Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday High at Mt.Kalisungan

Mt. Kalisungan (December 11, 2011)
Location: Calauan, Laguna
Jump-off Point: Brgy. Lamot, Calauan, Laguna
760 Meters Above Sea Level
Difficulty: Minor Climb, 3/9

December 11-- an ordinary Sunday turned extra exciting. I invited some of my climbing friends and acquaintances for a dayhike somewhere in Laguna to a mountain called Mt. Kalisungan. Approaching the town of Calauan, this mountain seemed to give us a warm welcome as we view it’s bald, green peak from the highway. Bald, because it’s an open mountain (its peak is of a grassland feature).

We had a safe, smooth drive going to the said town of Laguna, courtesy of Sir JP Cruz of Vagabond Pinas, he brought his van.  By the way, I just met him in Facebook when I posted and invited those who want a dayhike for that particular day.He invited his 2 friends, Brayan and Shirley, while Robert, Chi and and me are from BUSOG Mountaineers. I also invited a friend, Manny a.k.a. Noy whom I have climbed with (Mt.Daguldul) and joined with, in a fun run before. We were only seven who climbed that day.

Smooth drive, quiet morning, a little cloudy yet with a touch of warm sunshine--- and yes, it wasn’t raining, but right after we registered in barangay hall, the rain started to pour. There was no turning back of course as we’re already at the jump off point and we already hired a guide who invited another guide. And so they were two who accompanied us on our way up. We started the trek at around 11am. As expected, it wasn’t a smooth trek, the rain continued. The trail was so muddy and slippery. Thumbs up, my Salomon trekking shoes! It kept me safe the whole climb. Bad thing was, from white grayish, it totally became brown due to mud. We stopped by a little nipa hut full of copra where we ate our lunch and bought buko from the locals.. ‘Really good was our buko moment. That refreshing buko juice was the only liquid I filled my stomach with. I just realized that I wasn’t able to drink water for the entire climb. Wow, I was like a camel again. Perhaps it’s because, it was rainy. I didn’t perspire that much.

After such lunch stop and just before arriving at the summit, the rain stopped. However, it was so muddy and slippery on the grassland of about a thirty minute-assault. I would just cling on the tall grasses so that I wouldn’t slide down. As mentioned, it was more of a grassland trail when you are about to reach the summit. Finally, we reached the highest peak marked by a cross and then we headed to the campsite. We could not view anything from the top. There was no clearing as the mountain was covered by fog. It was only for a few seconds when we were able to view two of the seven lakes of San Pablo. We just took a rest there, had some cool conversations and then started to descend. 

We arrived back at the jump off point at 4:30pm, tidied up and drove back home. Our itinerary had an option to go to Bunga Falls. I was just a bit sad that we didn’t get a chance to have a sidetrip due to time constraints.

The event ended with a dinner at Tuding’s Porkchop in Calamba, Laguna. Perfect for our hungry stomach.

Our Itinerary ( not commute):

 7:30   Meet up at Farmer's Plaza Cubao/Mckinley Shell

10:00  ETA  Victoria, Laguna (Duck junction) / Bought food for lunch (last stop where we you can buy rice meal).

10:15  Head to Brgy. Lamot (Jump off Point)
10:30  ETA Brgy. Lamot. Register at Brgy. Hall. Ask for guide
11:00  Start Trek

12:30  Lunch at "bukohan".. (buko for Php15 each)
 2:00  ETA summit (marked with a cross)
 3:00 Start descent
 4:30  Back at Brgy. Lamot
 5:00 Ask guide to direct at Bunga Falls or Kawa-Kawa Spring (OPTIONAL)
 6:30 Back at Jump off Point/Wash up
 7:00 Drive Back to Manila
 9:00 ETA Manila

It is advisable to hike after lunch time especially on a sunny weather as this is an open mountain.
(wear approriate protection against direct heat of the sun and against the grassland trail. e.g. arm warmer)

Registration Fee:
They don't ask for a registration fee, only a generous donation for their barangay scholar. Any amount will do.

Guide Fee:
Range is Php300-400 or according to your generosity


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