10th summit: Mt. Natib+Pasukulan Falls

masl: 1287+

jumpoff: Brgy. Tala, Orani, Bataan

status: successful summit assault Plus Pasukulan falls sidetrip!

my record-breaking daytrek ever!my super ever major climb!

March 9, 2013

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Invited by sir Ivan Cultura,ang Batang Lakwatsero :)

Originally set for March 2nd,which I painfully declined coz of my Pulag Sked.but the universe must have heard me so their climb got moved to March 9 and voila! Im in! nyahhh

Met the team at 3am,left Cubao later bound to Orani,Bataan. arrived at jumpoff area in Brgy.Tala,ate our Lomi breakfast and started trekking by almost 8am.

I honestly thought it was just the usual fun daytrek where we start late and still finish early. so we (well some of us.hehehe ) were just taking our time shooting beautiful flower gardens, eating our breakfast lomi and really taking our time early on.

garden flowers

The weather was perfect and I really felt positive we will have a great clearing on the summit!Indeed!

The initial trail is established and wide,just a little rough but cars can easily pass thru until an iron gate. It was almost an hour to get to this gate,where a great viewdeck presents green lushes of trees and a view of the ocean meeting the horizon.Easy but made me panting here and there coz of continuous hike up..hahahah

the trail after the iron gate is easy,though a little rocky,bushy on some parts,cleared on some,made me relax on downward trek but left me panting trailing back..hahaha..must be my weight and heavy backpack did a great contributions to my panting..

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most of the trails were un-used,esp going to the Pasukulan Falls,which is good,trails are not beaten much.probably because of its long closure due to alleged insurgency in the area..

Going down to the falls is never easy..its about 70 to 80 degrees going down on loose small rocks and sands trail with a few tree roots to grab on here and there but ravine on one side,sometimes on both. its a trek where u really really have to be careful trekking down lest u might slip into the ravine.

but the effort is always worth it! we arrived at the falls just before 12 noon and we just marveled on its beauty. Some of us dared to dip on the icy water after lunch but didn’t last long coz its really cold plus we have to trek back to the crosstrail to start our summit assault.

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We started late already and had a relax pace going to the falls plus going to the cross trail was a little delayed since 1 of our teammates had recurring cramps.

At about 3pm,we assaulted the summit minus our backpacks,left with our teammate who had cramps. I dared myself to join the “ratrat” or fast-trekkers team of Ivan,Chris,Marvin,Dawn,Mina and Ken,while the rest preferred the relax pace. I’m not a fast trekker coz I normally just want to enjoy the trails and take pictures of it but that time, I psyched up myself to walk more faster for us to at least reach the peak at daytime. who would want to summit at nightime, right? hahahah

So I briskwalked and ran a little as I possibly can and able to keep up with the ratrat team at least on the tall grassy and almost easy trail.

BUT when we reached the start of the serious assault, my ratrat teammates trail ran and I at first kept up.however after a few minutes,i decided to climb my OWN pace coz I felt my heavy panting might choke me up..hahahah

So I got behind alone and have done what I normally do:enjoy the trail and take pictures and wishing that the relax team would catch me up hahahah But I didnt intend to wait up for them and instead continued trekking coz I would regret if if Ill reach the peak and dont see anything.

The trail to summit assault is a very very different story..First part was a little gradual then it shifted to steep and almost 90 degrees trail of rocks which is by the way slippery bcoz of the moss.

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The trail is very straightforward and needs lots of caution least u fall into the ravines. there’s one part of rock climbing w/o the ropes where the wall is facing a deep ravine and another on both sides ! Also,there’s this 2 series of rock climbing with ropes installed.all parts are about 2-3 times an average adult persons height.My 5 steps is equivalent to 1 minute of rest and yes,I have lots of rest!

But steeper as it may seemed, I’m in deep gratitude on the rocks, sturdy tree roots and branches and the installed rope to hang on to and rock edges to step on to!Thanks also to my very willing strong knees and happy feet and it seemed my body automatically felt lighter I as pull myself up on that steep trail!

I reached the peak at about 4.30pm,almost 30 minutes behind the fast trekkers,enough to have a good light to taste the summit. The viewdeck is perfect with great views of the mountains. Plus I got cute subjects to shoot: insects,ferns,wild berries,flowers and the like!

trailsubjects

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with http://www.ivanlakwatsero.com & http://www.manongunyol.blogspot.com/

We started to trek down by about 5.10pm,and the team was really in serious hurry coz who would want to trek down those steep rocks and trail in the dark,knowing there are ravines on sides.

Reached the crosstrail already at dark night and had a short rest and snacks to prepped up ourselves on a fast trek back to our jumpoff.

We almost trail ran and done lots of briskwalking and almost no talking. Everyone just wanted to reach our jumpoff point where we can take good short rest,eat freshly cooked lomi,freshen ourselves and just go home.

Finally,we called it a daytrek by past 8pm. The team ate,freshen up and had lots of laughs as if we are staying there overnight.hahahhaha

Wait, did I ever mention about the limatik or leeches on the trails? just now, right? hehehe. Fine,I wanted to delay it but wont skip coz its a very important fact to know when trekking there.

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a leech on a shirt..imagine this little sucker on your skin..sucking your blood without u knowing..its totally painless,but when its done sucking,it’ll just remove itself from your skin and leave your skin open for the blood to flow..that my friend just happened to me in almost 24 hrs…hahahahah

The night before our daytrek, I read Pinoy Mountaineer’s post about Mt. Natib and its mighty leeches..Yes, the area is infested with leeches,esp.during rainy or wet season.I honestly wished to see one but not having them sucking my blood.Is that even possible? but I got my wishes plus a bloody lower left back.

Yes, I got myself physically,mentally and emotionally prepared for the leeches.

We trekked on great weather but we weren’t spared by these mountain mighty guards as if scaring outsiders and telling them not to bother them or come back!

I’ve attracted 2 leeches but they landed on my pink tights while the other one I got able to notice it on my hand and shake it off away even before it got its fangs on my skin and suck my blood.

My teammates have leeches on their feet,hands,shirts and all but I didnt see blood.

But when I took a bath, as I was cleaning my back, my left hand got fresh blood on it.I washed my back with water and smoothered again with my left hand,and same fresh blood was on it. Since I couldnt see my back I forced myself not to think about limatik coz I wanted to panic but instead psyched up myself to be strong otherwise I might faint naked. Now, THAT I wont and ever never like to happen. Never! hahahahah

So I came out all freshen up and I forced to smile and pick up jokes with the team until I almost forgot the blood. Until a teammate Ken noticed an inch-diameter fresh blood stain on my pale pink shirt. I tried to just shrug it off and be brave about it and so I told them I think I got limatik bite on my back.

the fresh blood stain grew bigger in diameter so I decided to change on my last shirt afterTeammate Jessa cleaned it up and put her spare big bandage.She got the other bandage on her hand but I didnt see any bleeding.

When we got to the main highway past 11 pm to catch on a bus going back to Manila, my teammates noticed new fresh blood stain on my yellow shirt..that time,the bandage was soaked up and I honesty feel the wet shirt on my skin and I knew the bite wound is still open and its not clotting up. I just covered my back with my shawl as Im on my last shirt.

I panicked for real when my bus seatmate got off so I had a chance to switch seat on my left and yes, I left an 3-inch diameter blood stain on the seat cover.hahahah.My first thought was, I hope the bus conductor wont remember my face and wonder what happened to my back.

I seriously panicked when I got home when I changed clothes and cleaned up my wound as it continouly bleed. But wouldnt intend to scare my family at 3.30 AM.

So I just kept it all to myself, bandaged the wound with thick cotton,and washed my blood stained shirt.

I slept soundly until 2 PM sunday,only for my family to find my back with almost 4 inches diameter of blood stain,with the cotton inside all soaked up with fresh blood.

I once again cleaned the wound and put fresh thick cotton.

The bleeding finally stopped at early monday morning. Finally.

now about the bloodsucker, I didn’t see it. Good for me,otherwise,I could have fainted inside the washroom naked.arghhh!

but I honestly believe it must be a big one to wound me up that big,enough to continuously bleed over almost 24 hrs.

I didnt realize the sucker is on my back only until I got blood on my hand after touching my back. I didnt feel anything like physically something sucking my blood either.

Its just the weird imagination that a leech is comfortably sucking your blood.bloody so weird!

I shall never go back there again.

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But I shall never regret the fun on trails,the laughters shared with my teammates, the sharing of sweets, my cute subjects on trails ( flowers,insects,plants and trees and yes, the falls) and the friendships that made our daytrek-turned-to-night trek very light and fun amidst of so much tiredness,body sores and hunger plus limatik scares!

That! That would always remind me of how great our adventure was, and not the bloody limatik bite!

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