We could’ve very well just stayed at the rockies…but a summit is a summit!
It was a little after 2am in the McDonald’s meeting place when we found our hike coordinator Karl among the sea of travellers in there. His face didn’t register to me when we met him but later in the conversation when he asked something about my Pico de Loro hike, that’s when I realized that he was the same coordinator. It’s been two years since then and perhaps the reason why he remembered me was because – I arrived at the meeting place around 430AM straight from Palace Pool Club (yep, in my clubbin’ outfit. Talk about grand entrance. ). I mean, whoever does that?
Actually, nothing changed much in this hike. Still didn’t get enough sleep (especially I taught a 2-hr dance class the night before and stayed in the gym) except that I have a company this time around – my friend/ yoga instructor Karen. I believe this is her first hike (?!) and Mt Maculot at its 930 MASL and 4/9 difficulty level, this shouldn’t be a problem to her muscular legs (naaaakksss! ).
But seriously, who decides on this difficulty level?!?! I saw this meme of a guy lying face down at the rocks asking if you’ve been tricked by the 4/9 level (haha!) and I so feel him. The ascent to the Rockies at 706 MASL was okay for me. It’s steep and muddy but it’s manageable. There were about 13 rest stations where you can have a seat and take a breather or buy/ eat refreshments. It was also a foggy morning hike on a holiday and I wasn’t very much sweaty.
Plus, the superb view of Taal Lake is the reward in itself. The good thing about this hike is that it is very organized and everyone gets a turn to have their photo-ops at the edge. We just had to stay for a bit here to rest and wait for the fog to lift since it comes back from time to time.
Now trust me when I say, that you could just very well stay at the Rockies and you won’t be missing half your life but if you came for the challenge then you’re most welcome to traverse the summit which is the trickiest part. It’s yet about 1-hour hike away from the Rockies and unlike the rope-assisted trail going there; it’s steeper and muddier and you hold on to every muddy wood/ bark/ rock you cling on for dear life. Haha. There are also no rest stations going up there and I have new respect for some people we met along the way doing a trail run. Now the problem is how to get those rubber shoes cleaned? Look how dirty they are.
I would have to agree with what other people say about the descending being more challenging than the ascent. It’s not just the exhaustion but also I guess the footwear is already too muddy at this point which makes it less slip-resistant. I found myself almost slipping on the way down and Karen did it twice. Haha. Instead of the original IT of us being back in Manila at 4 PM, we were back at the jump-off point only around that time. There are plenty of shower rooms there and before heading out to Manila, do yourself a favour and try G2B’s Lomi close to the area in Cuenca, Batangas. It might just be the best lomi you’ve tried in your whole life. 😋