Friday, February 25, 2011

The Climb: Mt Maculot, Philippines

Planned Itinerary: Mt. Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas [12th Feb 2011]
06:30 – Assembly at Alabang, Muntinlupa

07:30 – ETA Crossing(Tambo), ride another jeep bound to Cuenca
08:00 – ETA Cuenca Municipal Hall
09:00 – ETA jump off (Php 10.00 registration fee); start traverse
10:15 – ETA Grotto, take pictures
10:30 – set out for the peak via forested trail
13:00 – ETA Summit; take pictures; Lunch
13:30 – start descend to mountaineer’s stop
15:30 – mountaineers’ stop; tidy up; snacks
16:00 – ETD Cuenca
17:30 – ETA Alabang/ Manila
There are no permits required in Maculot and it is generally safe, even for beginners. During April weekends, however, there may be too many climbers. The Rockies is quite small and can only accommodate 30 is sufficient for hiking trips.

Although taking less than 10 minute, the trail from the campsite to the Rockies is very steep. Beginners must be assisted during this leg of the trip.

There are two registration sites: the "tindahan" and the brgy. outpost near the mountaineers' store. You only need to register in either one of them. At times, the registration process is not enforced.
Bring along:
Rash guards 1 pair
Disposable rain coat
Cotton or Breathable Shirts
Sandals/ Rubber shoes & Slipper
Jogging Pants/ Cargo Shorts/ Leggings
Hand Gloves
Whistle & mirror
Face towels & socks
Hygiene Kit & First aid kit
Change Clothes

Trail foods (Energy bars, chocolates, gello, 1L sports drink and water, Pack lunch or sandwich)

Pinoy Mountaineers..

The OJTs - adding lots of fun to the hike
JB & the sari-sari store

Mt Maculot Facts:

MT. MACULOT_Cuenca, Batangas
Jump-off point: Brgy. Poblaction, Cuenca
LLA: 13°55'15"N; 121°2'30"E; 685 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-3

Mt. Maculot is one of the most popular daytrip destinations. It is so popular that on weekends and summer months, there is a sari-sari store at the campsite. This mountain, at the heart of Batangas, is known as a landmark for locals and travellers alike; it is easily identifiable because of its abruptly terminating east side - forming a cliff that is challenging for rock climbers and breathtaking to everybody else. Others describe the shape of the mountain as 'igloo-like'.

At 830 MASL, the mountain has three destinations: the grotto, the peak and the rockies (685 MASL). These can all be covered by a traverse dayhike. Most climbers head to the Rockies. This rocky formation stands beside Taal Lake, creating a scenic view, encompassing the whole of Taal Lake including the world-famous Taal volcano; as well the plains of Batangas. From a distance looms, on opposite sides, Mt. Makiling and the Tagaytay Highlands. If you follow Batangas Bay to the South you can see Maricaban Island, and beyond that, Mindoro's Mt. Halcon. The climbing time is variable; experienced climbers can reach the Rockies in a matter of two hours. From the Rockies, one can continue to the peak (830 MASL) or the Grotto on the other side of the mountain. You can also do the traverse vice-versa, starting off at the Grotto and ending at the Rockies. The Grotto area is grassy, but it then the trail becomes forested until it reaches the summit - and down. Either way, the trails are steep but Maculot is one mountain where you can stay the visual rewards are really worth the effort.

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