Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

C8 Pico de Loro Traverse (Getting Lost… Again!)

June 4-5, 2011

After my previous experience of getting lost in Pico de Loro, I could not get it out of my mind and couldn’t believe that we got lost.  Well, technically we did not get lost, we just took the longer way out of the mountain to Nasugbu.  Felix and I planned return with a vengeance to Pico.

This time, I invited my mountaineer officemate Adam to join us for an overnight return to Pico de Loro.

Me and Adam on our way to the summit (photo by Felix).

After running out of water in our previous dayhike, I decided to bring more water up the mountain.  I brought 6 liters of water (3 liters in my hydration bladder, plus 3 liters in PET bottles).  This with the tent, cookset, stove, butane, etc. packed in my 85 liters backpack totalled about 26 kilos.  Very heavy!

As in my previous climb, bus to Ternate from Pasay Rotonda (this time Felix just waited for our bus in Bacoor), bought cooked lunch in a carinderia, rode a tricycle to DENR and hiked to Base Camp 1.

Me, resting on a tree (photo by Felix).

It seems that I overestimated my strength and endurance and forgot the difficulty of climbing Pico from Alibangbang to summit.  I was very very slow in my ascent due to my heavy pack.  Adam was fast (he’s younger and carried a lighter pack) so I told him to go ahead (no getting lost on the way to the summit) and we’ll just catch up with him.

The climb up was hot, I took a rest every 5 or 10 minutes (will eventually learn to carry a smaller overnight pack) but eventually, Felix and I reached the campsite, where Adam was waiting for us.

We camped in the bamboo grove area and Felix cooked our dinner (canned goods).  Adam brought a small Gilbey’s gin but since he isn’t a strong drinker, Felix doesn’t want to drink and I didn’t want to drink on my own, we didn’t finish the whole bottle (probably just a quarter of it).  We decided to give the rest to our noisy camp neighbors (whom I’ll eventually know as Alex and his group).

A group of mountaineers appreciating the view (above), the summit (below left) and a close up view of the steep side of the summit (below right – photo by Felix).

We woke up early the following morning, cooked and ate breakfast and broke camp since we were doing a traverse and wanted to go to the beach.  Adam and Felix decided to scale the Parrot’s beak while I stayed on the summit to take their pictures (since I’ve been there in my previous climb).

Felix and Adam on their way to the beak.

The campsite as viewed from the summit (we camped on the tree-covered part on the left) and a self-portrait on the summit (right).

The Parrot’s Beak (left) and Felix and Adam at the beak with other mountaineers (right – photo of Felix).

Felix and Adam at the beak.  The small figure at the background is me on the summit (left – photo of Felix).  A zoomed view of the two from the summit (right).

The way up or down the beak (left) and Felix and Adam resting after scaling the beak (right).

Me at the foot of the beak.

After their conquest of the beak, we rested for a while then pushed on with the traverse trail down.  The descent is ok (having experienced it in the previous climb) but is a little harder since we were carrying bigger and heavier pack.  From the descent, we reached a portion where there is the start of level trekking. We were walking for more than 2 hours when we realized that this is the same trail we’ve walked the previous climb.  We were lost again!

As with the previous climb, we turned left instead of right (I thought we got lost after this point) but later realized that we should have turned right.  The right turn doesn’t seem to make sense since it appears to go back to the mountain but it is the correct turn if you want the shorter trail.

We’ve walked too long and far to go back (plus backtracking would mean ascent which would be harder) so we just continued.  We stopped by the mango tree and had some of its fruit (more ripe and less delicious than before).

Solo and group pictures in Sitio Kumbento (with the Pico peak and beak at the background).

The residents in Sitio Kumbento told us that the nearest and best beach is in Calayo, Nasugbu.  We rented a jeepney (the same jeepney we used the previous climb) for Php500 to take us to Calayo.  We rested, cooked and ate a late lunch and swam in one of the resorts for a discounted fee (since it was almost 2pm when we arrived there).

Swimming and resting in Sitio Calayo, Nasugbu, Batangas.

At about 5 or 530 pm, we packed our bags and rented a tricycle to poblacion Nasugbu for the bus home.  This time we were able to catch the second to the last bus trip and home we go.

This was my second attempt to do the traverse trying to follow the common traverse trail. We ended up the same “wrong” trail but I have peace of mind since I already know the correct trail for the next climb.  This is the last time I’ve passed through Sitio Kumbento in Nasugbu and I’m missing it.  With the beautiful farmlands, lots of goats, chickens and cows, it will be an ideal location for a photowalk or photoclimb but that still has to wait ’til I can schedule a climb.


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