Mt. Batulao is one of the few mountains that are already famous for climbers way back then. It stands at 811 meters with difficulty of 4/9. It is a minor climb and will take two to four hours reaching the summit. As you walk on the open trail you will be awed to see the stunning scenery of rolling slopes, natural landscapes and picturesque views of Batangas.
My hubby and his office mates climbed Mt. Batulao in January 2008. There was only one trail that time, the Old Trail, which according to him, he was, challenged ascending and descending the slope due to its baldness. With that, I got curious to take the challenge in climbing this mountain too. After seven months of rest due to the removal of my right ovary (I had endometrial cyst), I was back again to mountain climbing. I chose Mt. Batulao to be my seventh climb.
I joined again the group of James (Dames Jaymar of Climber), our same organizer in Mt. Maculot for P799 only. This trek is with my favorite travel buddy, Cyrhine and we coerced Pauline and James to join us.
Our meeting place is in McDonald’s in Greenfield District, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong at 1:00 am. Travel time to our destination was two hours only. We rested a bit, some sipped coffee while others ate breakfast.
By 5:00 am, James gathered us for a prayer and short briefing. Moment later we started the trek. It was still dark and cold. I forgot to bring my flashlight. It is good that my fellow trekkers were lighting the way. We were in high spirit as the cool breeze greeted us. I was so excited for I will be summiting another famous mountain. Again, I was the oldest in the group. Haha!
Since I cannot do the rigid activity yet, James suggested that I go for the “new trail”, which is a bit easier. My travel buddies went with me. Others, the advanced climbers opted for the “old trail”, the hard trek. The beginning of the trek was easy. As the sun started streaming into the horizon, we gazed upon the green verdant rolling slope from afar. It was our destination. Well, well, well, Mt. Batulao truly beckons.
Since it was mid-February, the weather is still cold and the slopes except the trails are covered with thick grasses. But during months of summer, Mt. Batulao is bald. For some who has fear of heights, walking near the edges might scare you for you can see the bottom of the slope. As of our trek, the cogon grasses abound the slope from Peak 1 to Peak 7.
In getting to Peak 8, we passed by a dangerous edge where one wrong step will take you at the bottom. The soil was loose so it was a bit slippery. The sun was already hovering up into the horizon. But it was a downcast morning so the rays of the sun did not spill gloriously onto the hill. We sat a while for a sunrise photo shoot. There is a small sari sari store in the area where they sell bread, coffee and water.
Later we were walking on more loose soil and stones and hilly edges. It was up and down trek, not hard at all. After a while, we reached the area where we were divided into two. With one trail guide, the advanced climbers went to the old trail and the casual trekkers (our group) went to separate trail. James joined us with one trail guide too.
The challenging part in the “new trail” is walking on the camel’s back. It was a narrow walkway with deep ravine on both sides. A strong wind may lose our balance so we were very careful in this part. James warned us not to take photo to avoid accident. It was just a short walk and later we passed by another little store where they sell buko juice.
Since we were not yet thirsty, we proceeded in our trek. The last remaining peaks went for rappelling and holding onto rocks. We finally arrived at the summit, Camp 10 by 7:35 am. We did it in 2 hours and thirty-five minutes only.
We stood in the small clearing feasting on the breathtaking panorama of everything that is verdant and green. The most anticipated part in a life of a casual trekker like me is to feast in an awesome sight like this. I just cannot sustain my excitement for after seven months of rest here I was again marveling another masterpiece of our Almighty God.
It was cold and with a hint of sunshine. We stayed there for about thirty minutes with picture taking, eating snack, hydrating and the best of all, savoring the view. I remember our trek in Mt. Talamitam. They say it was the younger sister of Mt. Batulao wherein both have bald slopes during summer. Both have the same panoramic view only that Mt. Batulao was bigger and longer.
In getting back to the jump off, we did it in two hours only. It was fast and before we bask on sunshine, we were back by 10:15 am. Happy and satisfied. Next time we climb Mt. Batulao, we will go for the old trail. This is my seventh climb and I am sure there is another mountain to follow.
As of this time, some mountaineers are discouraged to climb Mt. Batulao because of several registration points where you will pay Php20 to Php40. New trail has five.
Thanks to James for being a good organizer. He is good in photography and he accommodated us very well. This is another worthy experience not only for the climb but we also met new friends. This is one good thing joining a group tour.
Things to Bring:
- 2 Liters of water
- Trash bag
- Personal medication
- Extra clothes
- Poncho/rain coat
- Trail food
Major Climb No. 1: Surviving Mt. Pulag
Minor Climb No. 1: Taal Crater Lake-Family Hiking Adventure
Minor Climb No. 2: Mt. Pinatubo Challenge
Minor Climb No. 3: Mt. Gulugod Baboy
Minor Climb No. 4: Mt. Talamitam
Minor Climb No. 5: The Grotto, Mt. Maculot and the Rockies
Minor Climb No. 6: Mt. 387 traverse to Aloha Falls-Travel Guide, Itinerary, Budget and Tips
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