Wednesday, March 19, 2008

‘Closed’ mountains: status bulletin

(8/7/13) Removed Bulusan, Halcon, Ragang, Maagnaw on the list! PinoyMountaineer has successfully climbed these mountains in the past 9 months. 

(1/131/12) Updates on Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Halcon: both are still closed at the moment. The rest of the mountains are still open, including Mt. Apo. Check out Hiking advisory 01/2012 for the latest updates; this page is also updated as of Jan. 31, 2012

(11/15/11): Mt. Apo reported closed in a hiking advisory, but was lifted shortly after.

(5/31/11): Updates in Bulusan, Mayon, Banahaw, Halcon, and Taal Volcano. See hiking advisory.


(7/10/09) Mt. Mayon is reinstated upon PHIVOLCS upgrade to Alert Level 2; Mt. Marami, Mt. Natib, and Mt. Malindig are removed from the list. We are reaffirming Mt. Halcon and Mt. Banahaw as closed mountains.

(04/01/09) The situation in Mt. Talinis has improved, hence it is removed from the list. Mt. Banahaw remains closed until further notice; questions regarding its status will not be entertained.

(1/07/09) Mt. Mayon and Mt. Tabayoc are removed from the list. Mt. Banahaw is reaffirmed as a closed mountain until 2010. The status of Mt. Natib as "uncertain" and the recommendation to defer Natib climbs is upheld. We are adding Mt. Talinis due to updates received indicating a security problem in 2008. Mt. Marami is also being added to monitor the situation there.

(10/28/08) Most mountain entries were revised with the latest recommendations, including guidelines in climbing Mt. Banahaw; an update on
Mt. Halcon and the lifting of any contraindications in climbing Mt. Mayon and Mt. Tabayoc.

(6/29/08) Mt. Makiling is now open for climbing on the UPLB trail. It will no longer be on the list. Although a climb has been reported in Mt. Natib, it will remain on the list until the military operation has ended.

(5/28/08) Mt. Natib has been reinstated as a 'closed mountain' following advice of the military stationed at the jumpoff.

(5/11/08)
Mt. Kanlaon and Mt. Calavite are now open for climbing and have been removed from the bulletin. Mt. Natib is still being included to monitor the situation there.

BACKGROUND
Mountains in the Philippines may be ‘closed to the public’ for environmental, safety, and security reasons. Overpollution of the trails may be an inciting factor, such as in the case of Mt. Apo (2002-2005) and Mt. Banahaw (2004-present). Safety could also be a reason. Damaged trails, weather conditions (i.e. typhoons, flashfloods), could force local authorities to ban hikers. Likewise, PHILVOLCS, the Philippine agency for monitoring volcanoes, can declare suspension of to volcanic activity. Finally, worsening security, due to insurgency and others, is another reason that can be invoked by military and civilian authorities to temporarily suspend mountain climbing.

Government bodies that order suspensions include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PHILVOLCS, local government units (LGUs), and in some cases, the Philippine military. Declaration of suspension is one thing; implementation is another. Admittedly, it is difficult for authorities to really prevent people from going up the mountains, especially since these mountains are populated by locals. For example, at least three hiking clubs climbed Mt. Banahaw in 2007. More difficult are areas that are disputed. For security reasons, PinoyMountaineer.com STRONGLY DISCOURAGES attempting any climb to a mountain that has been officially closed. Most climb-related accidents are a result of improper coordination with authorities. If the mountain is officially closed, there would be no protocols in place to mount rescue operations from the proper authorities. Climbing against the rules is thus against responsible mountaineering. In many cases, however, the 'rules' are not well-defined; and in this wide gray area, individual and personal discretion/judgment of groups and individuals must be exercised.

Take note that mountains labeled as ‘closed to the public’ make still be climbed officially under special circumstances. Reasons which may be accepted include biological and geological research, anthropologic studies, among others. The purpose of this bulletin is to highlight the fact that access to these mountains may be limited, thus visitors are encouraged to contact authorities in advance.

CLOSED AND RESTRICTED MOUNTAINS
Mountaineers and local authorities are requested to update the status of these mountains by commenting. PinoyMountaineer.com guarantees the confidentiality of the informants if requested. Please also add other mountains to the list.

1. Mt. Banahaw
Closed by the DENR and local authorities in 2004 due to overpollution. Local sources suggest other reasons may have contributed to the initiation and continuation of closure, yet the garbage issue is a very valid concern. According to the PASU, the climbing ban will expire in 2010, but they decided to extend it for two more years. As of 2012, although the extension is set to expire, there are talks of another extension, for five more years, so we are not really sure what's going to happen. See my January 2012 position paper on the closure.

Closure order includes the Dolores and Sariaya trails but does not cover Mt. Cristobal or Mt. Banahaw de Lucban. A recent moratorium also added the Tabayas trail in the ban due to treasure hunting activities.

2. Mt. Hamiguitan


Closed in 2010 by the decision of the DENR and the provincial government. Still closed due to evaluation process as a candidate World Heritage Site.

3. Mt. Ragang (Mt. Piapayungan)
Although this is supposedly the 7th highest mountain in the Philippines at 2815 MASL, hiking activity here in unheard of, due to armed conflicts and security reasons. We are including this in the bulletin with the hopes of catching wind of any info as regards this active volcano. See my January 2012 essay about Mt. Ragang.

This is a constantly updated article. Everyone is invited to contribute and challenge the information given here by both the blogger and the those who posted their comments.

67 comments:

dong said...

sir, this is a repost from MFPI website (tnx btw for putting up this bulletin):

Baco tourism council, together with some mangyans of Mt. Halcon will be holding a PANSULA ACTIVITY on March 23,2008 in Dulangan III Baco, oriental Mindoro.

This activity is in preparation for the reopening of mt. Halcon for mountaineering, since it has been closed therefor for many years now. We are inviting all of you to witness this activity. thank you!!! -BACO TOURISM COUNCIL

PANSULA is a ritual of Mangyans asking for the guidance and permission for an environment connected or nature connected activity.

gideon said...

thanks sir dong from this update. i also heard about this...i hope this ushers in a new period of halcon exploration!

Anonymous said...

Mga sir,you mean open for climbing na ang Halcon this April?

Anonymous said...

Hi Gid, great news on Halcon. I hope they finally come to their senses. Tropical mountain ecosystems can recover in one full year from the treadmarks of backpacking boots, they don't need five years for that.

The Natib case concerns the communist insurgency I think. My friends still regularly climb that mountain, but you need to get permission from the armed forces detachment there.

What is the status of Mount Ragang? It is in the Lanao del Sur-North Cotabato boundary I think, so I don't suppose the security situation is all that great. Is it open for climbing? It is the only major mountain that is not featured in the must-climb lists of Filipino mountaineers.

Cecil

Anonymous said...

Is Natib now open for climb?
And is the military camp still at the jumpoff?

I see no problem with those communist insurgents, they are humane and friendly unlike those government military personel who are thieves and act like pirates in uniform. Well, i'm speaking from experience.

Jaymz said...

from PinoyMTBiker, Re: Natib:
from Charles: @Jaymz, no more military checkpoint? The last time we went there, they stopped our jeep and ordered us all backpacker out with their rifles pointing at us. Us, especially my two kids were shocked! Assholes talaga! Buti na lang navyman kasama namin.

saku said...

so... possible po pala na mabuksan na ang halcon this year? i'll inform our group about this info.. tnx!!

gideon said...

ill update the bulletin once we hear news from halcon. as for natib, the info we're getting is conflicting. for now these mountains stay on the list...

sir cecil, i hear from mindanao hikers that ragang's being closed has something to do with security situation there. they say no one has climbed it on record. i will personally excited over any news about ragang!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on summiting G2! It's also my favorite mountain, for its technical nature, the breathtaking views, and the sheer variety of flora.

I spoke to the Baco mayor by phone yesterday but he said they would need more consultations with the Mangyan communities. He can't even say when the next meeting would be, so I am not very hopeful that we will be able to climb Halcon this year.

Cecil

gideon said...

thanks for the update sir cecil- i guess halcon will have to wait for a while. i made an inquiry about mt. ragang earlier and i was told by a minandao explorer that there;'s MILF / armed group presence daw dun kaya di talaga pwede...

Anonymous said...

sir gid, i think ragang is the name of the mountain range while piapayungan is the name of it's highest peak.

gideon said...

kulang talaga ang info about this ragang/piapayungan. others say ragang refers to the volcano whereas piapayungan refers to the mountain but they're one and the same. please send more info on this mountain kung meron!

gideon said...

kulang talaga ang info about this ragang/piapayungan. others say ragang refers to the volcano whereas piapayungan refers to the mountain but they're one and the same. please send more info on this mountain kung meron!

Anonymous said...

..sometimes yung communist insurgents ay nagpapanggap na mga sundalo sa pammamagitan ng pagsusuoot ng bda at gumagawa ng kasamaan para masira ang military. hindi lahat ng naka-bda ay afp. kya din dumadaan pa sa military detachment ang mga umaakyat ng natib ay part of SOP. kahit saan namang lugar, may mga sinusunod na SOP, mmay military man o wala.

Anonymous said...

mga sir, may balita na ba kung sure na magbubukas ang mt. halcon this april or this year ??

Anonymous said...

howdy mga sir, may balita na ba about sa reopenning ng mt. halcon this year ?? rey of proj. 8

gideon said...

sir rey, the latest word from baco is that mt. halcon is still closed at the moment.

you can regularly check the status bulletin for updates.

Anonymous said...

ty sir gid, may contact num. ka ba kung sino pwede tawagan regarding sa reopenning ng mt. halcon sabik na kc akong akyatin yon ty ng malaki mwahhh!!!! - rey

Anonymous said...

sir gid, our group climbed mt. natib last week. bukas na sya, paalam lng dun sa military outpost. more power to your site!

gideon said...

about mt. natib, reports are conflicting. another group tried to climb just last weekend but the military didn't allow the hike.

right now, our conclusion is that mt. natib is "unstable". climbers who wish to try and climb mt. natib ought to have a plan B (i.e. mt. mariveles, tarak ridge) in the event that they aren't allowed.

PinoyMountaineer.com will keep Mt. Natib in the status bulletin until this is resolved.

Anonymous said...

sirs,
piapayungan is the highest peak of the ragang range. the LGU and military will definitely not allow you to climb, especially if it is just for recreation. a few research-related climbs have been made, but only with extreme discouragement by authorities. if you really have to go, i suggest you befriend a "connected" local and hire him as your guide. be prepared to meet insurgents and pay exorbitant "tolls". this really is not a place to go, sirs.

gideon said...

thank you very much for the information on mt. piapayungan. indeed it is not advisable to climb this mountain under the circumstances which you described.

hopefully, though, in the future the situation will improve.

gideon said...

i've just received an update from negros that mt. kanlaon is now open again for climbing. once confirmed we willl modify the status of kanlaon in the bulletin.

Anonymous said...

sir gid ask lang may ibang alternative pa ba na daan or may iba pa bang pwedeng sakyan bukod sa pag rent ng jeep papuntang mt amuyao pag galing ng ifugao ??? and pati na rin damge kung kano? ty ng malaki - rey

Anonymous said...

Ano po ang latest update on Mount Natib? Is it safe from the "nice people around"

gideon said...

@re. mt amuyao: i think there is a 8am daily trip from banaue, ifugao to barlig. you can take this option instead of renting. i dunno how much this costs though, pero im sure mas mura 'to

@re. mt. natib: i've heard of groups who made it to natib in the recent weeks. it is safe to assume that mt. natib is open right now but prepare a plan B just in case.

mt. calavite in occ. mindoro is also now open for climbing and an IT for it will be posted today.

Anonymous said...

thanks sir gid alis kc kmi this 16 thank you ng malaki - rey

Anonymous said...

How about MT. MAYON? Is it still closed?

gideon said...

re. Mt. Mayon: i actually scheduled a climb up mayon last month. but according to the tourism officer of albay, 'wag daw muna' because of bad weather / flooding. ill let you know if i get more news. i'm putting it up also in the bulletin.

Anonymous said...

the problem here is there is no management,no program, local gov't and DENR either let everybody in the mountain with no regulation as long as it brings tourism MoneY, or they close it all for too long.
i think closing is extreme, just let the mountain heal itself but once opened still very vulnerable.
instead they should invite us to come and help revive mountains, draw up programs, establish trails, stabilze trails by constructing durable steps/stairs to prevent erosion.
and no,i dont mean steel or concrete(destroys the view)just the natural materials woods/stones, they're less invasive.

Anonymous said...

sir gid comment lang ho last may 18 galing kmi ng mt. tapulao and sa mga gustong umakyat don may biyahe ang victory liner from manila to sta cruz dadaanan ho ang dampay sa brgy. palaue it will cost only 325 pesos from mla to dampay from there pwede na sila sumakay ng tricyle going to jump off 40 pesos per head. - rey

gideon said...

i agree that closing mountains is extreme. regulation is key. a successful climbing setup like that of mt. ugo (kudos to ma'am liza) will have little impact on the mountain but will have a great impact on the people in terms of livelihood and ecotourism.

sir rey, thanks for this update. this transpo mode is a much better option.

Anonymous said...

Sir akyat sana kami sa Mt. Maculot pero may sabi ng iba kung Frnd closed daw confirm ko lang po kung closed talaga at ano dahilan? Salamat - Albert (KAMANDAG)

gideon said...

sir albert, i haven't heard of maculot being closed. what i know is that the locals periodically 'close' the traverse trail (grotto-rockies or vv) because it gets slippery when its raining. so please clarify first if the 'closure', if confirmed, refers to this trail or the whole mountain. have a nice climb!

gracey said...

hi ..i'd like to confirm.i heard an info the MT. Apo will be closed starting July 01 of this year...and will be opened after 2 years. how true is this? we are planning to climb Mt. Apo sometime in October.
More power to pinoymountaineers!!

gideon said...

june 1 updates: mt. natib is closed as of the latest info.

maculot is open and there is no news of mt. apo being scheduled for closure. the cell number at kidapawan tourism is 09205113524 and interested parties may want to check it first (contact couresy of ma'am christine) please update us if you have news.

for now the bulletin stays unchanged and hopefully we'll have positive updates in the future.

Anonymous said...

sir gid any news sa mt halcon??? wala pa bang balita kung kaylan ang bukas ng mt. halcon?

Anonymous said...

good pm sir gid,di ko lang maintindihan yong itenerary ng amuyao if ever traverse kmi could you explain it to me balak kc namin di kmi rent ng jeep going to jump off is there any option??? thank you very much

gideon said...

@anonymous: kindly introduce yourself when making inquiries so i know who i am talking to.

halcon is still closed, unfortunately. i periodically keep in touch with the baco tourism office and so far no council with the tribal leaders is being scheduled.

as for amuyao, we have a mt. amuyao page where contacts for transportation in the banaue-mt. province area are available. i hope you've had / you'll have a nice amuyao traverse!

Anonymous said...

im sorry sir gid, im rey anyway di rin kmi natuloy dahil sa panahon nagtarak ridge na alng kmi and sa kasamaang palad di kmi nakarating ng peak due of typhoon. maybe nxt time kmi matuloy thank you ng malaki sir gid

gideon said...

@rey: i see. amuyao trav is really hard to do during this season, but anyway good luck in your future climbs!

Anonymous said...

thanks sir gid, may itenerary ka na ba ng mt tapulao via tarlac trail? and i heard si gid magbubukas na ang halcon nxt year sabi saakin ng mga taga nakudnubak mount. club i hope matuloy na ty sir gid - rey

gideon said...

yes, the tarlac trail is now online in pinoymountaineer courtesy of tarlac mountaineering club.

we are looking forward to the reopening of mt. halcon. ill post updates if i get info, kindly update us also if you get leads. thanks!

Anonymous said...

sana dun sa mga mountaineers/backpakers, since na may mga icp kyo spare nyo na muna ang maculot find some alternative na hndi wasak n wasak.. tsaka yun sa mga nagpapanggap n mountaineer sana BASA lng ng knting LNT(leave no trace principle marami sa net, educate nyo sarili nyo para pag akyat nyo hndi kyo pnagtatawanan or wlang nagagalit sa inyo especially dun sa mga environmentalist n hardcore o sa mga nakakaintindi..... salamat po knting payo lng all of us will benefits for our action. Plant tree SAVE IPO DAM

Anonymous said...

good pm sir gid, nalilito lang ako sa trail ng sto. tomas papuntang mt makiling, is it possible na umakyat ngayong tag ulan sa mt makiling via sto. tomas trail?? may complete it ka na ba don? thank you ng malaki sir gid. malaking tulong tong site sa mga nawawalang climber heehehe.. more power to you guys- rey

Anonymous said...

if nt posible ang sto. tomas trail sir gid kindly help us kung ano ang magandang daan na medyo mahirap ^^ na daanan although mga veterans na rin sa akyatan ang mga kasama ko ty sir gid -- rey

gideon said...

hi rey, sorry for the late reply. mt. makiling traverse is very possible during rainy season although brace yourself for a lot of limatik coming your way!

the itinerary with two different variants are described in the mt. makiling via sto tomas page in pinoymountaineer. a lot of climbers did it early this year so we have a lot of fresh infos.

Anonymous said...

thank you ng malaki sir gid malaking tulong saamin ang info about sa mt. makiling will try to climb this mt. nxt week and congrats nga pala for winning the best blog more power sir gid - rey

Anonymous said...

Gud day po sa iyo Sir Gid... I am a grade school teacher here in Manila. Although I am not an epert in mountaineering, I have experienced climbing Mt. Banahaw several times before, during Holy Week when it was still open sa public. Actually I fell in love with the mystic mountain the first time I've been there, way, way back when I was still an elementary student. Ang last na punta ko po dun, April of 2006 and as expected some trails are still closed. Balita ko po this March 2009 open na ulit ang Mt. Banahaw? Is it true? Gusto ko lang ulit maramdaman ang holiness ng place, which is the best way for me to meditate and to pray. I feel at peace with myself and I feel much closer to God when I spend my holy week there. Thank you at sana kung open na ulit sa public, matuto na ang lahat ng mga climbers maging responsible at magdasal na lang doon instead of disturbing the holiness of the place. More power po sa iyo! - cY

Anonymous said...

good day sir gid, i heard wala pa talagang pag asa mabuksan ang halcon this year, question sir gid tuloy ba ang annual climb this year sa halcon? ty - rey

gideon said...

nope, i spoke with the municipal officials and there will be no annual climb as long as the climbing ban is in effect.

but take note, these same officials announced a possible reopening early last year; and they gave special permission to climb to certain groups.

so we cannot rule out the possibility of a halcon reopening sooner than expected.

i also hear of some people who have planned - or are planning to do some covert climbs but of course we do not recommend such moves.

maddog said...

thanks sir gid maybe ililipat na namin ang isip namin sa g2 yoko ng umasa na maaakyat ko ang halcon this year maybe ayaw pa talaga akong paakyatin diyan. thank you very much sir gid

gideon said...

g2 is a very thrilling climb and is really highly recommended, even without its popularity. good luck!

Anonymous said...

hi,

Is mayon still under Alert Level 1?

Anonymous said...

hi im not good in math but i really think 2004 plus 5 years ban equals 2009 opening of banahaw, please give us sensible reason for continued closing of mountains more than poor math. many people care about banahaw because they've experience the place, the beauty, the mystery, the breath of fragrant cold fresh air. if they put the ban for too long people will forget and not care about them, then it will be pristine again until some logger,miner[legal or illegal does'nt make any difference]starts destroying the place and no one will care about the forgotten mountain -local

gideon said...

@local: akala ko rin until 2009 lang. but according to the DENR PASU, until 2010 daw.

Proudpinoy said...

Isinara ang mga bundok na nabanggit dahil sa mga balidong rason na dapat ay sinasang-ayunan natin. Sa isang libong umaakyat ng Bundok Banahaw, ilan lang ba duon ang tunay at responsableng mountaineer? Limampu o isandaan? Anong ginagawa nung siyam na raang tao matapos makita ang kagandahan ng Banahaw? Kung ang pagsasara ng isang bundok ay sobra, ano ang inyong suhestyon?

martin said...

Overpolution of trails:

Poor Filipinos including indigenous people nowadays because of little employment opportunities are charcoaling, snare trapping, logging the mountains and in the end burning down the mountian for land conversion and the DENR and LGUs have nothing else to do than complaining about hikers poluting the trails,who bring although modest in scale some business to that communities.

The authorities must have totally lost their sense for proportion.

Obviously the trail is negligible in comparison to the total forest area even if you put Disney Land on the trail.

I better stop here to avoid high blood.

Martin

rushrabbit said...

Greetings! I just found your blog and I think posting all the information you have here is a great service to outdoor enthusiasts. I also want to comment about the closure of many of our mountains. Although I agree with the need to protect and conserve the areas around the hiking trails, It is unfortunate that the task of deciding the fate of public access to public land is left to a few who have very little or no experience about trail conservation. The local officials at these places have no scientific basis for their decisions apart from what a few people advise them to do, trail conservation is not a simple matter of just shutting down the trail and waiting for the weeds to grow back. Instead of shutting down trails like it was "private property" it would have served the purpose better if a limited (and strict) access program was instituted instead of total closure coupled with an active and interactive educational program targeting trail users and local area residents. In this way, trail users themselves take active participation in changing the ideas and practices that damaged the mountains in the first place (and there is a chance that the same damaging practices can be prevented from happening again). Lastly, since its already too late to overturn the grossly unconsidered band-aid solution that is already in place, I think it is important that the individuals and groups who instituted this closure be responsible enough to publish a complete and detailed report (at least on a quarterly basis) of what has been done, why, and what has happened since to help justify the closures. It would also be a good idea to include in that report a complete transect report of the trails in order to completely show which areas of terrain and plant life have been affected and have been rebuilt since the closures (where and which areas have refuse/ litter been collected from, what amount, and where was it taken to?). Making this report public is good practice as it will demonstrate accountability on the part of the implementing organizations.

Again, I just want to point out that letting the grass grow in these areas is not tantamount to recovery or conservation, acting for the sake of action in these areas does not actually amount to much. These mountains have been a source of recreation for responsible trail users for a long time, shutting them down because of a failure on the part of the local and environmental officials to foresee a boom in recreational activity in the area (and a failure to institute preemptive control and education measures to protect these trails) is a simple case of bad management and a lack of initiative.

Myles

Anonymous said...

i am glad many agree that simply closing mountains is not a good solution. responsible climbers,hardcore or recreational, could talk and come up with more sensible programs that will allow for continuous use and at the same time protection of mountain environments. also there already are effective regulation programs in use in mt.pulag, and mt.ugu,and to some level in makiling.
i hope we'll have advisory group and programs that could help local governments, regional denr ofcs,in managing their natural resources.
and then they won't have to close mountains, a lazy excuse of protecting nature.

trekker_dust said...

Sir/Ma'am,

Gusto kong maging isang member sa grupo niyo paano sumali?



Trekker :contact ko: 09155195732 or my email: trekker_dust@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

good day sir and mam. paano po yun? ngayong darating na holy week sarado pa rin sya? nakakalungkot naman.tagal ko ng gustong makaakyat dito eh.

Anonymous said...

sorry went away to the barren flatness of the desert. wala pa yata such group i'm just hoping there will be.mswerte kyo maenjoy nyo pa yan tropics, since kayo ang ndyan pa you could start an advisory group marami na concerned group cguro consolidate nlng effort para me pwersa at influence. just bring your true heart that care -local

Anonymous said...

Sir...open...for...climbing po...ba...ang mt.,,nativ?

tnx...sa...info...

sinag...mountaineer...

pls...reply...to...my...e,mail

kire_skate15@yaoo.com

morepower!!!

Anonymous said...

open napo ba ang mt. banahaw?

jonfer said...

Greetings!

Sir Gideon, any update po for the opening of Mt Banahaw?


Thanks,

Irvin Parnecio said...

elow mga sir!.... pede po malaman latest update sa MT. Natib, kung open for climb na po this year?

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