October 8, 2017 – It was a fulfillment of my longtime plan to climb a mountain.
I decided to join my colleagues to hike up Mt Batolusong in Tanay, Rizal as they claimed it was popular because of the “sea of clouds”
After 2 to 3 hours’ drive from greenfield district Mandaluyong, we finally reached our destination Brgy San Andres, Tanay Rizal. We rest for a few minutes and wait for the registration. A short briefing about the climb and a short introduction of our local guide as well as those who will be joining the climb. We group ourselves and have the assigned guide.
We started our trek at around 3 am which I don’t like the idea because it’s dark and for sure it will be difficult to climb. Just because they wanted to see the sunrise and the famous “sea of cloud” are the reasons that are why we climbed that early.
At first, it was easy for us, well only for the first 30 minutes of walking, but as we go along the climb rain started to pour and that was the beginning of the challenge. As we go along the trail the difficulty in climbing revealed. For many of us, I guess even those, not a first timer in climbing experienced how it was so exhausting and energy consuming, a very steep slope adding the continuous pouring of rain we continue our struggles in the wet and muddy trail. The bad news is our guide left us. Our group was struggling to continue to climb. In every stop we made we felt we are going to pass out. I can hardly breathe and even heard my heartbeat and was running so fast. After our rest, we moved forward but after a few minutes one of our companions opt to go turn back but we did not let her go instead we push her to move on as we already there. We continue the steep course as we move slowly and until we reached a small house guess it was built to use as resting place for all climbers.
We stayed there for a few minutes the dawn is breaking and to our surprise, for only a few steps we reached the Duhatan Ridge were some hikers stayed for and built their tent. What a relieved for us when we see ourselves that we reached that far and feel amazing with the “sea of clouds” we then take pictures to capture the moments and the wonders of nature.
Though still drizzling, we continued our journey, the trail a narrow grassland but still wet and muddy another difficulty and struggle in walking awaits us. Until we reached a store, we stopped and eat our breakfast. They asked where or who is our guide and we said none. We were transferred to another guide because it is not allowed not to go without a guide.
After less than an hour we reach the Mapatag Plateau. It was an achievement after a long walk on the difficult trail. I thought we already on the summit but no we still have to walk again to reach the peak. We then moved on to for the last part of the hike. The trail is narrow and vast of grassland. Another struggle was when passing the bamboo tree area after passing the steep and muddy trail we finally see our destination it was a surprise to many that we will be climbing a rock to reach the summit.
Finally, we arrived at the summit at around 8 am. What an achievement, we were mesmerized atop by an awesome view of grassland and of the sea of clouds, the peak such as the Susong Dalaga, and the whole view of Pililia Rizal. Of course, how could you just left without taking the photo.
We take a few minutes rest and then started to drizzle again we decide to descend again going back to where we came.
As we reached the store take some light snacks and rest as we have to go and visit Kay-Ibon falls we really wanted to dip into the cold water after a climb.