Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tarak Ridge, My First Major Climb! :)

Tarak Ridge (April 9-10, 2011)
Location: Mariveles, Bataan
Jump-off Point:
1,130 Meters Above Sea Level
Difficulty: Minor Climb, 4/9

We were around 20 climbers who participated in this event— old members and newbies as some of us  newly joined us, BUSOG Mountaineers. We were divided into two groups. Five of us belonged to the Assault Team. Mt. Tarak Ridge is one of the popular hiking destinations during weekends. So this strategy  was planned so that we  might be able to reach the campsite earlier and reserve the covered area there. Like what we’ve expected, a lot of climbers during that day climbed Tarak. We must be able to get the area which is protected from the strong winds. Otherwise, our tents would be at risk. I volunteered to join the Assault Team, together with Arnel, Riz Ruan, Rizchelle and Ian. I got a big guts to be part of it, I didn't realize that it’s almost two months that I never had any climb and I really found it so tough to ascend.

Thanks to Riz Ruan who had been my companion along the trail and Sir Arjay a.k.a Chito, hehehe.. Riz never left me not only on our ascent but even on our way descending the mountain. We had our lunch and took a 30-minute rest upon reaching the Papaya river... and then PUSH! we continued the trek... it was now a very long steep assault.

It was during the ascent especially after Papaya River when I realized that we were no longer part of the Assault Team although the rest of the group had not reached us yet. The three of the Assalut Team was already far away from us.  It came to a point that our rest was much longer than our trek. It was like take 10 minute-rest , 5-minute resume.. and then take 10 again. Hehe..

Perhaps the reason why I got tired easily and felt so sleepy was that because it’s my first major climb plus the fact that I only got 2 hour s of sleep (since our assembly/meet up was as early as 3am in the bus terminal).. I was also carrying rice, some food and tent. My backpack was so full. It was actually my first time to carry heavy stuff like that. I used to be one carrying only the things sufficient for me alone. The trail was really more of assault and very steep along with big roots of the trees. It was really exhausting. Riz and I just told ourselves that it should have been better if we stayed in our respective home and get a good sleep. Just kidding! Of course, I did still find pleasure climbing Tarak.

It was around 4pm when we reached the campsite. It was soooo cold as cold winds were embracing us.

We set our camp and prepared our food for dinner. We had a good kwentuhan as we set these things. By the way, Some of the climbers had already have their tents pitched in the area covered by trees although still we got a sufficient space protected from the strong winds.  

Many of us had gone tired already, so socials were cut short. We just had the usual introduction of ourselves. But around 4 of us was left conversing until past 10pm.  We heard and told a lot of climbing stories. Included then was Nya-Nya. A girl we met in the bus terminal who told she’s climbing alone and so we let her join the group. New climbing fellow!

It was so cold around 5am, the time we planned to wake up and go to summit to witness the sunrise. It was 6am when Rizchell and I decided to summit. Afterwards, the rest followed. We reached the summit and then headed to El Sako Peak. We were not able to witness the sun rising as it has already risen by the time we arrived.  What a fulfilling feeling to reach it! We had a lot of picture takings!

On our way back to the campsite for breakfast, we still had “piktyuran”

It was past 12nn when we arrived at Papaya river, had our lunch there and resumed trekking back to the jump off point.

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