Friday, September 6, 2013

Mt. Bulusan, Irosin

Mt. Bulusan at 5pm

Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon was my alternative, there were a lot of hikes around that date but i know an urge for a major hike when i feel one, this get-away-from-manila kind of hike, is on the southern most part of Luzon, with possible sidetrips of Ruins, Mayon Volcano, Mt. Isarog and the Beautiful beaches of Calaguas, Bagasbas and Camarines Sur.

I found a group that posted a climb, The Extreme Outdoor, exactly ficts my long weekend Schedule(shifting schedules sometimes have an advantage for an amateur mountaineer like myself). I was coming along alone, I knew no-one from the group just their leader, and i was told to meet them up at a Jolibee in Tondo about 7pm.

I prepared for the worst as usual I packed a 5 day worth of underwear and clothes carried extra trail food(2 pineapple tidbits more LOL) and I was about to test my new Trail shoes :). I met with the group and they were a wild bunch, they were all wild and happy wherever their feet will take them, talk about getting lost and having fun. 

We rode the Team Leaders own van which was also his business back home, he now organizes climbs and fun tours which is awesome marketing strategy if you ask me. We left Manila at around  9pm and got to Bulusan Lake at 12pm (after eating and buying stuff from the local market) and proceeded with the Wild Boar SOP, BP Checkup, orientations, and what to do/what not to do.  We were a total of 8 Hikers, they provided us with 1 group porter and 1 guide.

The guides are well versed even on the distance between stops and ranger stations, total time needed from 1 place to get to another, they knew it like they grew up in the forest themselves(they are Formally trained btw)
They also have first aid kits too if any unfortunate event ever happens, ranger stations have stretchers if it is that severe. They have radios (base, porter and our guide) which is very useful.

We started the trek knowing that it is only 3 hrs away from the lake to the Aguingay Lake, Campsite. But we got to the camp at around 4hrs, it was a totally different trail for me, roots and rocks with leaves with high humidity. I'll tell you that my greatest weakness is very humid places like this. After reaching the Camp at around 5pm we pitched our tent and cooked our dinner, then socials!

I got to know more about everyone in the socials, each one was a specialist in their respective fields, an Architect, an Engineer, a Production Designer,  an Assistant Director, an Entrepreneur, a Systems Administrator, a Telco Engineer and me a somebody :)

Morning came and we had call time of 3am to start the assault, but we started the assault at 4am :). it was another 3hrs according to the guides but this time that 3hrs was with no packs. Still we got to the summit at around 4hrs there was not much of a clearing that day, it was foggy/cloudy all over the crater.

Loose rock was all over, thus our footing was very wobbly, i almost slipped twice while running around the crater(wew!) Basecamp at Bulusan Lake was watching over us telling us of any possible clearing that is coming, but alas, we were not so fortunate. So we decided to take a 30min rest, and then head back to camp to eat our late lunch.

Boss Edzhel and Sir Jemar, the three of us decided to gun it down, so we can prepare the food early for the middle pack and sweepers. So we did. We got it in less than 30mins back to camp. Edzhel and Jemar took care of the cooking, I packed my things as soon as i finished resting. the remainder of the group came and we ate :) After eating I helped some of them packing up their tents. As it was a hot day, I wore my sleeping clothes instead of my usual trekking clothes. So I was wearing shorts and a Jersey. Imagine how locals look like. That would be me.

We had the same Idea we would gun it to the camp site so we could rest early and finish whatever business needs to be done for when the others came it would be their turn then. no queuing. So Boss Edzhel ran down with the porter he was ahead around 10mins from us, the mid pack. as I was with the PD fast pace nonstop. We reached Bulusan Lake(last man in) before 4pm. We were surprised that Hot Towels and a Relaxing Foot Massage was waiting for us upon returning :) YAY!

Wild Boar was the group handling the tours in Mt. Bulusan and they are doing it in an extremely awesome way.

Some Pics later :D edit edit pa :)

Bulusan Lake View
That Epic Logo
Checkups before climbing..
We're on a boat!

Jump off!
Jump off!
Ranger Station
Last rest stop before Camp Aguinay
Lake Aguinay Views
Mt Bulusan!
The Hut! With tables and Everything!


Im at the Crater, they are atop the rim
Running down in 30mins

We Left this for the future to see

Special Concerns

Water Source
There is only one water source and it is around 300m away from lake Aguinay and its safe to drink from it.

The Campsite is very wide, and in case of heavy downpours it is advised to use the hut as shelter.

Mostly Mossy forest 80% and barren/loose rock trail at the summit 20%

Guides are provided by the Wild Boar Sport Inc.

After Services!
They gave us Hot Towels, welcoming Drinks and a foot massage!!

Extra Pictures from Extreme Outdoors Club!

Tree Planting!
Summit Group Pic!

Im the 4th one!

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