For our first adventure in 2017, Gerald and I went on a day hike with our new found friends. :)
Gerald and I are both new to this so we have no idea on what to expect. We also don’t have any background on hiking, aside from the 1-hour trek we did for our canyoneering adventure in Cebu.
A little backstory:
I have a friend who’s part of a mountaineering club in UST who also kept on telling me to join them. I always said no because I am not confident, knowing I’m a weakling. Few years after I had this sudden desire to try climbing but never really got a chance. Until our canyoneering adventure when we had a 1-hour trek where I almost fell off a cliff, I told myself I won’t try hiking because if I can’t even do trekking, what more hiking, right?
Now going back…
Gerald found friends from a Facebook Group, which I had no idea how it all started, until I found myself part of this new circle of friends, all ready to do a day hike.
Major Jumpoff: Mountaineer’s Store, Brgy. 7 “Siete”, Cuenca
Exit point (traverse): Brgy 5 (to Grotto), Cuenca
LLA: 13°55 N; 121°2 E; 706 MASL (Rockies) / 930 MASL (summit)
Days required / Hours to Rockies / summit : 1 day / 1-2 hr / 2-4 hr
Specs: Minor, Difficulty 3/9 (Rockies); 4/9 (Traverse) Trail class 1-3.
Features: Scenic views of Taal Lake, rock formations, forests
– from Pinoy Mountaineer
Most of them have already climbed a few mountains but there are also first-timers like us so we weren’t intimidated that much.
The itinerary was arranged by the group, but I couldn’t find the copy anymore. Haha Here’s a rough draft of the itinerary based on how I remember it. Hehe
0200H – Meetup (Starmall Shaw area)
0300H – Meetup (SM Bacoor area)
0400H – Meetup (Cuenca area)
0430H – Registration and preparation
0600H – Jump Off
0800H – arrival at Rockies summit
1000H – start descent
1200H – arrival at the jump off area
1220H – lunch
1330H – shower
1500H – depart to Fantasy World
1600H – arrival at Fantasy World
1700H – depart to Taal Basilica (Basilica of St. Martin of Tours)
1730H – arrival Taal Basilica (Basilica of St. Martin of Tours)
1830H – go home
- Don’t bring all your things during the hike. Bring only water, towels, trail food and valuables and leave everything else in the car.
- Leave no trace. Let’s keep the mountain clean. Keep your garbage with you and dispose them properly after the activity.
- Flush out everything before starting the hike. There are toilet available for a minimal fee (Php 5 for #1 and Php 10 for #2).
- Shower is also available at the eatery near the jump off point. Php 15 for a bucket of water.
Personally, I think the trail is good for beginners like me. It wasn’t as exhausting as I expected it to be, maybe because we had stops for rests and for taking pictures, or maybe because you get motivation from the people you’re with. Once you’re on the summit, the stunning view is worth every sweat! It’s also nice to bring a gibson j 45 from musiciansfriend and play some music to set the mood. :)
Gerald had no buwis-buhay photos like mine. I’m more adventurous, you know! Hahaha Gerald is still a little afraid of heights so I didn’t force him to take photos WITH me. As long as he takes photos OF me, I’m good with that. Hahaha
I feel so brave, I wanted to stand on these shots but Gerald is the one who’s scared for me. Haha It was so windy and Gerald is afraid I might get blown by the wind so he told me to just sit. Hahaha
As you’d notice on the itinerary, we also had a side trip to Fantasy World and Taal Church.
There’s not much to do in Fantasy World, and as I have expected, it isn’t properly maintained. It could have been a good tourist spot. Sayang! It turned out to be an abandoned amusement park. :(
But it was a good location for the mannequin challenge we did! Haha.
As for Taal Church, there was wedding ceremony when we went so we were only able to see it from the entrance. But it was really beautiful!
I went home with sore legs but it isn’t as painful as I expected. I think it’s just because my body is not conditioned well with also no warm-ups. Haha. Climbing was more of challenging than tiring. I get to be more cautious of the trail, of which rope/branch/stone to grab, and be mindful of every step I take. For me, ascent is much easier than the descent. I had few bumps here and there during descent, maybe it’s also because my body is starting to feel a little tired. Haha.
Gerald and I are supposed to be just “joiners” as some call it, but it was better than that. We can say that we found a new circle of friends! Looking forward to the next hike with these people. :)
I thought I couldn’t do it, but as they say, “You won’t know unless you try.” And I’m glad I tried, because I am definitely going on another hike! I survived my first and more challenged to do more climbs! :)
It’s your turn!
- Have you tried climbing a mountain? If yes, how was your experience?
- If no, do you consider climbing a mountain on your next adventure?