Wednesday, December 1, 2010
A memorable climb to White Peak
Grassy steep trail. Rope-assisted assault. Banakon encounter. Romance with leeches.
These are some experiences we gained while joining the Technical and Documentation climb conducted by the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM) last November 27-30, 2010 at Mt. Pandadagsaan (White Peak), New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province. The technical team was composed of fourteen (14) hardcore mountaineers, an all-male platoon spearheaded by MFSM chief Engr. Albert Gabriel. I was then accompanied by my club-mate Papong.
Indeed, the mountain was highly technical. Our trekking was warmed up by a 2-hour river trekking, afterwhich we had our lunch at Ya-uno, a tributary stream having potable water source and just an inch before the real sheer assault going to Camp 1. The trek to Camp 1 was extraordinary. We were greeted by an intricate track, attacked by epoxy-inspired leeches and stumbled for countless times. It was the first time I heard Papong breathing with so much impunity. With all our feet feebled, we stayed overnight at Camp 1.
On the second day, we departed very early from Camp 1 going to Peaks 1 and 2. The trail became very narrow having difficult rope tracks including dodgy face-the-walls and deep cliffs on the other side. At around 12:00 noon we took our lunch at a mossy forest area, so beautiful that we instantly forgot all the fatigues. While watching the scenery and taking pictures, the mossy forest reminded us of the movie Avatar. It was picture-perfect, even a contender for FAMAS Best in Cinematography award. At around 1 PM, we reached Camp 2.
The third day was more than a descend. White Peak has a lot of cruel things to offer to its visitors. Apart from the already difficult trail going down, we were also helplessly held by heavy rain along the way. Then there was that King Cobra trying to greet us. I couldn’t hardly remember my fellow mountaineers talking upon seeing that little beast while suffering body pains.
After surviving the climb, we all have something felt in common – HAPPINESS. White Peak is worth climbing for. For me, a mountaineer should climb this mountain before he can consider himself a full-fledge mountaineer. It’s a climb that you can really be proud of yourself for pacing another phase of self-esteem.
Dare White Peak now fellas, I’m posing this as a challenge to all Mindanao mountaineers.