Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mt. Cristobal Traverse

bunnies at Bulwagan campsite

August 13-14, 2011 - Society of Lost Explorers conquered and traversed Mt. Cristobal

About the Mountain

Mt. Cristobal is located in Dolores, Laguna. It is called the “devils mountain” because of the belief that the place is a sanctuary of dark spirits, ghosts and elementals.

Quick Facts about the mountain (adapted from Pinoy Mountaineers)

LLA: 14.064° N 121.428° E, 1470 MASL (600m gain)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 3-4

Three major landmarks of the mountain
  1. Montelibano's House – the last water source
  2. The crater – because Cristobal is an inactive volcano
  3. Jones' Peak – considered as the summit of Cristobal, the other peak which is higher by over 50 meters is unfortunately inaccessible.
Quezon and Laguna
Entry point: Sitio Parang, Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Dolores
Exit point (1): Sitio Awas, Brgy. Sta. Elena, San Pablo City
Exit point (2): Brgy. Tala, Rizal, Laguna
Exit point (3): Brgy. Malaya, Nagcarlan, Laguna

We took the Sitio Parang, Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Dolores entry and exited at Brgy. Tala, Rizal, Laguna.

Traversing Mt. Cristobal is considered to be one of the most difficult in Southern Tagalog climbs… but we traversed it regardless.

The Ascent

A total of 21 participants joined this climb. Most of us haven’t tried Cristobal yet. There are those who do not have climbing experience, some have not done any traverse, and there are people who never experienced major climb. But off we go, full of enthusiasm and faith that we can and will climb and traverse Cristobal.

first batch of gentlemen trekkers
the ladies who traversed San Cristobal
second batch of gentlemen
We rented our own service but delays are inevitable. We started the trek 11:20AM after an hour of trekking we reached Montelibano’s house and took our lunch. We resumed the trek quarter before 2PM and reached Bulwagan campsite 720PM.

The Descent

Because of the rain, the trail was muddy and slippery. If there was a video to capture all the moments that we had, for sure it will betray the naughtiness that we did. Instead of trekking down we decided to slide. We did the four-wheel drive. I won’t wonder if our butts, faces and bodies were imprinted along the trail. We enjoyed it so much that we did not care about the time.

We started descent around 9AM. We reached the jump of past 7PM. We descended Cristobal for a total 10 hours!
...and they stumbled and fell and roll over,
(let these pictures say the missing piece)
It’s good that we had our own service; because if none there will be another 2 hours of a very long road walk to reach the highway from the jump-off.

The Total Experience
panoramic shot before descent
New faces, new friends, new experience = total fun!
We finished the climb - all wet and dirty and with two casualties.
So far, I can say that Arayat Traverse trail is still more difficult than Cristobal.

Traverse is a must-try for a satisfying Cristobal climb!


Society of Lost Explorers would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to Sadeck Miguel for the guidance and for believing in us. Super thanks sir to you and your friend and also to Ken Ybarola!

Photo Credits: Kristheen Velasco, Sadeck Miguel, Camille Lumbang, Joy Manimtim

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