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Mt. Cristobal Traverse-Dayhike

Mt. Cristobal
This is my second ascend in Mt. Cristobal - DayHike
Can you remember “WADAPAK sa Mt.Cristobal?” It was on January 11, 2013 and was my first ascend in this mountain. After one year, one day and thirty two minutes, I am here again in the so called “The Devil’s Mountain of Quezon Province.”

Before, we ascended using the trail of “Tatlong Tangke” then descended using Dolores trail. But this time, we ascended on Dolores trail and descended on the trail of Tayak Hill. It’s a bit difficult compared on my first ascend, given the fact that the weather was almost the same. My story started here:

It was night time of January 12, 2014 – before sleeping; I cooked one and a half cup of rice first and set my alarm at around 12:30AM. It was almost 9PM when I’ve checked the time, then my alarm rung on the time I set. Then prepared coffee, sandwich, my outdoor stuff, put the cooked rice in my container and did my personal stuff. While waiting for the time, I checked my facebook and emails if there were updates.

From EDSA-Reliance, I and Te Bing took a Bus bound for Lucena. Get off near 7-11 beside the stop light. The konduktor was really nice, so we had more time talking about anything. We waited on the arrival of the other participants inside the convenience store. I that stop light, it's because if the stop light is on red, the vehicles stop before the pedestrian crossing, not even touching the lines; unlike here in the metro, natabunan na yung PedXing ng mga sasakyan kaya wala nang madaanan mga tao. When the others arrived, we proceeded to the jeep we chartered with Kuya Lito.

Before going to the registration area, we went to the market and bought our foods and supplies. The market is just in front of the church: Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine. Since the province of Quezon has a belief of anting-anting and other cultural beliefs, some products and souvenirs can also be found in front of the church. Photo on the left is suman, the pride of Quezon.

We were at the market for less than an hour and when we’re done, we went back to our service then proceeded to the jump off. The wind was really cool; the surroundings were all green and the sunflowers on the sides of the road bear yellow flowers.

Mt. Cristobal
Since the jeep can’t make it up to the Montelibano house, we started walking on the cemented road at 8:17AM and reached the house at 8:33AM, so do the math. We stayed at the house for 20 minutes; we loaded water and used the comfort room there.

While walking, we saw the peak of Cristobal on the left and Mt. Banahaw on the right, they were both covered with clouds. The weather seems to be good but the rainbow appeared on the side of Cristobal, so it was a sign.

Mt. Cristobal
This is our group at the Montelibano House, composed of nine participants plus Kuya Lito (our guide on yellow.) We left the house and started ascending at 8:45AM. We called our team as: "Grupo ng may Maugat na Labanos." The first part of the well established trail was 40 degrees ascend with roots as the stairs and the soil was still intact and dry.

Mt. Cristobal trail
Our first two hours, we were only facing the powerful wind with mist and fog. But we didn't wear our jackets yet. There are parts which we need to double our carefulness while walking on the trail. Look at the photo above, we were like walking beside the cliff, stepping on the rocks and roots; so it was one at a time. The cold wind

Mt. Cristobal
We thought, the weather was the challenge and irritating in this traverse, but we’re wrong. The irritating part of this traverse was when we saw a pile of garbage few meters from the crater. Seeing that mess isn’t good, at all. That’s the proof that there were a lot mountaineers (I don’t know if they are real mountaineers) who are lazy in bringing their mess back to the jump off. “Ang katamaran nga naman kapag pumasok sa isip ninuman, hahamakin lahat, pati trail gagawing basurahan.”

 Ito yung star ng climb namin. Panu naman kasi, paahon palang may tagapag-bantay na yang pagkaing yan. Syempre wala lang sakin yung tsokolate na yan, kasi wala naman sa mini stop ng ganyan eh, kaya hindi pamilyar sakin, kaya wapakels. Pero sila, talagang binabantayan, kalowka, mga patay gutom. Pero nung binuksan ko ito, lumabas ang aroma, isinubo at nginuya, kakaibang sarap ang nalasahan ng aking dila. When I checked the label, hindi ko mabasa, ibang linggwahe, galing pala sa ibang bansa, kaya ganun nalang ang pagbantay nung mga mahihirap kong friends.

Mt. Cristobal
 At around 11:16AM we reached Bulwagan Saddle, the main camp site of Mt. Cristobal and stretches 10 meters. We took our lunch here while the rain was pouring hard (gustong-gusto ko yang hard na yan) kasi may jacket ako, kaya I let others borrowed my poncho and rain coat. The wind blows so hard as well, and was really cold. 11:48AM, we left the Saddle Camp and proceeded to Jones Peak. Can you see what I see, that one beside me? hahaha, I am talking about the fog and not some other things.

Mt. Cristobal summit
Jones Peak is just 15 minutes from the Saddle Camp. Since the weather didn't permit us to have clearing, at 12NN we left the Jones Peak. The rain made the trail so muddy and slippery. We hold on the plants beside the trail, so it is advisable to wear gloves to prevent cuts and bruises. This time, we followed the 1 meter distance from others, hirap na maging group slide ang mangyari eh at ayokong maligo ng putik na parang kalabaw.

Mt. Cristobal trail
This part serves as the rope segment, why? This is a long and slippery part, one of the most challenging part when we descended Cristobal. We hold on the roots and vines to prevent from slipperiness. But if you love mud slide, this is the perfect place for you. We used this trail during my first ascend in Cristobal and I can say, descending this part is more difficult than ascending it.

Can you guess what's on the picture on the left? Clue Number 1. Maugat ito. Clue Number 2. Medyo round yung dulong part nito. Clue Number 3. Matulis at matigas ito ng konti.

Alam nyo naba ang sagot? Alam nyo bang simula pagkabata ko, gustong-gusto ko na ito? Medyo matagal na nung huli akong aksidenteng makahawak nito, kaya masaya akong makita itong muli. Kaya nung makita ko tong mga to, agad kong sinungaban ito at nagpapicture.

Alam nyo naba kung anu ito? Ito ang ugat nung matinik na parang pandan leaves. Nakalimutan ko na ang scientific name eh. If you know this plant, just comment below.

Mt. Cristobal
Photo Above: is the Tayak Hill, 500MASL, just few meters from the jump off. According to the residents, every holy week, a lot of people visit this religious place as part of their Christian beliefs. Crosses can be found to some parts of the trail. They even created a trail just for the Tayak Hill.

Mt. Cristobal
Having a coffee in this gorgeous surroundings was unforgettable. The whole area is covered with trees and grassland, so everything is green, so relaxing. The wind was still cold when we reached this area. So taking a bath without heater was another challenge. But the water from the faucet seems to be warm, so I enjoyed it so much.

After the challenges that we encountered in ascending and descending this mountain, it's time to have a break. For only 55 pesos, we already have a sumptuous dinner. Few meters from the resto, we walked going to 7-11 near the stop light and waited a bus bound for Manila.

Expenses: MNL to 7-11 Stop Light -> 127 pesos
               7-11 to MNL - - - - - - - - - >  121 pesos
               Jeep Rental and Guide - - > 490 pesos
                                                               Dinner - - - - - - - - - - - - - > 55   pesos

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