Mt. Dulang-Dulang (2,938+)

MT. DULANG-DULANG
Lantapan, Bukidnon
Major jump-off: Sitio Bol-ogan, Brgy. Songco, Lantapan
LLA: 8.09798°N 124.9605°E 2938 MASL (#2)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days / 10 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 2-4
Specs (Traverse): Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail class 2-4 with roped segments

BACKGROUND
The second-highest mountain in the Philippines also possesses one of the most impressive forests in the country. Mt. Dulang-Dulang, chief among the high mountains the Kitanglad mountain range, possesses a mystical aura that visitors compare to the elven forests of Rivendell in “Lord of the Rings”. Indeed, the long trek to the peak boasts of a variety of landscapes, starting from the wide trails with pine trees and grassland and progressing into denser and denser jungles. The jungle will reach a point that virtually everything is covered with moss and clouds. Trees are like bonsai, with spiraling, convoluted branches and ‘beards’ of lichen and white moss that give an ‘ancient’ feel to the forest. The temperature goes down even in daytime, and when you emerge from this jungle to the clearing at the peak, you can behold the whole of the Kitanglad range and even catch a glimpse of majestic Mt. Apo.

Dulang-Dulang, like Pulag and Apo, is sacred to the locals. The Talaandig tribe of Lantapan have been accorded rights to the mountains as their “ancestral domains”. Hence it is a must to secure their blessing to climb Mt. Dulang-Dulang. It is said that they limit the climbers to groups of 20, although this demand is somewhat negotiable. Nevertheless, a ritual sacrifice of chickens is done before every climb by the datu, and climbers perform the ritual of hanging bands of white cloth at the summit, as respect to the native culture. These traditions add to the mysticism of Mt. Dulang-Dulang.

Usually, Manila-based climbers go with Mindanao-based groups when climbing Mt. Dulang-Dulang; it is logistically difficult to go independent without local knowledge or contacts. Climbers fly to CDO, then take the bus to Malaybalay, Bukidnon. From there, jeepneys are arranged to go to Lantapan. The last leg of the drive is comprised of rough roads which become very slippery when wet. You will then spend the night at the jump-off. Add two days to the climb proper, and the whole trip becomes a total of 3 days. Although very difficult, experienced climbers attempt the “Mt. Dulang-Dulang – Mt. Kitanglad Traverse”, which takes you deeper into the heart of the Kitanglad mountain range to reach the second highest peak in the range, Mt. Kitanglad (4th highest in the Philippines). It is considered by some one of the top 5 most challenging climbs in the country.

The pristine and mystical environment of Mt. Dulang-Dulang makes it worthy to stand among Mt. Apo and Mt. Pulag as one of the three highest mouintains in the Philippines.

ITINERARY
REGULAR CLIMB
Day 1
1100 From CDO’s Agora terminal, take bus to Malaybalay
1500 ETA Malaybalay market, meet with the group
1530 Take jeep to Lantapan
1730 ETA Lantapan. Courtesy call with datu
1800 Prepare for next day’s climb, dinner
1900 Attend ritual sacrifice by the Talaandig tribesfolk
2100 Lights out

Day 2
0530 Start trek
1130 Lunch at water source (near river)
1600 ETA Plaza
1630 ETA Manny’s Garden (campsite near summit). Set up camp
1700 Visit the summit (just 5 minutes away)

Day 3
0545 Wake up to watch the sunrise at the summit. Spot Mt. Apo
0630 Breakfast
0800 Break camp
0830 Start descent
1200 Back at water source
1600 Back at jump-off point; take jeepney back to Malaybalay
1730 Take jeep or bus back to CDO

D2-KITANGLAD TRAVERSE (DOUBLE MAJOR CLIMB)
Day 1
1100 From CDO’s Agora terminal, take bus to Malaybalay
1500 ETA Malaybalay market, meet with the group
1530 Take jeep to Lantapan
1730 ETA Sitio Impagsug-ong, Sumilao. Courtesy call with datu
1800 Prepare for next day’s climb, dinner
1900 Attend ritual sacrifice by the Talaandig tribesfolk
2100 Lights out

Day 2
0530 Start trek
1130 Lunch at water source (near river)
1600 ETA Plaza
1630 ETA Manny’s Garden (campsite near summit). Set up camp
1700 Visit the summit (just 5 minutes away)

Day 3
0600 Breakfast
0630 Break camp
0700 Return to peak; hang the white cloth on the trees
0730 Start of traverse. Brace for very steep descent!
1200 Lunch along the trail, near crash site
1300 Continue trekking
1500 Start of steep ascent in cogon grasses; ropes maybe required
1700 ETA Mt. Kitanglad summit. Set up camp, or retire in bunkbeds
1800 Dinner, socials

Day 4
0600 Mountain-viewing session: Mt. Ragang, Mt. Balatucan, D2, etc.
0700 Breakfast, break camp
0800 Start descent via Intavas trail. Muddy and steep.
1100 Reach “Aerial roots”: roots suspended in air
1300 ETA rough road
1400 ETA jump-off point at Sitio Intavas.
1500 Take jeepney back to Malaybalay or CDO
1800 ETA CDO

SPECIAL CONCERNS
Dulang-Dulang is a difficult climb. Have an experienced guide with you if you will climb this mountain. The temperature can approach those of Mt. Pulag, so bring adequate clothing (jackets, gloves, thermal clothing). Always have your camera ready if you want to document the animals of Mt. Dulang-Dulang. The trails are generally straightforward. Remember to show respect to the Talaandig tribesfolk. Knowledge of Visayan will come in handy as well, although Tagalog is generally understood throughout Mindanao (thanks to TV). Guide and porterage fees, as well as registration/park fees do exist, and they are comparable with (if not cheaper than) prices in Luzon.

TRIVIA
The ‘Manny’s Garden’ mentioned in this guide is the mystical forest right before the summit area of D2. It is named after the late Manny Serina, the ‘great pillar’ of mountaineering in Mindanao. He was among the pioneers who explored (and introduced) D2 as a climbing destination.

The Kitanglad range is home to a variety of fauna and flora. There is a bird, called ‘tusing’ that is said to be endangered and is endemic to the mountain range (the blogger managed to capture one on camera). Squirrels also live in the highest alitutudes (the blogger wasn’t able to capture them on camera). the Philippine serpent eagle and Philippine sparrow hawk find also refuge in the large uninhabited section of the mountain range. Believe it or not, there are 58 mammal species in the area – including bats, squirrels, monkeys, wild boars, flying lemurs, shrews, and deer! Sightings of the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) have been reported in the Kitanglad mountain range.

Given this richness of biodiversity, caution must be in the mountaineers’ mind whenever he/she climbs Mt. Dulang-Dulang. Most of the species mentioned are endangered. We are merely vistors to their habitat, and we must be responsible enough to minimize our environmental impact.

On a lighter note: As Guiting-Guiting is dubbed ‘G2’, Dulang-Dulang is now coined as ‘D2’. It can be safely declared that D2 is the second highest mountain in the country. It is 16 meters higher than Mt. Pulag (2,922 MASL). Locals in D2 quip that mountaineers should bring one kilo of land each so that it will eventually overcome Mt. Apo as the highest of them all.

WEATHER OUTLOOK: LANTAPAN, BUKIDNON

The author would like to thank the members of CARE-Iligan for accommodating him in their Mt. Dulang-Dulang-Kitanglad Traverse climb last May 2007.

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106 Comments on "Mt. Dulang-Dulang (2,938+)"


Member
9 months 23 days ago

anyone planning for a climb on 2016? perhaps first quarter? please let me know via usherfanatic@gmail.com Thanks

Guest
1 year 2 months ago

hi sir Aris Consuerga..i am also from davao..have you climbed D2k last june?can you share your experience and contacts in securing your permit and guide. we are planning to climb before this year ends.thanks for your help. :)

Guest
1 year 4 months ago

Great Post Sir,

We have plans to climb D2-K this June…I am asking for some advice on what are the things we need to do first..and anyone who can suggest a contact person familiar with the D2-K traverse. I am from Davao City by the way.

Aris.

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 1 month ago

Hi! Meron po bang nagpa-planong umakyat ng D2K towards the end of 2014, preferably during the period from Dec. 26 – 31? Pwede po bang sumama? I'm a "soloista" from Quezon City (climbed Apo and Kanlaon solo–well, with a guide, of course). Many thanks.

V (09293312005)

Guest
2 years 4 months ago

Just came from D2K Traverse last Oct 2013 :) Such a nice experience. Mind blowing. One moment its easy and then there's 90 degrees! You need to be not only physically but also mentally prepared.

Congrats Sari-sari Mountaineers for the successful traverse! :)