It was our 2nd attempt to conquer Canlaon in the same trail. Started at Mapot, exit at Mananawin. The first was almost 3 years ago in September 2012. Climbing a mountain and not being able to reached its peak is sort of an unaccomplished feat for a mountaineer but is sorely understood. Regretful and sad but who could battle Mother Nature when it’s angry.
3 years ago, with a heavy heart & a much heavier body because we’re wet and cold, we left Canlaon’s shoulder in a haze. The winds were strong. It was drizzling. The fog covered everything. It was pitch whiteness everywhere. Neither of us knew then that we were walking down a very steep slope, a fact just confirmed since it was a clear day when we left Canlaon this year, a stark contrast from 3 years back.
Note that our first climb was in September, a rainy season & this year was in February. It might really be best to climb Canlaon in Summer since it’s less likely to rain.
Compared to the first, this climb was a breeze. Somehow it’s not as battering. Must be because I have aged & accumulated trekking experiences over the years? Lol Kidding aside, I was really in high spirits all throughout. Could be attributed to having a camera as well, haha. Last time we have none since I lost it in Taal. Being unable to capture what I see is most heartbreaking. Whenever a trek has been decided, I always make it a point to research about it. And I always end up reading those with many pictures & an overly detailed story of the climb (found none for Alto Peak yet, waaaaa! makes me anxious!). Being true to my motto “Give what you want to receive”, I make it an extra effort to give everything I’ve got as well. 😀
Note this is the summary post of the climb, Day 1 is done, Day 2 and Day 3 is still in progress.
Foggy Moments on the way to Shoulder Camp (Night 2)
It was all excitement when we reached Makawiwili Peak. From the blogs that I’ve read, that part has some cool views of the great Canlaon which is unfortunately unseen on our previous attempt. This time, we were very happy to have been given a slight clearing. I thought that was enough. But human as we are, I wanted MORE!
Like the first, I could only see an outline of the great Canlaon. It was still very foggy when we arrive in the shoulder camp. When I slept that night, I prayed that we would have a clearing* the day after. I was in for a little heartbreak but not for very long.
It was the same whiteness in the morning of our 3rd day. Good thing that in spite of that, the sunrise is just as beautiful, painting the view in its orangey glow, like a ball of fire in a sea of clouds. In my mind, oh well, at least I saw the mighty sun this time and had a peek of the peak at Makawiwili. It’s already a better experience than the first.
When everyone woke up, they talked about how the waters broke into their tents and all. I was just listening and feeling very lucky ’cause Liz & I were spared. Then a thought came, it wasn’t luck, my prayer was answered in a different way, it said. I shrugged, oh well. There is always a 3rd time. But after the commotion die down, they told us to get ready for the summit. I was hesitant. Are we really safe in that fog?
The Climb to the Peak
30 minutes ascent, the guide told me when asked about how much time it would take to reach the peak. The path was laden with loose rocks in an about 30 degree angle. Since it is still foggy, I could only make out a few of what was in my surrounding. But of course who would miss the cairns (pile of rocks). When we reached the top, the prayed clearing* is still unheard. But we were patient & maybe, also hoping that the gods would answer our silent prayer…clearing please.
While waiting for the fog to clear, we busied ourselves. I had a slight inkling that it was maybe just it. But the other part of me was hoping & continued praying. Please. Please. Pleaseeeeeeee. I couldn’t remember the exact time or for how long did we wait. All I remember is the happiness when the great Canlaon finally showed itself. It was amazing and euphoric.
Because of our delight and fear that the mighty Canlaon would shy away again, we just each took our time to do things on our own. We totally forgot to have a group picture. LOL
Back to the Camp
After a slight taste of clearing, the fogs were back. We walked down in the same pitch whiteness. Breakfast was ready when we arrived. All thanks to our very nice porter & guide. Weeeeeee! While we are busy eating…my fervent prayers were answered. Lo and behold! The fogs left and I could see everything CLEARLY. Finally a 360 degree view of Canlaon’s beauty. It was such a wow moment.
And then it was time to go. Unlike last time, we didn’t left with a heavy heart. We left with a smile on our face and a gratefulness in our hearts. Finally, we have conquered Canlaon. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!
*clearing – term used to describe that instant where we could see & marvel the beauty of Canlaon, in short, the fog would disappear.
Summary -> You are here.
Canlaon Trek Day 1 of 3 – Sudlon Falls & Base Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 2 of 3 – Makawiwili Peak & Shoulder Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 3 of 3 – Slide Away from Canlaon