Friday, January 31, 2014

MOUNT KITANGLAD CLIMB

Location: Between Malaybalay City and the municipalities of Lantapan, Impasug-ong, Sumilao and Libona
Major Jump-off: Sitio Intavas, La Fortuna, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon
Exit Point: Traversed to Mount Dulang-Dulang
Coordinates: 808’2”N; 124047’0”E
Elevation: 2,899 MASL (9,521 feet)
Days Required/Hours to Summit: 2 days/6-7 hours (Ideal)
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 2-4
Description: It is the fourth highest mountain in the Philippines and an inactive volcano located in the Kitanglad Mountain Range.
Blogger’s Note: This climb is actually a part of Mount Kitanglad – Dulang-Dulang Traverse Climb. The itinerary presented here is an ideal non-traverse climb and not necessarily what the blogger did.


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A panoramic view of Kitanglad Mountain Range


The habal-habal ride from Intavas crossing at La Fortuna was quite breathtaking as I see the full view of Kitanglad Mountain Range. My guide was pointed for me where in this part of the mountain range Mount Kitanglad and Mount Dulang-Dulang were located. We passed through typical rural houses with garden of vegetables and fruit trees. The long road where we took was not cemented but it was not dusty unless a vehicle pass through us.

The mountain derived its name from a legend where according to the tales told, there was once a great flood that submerged the land the native settlers and what remained to be visible (“Kita” in Tagalog) then was the tip of the mountain as small as the size of the “tanglad” (a lemon grass). By then, the place was called Ki’tanglad where it is now considered to be the domain of several old cultural communities like the Bukidnon, Higaonon and Talaandig.

The Intavas crossing in La Fortuna where habal-habal can be hired to the jump-off point


This climb was the second time that I was alone like that of Mount Apo where I only hired one guide in the name of Nimrod Solis and two porters (Mcdong and Asher “Gasiong” Lumayag) along with a student nurse (Shiera Mae Luces) where I paid for all their expenses ranging from food provision and transportation not to mention the guiding and porter’s fee.

With me in the picture is Shiera Mae Luces


With me is one of the tribesmen while heading for Sitio Intavas


The rich green plantation of vegetables


The province of Bukidnon is just one of the fertile land in Mindanao as it is blessed to have a favorable weather and so farmers can easily grow vegetables in their farms.

One of the steel staircase in steep trails


We started the trek from Sitio Intavas at 8:15 A.M. in a wide road running through rice fields and vegetable paddies and arrived in the foot of the mountain at 9:55 A.M. Our group stayed there for a long time cooking a lot of food

Uprooted huge trees along the trail downed by previous typhoons


From the foot of the mountain, we resumed our trekking at 1:00 P.M. I noticed that some of the trails were well-established with steel staircase which according to my guide were intended for the employees who work in the communication facilities at the summit. These steel stairs were a big help in ascending the very steep trails. We were trailing with a densely refreshing forested area and met some climbers who are on their way of descending the mountain. We have to work through big roots of the trees and some big trees were even uprooted due to typhoons that hit the area.

Resting over an uprooted tree after a series of cardiac assaults


Trekking was not only difficult due to a number of cardiac assaults but what made it more difficult that I have to jump, climb and walk over huge logs and in some cases the trail is not traceable because of the logs that covered it.

The photo shows my swollen right foot worn with sandal and the other one with shoes


Trekking with swollen right foot was an agony most particularly that it was not only muddy but you have to walk over with wet trail of muddy pond-like holes and your feet are dipped in the muddy cold water. You are trekking producing a squelching sound of shoes filled with water.

Most of the trails were muddy and steep. But I was amazed to see the aerial roots and some mountains along high cliffs. I became weak then and my numbed feet can hardly move that all my companions left me trekking in the darkness of the night.

Freezing inside an abandoned soldiers' quarter at the summit


I reached the summit at around 8:00 P.M. freezing in coldness. I was disappointed that because of this night trek, I was not able to see the many mountains and places in the Northern and Central Mindanao like the Balatucan mountains, Mount Ragang and the other peaks of the Kitanglad range not to mention Mount Dulang-Dulang. At the summit, our group occupied an abandoned soldiers’ quarters for an overnight since the summit was erected with around seven communication towers.

The following day, we trekked down to the other side to have a traverse to Mount Dulang-Dulang (see the the blog on MOunt Dulang-Dulang Climb).

Communication facilities at the summit of Mount Kitanglad


Early morning at the summit


Other communication towers at the summit


ITINERARY (Recommended from www.pinoymountaineer.com)

Intavas Traip

Day 1
04:00 Depart from CDO to Impasug-ong
08:00 ETA jump-off at Sitio Intavas. Register and start trek.
12:00 ETA “Aerial Roots” area; lunch along the trail
03:30 ETA summit
18:00 Prepare for next day’s climb, dinner
19:00 Attend ritual sacrifice by the Talaandig tribesfolk (Our group did not do this)
21:00 Rest Over Night (RON)

Day 2
06:00 Mountain-viewing session; Mount Ragang, Mt. Balatucan, D2, etc.
07:00 Breakfast, break camp
08:00 Start descent via Intavas trail, muddy and steep
11:00 Reach “Aerial roots”: roots suspended in air
13:00 ETA rough road
14:00 ETA jump-off point at Sitio Intavas
15:00 Take jeepney back to Malaybalay or CDO
18:00 ETA CDO
Note: Our group had a different itinerary since ours was a Kitanglad-Dulang2 Traverse Climb.

The scenic communication towers scraping the rich blue skies


SPECIAL CONCERNS

To avoid a freezing temperature at the summit, you may reserve in advance the DENR – Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park at (088) 813 3453 to reserve for bunk-bed at the summit. Because of the chilling temperature, two persons can warmly fit in one bunkbed. Since the summit is a communication center, there is electricity where you can even watch TV and enjoy a mobile network signal throughout the climb.

Watch your step as you ascend up to the summit since the electric wires run parallel to your trail which might pose a potential risk since they are high-voltage lines. This may also apply with the erected communication towers at the summit which might also be potentially hazardous.

Descending through the 90-degree vertical trail heading to Mount Dulang-Dulang


The mossy and densely forested trail heading towards a Mount Dulang-Dulang traverse


HOW TO GET THERE Take an airplane from Manila via Cagayan De Oro City. Take an airconditioned Rural Trans bus in CDO Integrated Bus Terminal going to Valencia for 3 – 4 hours for P180. Take another bus from Valencia to Intavas Crossing at La Fortuna for 1 hour and 10 minutes for P65. Take habal-habal from Intavas Crossing to Sitio Intavas for 30 minutes for P60 per head or P120 for one habal-habal with 2 maximum riders. GUIDE'S CONTACT NUMBER

Nimrod Solis - +639267977522

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