Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mt Batulao

Nasugbu, Batangas
N 14˚02.398’ E 120˚48.143’
2648 fasl
the boulder formations near the summit
The impression I had the first time I saw Mt Batulao on an online photo was ‘Wow! Carstensz Pyramid!’. Since then I started dreaming of getting there. But then, it was not easy to get logistical information about mountains. So it remained a dream for quite a while. Until on a whim, in December 2007, aboard the bus to Mt Talamitan, me and my buddies changed our destination to Mt Batulao and decided to alight at Evercrest Golf Club Resort.
the new trail and the cogon fields
Mt Batulao rivals Mt Romelo and Mt Maculot for the best-loved first climb (mountain). First-time climbers generally expect to see good views at the destination as much as they do when they’re on their way to Boracay. And the stunning boulder formations at the summit and the panoramic view of the grassland of Mt Batulao will not let them down. The trek will not shock them as it is just a 2-3-hour walk on a rolling terrain with stops at resting huts that carry refreshments like Mountain Dew (P25) and halo-halo (P20-P25) which sell like hotcakes on sunny days as the temperatures could wear you down on the open trails of Mt Batulao. On a rainy day, however, the trail gets really muddy and slippery!
a view of the Nasugbu coasts at the summit
The summit can be accessed via two convenient trails. A third trail is being prepped as of research time (this is supposed to be coming from the east).  Some stray climbers actually find themselves on this third trail and manage their way to the registration area/campsite at the old trail. The new trail (west) offers breath-taking views of the swaying cogon fields but exposes you to the scorching heat of the sun during the day (although there is a short refreshing shady segment if you take the downward right trail at the peak/camp 9 fork). You’ll be exiting at the cleavage of a boulder.  
at the cleavage of the boulder
The old trail (east) starts off at a descending turnoff at Kubo 2. This trail is about 60% covered by small trees but beyond the registration area to the summit, it is open. On the old trail, there are three stores from Kubo 2 to the summit. Both the old and new trails have no water source but you’ll come across a small brook if you take the old trail. Also in the old trail, there is a place near the campsite/registration area where you could bathe (this is most probably the continuation of the brook). At the campsite, drinking water is sold in 1.5L bottles at P15. But during dry months, the safety of this water may not be reliable so it is always advisable to bring your own potable water when climbing Mt Batulao. At both the new and old trails registration is P20 per head per passage. So if you’re doing a traverse trek, you’ll have to pay P40.
To get there from Manila, you can take any bus bound for Nasugbu, Batangas. There is a terminal at Buendia and probably in Kamias. The fare is around P120 (A/C). In my case, I had to meet my friends in Dasmariñas, Cavite (Boni-Pala-pala: P53). From Pala-Pala we took the A/C bus bound for Nasugbu (Palapala-Evercrest: P59). At the stores/houses across from Evercrest, you may ride a tricycle that costs P100/trip. This may be a bit pricey so I’ve never availed of it but this may shorten the trek time and exposure to mud (during wet seasons). The tricycle can take you to the end of the road or near the school. Kids persistently offer guiding services at Evercrest and near the school. But a guide is not really necessary in Mt Batulao as the summit is visible in most parts of the trail. You may take a cold bath at one of the houses across from Evercrest.
Megaman Buyco staring at the summit during our trail run in Batulao
Last October 23, 2011 (on my third visit to the mountain), however, Kevin, Buyco and I did a trail run at Mt Batulao and here are our stats.

Covered Distance on foot
12.4km
Moving Time
2 hrs 32mins
Stop Time
1 hr 5mins
Total Ascent (Total Elevation Gain)
2125 ft
Water consumed
~300ml (plus a bottle of Mountain Dew and serving of halo-halo)

My Load:
1 set of clothes
1 500-ml bottle of 100Plus
Kikay Kit
A pair of sandals
A point-and-shoot digicam
A handheld GPS device
A pair of sunglasses
My mobile phone in my little money bag

Track Logs
Waypoints
Time
Elevation
Coordinates
Evercrest Entrance

0915
1971
N 14˚03.543’ E 120˚50.410’
First
Kubo (Kubo1)
0947
2120
N 14˚03.121’ E 120˚48.576’
Registration
New Trail
1018
2224
N 14˚02.731’ E 120˚48.160’
Summit

1101
2648
N 14˚02.398’ E 120˚48.143’
Registration
Old Trail
1129
1894
N 14˚02.614’ E 120˚48.430’
Back at
Kubo1
1158
2125
N 14˚03.121’ E 120˚48.576’
Back at
JOP (Shower)
1252
1972
N 14˚03.543’ E 120˚50.410’

The Rosary Trail (New-Old)

Altitude Profile (new trail - old trail)


10 comments:

  1. hehehhee...uuuyy dito kita nameet... :) :) :) miss to see you in the trail, parekoy!- Rudy

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  2. tama manay! haha suplada ka pa nun...ayaw mo mamansin ng mga baguhan.haha...invite lang kung may malupit na explo ha...natuloy ba yung sa mamburao?

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  3. Will climb this mountain this coming Sunday... Thanks for the info! Definitely helpful.
    I wish to have that cleavage-of-the-mountain shot!!
    Thanks again.

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  4. @yodz...hope you had a successful climb last sunday and hope you got that cleavage shot.

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  5. Wow..i hope able to enjoy it also even well do the trekking at night...anyway...thanks for this..its a big help... ",

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  6. Thanks for this info....im sooo excuted...well be there this coming weekend

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  7. Thanks for dropping by ShiiDaigo. Good luck and always climb safe...but don't forget to have fun!

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  8. salamat sa mga info ser ^^.. balak naming akyatin ito ngayong sabado :)

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  9. Sir anong ginamit nyo na measurement tool ng elevation at distance covered? Ung Starting point nyo ay sa evercrest malapit sa highway? thanks

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    Replies
    1. I was using a Garmin GPSMap60CSx. May isang page yun sa display niya na nakalagay ang real-time distance covered (odometer) at real-time elevation. para matandaan ang elevation atbpng profiles ng isang spot, I 'mark' it at nagiging waypoint yun sa device. Pag niretrieve mo yung mga waypoints, magpapakita yung elevetation, coordinates tsaka time ng pag-mark.

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