Climbing Mt. Babag (RCPI Tower)
Mt. Babag of barangay Sapangdaku, Cebu City stands 750+ meters above sea level making it the highest peak in Cebu City. Nowadays, Mt. Babag becomes the playground of Cebuano trekkers/mountaineers during weekends because of its accessibility from the city. This mountain also serves as a training ground in preparing for a major climb because of its steep and arduous trail especially if you are trekking via the Napo-Ernie's trail. There are two recommended camping sites: one in Manwel's Peak and the other one is at Camp Chalet because it is located just above the former Swiss Chalet Restaurant. Camp Chalet could be loaded with campers during weekends because it is pretty much accessible from Mountain View and relatively safer. Apart from that, Camp Chalet also provides a breathtaking view of the city especially at night.
This climb is part of our preparation for Mt. Kanlaon climb. Adrenaline junkies Mark of JustMarkMyTravel, Aaron, Ryan and Darwin was with me in this feat. We started our trekking at Budlaan at almost 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning and unfortunately, our entire trekking from Budlaan to Swiss Chalet was accompanied with heavy downpours. Camping in Sirao Peak at that time was almost impossible because of the strong winds that blew from almost all directions and the thick fog the encapsulates the area. Instead of camping, we continue trekking and turned between camping inside mountain view resort (PHP100) or walk farther to Swiss Chalet which is the campsite for Mount Babag.
It was dark and foggy when we arrived at the foot of camp Chalet plus the trail going up the campsite was slippery and muddy. What I like about Swiss Chalet campsite is that it provides a good vantage point for the city lights as well as the RCPI tower - which is our agenda first thing in the morning. We hurriedly pitched our tents while the rain is still bearable and cook dinner. There was only one camper when we arrived and they thought there would be no other campers coming because of the rain. Another group came after us, so there were three groups including us camping at Chalet at that time.
First thing in the morning, we refilled our water containers and fetch some for cooking. I thought it was just nearby, but we ended going down a deep ravine and that was the only source of potable water. We left Swiss Chalet at 10:00AM. The trail from Chalet to RCPI tower was just like a "walk-in-the-park," but after we passed by the tower, our calvary started. That muddy-steep down hill slope was merciless not to mention that thorny shrubs and vines that gives us all some scratches. I would say that the hardest part of the trail was passing the Babag ridge when it is muddy. Although we were "knock out" a couple of times because of the slippery terrain, but adrenaline junkies as we are...we were unstoppable and aborting this feat was not an option!
The slippery trail ended after we reached the Roble homestead where we took a short rest and lunch. The family was very accommodating they even manage offer us their "tinolang manok." We also bought some "butong" young coconut to replenish our almost empty energies. The trail from Manwel's house to Napo is still steep, but not as slippery as the trail from Babag ridge because the soil has somehow started drying up. After 1 more hour of trekking we finally reached barangay Napo and hire a habal-habal and drop off at Guadalupe Church. Note: this climb is part of our training climb for Mt. Kanlaon. For Mt. Babag itinerary and other details refer to Pinoy Mountainer's post.