Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mt Lanaya: Sea to Summit Traverse Dayhike

atop kalo-kalo
Alegria, Cebu
N 09˚42.242’ E 123˚21.165’
2238 ft asl

Covered Distance on foot
7.10 km
Moving Time
2 hrs 36mins
Stop Time
4 hrs 20mins
Total Ascent (Elevation Gain)
2472 ft
Fluids consumed
500ml Pocari Sweat +  500ml water

I used to know only two mountains in Cebu—Osmeña Peak and Mt Manunggal. But when I came here to climb again last January 20, I heard of other trekking destinations in the island. There’s Mt Lanaya, Mt Kan-irag, Mt Babag, the Cantabaco Walls and a lot of waterfalls in the south.

The mountains in Cebu are not very lofty. The highest, being Osmeña Peak, is just 3422 fasl. But the views and the experience will make you want to come back for more.
the mist-kissed boulders near the summit
At 2238 fasl, Mt Lanaya presides over the town of Alegria, Cebu like a formidable fortress facing the sea. It may not be very high but a sea-to-summit climb over Mt Lanaya has one of the highest elevation gains in the island. There are three known entry points to the mountain. All are in Alegria. We took the established Legazpi-Lumpan traverse route. The third trail situated between the two is believed to be the toughest trail in Cebu. 
the two routes of Brgy Legazpi
My companion Myand Abao of Ewit Mountaineers said they took that route before and they had to scramble up the really steep slope of the mountain that alternates with thick forest areas and open talahiban. We were going to take that same route but some locals told us of Sitio Samuyao which hikers usually take as a convenient access point to the mountain. So technically, it was the first time for all three of us me, Myand and his cousin Tonton on that northern trail.
Windows XP wallpaper
The entry point in Sitio Samuyao is marked by a picturesque Windows XPish meadow which is an ideal campsite for big climbs! The owner of the last house there will be helpful in giving you directions. If his sons are around, they might offer guideship services. But guides are not necessary because the trail is established. But you need a keen eye to trace it because, as of now, this route has not yet attracted a lot of climbers and the trail quickly vanishes underneath weeds and fallen leaves. The trail gives a pleasant shade to climbers up to the boulders part. Some climbers might find this ascent a bit tough but I didn’t notice it because I was busy appreciating and being careful not to disturb the habitat of giant spiders and giant black ants (the length of my thumb) that houses the trail. You can also see strange snails perching on leaves. 
wildlife in Mt Lanaya
Towards the summit, the vegetation gets thicker and the trail becomes rocky and tough to follow. We once found ourselves in a false summit which Tonton and I christened as Lanaya-saag. Then we had lunch before exploring the area again to find the continuation of the trail. After lunch we explored the area and I took a different route from my companions Myand and Tonton. 
searching for the trail @ Lanaya-saag
I was taking the unclear trail of the hunters or woodcutters and they were probably also slitting their own trail. After a few minutes we converged at a very clear trail which led us to Kalo-Kalo, the boulder at the summit which is a smaller version of the ones in Mt Marami and Mt Napulak.
Kalo-Kalo is derived from the word ‘kalo’, a Visayan term for ‘hat’. On top of Kalo-Kalo, you’ll enjoy a 360-degree view of its surroundings. You’ll see the rolling green hills of Malabuyoc in the south, Mt Talinis in the southwest, Mt Kanlaon in the northwest, Osmeña Peak in the north and a lot of other peaks in the east. If the weather is fair, you’ll be able to see a splendid view of the sunset beyond the island of Negros.

There are some small campsites near the summit. The one closest to Kalo-Kalo can accommodate up to three tents. There is no water source throughout the trek. You can get your water at the small sitios at the foot of the mountain. The trail to Lumpan which we took on our descent could get really slippery. Vibram can’t establish a dependable traction with this ground of volcanic boulders. Actually even in the southern side, any bouldery surface is slippery. No registration is required. Cebuanos are unwilling to start that culture of commercialism in their trekking destinations! And the habal-habal rides are amazingly affordable. In case you visit, please avoid giving tips. This will just give the habal-habal drivers the idea of raising the rate. The tip system and the willingness of Manileños and turistas to give what they think others are also capable of giving have made most trekking destinations in Luzon a very good source of easy livelihood for the extortionists among locals. But I trust that even with the tip system, the culture and minds of the Cebuano farmers who inhabit Cebu’s backcountry won’t easily be corrupted because they are as industrious as the locals in Benguet who don’t rely on tourism for survival.
And this experience and the beauty of Mt Lanaya made me resolve to go back someday and camp at the summit alone! And I’ll say it with the newest word in my vocabulary—Puhon!  
our GPS tracks and the other trails
our track plotted over Google Earth
Itinerary: Mt Lanaya
Legazpi-Lumpan traverse dayhike

Assembly: Cebu City South Terminal
ETD for Alegria, Cebu
ETA Alegria right before the steel bridge. Final buys. Breakfast at the public market. Hire a tricycle to Brgy Legazpi.
Get off at Brgy Legazpi (highway). You may opt to coordinate with the brgy officials. They offer guides.
Start trek
ETA Sitio Samuyao. Ask the locals for the trailhead
Lunch @ boulders part
ETA summit. (This could be earlier or later) depending on the clearness of the trail or how quick you are at finding the trail. Take pictures.
Start descent to Brgy Lumpan
ETA Brgy Lumpan Chapel. Wait for habal-habal
ETA back at the public market.

our Sea-to-Summit elevation profile
 Track Logs
Elevation (fasl)
Brgy Legazpi

N 09˚42.600’ E 123˚20.215’
Sitio Samuyao

N 09˚41.854’ E 123˚20.719’
(false summit)
N 09˚42.066’ E 123˚21.136’

N 09˚42.242’ E 123˚21.165’
Lumpan Chapel

N 09˚42.748’ E 123˚21.888’
Public market

N 09˚43.484’ E 123˚20.422’

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  1. Good Review Another Destination for our lists...

    More to come...Emil

  2. nice nice! heheheh... makasaka ra nya ko dha nga bukid! :D

  3. im glad that you enjoyed lanaya, sir. lingaw jud basta ewit ang kuyog. crossing fingers that this will stild hold true in the next few years --(Cebuanos are unwilling to start that culture of commercialism in their trekking destinations!)

  4. yep Kai...I am appealing to all the trekkers in the Visayas region, let's all help to curb commercialism in our trekking destinations.

  5. it was nice meeting you last weekend.. twas our first time to conquer mt lanaya.. tough alright hehe but the view is just breathtaking..

  6. We'll be climbing here on July 13-14. Weee! Excited na kayku. :))

  7. i will be joining summit 2 sea this may 19-20.. thanks bro.. guess who's here.. :) kuyawa jud nimo bro oi!


YOU deserve a holiday!
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