Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mt. Damas, Tarlac

Mt. Damas was said to be hard, harder than those of Mt. Arayat, Mt. Makiling and probably Mt. Cristobal with this fact, we as a group were challenged. What we did is a rather in the middle of a traverse and a normal to-fro hike. We did, what Myk Zamora of Game-Nest calls a "Circuit". It starts off at Camiling around Birbira, head out to the numerous uphills and downhills just to reach the Susong Dalaga form of Mt. Damas, from there a steep downhill to a river and work backup to a "Junction".

The trail was at first filled with trees, a very good place for a trail run, then came a place filled with grass, talahibs. My observation was the trail is composed of 20% forest then 80% tall grass, it is highly recommended to wear sleeves and wear pants for the hike. The weather was dry with some breeze coming in around.

After reaching the summit and eating some grub, we immediately started to descend, from this point to the river below was a 1hr straight steep descend, no rolling or flats whatsoever. After 30 mins of heat along the trail I decided to gun for it, not wearing my usual grippy shoes i ran extra carefully downwards to head to the river and soak in it for a while just to release the heat in my shoulders and neck. I got sliced a few times on my left hand, I only noticed it when i felt something sticky on my hand, it was blood.

After reaching the end I saw the river immediately, removed my shoes and shirt and bag and dipped. It felt good. Feeling ko lalagnatin ako sa init-lamig-init na ginagawa namin. Waited for 15 minutes and the rest of the group caught up, cooled down and rested.

Mt. Damas Summit is done, next is the trek to Ubod Falls.

Our Guides at middle-left! :D
The trek to the falls were roughly around 20-30 minutes from where we dipped and cooled down, we were slow because it was pure river trekking and we didn't want our shoes to get wet at first (arte lang no). When we reached the majestic Ubod Falls, this was where we planned to take our lunch, not at the summit, so instead we finished the remainder of our food here. repacked some water, prepared some candies for another 2 hours of river trekking back to the original trail.

The it is as follows:

0100 ETD to Tarlac Motorway (Cubao Five Star Northbound Lane)
0400 ETA Tarlac Terminal, Breakfast and Supplies (2L is Enough. 1L para sa makukunat)
0400 ETD to JOP
0500 JOP Final Preps.
0600 Start Trek
-Anything goes here-
1500 Trek Ends Rest
1530 Liguan na
1600 ETD to Camiling Market/Bayan
1630 Camiling Market, Early Dinner, wait for bus here Cubao/Pasay Maluwag!
2100 Cubao / Manila

Pack LIGHT and Headlamps.

Bus to/from Tarlac/Manila - 520 each
*if Camiling Tarlac ang bus nyo ok din, dun nalang kayo magpapick up.
Guide fee and transpo fee to JOP - 3.5k shared by the participants. Max of 7 Pax.
Myk Zamora of Game-Nest (awesome guy) - 09192212107

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