I've never climbed a mountain before. If this one will be successful, then this would be a great accomplishment for me. Well, it turns out that mountain climbing is not an easy task, but the experience is awesome. My first try is probably a less difficult one: Mount Babag in Cebu.
In Hiking, Preparation is ImportantI rose up early morning Saturday to prepare my stuffs. I was told that we'll be going to a far place and that I have to bring a lunch pack and drinking water. I never really knew that I'll be climbing Mount Babag until my friend knocked on my door. To my surprise, he's in rubber shoes, jogging pants and collared t-shirt. A big bag (with emergency kit inside) is on his back. In cotrast, I was dressed differently but upon realizing things, I immediately changed my outfit. I also have to review the content of my bag to suit what I may be needing for the climb. Here's what I brought:
- Lunch pack and small snack items
- Extra clothes
- Water (1 Liter)
- Swiss knife
- cellular phone
Note: These are not the official list of items that a mountain climber brings during the climb. I just want to share what I brought.
According to my friend who has been climbing mountains in the Philippines for several years already, physical preparation is necessary before climbing, especially high mountains. He advised me to use practical training such as using the stairs in getting up a building instead of using elevator. The purpose of which is to strengthen muscles in the legs. Physical soundness should be considered carefully before deciding to climb. If you have asthma, heart problems, or fear of heights, you may decide not to proceed. Physical injury while in the mountain will not only affect you, but also the entire group you are with.
Starting the Climb: Guadalupe to Barangay NapoWe started walking by foot starting from the front of Guadalupe Church. We just followed the paved road to the left (facing the church) until we reached Barangay Napo after about 40 minutes of walk.
Those who do not want to walk can ride a single motorbike locally known as habal-habal from Gaudalupe to Napo. The fare is just 10 pesos and it will only take you about 5 minutes to get there.
From Brgy. Napo to the CreekStanding in the basketball court of Napo and facing the mountain, there is a small alley in the left. We went on and cross a creek. This is not yet the creek that I mentioned in the title. After crossing it, the climb begins as we start walking an unpaved, uphill trail.
|The small alley in Barangay Napo going to Mount Babag|
|After entering the alley in Napo basketball court, then you have to cross this creek|
Ask the local residents for directionNone of us have already tried going to the peak of Mount Babag. We just relied on the information from blogs that relate experiences in climbing this mountain. Some information though were not clear and some were even wrong. In cases like that, we ask the local residents. From the Napo to the creek, there are lots of locals walking, carrying fruits, vegetables and other items. We always ask them on which direction to take.
Tip: Just ask them, "Where is the route to RCPI?".
After two hours of walk we reached the small creek. The two hours of walk were spent on light to moderately steep terrain. There are some portions of the trail though where the flat surface is just a foot in width. On your left is the mountain, and on your right is a deep and steep downward slope. A small mistake can cause serious injury. At that point, I thought it was already the challenging portion, but I was wrong. After we crossed the river, a stepper more difficult terrain is ahead of us.
|The trail to the peak of Mount Babag|
|After about two hours of walk, you will cross this creek. At this point, |
you'll have to choose between the steep-short trail or the long-less-steep trail.
We chose "the short and steep" route to Mount BabagThat small creek just spans like four or five feet across. Though small, it serves as a landmark because at that point, we'll have to choose whether take the "short and steep" trail or the "long and less steeper" one. On that day, we chose the short and steep trail to the peak of Mount Babag. How steep is it? I will relate my experiences in the next article.
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