Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Quadrilogy (4 Peaks) Dayhike

Not that I promote a crazy climb nor I tolerate an insane dayhike.. No! Not that I encourage you to do an unreasonable tiring climb. This is just an optional training climb. Anyway, let’s face it! Perhaps, even the most difficult mountain requires far more than half of your strength and resistance in doing this “4 peaks” dayhike. Name it –Halcon, Guiting-Guiting, Mantalingajan, Sicapoo, Dos Cuernos or Patukan.. and maybe in the same way, you’re bound to do a major  alpine climb. If you want to survive these difficult mountains, or if you’re aspiring to climb your dream mountain, preparation is not a joke. Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. I’m not saying you take it too seriously. Always remember that the very essence of climbing is to take delight in doing this found passion. So just take it lightly and enjoy the training climb.  At some point in your mountaineering life, you may probably realize that to be able to sustain, you have bear the pain.  Well maybe, you can only digest or accept this one if you have that burning desire to conquer yourself in greater summits or complete an epic traverse. You may completely get me if you are in your most passionate state of your desire to climb more mountains.

Guess what? I am a frustrated 4peaks dayhiker! Yes I am. I tried it twice. But it has always been just THREE peaks.Well, just remember my Nasugbu Trilogy dayhike, it’s three! But for those dayhike which intended to accomplish four, I’ve never succeeded yet. Let me tell you why.

By the way, I did two variations.

Makiling 2-PeakTraverse, Manabu Peak and Rockies in One Day

Mt. Makiling boasts its radiant beauty during the start of our traverse

My first attempt was in July 2011.It was my first time to do a dayhike with my climbing buddy, Dennis. My only dream climb then was Mt. Sicapoo as mentioned in my previous posts. To be able to succeed in this “first attempt” to do a major climb, I decided to first try the Ambaguio-Akiki trail in Mt. Pulag and Luzon321. But before these two, I wanted to undergo a series of training climbs that time which were regular weekend hikes and of course, this 4-peak dayhike. Here was the deal – Makiling traverse via Sto. Tomas – UP Los Banos  (which is of course, composed of 2 peaks already) and then we shall proceed to  Manabu Peak and finally Rockies. Technically,it’s a combination of your familiar Makiling traverse and 2-peak dayhike(Rockies-Manabu). We started at 7am and with so much unbridled limatik encounter (as it was rainy season), we arrived and finished at the UPLB at 1pm. After some quick wash up, we took the jeepney to Lipa and another ride thru tricycle to the jump-off point of Manabu in Brgy. Sta. Cruz. Sto Tomas,Batangas. However, nonstop rains challenged us a lot and the muddy trails (and one head lamp for two) caused us to slow down and become behind our itinerary. Apologies as I was a newbie dayhiker that time that I never thought that headlamp is always essential to a dayhike. I was taking it literally then --- I said to myself, “it’s a hiking on daytime anyway so why bother bringing a head light. LOL. How stupid!” From the peak of Manabu, we could already see Mt. Maculot covered by thick clouds. We were thinking by that time if we can still proceed to such next stop. Well we were probably convincing ourselves to something impossible. If you happened to read my post on 2-peak (Rockies-Manabu) dayhike, I told that it is advisable to climb Rockies first as jeepney or bus trip back to Lipa City is crucial after 6pm. It was only 7:30pm when we’re back to Manabu jump off point. Hopeless, my goodness! But here’s the most insane part of all --- apart from not being able to finish the fourth mountain for that day, the truth was we were considering a Mt. Arayat traverse dayhike scheduled on the following day!!! Whew! I even became a carrier of limatik from Batangas to Pampanga. Well, that was another experience, when a mountain leech stayed overnight inside my nose and only decided to loosen up upon being full when we arrived at the town of Dau. Here’s the thing: I may not be able to finish 4peaks on that faithful Saturday yet I was still able to still complete 4peaks on that weekend --- Peak 3 and Peak 2 of Makiling, Manabu Peak, and Arayat. What can I say? Convinced? Hehe.. Don’t get me wrong! I admit it’s not healthy anymore but it just happened that there was a committed scheduled climb with some BUSOG mountaineers (my friends in our mountaineering group) on that Sunday. And maybe, I underestimated the 4-peak dayhike that I thought it’s just an ordinary dayhike and I can manage easily Arayat traverse after doing such.

                               wet look during our Makiling traverse 
           (we're the only ones who  didn't mind the rampant limatik that rainy saturday)

the get up! sorry, just a newbie here at the jump off point in Manabu Peak haha
gloomy view of Malarayat range at the top of Manabu Peak

            first time encounter with the Bedural couple (Ed and Sha) in Manabu
                         together with  their friend, Benjo and Domeng

(Note: Makiling traverse is a major climb while Manabu and Rockies are both minor ones)

Suggested Itinerary

Makiling Traverse via Palanggana Trail (Peak 2 and Peak 3), Manabu and Maculot

0300 Meetup Alabang/Buendia
0400 ETD Sto.Tomas Markert
0600 ETA Sto.Tomas Market/Breaksfast/Buy Packed Lunch
0630 ETD to Palanggana Trail
0645 ETA Brgy. San Bartolome/Register/Last Preparation
0700 Start Trek
0715 ETA Cardiac Trail
0800 ETA Silyang Bato
0900 Melkas Ridge
0930 ETA Peak 3
1030 ETA Peak 2/Rest
1045 Start Descend
1200 ETA Aguila Base
1330 ETA Station 1/Quick Wash-up/Lunch
1400 ETD to Calamba Crossing
1500 ETA Calamba Crossing/ETD Transfer jeep going to Fiesta Mall
1530 ETA Fiesta Mall/ETD Take Tricycle to Manabu Jump-Off
1600 ETA Manabu JOP/Start Trek
1700 Manabu Peak/Rest/Take Pictures
1730 Start Descend
1830 ETA Manabu JOP/ Quick Dinner/ Proceed to Maculot
2000 ETA Maculot/Rockies/Macatmon JOP/Start Trek via Old Trail
2100 ETA Rockies/Macatmon
2115 Start Descend
2230 ETA Maculot JOP/Wash-up

Rockies-Malarayat Quadrilogy

During my second attempt, the deal was a Rockies- Malarayat quadro. We did it as Luzon321 climb was approaching, so I badly needed a training climb. That was sometime in October 2011. It is climbing the Rockies first and then Malarayat range in Batangas which is composed of Mt. Malipunyo(1005masl), Mt. Susong Dalaga (Maiden’s Breast) and Manabu Peak(760masl).  Malarayat is a range of mountains that lies in the provinces of Batangas and Laguna (a trail that ranges from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to San Pablo City, Laguna. There are, of course, other peaks but the mentioned three are the famous ones.

Risky Rockies

We traveled to Cuenca very early in the morning so we first completed the trek to Rockies. We finished early. It was unusual for me descending there as early as 9:30am. Afterwards, we’re bound to proceed to Brgy. Talisay in Lipa City, the entry point in Malipunyo and Susong Dalaga. We first took the Malipunyo side. We hired a guide for Mt. Malipunyo as this mountain, per policy, required guideship of around P800. The trek was very lengthy with no view at the summit and the only thing that makes you fulfilled is the fact that you finished it anyway. Although you will be still challenged by the trail as there are also some assault parts of the trek. There were plenty of lipa (a plant that creates an itchy-painful feeling when your skin accidentally touches its leaves). We finished such backtrail climb at around 3:30pm after starting up at 11:30am. That’s why, you would imagine me getting groggy already doing the next one, Mt. Susong Dalaga trek. From the first step at the jump off point, it was doing an assault climb all the way to summit because of its almost vertical trail. What’s annoying too is the not-so-established and messy trail. I was just wearing a trekking sandals that time and I got a lot of cuts in my feet. Who could enjoy that on a night trek, with almost no view at all upon arriving at the summit.  At 6pm, we started to climb it.The only reward? Well, we still reached the summit and I could finally mark this mountain with a big check. The only question was “when shall I get the eagerness to climb it again?” By the way, if you are atop Manabu Peak, you will see a great view of Susong Dalaga truly depicting a maiden’s breast. For me it was confidently lying there in a very perfect form.  Finally, after transferring to Manabu jump off point, there were no one at the house where the registration and logging should be done. We decided not to proceed. Well that’s the only reason why we were not able to complete the 4 peaks for the second time.

one of the Malipunyo trails

approaching the summit of Susong Dalaga Peak, it was this kind of sunset that we saw!

this grassland is the very peak of Susong Dalaga

(Note: All the concerned 4 peaks are individually major climbs. However, having it as Malarayat range climb is already major. Rockies is of course a minor climb)

Suggested Itinerary

Rockies and Malarayat Range (Malipunyo, Susung Dalaga, Manabu)

0100 Meetup Buendia Bus Bound Lemery
0200 ETD to Cuenca/Maculot JOP/Register
0500 ETA Cuenca/Take Trike/Start Trek
0600 ETA Rockies Summit/Peak/Take Picture/Breakfast
0630 Start Descend
0700 ETA Rockies JOP/Buy Pack Lunch/Proceed to Malarayat Range (Malipunyo)
0800 ETA Fiesta Mall/Take trike going to Malipunyo JOP
0830 ETA Malipunyo/Arrange Guide
0900 Start Trek
1100 ETA Malipunyo Summit/Take Pictures
1115 Start Descend (Back Trail)/Proceed to Susung Dalaga
1230 ETA Susong Dalaga JOP/Quick Lunch
1300 Start Trek
1500 Susong Dalaga Summit/Take Picture/Rest
1530 Start Descend
1630 ETA Susong Dalaga JOP/Proceed to Manabu via Tricycle
1700 ETA Manabu JOP/Start Trek
1800 Manabu Summit/Peak/Take Pictures/Rest
1830 Start Descend
1930 ETA Manabu JOP/Wash-up/Dinner
2100 ETD Manila

Just like the advantage of Nasugbu Trilogy, which seems to be the prequel of this post about training climbs, the proximity to Manila as well as low budget (around 1,500 assuming 2 pax)  are what make it advantageous. Imagine with such value of money and you can already explore 4 peaks.

The great thing about my first attempt to climb these peaks is that, it was first time to climb them all, oh except Makiling and Rockies. I had a good reason to climb and reach their summits. Unlike buddy Dennis who happened to climb them for the "nth time". Well, that’s his role being a climbing buddy—to accompany me. Thanks so much to you! (peace, Dennis!).

If you are interested or planning to do multi-peak dayhike, as I am always saying, believe that you can accomplish it. Again, pacing is sort of a crucial thing. Of course, this is given that you don’t have any advice from your doctor about your physical capabilities or any assessment about your body that may cause you to forgetting this crazy training climb. Again, believe that you accomplish it as in the course of doing a megatraverse or a very major 9/9 climb, you will face much more hardships. Again, just imagine one mountain with many peaks.

I am very glad thinking that finally, this experience of mine was written up. During the heights of my urge to climb more mountains, I never got enough time to put it in the chronicles of my mountaineering life.

I’ve tried.. and I am still looking forward to finally accomplishing FOUR in my next attempt.


  1. Kaya hindi natin natapos yung pang apat na peak eh LATE ka na magising ang tinanghali na tayo ng dating. tsk hahahaa

    1. Haha, empleyado lang, napapagod din sa isang buong week na trabaho.. :D kaya di nagising sa alarm hehe

    2. Ibang klase talaga kayong dalawa.. sa next "Crazy climb" sama ko ah.. basta Luzon lng.. :)

    3. lolo joon, thanks sa pagbisita dito.. hehe "those were the crazy days".. di na namin yan uulitin :-P yup, hope to climb with you again


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