C5 Mt. Batulao Traverse (Old-New Trails) Nasugbu, Batangas
May 7-8, 2011
Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas is one of the most climbed mountains in the country. It is highly accessible from Metro Manila and the trekking time of less than 4 hours make it a minor climb and a great dayhike destination. On two successive weekends in May 2011, I climbed this mountain for the first and second time.
On the way to the campsite, the summit and the sawtooth peaks are visible.
The first time I climbed Mt. Batulao was with my friend Felix. After researching about the mountain in Pinoy Mountaineer’s website, I planned an overnight trip. We did not hire a guide for this trip as the mountain has few forks and many mountaineers climb it (so the possibility of getting lost and not having anyone to ask for directions is small).
A view of the summit from one of the rest stops.
The get to Mt. Batulao, you would have to ride a bus bound for Nasugbu or Tuy or Balayan (all in Batangas) and get off in Evercrest Golf and Country Club (just immediately after passing the Alfonso, Cavite border). From there you can ride a tricycle or walk on the concrete road to the jumpoff.
Stores and stalls are along the way where you can get refreshments (Mountain Dew, halohalo or buko juice). The first part of the trail is through a rough dirt road then a series of ascents and descents until the fork is reached. From this point on, you can either choose to go up right (through the new trail) or down left (through the old trail).
Me resting on the tree in Camp 7.
One or two hours of trekking will get you to Camp 1 (the biggest camp) where there is a caretaker that also sells mountain dew and souvenirs. There is also a makeshift toilet and you can buy water for cooking and toilet use. After Camp 1 comes Camps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 (not in particular order). Camp 8 is near the summit while camp 9 is on the summit itself (both quite windy and surrounded by cliffs) and camp 10 is in the new trail.
We decided to camp in Camp 7 since it is the highest camp (excluding Camps 8-9 which can be dangerous).
This is the first time I will be using my new tadpole tent from Apexus (after getting wet from the rain in Arayat and Pulag, I’ve decided to choose a better tent).
Resting after a tiring day.
There aren’t many people who climbed that weekend as the following Sunday is a Pacquiao fight and many mountaineers decided to stay home and watch the fight the following day.
It rained that night and in the morning, the mountain is very foggy. From Camp 7, the lower camps and the summit are obscured by the fog.
The hike from Camp 7 to the summit is through an exposed trail of grasslands and through steep ridges (not very difficult but extra care must be exercised). There is a roped segment but it is not that difficult climbing up. The summit was still foggy when we arrived and there are no views to be seen.
Summit finally. Me resting (left) and with my friend Felix (right).
We stayed for a while in the summit hoping that the fog would lift but alas, it did not happen. The trail down the new trail is relatively easier (there are steep cliffs on both sides but no steep climb or descent).
It was a good climb but of course I would have to come back since I didn’t get to see the views from the summit.