Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chemists Face Lematics: The Mt. Makiling Adventure

They say that your ELBI life wouldn't be complete without experiencing the lematics of Mt. Makiling as you reach for the summit of Peak 2. True enough, a number of friends responded when we organized a trek to the area.

Two days before the climb, we attended a briefing organized by the UPLB Mountaineers whose members also served as our guide during the actual activity. Majority of us were first-time hikers, thus, we badly needed their expertise. Thanks to UPLB Mountaineers for doing that for free :). At least we had the idea on what to expect.

Come January 30, 2012, around six o'clock in the morning, a total of 18 hikers and 3 guides gathered outside DL Umali Hall. Interestingly, hikers were chemists, chemical engineers, and food technologists. We divided our group into thee. The lead group was led by Engr. Randel Dualan, the mid group by Engr. Mark Anthony Badua, and sweepers was led by me. After fifteen minutes, we started to walk going to forestry.

UPLB Mountaineers led the way.

Our first stop was at the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve Entry Point where all hikers were required to register their names. Still excited hikers were very active and energized. After registration, we continued to our journey.

Chemist-Hikers at the first stop.

Along the way, there was a store offering halo-halo, buko, instant noodles, and some local delicacies. We took our second rest in this area while enjoying the fresh buko.

Buko for SALE!!!

Batch Le Chatelier's Principle

Campsites are also present in the area. We passed by the Tayabac Campsite, the Agila Base, and Malaboo Campsite. We met students and other hikers who stayed there overnight. Students are there for thesis studies which are related to forest ecology and other related fields. Some hikers, on the other hand, are professional mountaineers who go there for leisure.

Taking a rest in Agila Base

We encountered various challenges during the climb. Trail becomes narrower as we get higher. It also rained the night before so the trail was very slippery. And of course, lematic leeches has been part of our climb. Since majority were first timers, some had difficulties but the good thing is that team work can be seen. It was clear to us that our common goal is to reach for the summit all together.

Emman JUMP!

Paul and Meryl enjoying the slippery trail.

Trail becomes narrower.

We reached the summit around one o'clock in the afternoon. We shared our foods for lunch, took pictures, and rested for a while. We descent after 45 minutes hoping that we can reach the base before the sun sets.

Hikers rest for a while after lunch.

Hikers at the Summit of Peak 2.

Unfortunately, the very slippery trail did not permit us to reach the base on time. At around six in the evening, it started to darken. Lucky for us that we were in the wider and safer part of the road during that time. We had flashlights but the lights provided were not enough to clearly see misplaced stones along the road.

After all the challenges, we arrived at the base past seven in the evening. We had our group dinner, and went home separately afterwards.

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