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#TaleOfTheTrail Mount Alapaap (San Andres, Tanay, Rizal)

Posted by on 22. May 2018

In awe of the Sea of Clouds

Mount Alapaap is a short 5 kilometer circuit but it does give you several climbs, steep drops and a really awesome view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. #TaleOfTheTrail


Funny how I’ve been keeping this streak of being on the trails on weekend.  Suddenly, there’s nothing scheduled for the weekend.  While I’m good to go for just an ordinary weekend at the city, I got an invite from Inja since Wanderbee Travel and Tours had a scheduled trip to Mount Alapaap.  Oh wait, Mount Alapaap also happens to be one of the race where I completely struggled on the climbs and that suicidal descent.  You can read more about it here:

That was one painful race but since I wanted my weekend dose of dirt, I’m good to go.  At the last minute, I joined Inja’s group with a meetup at 3 am in Quezon Ave and a hike that starts before 5 am. It also meant that I had to do the climb with barely any decent sleep.  The start area is in San Andres, Tanay, Rizal, which is several kilometers near the highway.

Trekking Mount Alapaap

The race here was just last February so the route, elevation is still fresh.  It starts with 1 km climb followed by a really steep rappel descent, another long climb to the second peak before heading down wards to complete the loop.   We started at 4:45 am so we had to use our headlamps because it was still dark.  It started with climbs unlimited, which is not my favorite way to start a hike.  My legs usually struggle on the climbs when it doesn’t feel warmed up yet.  I was in the middle part and a few meters away from the fast hikers.  I really wanted to take it easy since it’s a climb and I have high regards for the route based on the previous time I was here.

Halfway into the climb, I tried to hike faster and was able to catch the first group of Van, Bon and Limwell.  Going up, there was some areas overlooking the mountains with sea of clouds.  After several pit stops, we reached the first summit where we waited for the rest of the group.

I knew the next part was a long descent over a deep ravine in between the first and second summit.  How I wish they just made a zipline or hanging bridge across the two summits.  The descent was a really steep one and we had to use ropes to keep our balance.  We had a short break before heading down.

It was a long way down with ropes to help us over the steepness.  I’m glad that I had good traction in my shoes though there was a part where I slipped because of the loose soil.  It was a technical drop, which required more caution and courage.  It also felt endless as one steep descent led to another until we finally reached the lowest part, which is a bamboo infested forest.

The bamboo infested forest was another set of climbs leading to the next summit.  It was shorter than the previous climb but it was a lot steeper.  There were also railings on some parts, which can aid you on the climb.  We took the climb on several efforts plus the view was awesome for some photo-ops.  The good part about this stretch was that it was covered.

The climbs led us to the open trails where you can already see the summit.  We took a break at the store and had fresh buko.  This was also a nice vantage points for some photos with the views of the Sierra Madre Mountain range prominent already.

From the store, it was just about 200 to 300 meters of pure climbs heading to the area near Mag-Asawang Bato.  It was a short but tiring climb because of the elevation.  The area led to two rocky boulders, which was also a great spot for appreciating the mountains.

We took our turns taking photos over this large rock structure with the overlooking view of the mountains.  We had to wait for our turn going to the highest peak, which is Mag-Asawang Bato because the first group was still there.

After gazillion years of waiting, we finally had a chance to go to the highest point.  It was a short technical climb, where you have to hang on the boulders of rocks to go up.  Mag-asawang bato had the best view because of its altitude.

We took our turns at the top of the the rock, enjoying the splendid view.  You really just get awed whenever you see nature at this vantage point.  No wonder the previous group took forever leaving this spot. Ok, I’m being sarcastic there.

We went in batches at the top though went down too so others can have their chance.  The lower part of the rock was also a nice scenery.

We then made our way back to the rest of the circuit, which had a lot of scenic ridges as we descended down the trail.  It was getting hot already so we tried to speed up heading back to the bottom of the mountain.

Bathing in a Kawa

After the climb, we were able to bath in a Kawa at the nearby Mysawa area.  I was scared at first but after seeing the rest, I braved the experience.  It felt really good with the warm waters.  The winds made me want to stay in the Kawa longer as you’ll feel the contrast between the hot  water and the cool winds.  That was such a short and sweet adventure.  That’s all folks.

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