What excites me the most sa climb na eto ay ang traverse. Wala akong idea kung ano ang meron after Rockies, ang alam ko lang is mahirap eto.
Early morning ride from Manila to Cuenca, Batangas together with the 12 participants which was headed by Sir Arvin. Simula palang mukhang masaya na kasi may bago na naman akong kakilala sa Pamumundok Community.
The usual jump off: Mountaineer's Store and the weather was a bit sunny during the first half of the climb. Although Mt. Maculot is categorized as Minor climb, never underestimate this mountain. The trail going up to 7/11 (Stores found in the Mountain, as mountaineers call it) is pure assault. An unfortunate event happened to one of the participants. Upon reaching the 3rd "Buko Juice" station as I prefer to call it. One participant (pagpaumanhin po, hindi ko na matandaan name ni mam) already felt a slight dizziness yet she did not called our attention, instead she sat down and head bent downwards. After a few minutes she stood up then collapsed. This is a common scenario specially if no proper physical training prior to a climb. That participant was aided accordingly and was able to reached the Rockies Portion of Maculot.
The 7/11 store vicinity is the also considered as one of the camp site (aside from the Voltaire's Camp). Meron ng additional Nipa Hut na nakatayo adjacent to the store which is a very good venue for socials. The rest of the guys stayed here while the girls headed to the Rockies.
After almost an hour of waiting, the group was then divided. Some participants chose not to proceed with the traverse then headed back to jumpoff while the rest of us were eager to proceed.
Picking up pieces of trash along the way slows down our pacing because there were plenty of trash. Sad to say... madami talagang irresponsibleng mga umaakyat, hindi ba kayang ibulsa ang basura?
Chocobo @ Summit
The traverse will lead you to the Grotto and the trail starts from the 7/11 store. Facing the store, to your right will lead you there.
The first few minutes, masukal na daan.... madamo kaya mas maganda may arm warmer to protect you from the blades of the cogon grass. Medyo maliit lang ang area ng summit at pinapalibotan ng mga puno so expect limited view.
Paunahin si Sir Arvin
A series of abseiling ang bumungad sa amin at bilang this was my first time to traverse Maculot.... excitement ang maipinta sa mukha ko.
May mga ropes na nakatali (kasing laki ang ng rope sa Manabu Trail going to Mang Pirying's Hut) and I suggest na wala kayong excess baggage na bitbit while going down para tight ang grip sa rope and also wear gloves (yung may orange latex, sa ACE hardware merong binibenta)
The last rocky portion for abseiling is a bit delikado since you'll be rappelling sa smooth-surface na rock which is slippery when wet at mahaba haba na slope eto.
Right after that, walang humpay na pababa na to then you'll reach the Last Station para sa "Station of the Cross". You'll be following a well-paved steps going down until you'll see the Grotto.
The day ended with rain... headed back to Mountaineers' Store for wash up and getting ready for Mt. Makiling the next day.
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