|At the summit of Mt. Guiting-Guiting, 2058 MASL|
We resumed the trek at 1000H. A few minutes into the traditional trail, the so-called '90-degree' rock formation is the literal and metaphorical gate to the rock-filled adventure that continues unabated until one reaches Mayo's Peak. In the traditional trail, this is the finale - the gauntlet before the victory. In 2008, we aspiring G2 climbers were first inducted into the lore of the mountain, and this 90-degree obstacle seemed the scariest. But as with many things, what sounds impossible usually becomes doable when you're already there.
This forest, far from unremarkable, is described as one of the most biodiverse ones in the whole country and if I had more time I would have paused to look for nice insects, or orchids, or even birds - just as I did in Mt. Halcon last year. But I was also eager to reach DENR before nightfall, so, save for brief stops in the three 'Camps' we marched past the forest with relative ease.
The forest ends in the river, where one can have a glimpse of the jagged peaks of Guiting-Guiting, with Mayo's Peak on the right. To my knowledge these saw-toothed peaks haven't been climbed yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before some intrepid souls pursue it. It's just a thirty minute walk from the river to DENR; by 1830H we had finished the trek; we can thus clock the hike at 16 hours 30 minutes, which I think is good enough.
Six years ago, returning from my first Guiting-Guiting hike, probably aboard this same ship, I promised to myself that I would return. Now, having returned, I make the same pledge, and I look forward to another exciting and enjoyable time in the realm of the mighty Guiting-Guiting, doubtless one of the best hikes that our beautiful country has to offer.
February 3, 2014
GUITING-GUITING TRAVERSE DAYHIKE
Hiking matters #388: Olango to G2 summit
Hiking matters #389: Knife Edge to Mayo's Peak and down
Hiking matters #390: Sidetrips in Sibuyan