May 13, 2016

My Brother's First Climb & The End of My Trauma

Since the day I witnessed Ely Fell, I  have not invited a first timer to climb with me again. Hence I was hesitant to invite my brother and sister to a climb (especially my sister!) I was paranoid with the what ifs.  What if they slip and get hurt? What if they get heat stroke? What if they collapse? What if they fall off a cliff! I dreaded all the possibilities/ impossibilities. Even a slight injury would be tough to explain to my mother or my relatives.

But I really want them to experience climbing - because for me climbing has been humbling and really fulfilling. I want people to feel that, and then hopefully love and care for nature more.

I started with my brother since he is relatively more physically fit and active. And my relatives would not nag me soooo much if he gets just a little bit hurt :)

Pre Climb

As there's no more time to make my brother attend a formal BMC, I just briefed him on LNT and other basic mountaineering principles. I gave him the materials I had during my first climb with the Loyola Mountaineers and the notes I had during my BMC in Tanay Adventure Camp. I was glad that he paid full attention. Afterwards I gave him all the articles and write ups about Maynoba Circuit. I told him to read more accounts online and see what he thinks.

We're ready!

Climb Proper (Mt. Cayabu & Mt Maynoba & Its 8 Waterfalls)

View from Mt. Maynoba descent

We warmed up, asked the locals about the details of the climb, and had the pacing and resting sorted out. The trek was supposedly easy - gradual ascent only, but the heat was making it challenging. I brought 2L of ice, but just before lunch the ice was already warm water. Crazy hot as there were no clouds nor air!!! There was even a wild fire on the other side of the mountain :(

We started with Cayabu - there were covered areas at the start, but it becomes an open field as you go nearer to the peak of Mt. Maynoba. From Maynoba, the trail would be full of tall dry grasses- itchy so better wear pants or arm sleeves - I got several cuts on my arms here. The air was so thin too as it cannot get through the bush. I was constantly thinking of passing out due to the heat, humidity, and lack of fluids.

The descent was much easier, as it gets shaded going down. And the promise of the refreshing waterfalls can be very encouraging!

There were 8 waterfalls in total, but we only took a dip in the Maynoba waterfalls, which was the deepest of the eight. We had to swim across the lake to move forward! And it was difficult for us to transport our things without it getting wet. Good thing our guide was very helpful!

1st Falls. Natatagong Paraiso Waterfalls

Post Climb

Overall, the climb was easy, but the heat - not. Make sure to bring fluids/iced water and heat protection. It can also help if you wear trek pants, sleeves, and socks to protect your skin from scratches.

Oh, my brother? He found it easy so he's a bit smug about the experience - nakakainis. Nonetheless I was just happy to climb again, and thankful that nothing bad happened. Ely's fall traumatized me to invite first-timers to climb with me ever since. Glad to have ended that mentality and move on :)

Getting There & Expenses

Ride a jeep or fx from Gateway Cubao to Cogeo (P35.) Then ride a jeep from Cogeo Market to Batangasan. Then ride a tricycle from Batangasan to the jumpoff (P150/ Max of 4 pax per tricyle.) Guide for the group (1:5) normally costs P500 for dayhike. Registration is  P20 per head.

Trivia (Citation Needed)

Cayabu means Kay Abu (Abu's). Abu was the guy who discovered Mt Cayabu.
Maynoba is the local term for the part of the river which separates (?)

#HeyClimbWithMe. You just might find it beautiful up there. And if you do not, at least you will look forward to going back.

Colors of the wind (Update as of June 2017)

My friends and I arrived at Cogeo Market around 3 in the morning. There weren't any jeepneys going to the Batangasan yet, so we hailed a tricycle to take our group there.

The breeze was so cold during the hour-long drive to the jump off, huhu I didn't have any scarf or jacket - I forgot that motorcycle / tricycle ride at night and in the morning usually is cold! Good thing, when we arrived, the temperature was already at normal level.

The climb felt weird for me, because it was dark. I have terrible eyesight so I find it hard to see the trail (or anything actually.) I remember the beauty of Maynoba from my previous climb here, but today, it felt like a new mountain to me.

I could hear the insects sneaking about. I could feel the fog and the moist leaves of the trees and the plants around me. I could hardly see anything, but the mountain was so alive. Perhaps this is the "colors of the wind" - not really something you see or feel alone, but you live it, and appreciate it, and hopefully protect it too.

See you around!