Wednesday, June 20, 2012

EMPE LIGHT's First Major Climb in Mt. Tarak Ridge

It was a perfect Sunday for any Sports Junkie like me. The Belmont Stakes in the early morning. Then Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Just after that Manny Pacquiao will fight Timothy Bradley. In the evening, Ginebra will be against Petron. The day will be cap by the French Open Final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

I'll have Another, who won the first two Triple Crown legs, failed to participate in the Belmont so there will be no Triple Crown winner for this year. The Heat won against the Celtics. Bradley won over Pacquiao via a controversial split decision. Mark Caguioa scored seven fourth period points and finished with 19 points in a Ginebra win over Petron. Then a rain delay halted a historical final between Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal won an unprecedented seventh Roland Garros Title the following day.

All of these sporting events happened without me watching anyone of them. Not even one. It was a sad fact I have to deal with. Wait. Where was I when all of this have transpired. Ah, yes, I was with my so-called friends\ mountaineers who forced me to climb Mt. Tarak in Mariveles on that special day.

Me and the guys, who I still blame why Ninong Manny lose to Tim Bradley

 The day started as The Belmont went under way. We all met at the Five Star terminal in Cubao. Like the race, our travel to Bataan took awhile. it was past 9 am when we arrive in the jump-off point in Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan. We went first ti the barangay hall just across the highway to register and pay the 40.00 fee. One of the officials asked me why we were climbing on the day of a Manny Pacquiao fight. So I answered them that I also asking that question to myself. They even offered me to stay and watch the fight with them.

Start of our epic journey
 The climb was in part of the Freedom Climb 2012. Thus, we had an outreach activity of providing school supplies for the kids situated in the mountain. Right before the trek began, we distributed in Nanay Cording's place. The old couple who claimed they own Tarak was hospitable to us so we return the same with them.

Group shot with the group shirt

 The first part of the trek was gradual indeed like the blogs that i have read. It was an uphill-downhill then uphill-downhill  again towards the river. There was a rock climbing part that one has to use a rope to cross the other side of the trail.

Ala Tom Cruise daw
 The first part of the trek was gradual indeed like the blogs that i have read. It was an uphill-downhill then uphill-downhill  again towards the river. There was a rock climbing part that one has to use a rope to cross the other side of the trail.

Thumbs up! Hindi halata sa edad. Halimaw daw ang pacing ng pacer namin
 Just we are about to reach the river, I received messages about the boxing match. As I have read it, frustrations and depression followed suit. I just wanted the trek to continue so that i could forgot what have had transpired. I ultimately ran towards  the river. As i reached the papaya river, I was like Hermes and brought the news to the other mountaineers resting in the river.

We had our lunch in the river. It holds the only water source of the mountain. As a result, we refilled our bottles in the river. after taking our lunch, we rested for an hour. Then we push on to the mountain. That was I thought. Again, like last year, I got lost. I was confused with the trail signs so I unintentionally get ourselves lost. However, when I assured myself that we are not in the right track I admitted it to my members and back trailed where we started.

Creating a new trail that leads to nowhere
 Fortunately, we met two hikers from Bataan who directed us the right way. As many hikers who conquered Tarak had claimed, the assault to the ridge is grueling if not punishing. It was a tough of couple of hours for us. Probably due to the load we carried. It rained but the group led by Noli already reached the campsite and my group was on the grassland already when it poured.

Parang sa bahay lang
 The dinner was prepared of course by our Idol ko sa Kabundukan, Chef Noli Hequibal. Due to water shortage, the rice was not cooked properly but it was still edible. The evening ended with the ever reliable emperador light brandy. As the Nadal-Djokovic affair was stopped, Kuya Bogs, Noli and I called it a night.

 It was foggy when we woke up. So I had an idea to test the guys. I kept on claiming that there is no view at the top so we should not go to the top. However, they still insisted to pursue the summit so I gave up and let them have their wish. It was a self-gratifying moment for me to see their eagerness to conquer the mountain minus the view. Thus, when they reached the summit, I handshake them and congrats to a job well done for their first major climb.

 I gave an irreplaceable sacrifice but I was happy that we had our first major climb as a success. Given the fact that we have a first timer conquering Tarak was an icing on the cake. Although I had no clearing that would mean that I have to return here but all in all it was a very meaningful and fulfilling climb in Mt. Tarak.  Noli, Oliver, Mae, Randy, Iris, Lee, Kuya Tootz, our guest mountaineers, Sir Dada and Sir Joroz.

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