Monday, February 14, 2011

The First Lagataw Invitational Climb (Feb 5-7, 2011)

The First LAGATAW Invitational Climb has just been concluded. I organized twelve people (9 Filipinos and 3 Japanese) and climbed with them up the Akiki trail and down the Ambangeg trail in Mt Pulag last Feb 5-7, (2011). The invitational climb was graced by the presence of Sir Melo Sanchez, another experienced climber who has been popularizing The Luzon 3-2-1 three-peak expedition. My third time in the Akiki-Ambangeg trail was a climb of many firsts for me. It was my first time to organize a major climb. It was the first time I climbed with my Facebook buddies Migs Castillo and Melo Sanchez. It was the first time I climbed with my younger brother. It was also the first time I met my multiply.com buddies Emman David and Ivan Basio of High Conquerors, Billy Morales of Katuga Mountaineers, and Andrew Amolar of OLAY mountaineers.
I have always preferred to climb with a few companions if I’m not alone. It makes the journey faster and the itinerary very flexible. But this year, I have become more open to group climbs. Most of my climbs now are revisits to the mountains I’d climbed with few people before. Revisits are not for adventures and testing limits. They’re basically for fun purposes and fun is intensified with more people involved. As an organizer, it is also a test on how well you can keep a group united and safe and how you can manage to make strangers find new friends or special someone (in Mig's case).  In these aspects I think I fared well.
The group was composed of three Japanese and twelve Filipinos. The Japanese guy (Takahiko Matsuda) had climbed mountains in Indonesia, Japan, Tasmania and Patagonia. Mari Karakawa had already climbed Mt Fuji and a 4000+ masl mountain in China. Midori Nakao had never climbed a mountain before but she was the lead in the tail pack which the members agreed to call Team Midori! Melo Sanchez has Luzon 3-2-1, sleepless G2 traverse and Mindanao 3-2-1 under his name among other feats. His companion Cham Derige is also a seasoned climber who belonged with us in the lead pack. Eric, my friend from college was still as indefatigable as when he joined me in my first ascents up Mt Timbak, Mt Pico de Loro (traverse) and Mt Amuyao (traverse) in 2006. My brother Emir was surprisingly strong as he was always in sight behind me up Akiki and down Ambangeg. I thought it would be tough for him because when we jogged the weekend before the climb, he got tired after a 2K run. Little did I know, he walked home (in Alabang) from his workplace (Alaska in San Pedro, Laguna) on the days that followed. Miguel Castillo (a fellow Waray) my Facebook buddy, had this heavy pack but his experience in climbing mountains in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao was attested to by his speed and vitality. The tail pack (Cherie, Ryan, Ryme and Butch with Midori) were just fifteen minutes close to the lead pack. Butch Digao probably had the heaviest backpack among us. He was carrying the supplies for him and his girlfriend but he never tired of cracking jokes and making the pack laugh. Ryme Bristol was the glue in the members of Team Midori. Less than a year into the mountaineering world, Ryme has organized climbs around Calabarzon area with his friends. I met Ryme in a thread on Mt Marami in pinoymountaineer.com. I guided him and his friends from Cavite (Butch, John, Ryan, and Cherie) on a traverse day hike in Mt Pico de Loro early last January as a training climb to our Mt Pulag climb. These people are the reason why the First LAGATAW Invitational Climb became a success. The same reason I’m drafting the Second Lagataw Invitational Climb (probably Mt Guiting-guiting)!
It is not easy to organize a major climb. You have to adjust the time of the climb just to accommodate the most number of participants and at the same time trim down the climb size in order to minimize the impact on Mother Nature. In addition, when you fail to collect confirmation fees, you’ll have to make a lot of adjustments as participants back out at the last minute. Above all, you have to set the budget low in order not to be counted among those unscrupulous organizers who only care about profiting from the newbies and the less-informed. Indeed, it’s not easy to organize a climb but it is FUN and FULFILLING knowing that you have shared!

8 comments:

  1. Congrats for the success of your first invitational climb Don! Edz :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Mam Edz. Still looking forward to our Mt Baloy expedition

    ReplyDelete
  3. tnx sir sa invitation mo nka join ako d2 sa event mo. . .heheh sobrang postive tlga ung mga memories natin sa pulag. hehe till nxt lagataw invitational. . kita kits. . .

    ReplyDelete
  4. @anon: sino ka man salamat din sa pagdalo.hehe sana sa second makasama pa rin kayo!

    ReplyDelete
  5. nice ser....--dew--

    ReplyDelete
  6. ok yung mount pulag experience sir!!! nang dahil sa pag-ibig naging porter ako!!! hahaha!!! hulaan mo na lang kung sino ako!!! XD

    ReplyDelete
  7. 2nd invitational climb? G2? GO GO!!! XD

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...