|Mandatory Group Pic at Saddle Campsite|
What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. - Rene Daumal
Since I got addicted to mountain climbing, Mt. Kanlaon has been on my top priority list of mountain to climb next to Mt. Apo which is the highest peak in the Philippines. Last February I survived the freezing temperature of Mt. Pulag, the highest mountain in Luzon and after that feat I said to myself that I will be climbing every single mountain in the country as possible, or perhaps the top highest mountain in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the a mountain which is categorized as 9/9 in terms of its level of difficulty. I did not expect that I will be striking out Mt. Kanlaon in my bucket list on the same year I conquered Mt. Pulag, considering that I am a freelance mountaineer.
How did it all happen? Well it all started with a simple conversation with former classmate Angel of Anjville.com about our future travel/adventure plans and the desire of climbing the highest mountain in Negros Province, Mt. Kanlaon.
The week prior to our climb date, Sir Bibar suggested us to postpone our climb due to typhoon "Ofel" that follows a west northwest direction, affecting the Visayas Region, specifically the Negros province. This climb would almost certainly have to be postponed if typhoon signals was not lifted by PAG-ASA.
The day prior to our climb, the sun starting to show up, a sign or signal that we will push through with this climb, but there was a slight changes with out itinerary. I have already informed out guide that our arrival in Kanlaon will be delayed and he politely answers that he will patiently wait for us in Kanlaon terminal. We arrived in Kanlaon past 7 o'clock in the evening and meet our guide Amay. Immediately, we headed to sitio Maput which is the jump off point. Night trekking is discouraged in Mt. Kanlaon so we camp out at sitio Maput and will just have an early trekking the next day to catch up with out itinerary.
|Breathtaking Scenery at Sitio Maput|
We woke up early to prepare for breakfast and a packed lunch because we will be having our lunch on trail. A DENR representative approached us and asked for the permit before disembarkation. Climbers are required to produce permit from the DENR office (your guide can do it for your group) for safety and security purposes.
At 8:00 o'clock, we commenced trekking hoping to reach the saddle campsite before the darkness would totally blocked the trail. Unfortunately, because of the arduous trail (we are not hardcore mountaineers) of sitio Maput we only managed to reach Makawiwili Peak camp site at 4PM, about 1-2 hours to saddle campsite. That was an 8 hour of torturous trekking because the trail is slippery brought by a slight downpour. Immediately we pitched our tents and just a few minutes after we fully assembled our tents, the rain fall heavily and thick fogs covered the campsite. Note: camping in Makawiwili is limited only to one group and the ground is not perfectly even and smooth. The night was freezingly cold and the temperature drops at 13C inside my tent. I cannot imagine how cold it is outside the tent. Rain + wind chills + low temp = Goodluck. Good thing about our campsite is that we were spared from strong winds because of the Makawiwili Peak covering us on one side.
|Makawiwili Peak Campsite|
At 8:00 o'clock, our prayers for good weather was answered! The sun was hovering us as we trekked from the Makawiwili Peak to Saddle. Mt. Kanlaon generously shows its beauty to us and saw the magnificent Margaja Valley. I wish we have the luxury of time to camp out at Margaja. At the saddle, our guide fetch water for cooking and drinking, while we were all busy hanging our wet and soaked clothes and taking photos. Note: noise, cursing, mentioning of salt or "asin" is prohibited at the Saddle because by doing this, thick fogs will cover Mt. Kanlaon and then rain will follow. I thought it was just a legend, but this happened to us. The weather shifted from sunny to rainy with fogs enveloped the entire surrounding. Due to this weather condition, our guide informed us that we need to abort our plan of getting in to the summit and this is their protocol. We were slightly disappointed because that is what we are here for, to reach the summit, but of course nobody wants to put or lives at risk and we do not want to break the rules in Mt. Kanlaon.
|Margaja Valley and Makawiwili Peak|
After lunch, we started our descent and few meters from the saddle it started clearing. We were like should we go back and climb the summit or just proceed going down. Then we just decided to continue our descent because there are still thick fogs waiting to cover the summit and we want to reserved our energy for the steep downhill slope in Sitio Mananawin or Masulog. Note: make sure you wear gloves to protect skin abrasion/scratches from plants thorn. We got slid countless of times and managed to make fond of it. If you had an early descent, Sition Mananwin or Masulog provides a very beautiful scenic view plus a sidetrip to its falls. Unfortunately, we missed this because it was already dark when we reached Sitio Masulog. At 6-7PM we completed our Mt. Kanlaon Climb!
Note: when planning a climb to Mt. Kanlaon, make sure to secure climbing permit at the office of the Protected Area Superintendent or you may simply text Jigz at +639077039828 or +639423746654 and he will email you all the necessary paper works that needs to be submitted prior to your scheduled expedition.
Here is a sample Mt. Kanlaon Itinerary via Maput-Mananawin/Masulug c/o Jigz
Day 1 Arrival at Canlaon City
- Final orientation
- final preparation (last buy)
2:00 pm ETD to Mapot Jump off point
2:30 pm ETA at So. Mapot Jump Off point
- Sudlon Falls (optional)
- Start trek via sudlon falls
5:30 pm ETA at Camp Mapot
- lights off
Day 2 – Trek to Eastern Saddle Camp Site (7-9 hours Trek)
5:00 am Wake up call
- prepare packed lunch
- break camp
- load water (for safe drinking)
7:00 am - Start trek
- Lunch on trail probably at Kutitap water source (creek), 30 mins before “Makawiwili Ridge”
1:00 pm arrival at “Makawiwili Ridge”
- Picture Taking
2:00 pm start trek to Eastern Saddle Campsite
4:00 pm arrival at Eastern Saddle Campsite
- pitch tent
- load water (Margaja Valley – Optional)
- picture taking
- prepare dinner
- lights off
5:00 am Wake up call
- Sunrise View
6:00 am Assault Crater
- Picture taking
7:30 am back to Camp Site
- Break Camp
9:00 am Start descent to Exit point “Sitio Mananawin”
- Lunch on trail
3:00 pm arrival at exit point Sitio Mananawin
- Back to City Proper
Breakdown of Expenses Mt. Kanlaon Climb
From Cebu City
- Cebu to Toledo Wharf - PHP60
- Roro from Toledo to San Carlos - PHP190 (Standard, Non-AC)
- Terminal Fee - PHP15
- San Carlos Terminal to Canlaon Terminal - PHP55
- Lunch and Dinner - PHP104
- Habal-Habal from Canlaon Terminal to Sitio Maput/Jum Off Point - PHP100, PHP150 (at night)
- Guide fee - PHP700 per day
- Porter Fee (mandatory if 5 or more climbers) - PHP500 per day
- Food ration - PHP300 per person
- Sition Mananawin/Masulog to Canlaon - PHP150
- Dinner - PHP65
- 1 Night Accommodation - PHP200
- Breakfast - PHP60
- Canlaon to Basak Wharf - PHP40
- Roro from Basak Wharf to Tingil Dumanjug - PHP140
- Vhire from Dumanjug to Cebu - PHP90
Total Mt. Kanlaon Expenses: PHP2,079