This was the first climb I organized for P.A.C.K.E.R.S. right after our Manta Traverse. I've been to Pantingan via traditional trail and Tarak via Paniquian Traverse. So basically this blog is focused more on the traverse trail.
The traverse trail will start from Pantingan Summit going to Bakwat River (Camp site for the day). The summit has a small open space just enough for resting, while battling to a weedy and few full descents with rope segments were needed just to reach the River.
Crazy Trails........Bakwat River
Bakwat River was the campsite for Day 1, the only water source after Danny's Gate. The place cannot accommodate possible more than 5 tents. The site was rocky and bivouac was the best method for camping.
3 of us slept on an A-Type tent, 2 pairs in tent while 2 on hammocks.
Day 2 was more "actioned-packed". Since day 1 was more of a descent trail, day 2 was the opposite. Assault and more assault was waiting for us that day. Though it was a knee-pounding and scary trail, the view was "PANALO", caldera rim was beautiful, Mt. Makuliat can be while traversing the so called Cowboy's Trail.
The most sadistic part of the entire traverse was reaching the Cowboy's Peak (Hikers commonly called it El Saco Peak). Yes, you read it right, Sadistic. It was difficult, it was one Hell of a 4x4 climb reaching the Peak....adding the knife edge trail, while struggling where and what to hold onto just to keep your balance.
Off to Tarak...... to the Ridge
We got lucky that our guide that time was Mang Rohel, a 55 years old Aeta. He was very informative and most of the time he provided some history on the place, on ever peaks. He even used the old names of every mountains/peaks seen within the area.
According to him "Pagnagkwento ako sa mga anak ko, ginagamit ko ang mga lumang pangalan ng mga Bundok".
- An Aeta, he will tell you stories on every peak along the Caldera Rim. A must have guide for Pantingan - Tarak Ridge.
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