Malindang range has a lot of peaks (North Peak, South Peak, Mount Ampiro and Mount Malindang itself, which is the tallest at 2404m). I’ve searched & read a lot but couldn’t reconcile everything which is actually better. It means, attending the yearly ascent will probably be different each time.
This year was the 20th Malindang ascent which showcases “Siatog”. Our camps were Siatog Gamay and Siatog Dako respectively. The summit which we had conquered was Siatog Peak. I’ve read a blog about last year’s ascent and it features a different part of Malindang, that of Piduan falls & Piduan valley. Right now just thinking about it makes my heart race with anticipation and excitement for 2016. I’m sure it’s gonna be another trail. Guess I would start to bend my rules of climbing this time. It’s okay to comeback just as long as it’s on a different trail, different peaks and wonders visited would be a plus too.
After reaching Siatog Dako, the husband suggested I took pictures of the camp. I went directly to the “Templo” and was awed by its structure of pure wood. I wanted to get inside but was a little shy since it was already crowded. There was a small house at the back of the Templo. When I went to check on it, I saw a group of trekkers that was seemed to be in a hurry for something. I overheard them talking about leaving for the peak. It was then that I remembered about the cut-off. I hurriedly went back to our camp and was welcomed by a nagging husband who just put up the tent without the wandering wife. Laughter followed. When the humor frittered away, I told them about the group leaving the camp. We hurriedly prepared to take our leave as well.
The ascent to the peak was no joke. We gained an estimated 500 meter elevation according to the husband’s app. As I was scrambling my way to the top, I thought of how slow I must have been if I have my backpack. The trail was wet & slippery cutting through the mossy forest. There were lots of beautiful scenery worthy of my poses but I sensed the husband’s fatigue.
At 30 minutes of the ascent, I was already panting in exhaustion. Yet each time I thought of resting, I would remember the estimated 3 hours ascent to the peak. We weren’t even halfway there so I persevered and pushed myself but on a constant mindset that I cannot push myself too much beyond my limit. Breaking down is always not an option.
We grappled, crawled and climbed unto alive and dead trees. As we went higher, we saw some steps that I thought at first were from the trekkers before us. The husband corrected that they were wild boar footsteps.
When we reached a small dried creek after 1.5 hours of walking from the camp, one of our companion call for a leech check break. After a while, I heard the husband’s frantic voice announcing that he just had his first leech. The others went to check as well while I was busy laughing my ass off for the husband’s demise. Then I checked one of my leg. Silence followed. I tried to calm myself when I saw a leech about the same size as the husband’s just above my sock. I announced that I wouldn’t be getting rid of it, the husband advised otherwise so I proceeded to take it off.
When I pulled the small leech, it stretched, that was when I screamed. I just couldn’t take its grossness. The husband was quick to rescue and pulled the leech. Relief washed over me as the leech was out of my leg. I proceeded to scratch my neck and felt something soft. Yuck!!! The 2nd leech is sucking on my neck like a vampire. Bad, bad leech! Grossssss!
What followed was a long & winding trail to the top guided by the yellow ribbons as trail signs. Sometime in the trail, we noticed how the ribbons were missing. My companions were quick to notice the wood clipped into the bark of a tree. We concluded it was the new trail sign. When we continued our ascent, someone ask if we’ll take the same trail on the way down. We chorused a yes and further wondered why we saw no one going down yet.
After a while, we saw someone coming from the opposite direction. It was the trekker who passed us on the way up. “Hi! Duol nalang mo mga 15 minutes. 1.5 hours ra man diay padung taas!” He announced. We just smiled.
“Mga 1 hour pa guro ta kay ga trail run man to siya.” I said when he left. 10 minutes passed, another group from the opposite direction arrived. They said we’re very near already. With renewed vigor, we hastened our strides. Finally, we were almost there.
Siatog Peak is covered by trees with only a small opening where you could take pictures and see some views. The viewing platform was crowded when we arrived. There were makeshift benches on each side. The other was full and the remaining one wasn’t that strong to be seated safely. I decided to wait at the entrance while the others were still busy taking selfies. I had a quick chat with another trekker from Cebu. We briefly introduced ourselves but too bad I forgot her name. Ohhh me!
Then someone announced that we should get on the platform carefully since it is not that robust. It is advised to do the picture taking one by one as well. When I saw a group took a groufie, my heart was pounding. I silently prayed to keep them safe. I didn’t have the heart and will to remind them again of the peril.
When it was my turn, the platform was indeed scary. It would shake even at the slightest movement but that didn’t stop the husband and me to pose for our Mr&Mrs pic. Malindang was our first major climb since we got hitched in March 2015. We got engaged in Sirao Peak in June 2014, a week before our 6th anniversary as Migo&Miga.
We didn’t stay long in the peak. We left as soon as we were done taking pictures. Maria’s team went ahead but since going down was much more tolerable, we caught them on the trail. We went down from Siatog Peak together and had tons of laugh from our misfortunes. Zach & Char won the bid for most slides. The husband almost had a “Mystica” moment. I, on the other hand, pricked my finger of the pin that I put on to hold my pants together. Silly me forgot to check my pants before wearing. Good thing Liz noticed or else I would have gone around with a hole in my pants. It would have been another one for the book of Malindang’s stories.
Our ascent took 2 hours. Descent was 1.5 hours. By 3:30 PM, we were safely back in Siatog Dako unaware of the leeches that awaits our return to have their dinner. Pfft!
Thank you for staying with me on this 4th post of the series. I hope you have a good time reading my memoirs of Malindang. I have a quick favor, please! Would you let me know if I misspelled, with wrong grammar or there’s a part where you don’t get what I meant. Before posting I usually read my posts tons of time but maybe I’m just so use to of how I write I couldn’t tell what’s wrong. LOL Quick fun fact: I am most productive in writing when I’m in the jeep to and from work. Before, I used this time overthinking, now I rarely do because I have tons of things to write. 🙂 And for girls, less overthinking means happiness. Wahihi! =)
So what will you expect in my next posts?
Stories of leeches (of course, demn leeches for scaring and grossing me out! hmph!), stingy bees & wasps (sting the husband 4 times), sliding moment (the husband almost split! haha!), participant reviews (funny, annoying and some commendable ones), why I didn’t socialize, lessons & realizations. Here’s another game, from the crossed out items above, what post did I write about it? Don’t be shy. Comment away. 🙂
Finally, I am down to 2 posts to go. Need to catch up ’cause this weekend we’re going to a new destination again – Lanigid! Weeeeeeee! Excited for the reunion of my outside climbing group. Our last climb was just before the wedding, Canlaon – our 2nd time.