“Just what the heck are you guys up to? You’ve done that traverse climb last year, didn’t you? You even climbed the two mountains (Mt. Dulang Dulang and Mt. Kitanglad) separately. Whats so special about this traverse climb?”-Nice Dude
Frankly, it’s not a heck were up to. You see, the last time we attempted to do a traverse climb, from Mt. Dulang-Dulang (D2) to Mt. Kitanglad (K2), we never even saw the new traverse trail. Local authorities warned us of a landslide in that area and we were barred from even entering the trail. “It’s too dangerous for climbers” was the phrase. But an insider tipped us an army is deployed north side of K2, to pacify a tribal “slingshot festival”. Whatever that “landslide”,”danger” and “slingshot festival” the guy was talking, we didn’t complain. “Safety first” is our rule number one.
But there is rule number two- “Take a calculated risk“. Sounds like an oxymoron but for an idiosyncratic and bullheaded explorer like me, a good compromise nonetheless. So we ended up climbing D2 (Philippines 2nd highest @ 9,637 FASL) instead, frolicked at Manny’s garden, sighed at the traverse trail entrance, and shot (using our cameras) incessantly at K2‘s peak( Philippine’s 4th highest @ 9,509 FASL). Mt. Kitanglad can be beautifully seen from D2’s peak. I can “hear” K2 cajoling us -“losers”. Weired but I promised we will get back soon as that trail is passable again. “I am not a looser” I mumbled.
Rule number three says, “you should never attempt a climb unprepared, ill equipped and haphazardly motivated” unless you’re a member of the trekker’s mad squad. No way. So we pointed our ass and extremities to other trekking destinations and enjoyed the coup de grace of various nature spots in Mindanao- Matutum, Penek Busay, Samal, Lake Sebu, Lake Holon, Tinago, Daguma Range to name a few.Many mountains and almost a year passed, ours was still a wishful traverse climb of those two mountains, D2-K2.
Until this opportunity knocked in again. Last year’s traverse climb was supposed to be a birthday climb of Chris, founding adviser of TAMAC. You know how it feels not to get your birthday wish. So Chris is ought to collect his birthday gift for last year.This is why I added rule number four- act and play like a winner.
Climbing both mountains separately couldn’t even diffuse our sighs while we pass by the entrance to the traverse trail, on both ends. Gazing at the peaks separately just dampened our spirits every time. “We’re almost there, but not quite”.
Perhaps, last year wasn’t our time really, because as Sir Joy would claim, “I was not there”. Our dear club president missing the traverse climb, The K2 climb, The D2 climb, Sumalsag Spelunking, Gantungan falls hopping and Bukidnon Galore altogether! Perhaps this moved mother nature to bar us so we’ll just wait for Sir Joy to be with us when we do the traverse climb. Which brings me to rule number five- bring your own club president and skilled artist! Sir Joy has the best photography skills among us I wished I have half of his artistry when I shoot photographs!
And so this, time, Sir Joy will be going with us, together with his wife Ate Dianne, aka Boss’s Boss. Yes, the Marilog Trekkers reunited together with the Bukidnon Rangers( who climbed with us in Mt. Matutum), The Davao trekkers (who climbed with us in Dulang), the Digos Mountaineers (who helped us wade and river trek at Penek Busay) and The Mt. Apo Bugoy climbers, with their backpack full of antics.
So ask me again if this is just a “heck” we’re talking? This heck is one dream come true.