Hiking matters #203: Talomo-Apo Traverse Day 1 – Sicao Village to Mt. Talomo

The fabled “Megatraverse” connecting Mount Talomo and Mount Apo, two of the highest peaks in the country, is a dream for many serious trekkers, yet its demands, in terms of time, logistics, and preparation, have made this climb elusive to all but the determined. Yet, after I have finally done it, I can say that this climb is well-worth it – an epic journey into the wilderness, a climb so beautiful that as I speak, its images cling to me like the immortal moss of Talomo’s forests. My realization: This is one of my best climbs ever.

Deeno Lot, who had hosted me in Kuala Lumpur just three weeks ago, was my co-organizer for the climb, and he was joined by his hiking friends from the Orang Gunung Kuala Lumpur (OGKL), many of whom I have already climbed with in the past – both in the Philippines and in Malaysia. I find it amazing how we have been connected by technology and are able to climb as friends and colleagues, even if we belong to different countries and cultures.

Adventure guide Jhoc Nalda helped me make arrangements with the trip, having done the climb himself just a few months ago. Accompanying me from Manila was Javier Cang, a college student from Ateneo with whom I did the twin dayhikes Talamitam and Batulao just last month.
The fact that I was climbing with friends gave me confidence. We were warmly welcomed in Sicao Village, where my visits as a doctor were still remembered by the villagers. It was already late when we resumed trekking from the village, and soon we entered into the familiar forest that first enchanted me exactly a year ago, when I climbed Talomo with Iron Lady Jo Steven.
The trek up the forest was steep, and required some bending and turning, because of the intricate nature of the branches. It was, to put it nicely, truly an interaction with the forest. We arrived at Lumot Campsite, or Camp 2, at around 2030H, and immediately set up camp. It was raining, the soil was damp, and we were in for a cold night. For the next day, we planned to summit Talomo, then traverse its ridges to reach Basinan campsite, in the middle of the foreboding jungle.

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3 Comments on "Hiking matters #203: Talomo-Apo Traverse Day 1 – Sicao Village to Mt. Talomo"

12 years 2 months ago

I've also just completed the Talomo-Apo traverse, four days ago on March 10. It was surely grueling but the views from the summit of Talomo and Apo were worth the suffering. I highly recommend the services of my guides "Big Boy" Sator and Jezer Paro (both on Facebook). My third guide was Datu Sicao who lives in and is the chief of Sicao village, the jump-off point for the Talomo trek. He was the very person who opened the trail to Talomo so he knows the way intimately. You can contact Big Boy and Jezer through their mountaineering page on Facebook – Subida Bai (Mindanow Tours).

12 years 5 months ago

Hi Sir Gideon!
Can I have the itinerary for this Talomo-Apo Traverse? Thanks!

12 years 6 months ago

congrats on your successful "megatraverse"