My Mt. Kanlaon Climb
Alot has put into writing about Kanlaon, most of which aptly describes as how the Mountain Volcano presents itself to the mountaineer. Mine was that of good weather, spectacular views and a relatively easy climb in spite of the usual bruises, cuts and thankfully, only a minor sprain on my ankle.
I didn’t expect the climb as it turned out. The best season for climbing usually ranges within the first 2 quarters of the year, after which the rainy season takes over. A November climb was taking a risk in all aspects. But the event was hard to pass on and I was hungry for my first major climb.
Early on I mentally prepared myself that this was nothing less than a grueling test of my capacity within an unforgiving mountain. Most of my training climbs ranged within 5-6 hours total of trek time. Our itinerary listed 8 hours considering good weather. A base camp in Mount Kanlaon was enough for me should it rain.
12:00AM I was supposed to leave from work early but our meeting dragged on until midnight. Regrettably I had barely 2 hours of sleep as most of the day was spent finalizing my gear and last buys. Best decision of the day was to pack early on.
02:00AM South Bus Terminal. We had a few rounds of beer while waiting for them latecomers. I didn’t mind at all. Between the casual talks and rounds of beer, I tried hard to manage some rest.
03:30AM Departure from South Bus Terminal bound for Toledo City. I was sweating with my cotton shirt and wished I was on my dri-fits. The bus was packed with no stretch room for my legs and headrest. Tough. While I’m not one who’s usually late on boarding vans, buses and ships – experience has taught me to be prompt as it’s either everything or nothing, I bought some food along the way and paid the price. Not the best bus ride ever.
05:30AM Arrival at Toledo Terminal. Thankfully this wasn’t a prelude of how things were for the entire climb. My pack fell hard from the motorcycle and I watched from afar as it skidded through the rough pavement. My rain cover took a tear in the lower side which got worse throughout the entire climb. Thankfully though, nothing else was damaged.
06:50AM Departure for San Carlos City. I managed some good rest thanks to the air conditioning and run-down comfortable seats.
San Carlos City
We arrived at San Carlos City about 2 hours (or was it an hour?) afterwards. Had quick breakfast and last-minute buys since Rain and I were in-charge of dinner for later. Added load on my pack were the uncooked rice and pork.
On our way to the terminal, bound for San Carlos City, we made another stop at Gaisano San Carlos. I rushed to buy some arm warmers and knee support. Yet another good decision come day 3.
From the Terminal, we chartered a jeepney bound for Maput, our jump-off point. Approximately around 2 hours of travel time. Realizing that we were getting nearer, I dozed as much as I could, ignoring the scenery. I thought of nothing else but to get some rest.
Start of the Trek
11:00AM Start of the trek and was wearisome. The heat and the open trail was energy draining save for the cold weather and shaded stops. As I’ve noticed from my training treks, it takes me around 45 minutes to an hour for my body to warm up thus the straight up ascent was tedious.
We decided to camp at the 2nd to the last water-source before Makawiwili peak, which was still roughly 5 hours away. This was at around 1:30 in the afternoon as some mountaineers has already gone ahead of us. This meant no sufficient camp ground for everyone.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with socials. I didn’t mind as I needed to test drive my Luxe Speedup with 2 persons. With good weather, we could setup everything without a problem save that we would have no inner mesh.
Rain didn’t bring the ground sheet so we had Lyndi’s rain cover which is convertible, as our groundsheet. We added our earth pad and sleeping bag as ground layering. Good sleep was key.
09:00PM Lights out for everyone. Tomorrow was a big day.
Continue reading part 2 here, Through the Mt Kanlaon Trails