Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top 10 Climbs of 2010


SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA - Once again, it is time to prepare my Top 10 list for the year! Having just completed an Akiki-Ambaguio Traverse of Mt. Pulag, I am pleased that I will have ten worthy climbs for this year, even though I was not able to climb as much this year compared to the previous years. Highlights include my foreign hiking trips in Indonesia and Korea, as well as some interesting major climbs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

1. Tirad Pass and Tirad Peak (Gregorio del Pilar, Ilocos Sur)
The achievement of being the first major group to climb and document the hitherto little-known Tirad Peak makes this climb. As the 2nd Charity Climb, this climb of over 50 climbers also included a mini-medical mission in Gregorio del Pilar.
Acknowledgment: One Degree Mountaineering Club
2. Gunung Bromo (East Java, Indonesia)
My 24th birthday climb was celebrated in one of Indonesia's most breathtaking volcanoes! A 4x4 ride took us in a vast geologic terrain and a very nice hike took us to the very crater of Bromo. Lying down on the crater rim, with the volcanic steam effusing beside me, was indeed a tantalizing experience! 84
Acknowledgment: ASEAN Adventure Team (Coby, Julian, Bianca, & S. Del)
3. Gunung Lawu Traverse (Central Java, Indonesia)
At 3265 MASL, this major climb was the mountaineering highlight of the Indonesia leg of the ASEAN Adventure. Though the trails were steep, they were well established and views of Central Java's mountains refreshed the way up: Gunung Merapi (which we also climbed) and Gunung Merbabu, among others. 87
Acknowledgment: ASEAN Adventure Team (Coby, Julian, Bianca, & S. Del)
4. 1st Malaysia-Philippines Friendship Climb (MakTrav)
When Deeno Lot of Orang Gunung Kuala Lumpur expressed interest in Makiling Traverse, PinoyMountaineer invited hikers from different clubs to climb with them! The result was a very nice - and the first ever - Friendship Climb between hikers from the Philippines and Malaysia. Next year it's our turn to visit them!
Acknowledgment: Orang Gunung Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
5. Jiri-san Three-Mountain Traverse (South Korea)
Iron Lady Jo Steven and I embarked on what she will call a "crazy" three-day traverse of mainland South Korea's highest peak! Compressing a four-day traverse to 2 1/2 days was quite a strenuous experience and for 10 minutes both my thighs were cramping and I couldn't move! Yet it was really well worth it! Early autumn was supposed to be rainy but we were blessed with great weather.
6. Halla-san Traverse (Jeju Island, South Korea)
Another adventure with the Iron Lady! The journey to the jump-off was as much a part of the thrill as the climb: we took a ferry across the Sea of Japan to the resort island of Jeju, had a great sashimi dinner (best I ever had!) and climbed Halla-san, the highest mountain in the whole of South Korea. Though it was raining very hard when we climbed, we managed to traverse and it was great!
7. Alto Peak (Ormoc, Leyte)
Last year's Top 10 included Mt. Tres Marias, but Alto Peak was unfinished business. This year, I finally got to climb Eastern Visayas' highest peak, once again under the guideship and overwhelming hospitality of the Nalda family! Once again the Iron Lady was with us. Lake Danao and the Sohoton Caves were great sidetrips.
Acknowledgment: Nalda Family / Eastern Visayas Mountaineering Club
8. Mt. Apo Kapatagan-Kidapawan Traverse (Davao)
Although fraught with various obstacles, the Mt. Apo Sembreak Climb pushed through with all 60+ participants making it to the summit of the country's highest mountain. The traverse gave us two different environments, several challenges, and a great adventure.
9. Mt. Talomo (Calinan, Davao City)
Mt. Talomo, Apo's companion mountain, has long been on my list of dream climbs and we proceeded there immediately after the Mt. Apo Sembreak Climb! The mossy forest near the summit was tantalizing, and so was the view of Mt. Apo, made more memorablke since we just at the summit a few days before!
10. Mt. Pulag Akiki-Ambaguio Traverse (Benguet)
Capping off the year was an Akiki-Ambaguio Traverse of Mt. Pulag! Compressed between Christmas and New Year, we pushed for a one-day Akiki ascent and used the rest of the trip descending via the rarely-visited Ambaguio Trail. Somewhere along the way of countless hanging bridges, we had reached another province: Vizcaya! Success!
To everyone I've climbed with this year, and to those who joined in these Top 10 Climbs, many thanks! Special mention to my most frequent companions: Iron Lady Jo Steven (6), Coby Sarreal and Julian Canero (5), and Terence Kua, Sir Martin Cortes, and Del Bahena (3).

3 comments:

Coby said...

congratulations Guids! I am honored and glad that I have joined 5 of your top ten mountains. Cheers for another great year! more adventures awaits us!

Mel said...

Great accomplishments, Sir Gid. Higher and further in 2011! :)

swamidel (del mijeno-bahena) said...

Gid, it's always a pleasure to climb with you. Looking forward for more ^_^

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