Dubbed as one of the 3 Toughest mountain in the Philippines (Mt. Mantalingajan, Mt. Halcon, Mt. Guiting Guiting), this mountain is also popularly known as G2 to Hiking Community and due to its "jagged" feature is where the name Guiting Guiting was derived.
I had the opportunity to traverse this mountain in 15hours last April 5 because of time constrain, I need to shorten everything because traveling alone going to the island consumes at least a day.
Day -1 was travel time from Manila - Batangas - Odiongan - Romblon - Sibuyan - while Day 0 was registration at DENR and brief orientation at Mang Remy's house.
The office is about 30 mins away from the port and will take about an hour and a half to reach Mang Remy's house. Mang Remy is the POC for Guideship for G2 - Olango Trail (Traverse) and his house serves as the jumpoff. He and his wife were so kind enough and prepared our packed breakfast and lunch for next day's hike.
After dinner, we discussed the trail using the map hanged from the wall. I showed to him the itinerary I got from Pinoy Mountaineer's site. Though that itinerary was for dayhike traverse, Mang Remy instructed me to still shorten what was on the itinerary (Mang Remy was the guide at that time when that itinerary was created by PM) to avoid night trek.
After the orientation, I was left alone at their Nipa hut to sleep. Wandering the crazy thing I am about to do for next day. Woke up around 1:00 am mixed with excitement and fear, Day backpack was ready with 2 liters of water on it. Chocolates and cookies for trail food then Toto, Mang Remy's son greeted me with a coffee before we had our short prayer led by Mang Remy (also a Pastor by the way).
Trek started around 1:57 am at 5 masl elevation (*face palm*, I was still 2053 masl away) and our first target was to reach Olango River after 30 minutes (a usual 1 hour trek).
It was dark and good thing the trail was flat and very open, it was a good start and yes we reached the river by exactly 30 mins. Then a surprise greeted me, from Olango river to Camp 1 was indeed full assault trail. Assault trail with big gaps I need to maneuver, very bad for people who were not blessed with good heights.
So Camp 1, for me was a test because all throughout the hike up to Mayo's peak was 95% assault. If by any chance you find reaching Camp 1 was hard, be prepared because a tougher assault trail awaits.
Camp 1 to Camp 2 will pass through Outdoor Pilipinas Trail (landslide on the old trail). Reaching camp 2 was a less brutal, the only challenge was the decent to Outdoor Pilipinas Trail in dark. We reached Helipad around 6:00 am and took our breakfast then rested for few minutes.
Watching RemValDEly's Peak from Helipad was already exhausting, the sun started to shine from the other side and our plan was to reach the peak before the place completely exposed to Mr. Sun. From Olango Trail to Camp 3 via Olango Knife Edge was a bit scary because we were balancing on rocks, which by the way the trail all throughout was made of.
RemValDEly peak was rocks all over, I remembered the trail going to Mt. Matalingajan summit from here. The sun was shining brightly that day however the wind was too cold and some parts of the range were covered with fog, we then had a quick peak of Olango Summit.
Debris found in the Crash Site
Big, sharp-edge rocks were all over the area. I was already exhausted that some times I put my face on the side of the rocks to cool down. Seriously, the rocks were cold and I hugged them. lol
Guiting - Guiting Summit had few vegetation and by 9:00 am we reached the spot, we were late for 30 minutes based on Mang Remy's instruction. Toto and I had few talks (we seldom talk during the hike) while taking 5 at the summit,
"Noong nakuha natin ang papuntang Olango River ng 30 mins, nasabi ko matatapos natin to ng maaga pero nung nagsimula na tayo papuntang Camp 1 nawala ang momentum mo sir at medyo bumagal ka".
My reply was "Pambihirang trail naman kasi, assault na nga lalaki pa ng gap na hahakbangin... sakit sa singit."
We were not blessed with good view because the entire area was now covered with fog so we did not stay long at the summit. What lies after G2 summit was more dangerous or I would say the start of the most dangerous, tiring and challenging trail within G2 traverse.
90 Degrees wall was scary and the rocks I hold onto were "hot" this time. Now, the tricky part here is that if you keep on looking the map, G2 summit to Mayo's Peak was more like a straight trail but NO! Peak of Deception was already a deception per se but that lies after that I would call Trail of Deception.
We had to decent for God knows how many meters that was (My watch lost its GPS Altitude count, and I was too tired to reset the settings). We crossed, hopped and climbed up and down to these sharp-edged rocks most of the time.
We had our lunch at Mabel's Spring (Dead spring at that time), Toto was eating his lunch while I was taking my nap. I did not eat lunch because my throat was not accepting any food I took. Seriously, the food I chew just stayed in my mouth and I was having a hard time swallowing it.
Kiss the wall, again... there were many small portion I kissed some walls during the trek then boom Mayo's peak was just right in front of us, but before we zoomed all the way to the peak, a short picture with the Famous Saw-Tooth.
I had few minor and one major bruise on my leg, this part of the trail were now covered with grasses that covers the trail. I bumped to a lot of rocks protruding along the trail. The Knife edge trail going to Mayo's peak was not that scary in terms of cliffs but again the rocks will get your attention very much.
Another full ascent to Mayo's peak ended my "umay" for assault trail. We reached the peak around 1:00 pm and Toto mentioned that by the time we reached Camp 3 the trail will be gradual and we can do trail run all the way. Yes indeed, Mayo's peak to Camp 3 was a descent for sure, got bruises on my hands and I was already in a hurry because as promised Camp 3 onward will be an easy trail. Bulod Spring was also dead at that time but the trail was The Hell! not gradual, Camp 3 to Camp 2 was shorter yet too many descent. My pacing went haywire after Camp 2, I asked for some water from Toto enough to wet my head. My body temp was shooting high and it was too hot even though we were inside the forest.
I became impatient after passing Camp 2, there were a lot of "e-Camps" that I seldom ask Toto if it was Camp 1 already? I think I was pretty much annoying at that time. hehehehe.
Camp 2 to Camp 1 was longer, aha! impatient alert! I requested Toto to contact Mang Remy to bring a very cold Coke, it was my motivation. We rested for 5 minutes at Camp 1 then Toto mentioned that a river (Tampayan River) was just about an hour from Camp 1 so we hurried, we run all the way. It took us 30 mins and without any hesitation, I swam right away. The water was so cold and yes I got cramps but it was refreshing. It was, it really was.... the hardship, the frustration, the pain went away after that 20 mins bath I took.
"Yan lang pala katapat Sir eh, ambilis natin dahil sa river" Toto commented. It took us 20 mins to reached DENR (45 mins the usual trek) but to my dismay, Mang Remy did not brought any coke :( . My things were already at the resort were Mang Remy arranged my hostel for the night.
We ate at the resort and drunk 2 1.5 liters of coke. Mang Remy congratulated me and said "Ayoko ng ulitin ang pagDadayhike kasi jan nadali ang aking Tuhod".
It took me 15 hours to finish the entire traverse, It was a satisfaction, it was a fulfillment. Comparing to the other dayhikes I took for major climbs, G2 experience was the best.
Mantalingajan was a long trek, Guiting guiting was combo.... Guiting Guiting is dangerous, Guiting Guiting is ADVENTURE!.
My Thanks to PM for the Itinerary and very big thanks to Mang Remy for the encouragement, to Toto for carrying my SLR (it was annoying carrying a bulking camera) and guiding me all the way, to Mang Remy's Family for adopting me.
This is my blog...
My Adventures in Words
Social Media Activities
Travel & Leisure