It’s all in the mindset and to be honest, I almost gave up.
I’ve been climbing mountains for almost a year now and I’ve never experienced the tiredness I felt when doing this hike. Maybe because I didn’t have enough sleep before the jump off. Or maybe because I was already exhausted at work that day. Or maybe, simply because I thought I was already tired and I wanted to give up. I was scared.
The trek started at exactly 2 in the morning and we reached the Pantingan Peak at around 8. Pantingan Peak is The highest peak in crater rim of Mt. Mariveles, and as per Pinoy Mountaineer, it is consequently the highest point in the province of Bataan, and one of the prominent peaks of Central Luzon. This Peak is no joke as it is specified as Major climb with 6/9 Difficulty, for 6-9 hours trek to reach the Summit (1,388+ MASL).
After eating our breakfast, we traversed all the way to Tarak Ridge, which undoubtedly very challenging. You have to pass by several peaks such as Vintana Peak and El Saco Peak. Tarak Ridge was marked as a Major climb with 4/9 Difficulty when coming from Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles (1,130+ MASL).
Passing through grassland, woodland, muddy surfaces, Limatik and thorny plants everywhere. I repeat, everywhere. We reached the ridge at around 5 in the afternoon, that took us 8 hours of walks, slides, grips and slips. It was hard but the weather made it more harder. After taking some rest, we decided to push through and reached Papaya River at around 7. We washed ourselves and took a nap while waiting for other companions.
By the time our friends passed by Papaya River, I was already numbed. I can’t feel my legs due to fatigue. My knees were locked and I can’t even move it. But still, I had to finish it so I asked my friend to drag me all the way to the finish line. We reached the highway at around 11 in the evening. Total of 21 Hours of Trekking, and I’m still alive.
If there’s one thing that I learned from this climb, it’s –
Don’t limit yourself on things you usually do. Be brave and take the courage to do the things that scares you.
ITINERARY (Gulong Mountaineers)
2100 – Meet Up Quezon Ave
2130 – ETD (Quezon Ave – Bagac Bataan)
0200 – ETA Bagac Jump Off
0230 – Start Trek
0300 – Reach River
0400 – Danny’s Gate
0700 – Pantingan Peak/ Breakfast
0800 – Resume Trek
1100 – Bakwat River/ Early Lunch
1200 – Resume Trek
1400 – Vintana Peak
1500 – El Saco Peak
1530 – Tarak Ridge
1700 – Papaya River
1830 – Nanay Cording
1900 – Wash up
2100 – Back to Manila/ Dinner along the way
Budget PHP 1,000
P.S. Did I even mention that I almost died when I slipped on an edge of the mountain? 🙂
Thanks for reading, See you at the top! 🙂