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Batangas | I've Met Good Samaritans in Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao
Mt. Batulao, Nasugbo, Batangas

Mt. Batulao is probably one of the most (if not the most) climbed mountains near Metro Manila. It's proximity here in the Metro makes it an ideal weekend camping or hiking destination especially for beginners and wannabes. One bus ride (around 2 hours), a short tricycle ride and 2-3 hours of hiking and you will be amidst the beautiful landscape of ridges and rolling slopes of Mt. Batulao.

Mt. Batulao Peak
Mt. Batulao Peak

Mt. Batulao stands at 811 meters above sea level with class 3 trail and 4/9 difficulty level. As the peak gets nearer, the climb becomes steeper with a slope of around 60-70 degrees. For seasoned and/or younger generation of mountain climbers, this mountain and its trail maybe considered a walk in the park. It's actually classified as a minor climb but for someone like me who has fear of heights and who can only challenge myself up to a certain level, I considered this as a major climb already.

Mt. Batulao

Unlike my previous climbs where I have to somehow keep pace with the rest of the hikers in the group I am with, this one seemed like a leisure walk. It was just me and my mountaineer friend who knows me well; who understands my fears and apprehensions. She never told me to hurry up or  to take some risky steps because she knows I'm climbing just to relax, to have a breath of fresh air and to enjoy and appreciate nature and the scenery once in a while.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao
cloudy peak - view from the base camp

During the early part of the hike, it actually felt like we were just strolling. We were chatting non-stop (it's been a while since we last have this long talk) while looking and appreciating the view all around us. We stopped several times and took lots of photos that it took us more than an hour before reaching the base camp. When we got there however, rain showers started to fall. Good thing there are several benches there under the canopy of the trees, it served as our protection from the rain. After around 30 minutes, the sky started to clear again and so we continued our hike.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao
the trail - view from Camp 7

We got to camp 7 after a few more minutes. I almost backed out climbing this but I'm glad I did. From here, the view is beautiful; I love the browns and greens of rolling hills. Looking at the photo above, you'd think the trail is an easy one, but don't be fooled. The slope here is around 70 degrees, almost a vertical ascent albeit a short one. It's not visible from the photo but the climb is steep, with some loose rocks and only the grass to hold on to. It's an open trail I can see below where I would fall, if ever. I'm just thankful it's a short climb, maybe around 10 - 20 meters high.

Mt. Batulao
Camp 8 - 10 (peak) ahead...

We rested a while at camp 7 before continuing our ascent. I was looking at the trail above and again it seems easy but I know it's not. I was contemplating whether to pursue or not back then. But I pushed myself up and continue, one step at a time, without looking around, not even once because I know I won't be able to continue once I do get a look of the steep ravine around me. At last, I made it to camp 8. The view from there is definitely more beautiful than that from camp 7. I got to see up close the rolling hills and ridges around the area which I can only see from afar before. Truly it's amazing looking at nature, it clears the mind, it helps us forget the worries and problems we have back in the city.

Camp 8: so glad to have reached this far

Reaching camp 8 and seeing more closely the trail going to camp 9, I knew I couldn't continue anymore. The trail looks very steep, it's on a ridge with only a few withered grass and some loose rocks (that's what it looks like from camp 8) to hold on to, nothing to break the fall if you miscalculated a step or somehow lose your balance. So I just enjoyed taking photos of the slopes and ridges in front of me.

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Mt. Batulao

Several groups of mountaineers arrived asking if we're going up or down already. When I told them we're not going to continue, they keep on encouraging me. They said they'll help me, that they'll keep an eye on me but I know I can't. I already pushed myself by getting this far at camp 8, I knew the open trail to camp 9 would make me panic so I just thank them and wish them good luck and safe ascent.

TPW admiring the daredevils...

After enjoying the scenery and staying here for quite a while, we started to make our descent. And then that's when the unexpected happened. I only made one step going down when I feel a sudden cramp on my right leg. I called for my friend and asked for help. My leg hurts so much I can't help but moan, couldn't even get up on my own. Good thing a group came (from the peak), they have with them an experienced trek guide who pulled me up again on the leveled area of camp 8.  The guy massaged my feet and told me to relax. But I couldn't! The cramp became more intense as the minutes passed by and then I started to feel the same on my other leg. The cramps stayed for a while the guide decided to go down and look for rock salt (he said it will help relieve the cramps). On his way down, I guess he told the group he passed by that someone got an emergency, one of the members of that group climbed again to check on me and see if he can be of any help. He said he is the designated medic of his team and that he's a nurse. I know it's not easy for him to climb again because he's a little bit on a heavy side and yet he did. I told him I would be okay and just need to rest a few more minutes. I thanked him profusely and so he left, after some more assurance that I would be okay. And the trek guide who descended to get some salt? Oh he's back in just a few minutes; he descended and climbed so fast he's almost out of breath when he got back to give me the salt. 'Twas so touching, really.

This climb made me realize one thing: that good samaritans really are everywhere, even up high in the mountains. Those people don't know me, I just met them along the trail but they went out of their way to help people in need, to help me. And that made me very grateful. There in Mt. Batulao, I have witnessed God's beautiful creation, nature and human. I'm thankful to have met people with a heart of gold just like I am thankful to have seen the beauty of Mt. Batulao. And I'm thankful to God because He lets me see and experience it.

To the mountaineers I met in Batulao, you may not know me and I didn't get the chance to know you or at least your name but please know that in my heart, I will forever be grateful for the concern and help you've extended to me. Thank you very very much, from the bottom of my heart. May God bless and guide and protect you wherever you are especially during your climbs (if you still are climbing mountains). God bless you peeps and once again, thank you very much! :)


~ oo00oo ~

Mt. Batulao, Nasugbo, Batangas
Date of Visit: May 10, 2014

2 comments:

  1. wonderful mountain hiking. Nice views!
    I will start again when summer comes here in Norway:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. remembered the fun memories of Batulao hike after seeing your photos :)
    keep on blogging :)

    ReplyDelete

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