Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mt. Batulao (811+ MASL)

Nasugbu, Batangas
Specification: Minor Climb
Difficulty: 4/9
Specs: Minor Climb

Did You Know?

The name Mt. Batulao is derived from "bato sa ilaw", refers to the annual phenomenon that occurs during the last week of December when the sun is framed between the two sharp peaks of the mountain.

Personal Insights:

Another check to my bucket list. One of my accomplishments is to set foot to one of the controversial mountains in the south, Mt. Batulao. This is relatively close to the metro with a challenging heights of more the 800 meters above sea level.

It was supposed to be a "trilogy" However, we decided to hike 2 mountains instead for us to enjoy the rest of the day in Mt. Batulao for the sunset.

Mt. Batulao is very appropriate for beginners and lofty enough to interest the accomplished crowd. From the trails, slopes, grasslands and of course the 360 scenic view from the summit. We took the New Trail-Old Trail route for us to reach the campsite before night.

The jump off is at Evercrest Golf Course. From the jump-off you will feel already the cool and relaxing breeze of the mountain. It is very accessible from Manila, just a one-ride-bus coming from LRT Buendia or MRT Taft (going to Tagaytay) or at Coastal Mall bus terminal where we took, that will take you for about 2 hours to get there. From National Road at Evercrest, you may opt to walk for 15-to 20 mins going to the jump-off or take a tricycle for P100.00, so better to get companion for you to divide it among the others.

At the foot of the mountain, there is a small community that will greet you with their sweet smile as they waive hands and say "ingat sa pag-akyat" ("take care at your trek"). There are 12 peaks at Mt. Batulao. From the first peaks, it was just a straight and slightly inclined trail but as the temperature goes down, the trail got tougher. We heard each other's panting but we need to conserve our energy as we approach the camp site at peak 8. Along the trail we had a close encounter with the animals like horse, goats and even cows which has the same trail for hikers. 

We never missed to take a pictures on all the peak sign boards we passed by for souvenirs of our accomplishments because as we get closer to the highest peak or even at the summit, the trail gets steeper and more treacherous.

(the ninja move. the heat of the sun was to strong and the trail gets steeper)

Finally, we had reached the campsite a nearly sunset and we were very amazed, amused, astonished, delighted, felt great and blessed and so much more unpredictable feeling as we witness the magnificent descending of the sun.

And due to our influence to our new found friend, Teacher Joey, she decided to call her mom and said she will not be able to go home because of the time and no one can accompany her at her descend except to pay the guide at a cost of P500.00. She rented a tent and stayed with us for our descend the next day. Thanks Joey. :-)

We woke up early for us to witness the promising sunrise on one of the peaks after our campsite. It was very windy and everybody warned us to take extra cautious because from the peak to where we headed to witness the sunrise was the same peak where a young lady had an accident. She was just having her selfie shots when the wind had blown very hard and thrown her to the cliff. But we didn't get  since we took their advise to be more cautious and take our own selfie shots before we had our breakfast and started our trek to the summit and descend.

(campsite. view from peak 8)

Upon leaving the campsite, we had been hearing rumors that Anne Curtis was also at the site taking Old-New Trail. We were all excited to take pictures with her once we meet her along the trail. Unfortunately until we reached jump-off, no Anne Curtis appeared. 
We reached the summit/peak, not that far from the campsite where we stayed the night, and it was a breathtaking 360 degrees view where you can see the Mountains of Maragondon (N), Taal Lake (W), Tagaytay Highlands (WNW), Mt. Maculot (WSW), coastline of Nasugbu (E), Mt. Talamitam (ENE),  the Balayan Bay (S) and peninsula of Calatagan (SE). This is the place where to have the best photo ops 

(rappelling bear the summit)

                                      (2 hikers met at the summit with Joey, Richard and me)

(My best travel buddy)

                                        (at the Summit)                             (at the summit/ Camp 10)

After our tremendous photo ops, we resume our trek where there are lots of extreme activities waiting for us to challenge. Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Sliding and a lot more. It was fun doing all those stuff in one climb. We also met one of the participants of trail running competition having her workout at Mt. Batulao where he took just 2 hours to finish the whole trail!
            (shot taken from the rappelling)                    (reaching camp 9 after rappelling)
Upon reaching the final camp at the old trail's jump-off, there has a souvenir store where you need to register again since they claim that we came from the new trail and it is a different registration. We also bought shirts as part of our success in climbing Mt. Batulao.

                                                          (Camp 1 Old Trail)

(Souvenir Store at Camp 1)

It was very exhausting but very fulfilling climb. It was a twin hike climb where we first climb the Mt. Talamitan but will give you the itinerary for a day hike climb and or overnight climb at Mt. Batulao.

Itineraries: (Day Hike)
New Trail to Old Trail

0400 ETD Coastal Mall bus terminal bound for Nasugbu, Batangas
0700 Arrival at Evercrest
0730 Start trek
0900 Arrival at Fork
1000 Arrival at New Trail Campsite. First registration
1100 Arrival at the summit (Photo ops, rest and lunch)
1230 Start  descend to the Old Trail
1330 Arrival at New Trail campsite (Second registration and buy souvenirs)
1530 Arrival at Evercrest, clean up
1600 ETD Evercrest bound for Manila/ Coastal Mall
1900 Arrival at Coastal Mall/Manila
(You may opt to have a side trip to Tagaytay, Just take a jeepney bound for Tagaytay.)

P102.00- Fare from Coastal Mall Bus 
P25.00- Tricycle to jump off (optional)
P20.00- Registration (New Trail)
P30.00- Camping (optional for overnight)
P20.00- Registration (Old Trail)
P25.00- Tricycle to Evercrest (Optional)
P102.00- Fare from Evercrest to Coastal Mall/Manila
P300.00- Guide (optional) but you can haggle.

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About Me

I am Xander, a travel enthusiast who wants to explore the 81 provinces of the country. It started from a simple getaway to a more complex travel blogging. Join me as I complete my adventure and witness the beauty of our country.

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