Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mt. Maculot, Cuenca

Mt. Maculot, no it's not curly in any way. We can still remember the time we climbed this. It was all our first time to challenge this mountain, we chose to climb around 7PM. The usual crew, 4 of us, 2 tents, 1 cook set, iron man menu. We were dropped off by our tricycle somewhere dark and foggy, Remember the Exorcist type of environment? yep that was the jump off location at 7PM. So we began distributing our packs, Ron was our superman so he carries most of the stuff Thanks Ron Balbon!

Then we started. We got lost after 1hr of climbing. LOL. Backtracked and continued we arrived at the mountaineering store before 9PM and we were looking for spots where we could pitch our tent, there were none! Then Some fellows told us that there is a habitable area somewhere to the direction of the Rockies, we climbed some more around 5mins and saw what they were saying, we pitched our tent and cooked our food, and my stomach was going crazy.

It was Raining! It was Blowing my borrowed tent hard! (Coleman Sun dome 2P hiniram ko sa tropapips ko) And we had to put our raincoats over the tent so it won't drip in on us. Every time the wind blows my tent sways, I stay on alert in case pegs get ripped of the ground or whatever happens. I would say if you want a windy place to test your tent you could try this spot or camp atop of Cristobal.

Morning came we couldn't sleep much at all that night, we were still drowsy when we wake up around 7, we broke camp and visited the Rockies. And we all taught that it was the summit! What easy climb that was we said to ourselves! Hell yea! and one fellow told us, "Uhm? sir? di pa po ito ang summit rockies palang po ito". We  paused and gave each other our frustrated looks. First our water supply is low and our food is only good for a snack. We huddled and came to a plan. We will conquer the Summit.

We went back to camp and headed to the Maculot Traverse to reach the summit. The weather was Cold, Everything was wet, Trails are muddy with leaves, and i was wearing Sandugo Slippers that was 3 years old. The Endeavor looked something like this Old Trail > Campsite > Rockies > Campsite > Traverse > Summit > Grotto. And we were having(or is it only me?) trouble on the traverse part, trees have fallen everywhere, trails were not that established. There were times we had to nearly crawl.

After reaching the summit we thought it's all easy peasy on the way down, but no, we had to cross 3 long rope segments, an unlimited station of the cross, an unlimited number of irregular long stair steps and thirst. We had no more water left.

This was our Itinerary on Maculot which we failed again to follow.
Day 1
0730 ETA Cuenca Poblacion - Highway. Walk or take trike to jump-off.
0800 Start trek
1000 Arrive at campsite, head to Rockies
1010 at Rockies; take pictures
1230 To Summit
1330 start descent
1600 back at jump-off; tidy up then head back to the highway from Manila-bound bus

You see we didn't follow any of our sh**.

So here is what the weather was like up there.
Our tents with raincoats.
Maculot Trail to Summit
Maculot Summit
Maculot Grotto 

Special Concerns

Maculot Rockies > Summit > Traverse
Is not for the weak hearted, if you are going to choose a trail to head up to the summit, don't use the grotto as a start point. 1. It is closed as an entrance since a lot of mountaineers needed to be rescued here because they cannot continue to climb. 2. The trail here is slippery especially going up, could you carry your pack through a rope segment 50m in length? then read #1. Use the Old trail then traverse the Mountain.

We would not want to climb it again on rainy seasons like this, it was punishment for us, we were shivering at the summit's cold winds and rain is not our forte. Bring a windbreaker that can resist weak rains.

There is only one store and water source here, it is by the campsite near the rockies, they have your basic needs, food, vegetables, luya, asin, paminta, coke, mineral, and batteries? This store is the last supply depot you will ever encounter. so Plan Ahead.

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