Facing Fear, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 3

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

(Last of Three Parts)

Chasing Time, Going Home

DO you know that feeling when you’re chasing time to something very important, like a concert or a flight, but suddenly luck isn’t on your side? With every ticking of the clock, you’re tummy is also turning. You need to make it, no matter what.

There wasn’t any concert in the mountains or a flight back to Manila, but we were indeed chasing time on our last day at Kibungan. To be exact, chasing our bus ride back home. It was still in the evening but we already knew how limited our time and resources were. The chase was on. 

Continue reading “Facing Fear, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 3”

Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and​ Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 2

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

(Second of Three Parts)

Crying Mountains to Tacadang

HOW does one prepare for a journey to someplace one has never been before? Often, a traveler relies on research and recommendations. For us mountaineers involved in community work, communication among locals and leaders are required.

It is them whom we based our itinerary and estimations on trek time. Often, if they say it takes them one hour to summit from jump off, then we double it for ourselves.

This was the case for our Kibungan circuit, in which half was to be spent on unfamiliar trails despite RAK Ph Mountaineers’ regular outreach activities in the mountainous province. We were aware that coming from Sitio Lanipew, all of us would technically be “first-timers” going to Barangay Tacadang proper on Day 2.

Continue reading “Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and​ Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 2”

Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 1

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

(First of Three Parts)

Rainy Assault at Almasi

IMAGINE assaulting a steep trail with small steps carved from a mountain’s solid surface while being exposed to the forces of nature—behind you is the open mountain range covered in white. You realize you’re actually inside the clouds or the fog, whichever, for it is raining and every now and then, the wind blows sharp, cold stings. Below, you see the endless and tiresome steps you just took but not the bottom.

Now imagine arriving at the top of such the arduous ascent only to be faced with a new peak, beyond it, a silhouette of yet another peak. It feels and seems like there is no end to this assault.

​This was the infamous Almasi trail of Kibungan’s mountain range of high summits, deep gorges, thick forests and countless waterfalls.

Continue reading “Facing Fears, Testing Limits, and Seeing Beauty at Kibungan Mountains – Part 1”

Rain or Shine: The Mount Kaypaye Dual Experience

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

IMAGINE going head on with a 70-degree assault of trail with sparse forest cover under the blaring sun in the middle of the day.

​This was the ordeal Traveling Journo Ph had to face in Mt. Kaypaye in Tanay, Rizal last November. I had to scale and traverse it along with RAK Ph Mountaineers in preparation for an outreach activity, as well as training for an upcoming major climb.

Continue reading “Rain or Shine: The Mount Kaypaye Dual Experience”