Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mt. Talamitam - Nasugbu, Batangas - January 2013

About 15minutes further down Mt. Batulao's Evercrest jump-off, is the Sitio Bayabasan jump-off of Mt. Talamitam. Seeing both mountains from Calaruega this early January, sets me off to day dream about when I will be able to break the hiatus and once again punish myself by hiking trails. Although I irk at the political squabbles going on as read from posts from Sir Nick-Talamitams initial caretaker, I forcedfully shrugged it off and joined TUCO (The United Climbers Organization) when our same-day Batolusong climb got bumped out. 

Getting there.
There are lots of buses at, Pasay, Edsa-Taft going to Nasugbu. The group met at the Cavite-Batangas-Bataan bus terminal just below Edsa Taft MRT station Northbound. Takes 3hours to get to Nasugbu further into the day, about 2hours if you take the 3AM buses.

So. Talamitam. Sitio Bayabasan.

Two registrations- At the Store-Eatery, and another further down the sitio where you will sign in again and mandatorily arrange for guides.
If you do not have your packed lunch yet, there are one or two selections at the first registration slash store slash eatery. There are also Locals on motorcycles that offer their services to buy you stuff at near- but tiringly walkable areas.
There are supplies at the sari-sari store beside the store-eatery at the high way. (Basic meds, water, liquor, yosi, chicha etc.)
Make sure you are well sustained as there is not much stuff you can purchase to fill up your supplies from after here.

Ilog Campsite.
A few minutes further the sitio, you will reach the River campsite. There are 2 huts and there is also a comfort and bath room here. Enjoy the river and wash up here after. There is also a bath area at the Store-Eatery at the highway. Non mountaineers who just want to enjoy bathing at the river can settle at this huge camp site.

Two Bridges.
Leaving the River campsite, leads to two bridges before taking the initial assault. 
A cemented and a bamboo bridge. Crossing the shallow river from underneath the bamboo bridge is safer. Beside this makeshift, there is also what seem to be a metal bridge, but is almost beyond recognition because of its dilapidated condition.

Two clearings.

The trail is an alternate of shaded assaults and clearings. There are two notable clearings- the first is with a view of neigboring Mt. Batulao. The second is an ascent to a horizon, making the view of Mt. Talamitam more pronounced (Batulao still visible at the back). At this point, you'll be able to see a small hut at the top of the incline. Walking further the gradual cropped filled trail, leads you to the footing of the mountain marked by a group of coconut trees, a kawayanan and another makeshift hut. From here marks the first hour of your 2hour hike.

Two trails to the summit.

2nd makeshift hut at the foot of the mountain-before the ascent.
Further from the coconut tree area, there are two paths. The LEFT trail is a steep ascent that goes directly to the summit. The RIGHT, leads to the ridge of the mountain and is more manageable to climb.
Getting to the summit requires an additional hour to complete.

  • There are two ridges up Mt. Talamitam. The first ridge can be seen from the foot of the mountain, while the next is hidden by the summit itself. These campsites can accommodate huge groups, however, the summit itself can hold only less than 10 tents.
  • There is no water source here nor along the trail.
  • The trail is mostly unshaded- best to hike when the sun is less angry.
  • Blade grasses at the mountain assault- wear protection.
  • Cow poop all throughout the campsites. Pitch tent where they're dry, or few. 
  • Passby Sir Nicks hut, its at your right side and the only artsy looking hut along the way.
  • Going down the mountain can take as fast as 10-15minutes or an hour up to the Ilog campsite.
  • River Campsite reading 215MASL. Ridge reading 600MASL. Summit reading 635MASL.

Summit, just an egg roll to the ridge.
Faithful dog guarded us throughout the night. Lays beside cow poops.
Pitched tents at the ridge. Visible as well is the summit and the other ridge.
Huge ridge camp site.
Probably Batulao.
Going down.

Sir Jerry of Compass Outdoors.

The hike to Mt. Talamitam is by far one I can tag to recommend to any beginner hiker. I say this not to underestimate the mountain, but to note that the trail is generally safe and the distance to scale is bearable for first timers