Friday, August 21, 2015

Hiking Adventures #12: Tarak Ridge - My spontaneous first major climb

I have climbed 11 mountains already since I started hiking. All of those were minor climbs only. Eventually, I've got an urge to try a major climb. I asked my mountain buddy, Pluto, to set a climb for the upcoming long weekend and I told him that I want a major. We've got a lot of choices then we went on choosing Tarak Ridge in Mariveles, Bataan and my first major climb begins.

Tarak Ridge
Tarak Ridge

There was no definite plan for this climb until 9pm of the night before the climb. I thought the climb will be canceled, but thank God we're going. I wanted to push this climb because I've been through a stressful week, so I packed my things hurriedly at around 10pm and finished at around 12mn. That's how spontaneous this climb was, to the fact that it was a major climb.

Going to Tarak Ridge, Mariveles Bataan

Our meeting place is at Genesis Bus Terminal in Cubao then rode on a bus going to Mariveles, Bataan. The fare is around P260 and the travel time is 3 hours. After we dropped off the bus, we're already on the Brgy. Alas-asin. It's a good thing that Tarak Ridge is very accessible as it's an one bus ride only from Manila.

Brgy. Hall of Alas-asin

We proceeded to the Barangay Hall of Brgy. Alas-asin for registration. The Brgy. Hall is located near Alas-asin Elementary School and it's not along the highway. Check it on Google Maps or just ask the locals where the Brgy. Hall is, because it's really important that you register before you start.

Initial part of the trek. Can you see how far it is from the jump-off?

In case you don't have a packed lunch, there are eateries along the highway. There are also stores where you can buy trek foods or other stuffs.

The trek will start on a concrete way. I think it will take 20 minutes before you reach the house of Aling Curding. You may have a choice to ride a tricycle going to the main jump-off, but in our case, we walked through it despite of the scorching heat of the sun.

Aling Curding's House

Tarps at Aling Curding's Station

At the house of Aling Curding, we logged our names on their registration sheet, took a bit of time to rest, and then the adventure begins. At first, it's a relax trek along the forest. The initial part of the trail is properly established though there are some fallen trees blocking the trail. The trail is mostly covered by trees, but there's a part called grassland and it's kinda hot over there.

After 3 hours of trekking, we have reached the Papaya River. We ate our packed lunch then rest. It's really amazing that Papaya River is there for the hikers to refresh in the middle of the climb. After an hour, we went back on the trail and it's the start of many assaults.

Papaya River

I really felt that I am doing a major climb when I saw the assaults and trying to kill it. We had a lot of rest stops but we were trekking as fast as we could to get a good spot on the campsite. Near the summit, you are going to trek on a trail of roots, it's a sign that you are about 20 - 30 minutes trek away from the campsite. After that, is a rocky-slippery trail, and be careful when you're dealing on that trail. After 2 hours, we have reached the ridge and view was really awesome. You can see the Corregidor Island and Cavite looming from afar. If there's a clearing, you can see the buildings in Metro Manila.

Before the climb, I really wanted to see the picture perfect view of the ridge as I saw it on the internet. So after we pitched our tents, I hurriedly climb up halfway through the summit to take a photo of it.

Ms. Rachel of Ukyat Pampanga Outdoors with Mt. Tarak's summit at the Background
The campsite
The blogger at the cliff
Our spot in the campsite
Pluto Diaz sitting near the cliff
The Ukyat Pampanga Outdoors

We cooked our dinner, a pasta I called "Pasta ala Pluto" and it my first time to eat pasta in the mountain, and it's really good. After dinner is socials time, Pluto and I was adopted by the Ukyat Outdoor Mountaineers. It's also my first time to do socials with other group and it was really fun and exciting. They were really nice to us, we shared some games and jokes throughout the socials.

Sun rising

Rise and Shine

In the morning, we reached the summit before packing up for descent. It's a 30 minutes of purely assaults going there, but it all worth it when you see the views at the summit.

View at the summit

My first major climb is really unforgettable. I will keep all the experience I had and bring it onto the next climbs.

The Blogger with the ridge at the background


Day 1
05:30      ETD Cubao
09:00      ETA Brgy.Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan. Register at Brgy.Hall
09:30      Start Trek
12:00      ETA Papaya River. Lunch
13:00      Resume Trek
15:30      ETA Campsite. Pitch tent. Rest
17:00      Prepare for dinner
19:00      Dinner
20:00      Socials
23:00      Light out.

Day 2
05:00      Wake up call. Wait for sunrise
06:30      Assault to summit
07:00      Descent from summit. Back to campsite.
07:30      Prepare for breakfast
08:00      Breakfast
09:00      Packed up.
10:00      Start Descent
12:00      ETA Papaya River. Lunch
13:00      Resume Trek
16:00      ETA Brgy.Hall. Tidy up
16:30      ETD Brgy.Alas-asin
19:30      ETA Manila


Bus: P266.00
Registration: P40

Estimated Budget: 
P800 - P1000

Tarak Ridge
Mariveles, Bataan
Difficulty: 5/9. Major climb
June 13, 2015

1 comment:

  1. Awesome info sir. Actually this mountain is our next hike this coming oct.8 :)