trail while the rest of us waited for them. Finally, the right trail was found. Good thing we did kept the cooked rice we had, ate it with Maggi savor, just to provide energy (if the food provides) for the remaining trek.
After hearing some dogs barking from a far, I felt relieved. Finally we're near a barangay or sitio.
The place looks familiar..... yes, we were at Brgy. Dolores in Quezon. The Kinabuhayan river, the sacred place. The place where I we took a deep after the Mt. Cristobal hike I had.
Seldom visited, this Banahaw traverse was indeed a hike worth remembering.... thanks for the invite Sir Onin,
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