“I came to Mount Batulao to test the Berghaus trail shoes but also ended up testing my character as the elevation of the climb and the scorching heat of the sun came into play. Berghaus got to endure various surfaces from soft soil, to grassy lands, to technical climbs to rocky paths with the steep terrain that had me down on all fours just to finish it and had the adrenaline junkie in me reborn with me rappelling stony and slippery paths on the descent.”
It was a packed day for me but a chance to conquer the summit of Mt. Batulao and test out the Berghaus brand was too tempting to resist. I drove my self to Sandari Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas to meet up with the rest of the trekkers. Sandari Batulao was easy to find by taking the Tagaytay – Nasugbu road and there were markers heading to the place even in the Sta. Rosa area. Club Ananda of Sandari Batulao served as the distribution area for the shoes and tech shirts and at the same time as the briefing area for the trek. I’m a mountain-climbing newbie though I already did a lot of trail and also had a road race in Mount Cabuyao before so I was listening to the pointers. The most important pointer I would remember would be was to respect the mountain.
Weapon of Choice:Berghaus Men’s Cuerra Cuesta Multi-Activity Shoe
I got the Multi-Activity Shoe for my trek which has the following features:
- Find your perfect fit with the asymmetrical lace-to-lace system, integrated with our Limpet™ holding system – offering a technical fit that is adjustable to your preferences
- A three-part midsole has been developed for further control and comfort – with a soft, compression-moulded heel crash pad and our tuned Plantar-Plate which is soft in the heel and firm in the forefoot
- A dual density sock liner features 20% recycled Otholite® PU foam, offering naturally anti-microbial, shock-attenuating comfort to allow you to go the distance
- The outer sole has been designed and developed with all-day approach in mind – with a combination of Vibram® XS grip and our own patented omni-directional, multi-sport configuration of OPTI-STUD®
I was only able to get the elevation profile from the start of the climb to the end of the descent, which is the more challenging part. The elevation starts out with minimal climbs until the one and a half kilometer before starting the bigger climb at kilometer 2 covering 50 meters of steep incline for the next half kilometer. The next 1 and a half kilometer gives you another 50 meters worth of climbs before the toughest part which is climbing the final summit covering over 100 meters in elevation in the next half kilometer. The road downward goes through the old trail which was more technical with a continuous descent of 300 meters in a kilometer before it ascends back to the original route for the finish. The total distance is about 10 kilometers and the elevation covered here is only the key ascent and descent.
The trek starts at around 9 am with the sun starting to get scorching hot. Trekking Batulao was a perfect test for the Berghaus shoes as the path gave us different surfaces from unpaved and uneven soil to grassy and slippery areas and even traversing stoney path. Traction is really important when it comes to trail / trekking shoes as you can easily slide without proper traction and from an elevation as high as a mountain that would really be risky. Fortunately, Berghaus had good traction with the varying surface which made me feel much safer in the climb. When it comes to comfort Berghaus is also had high marks as even on a 10 kilometer total distance, I never felt any discomfort on any part of my leg largely due to proper balance between cushioned and soft soles. The fit was also perfect for me and the laces was secure enough so this was never a problem for me.
The climb slowly grows on you starting from moderate climbs but as you near the summit it gets much tougher plus this is also the time that the sun’s heat shifted from hot to scorching hot. We also ended taking the much more difficult route as we went up another summit when there was a flatter road ahead. The good part was I just had to think about how to use up my energy consumption as by this point I’ve already bonded with my shoes and I am already confident that I won’t slip because of the excellent traction on any surface. I started slowing down and resting to stop as the climb got more intense and the heat was at its peak. I felt my heart rate surge because of the effort. It’s now a test of character as my Berghaus shoes passed with flying colors. I was down on the lowest point of my energy level at the toughest part of the climb. Climbing the last 200 meters felt like a mystery I had to unravel and I was down on all fours crawling myself to the last part of the climb. It felt like forever but I was finally able to reach summit and it felt really satisfying.
It was satisfying being able to reach the last summit and even if it took me all my energy. I was up there and I conquered the peak of Mt. Batulao. Respect the mountain and so I did and I also earned myself a huge pat on the back on a job well done.
The view from the top was majestic with the lush green surroundings and the view of the neighboring mountains. Seeing nature at its finest is always humbling as the beauty that comes with it has been molded through time and through divine intervention. Climbing Mt. Batulao really was character building as it can challenged me to trek the distance amidst the elevation, heat and the the part of me that tempts me to quit. It’s a clear statement that the things you work hard for will take your breath away literally and figuratively. The view from the summit was just really breathtaking.
We reached the summit before 11 am and waited for the rest while resting. After the trail, we took the old trail back which was even more technical. It’s an instant descent worth 300 meters of elevation that had us rappelling some part of the large boulder of rocks on our descent. It was a good thing that Berghaus also has highly breathable split suede while a high-abrasion climbing rubber that clings on the rocks on the descent. The descent was equally tough as you have to navigate a more technical terrain of both soil and rocks but good thing the shoe is built for all terrain condition.
After the descent we still had several climbs to come back to where we started but I guess we were powered by our tummy’s churning to go on and finish the trek and have our well deserved lunch break. That was a real workout and the tech shirt was also really comfortable throughout the whole climb as it works perfectly with movements and reactions of the body, has stretch panels over the shoulder to give unrestricted freedom of movement and an open-knit structure that creates a highly breathable, lightweight and efficient main body and underarm mesh for areas with high perspiration. It was refreshing to have a day with nature, which was also my excellent cross training for my Angkor Wat Half Marathon a few days after.
After lunch, I had to rush to the airport to catch my flight. I’m really impressed by the Berghaus brand. With the Philippines probably having the best trails, mountains and nature reserves, Berghaus is an excellent compliment and weapon of choice for those who live for adventure and always have one foot moving forward to the next adventure to conquer. I really did have a great adventure, many thanks to Berghaus, Toby’s and Quorum Group.
Please follow Berghaus PH Facebook Page.