Tarak Ridge Dayhike
January 13, 2013
Mt. Tarak Ridge
Only Ben and I were able to make it. Due to the unfriendly weather, my friend Dennis had to back out. I couldn't blame him because almost all week long, the weather in the metro was rainy. But the weather there was fine contrary to our expectations.
I arrived few minutes after one in the morning. Yes, it's no typo, the meetup time was 1 AM. Ten minutes or so later, Ben arrived at Genesis terminal in Cubao.
Minutes later, we boarded a Mariveles bound bus enroute to Brgy. Alas-Asin, which is the starting point of our trek.
The ride was more than a couple of hours so we able to have a nap.
Half past four in the morning, we arrived in the jump-off point. It was still dark but we decided to move forward until we reached Nanay Cording's place. It took us almost an hour to get there due to darkness. (We only used the flashlight from my tiny cellphone).
Dogs started to bark and it was a good sign because we already reached Nanay's place. She was already awake and made us sign in her logbook. We rested there until the sun made its prescence felt.
While waiting for the sun to come up, Ben was playing with Nanay's pet cat. Meanwhile, Still longing for sleep, I was resting in a hammock.
Then as greek mythology claims, the god Apollo while riding a chariot starts to raise the sun up to the sky. And it was the sign that we should now commence our journey.
It's been six months since I have been there and so I was having a hard time to remember the trail but fortunately the mountain was not hard to navigate.
The first part was a gradual trail ascent to the grasslands. Then the uphill-downhill trek towards the river. One interesting note was the rope we used the first time was missing. But even ropeless, it was not difficult to go down the cliff.
An hour and a half later, we rested and ate our breakfast in the Papaya River. There, we met fellow hikers who spent the night there.
Then the hard part begins. From the river up to the ridge, steep ascends are waiting. Luckily for us, we have no heavy pack so we able to do it without exerting too much physical strains to our bodies. While going up, being the pacer, I saw a body lying to the ground. At first glance, I thought it was an emergency but luckily he was just sleeping. It turned out that he was so wasted the night before that he could not able to make it to the top.
When we were about to reach the ridge, we have crossed with mountaineers who pitched camp there and o nthe way down to the river.
Alas, we made it up to the ridge where the sun was waiting for us. However, it was only a minute as mist was already covering the whole place. Damn, Tarak still owe me a clearing. (Like the first time, I only had a glimpse of the view that the mountain gloriously boast). Due to the great fog, most of us who were there did not push through in conquering the summit. One of my favorite dialogue is Zero visibility only brings danger which means I want to get tired of pursuing a lose effort.
We stayed there until 10 am, and we made it back to the river in an hour. We did not take much time there and move forward again. When we reached the grasslands it was almost noon already. Then the mistake I always remember when we took a different turn and ended in another trail. But unlike the first time when we got lost, this time we somehow made a traverse as we ended a hundred meters away from Nanay's place. So we turned back to refresh ourselves there. At around 2 in the afternoon, we had our lunch at the national highway. Then we boarded a Pasay bound bus.
And so at the end of the day even I was able to trek it 6 hours back and forth, the mountain named Tarak still owe me a panoramic view of Corregidor and Manila Bay alongside of other coastal views that can be seen at the top. I vow to return sooner rather than later.