MANILA – The four-day long weekend commenced today amid the passage of Typhoon ‘Mina’ (Nanmadol), and already, there has been much disappointment. A lot of mountaineers were stranded in Victory Liner Baguio City this morning, as news emerged of inaccessible roads all around the Cordilleras.
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Hundreds of mountaineers stranded in the Cordilleras
Three jeepneys of mountaineers stranded on the way to Mt. Pulag; at least one jeepney stranded on the way to Kibungan, and another jeepney bound for Bakun is stranded in Atok, Benguet. These incidents are due to damaged and inaccessible roads due to landslides. We are getting more reports, which effectively place the number of hikers stranded in the hundreds.
Update: Some of the stranded hikers have been able to return to Baguio City, but many are still stranded.
Mt. Pulag, Tabayoc closed at the moment
Emerita Albas, Mt. Pulag Park Superintendent, told PinoyMountaineer.com that “As of now, road from Baguio to Bokod (Mt. Pulag) is CLOSED. Gueset and Lebong sections of the road are damaged, waiting for loader to open it up. From Vice Mayor Ray Tello.” Reports from Gina and Charly indicate that some climbers at the Akiki trail were not able to proceed with their climb due to inclement weather.
Halsema hindrance: Bakun, Kibungan, Sagada access closed
We have also been told by various sources, including tourism officers, that the sections of the Halsema highroad and its branches may be damaged at the moment. Mountains / hiking destinations affected include the Bakun trio (Kabunian, Tenglawan, Labo), the Kibungan highlands, Mt. Timbac, Mt. Kalawitan, and Sagada.
Mt. Ugo: Strong winds, heavy rains
Guides from Mt. Ugo reported strong rains in Kayapa and Itogon, and Ma’am Liza was quoted as saying that it is not advisable to climb at the moment. We have also heard that some climbers decided to stop at Itogon instead of proceeding to Domolpos; effectively aborting their climb.
Boat service suspended in Anawangin, Nagsasa
Our boat services contact, Sir Dindo, in Anawangin, has told us that boat services are suspended
at the moment due to strong waves. It is also raining heavily there at the moment, and with concerns over the status of Anawangin river (and other bodies of flowing water), it is also not advisable to climb mountains there at the moment.
Mt. Tapulao is open
Local officials say that although the weather is somewhat bad, Mt. Tapulao remains open and road access is intact, as well as the trails.
Strong winds, rains, in the Sierra Madre
Although we do not know of anyone who is climbing in the Sierra Madre this long weekend, we are also receiving reports of strong winds in the Cagayan-Isabela area, where the typhoon’s path lay yesterday. It is not advisable to climb in these areas at the moment.
We will continue to give more updates as we get them from our contacts. Take note that while I wish to keep everyone informed about the situations in these places, the best source of information is still your own local contact / guide, with whom you must coordinate. This is just a guide and I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. Stay safe everyone!