Monday, June 29, 2015

Mt. Kalisungan (06/27/2015)

Known as Mt. Kalisungan to visiting hikers, the mountain is called many different names by the locals. (Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention to our guide much. Yes, this is a useless blog post haha.) Conveniently located at Calauan, Laguna, Mt. Kalisungan is perfect for those looking for a day trip. Please refer to other blog entries for directions. My friend drove us there and parked at a church in Calauan by the pineapple monument. 

We took a trike and specifically told the driver to drop us at the barangay hall of Lamot. One or two? It didn't matter to us. We said we were climbing the mountain. So the tricycle driver dropped us at Brgy. Sto. Tomas, which also had a path leading to the mountain.

We were asked how much we would pay. P400, we said, based on the blogs we read online. The guy who volunteered to be our guide found it too low, but he eventually accepted. The guide, whose name and picture I wasn't able to take (see, this is a useless blog) asked us if he could just take us to the summit and leave us there. (WTF?) We said we weren't staying long. So he told us to wait for him at the barangay hall. It took him an eternity (probably 20 minutes) and we noticed he changed clothes. He wore long pants and rain boots. We were about to learn why.

Mt. Kalisungan from Brgy. Sto. Tomas

There is no one single trail to the summit and no matter which path you take, it's best to avoid Brgy. Sto. Tomas. Just start from Lamot 2.

So far so good
The nonexistent trail we took from Brgy. Sto. Tomas was not a level 3/9 climb as the other blogs described. It was torture. It was filled with itchy and prickly plants, grass, and huge mosquitoes. Our guide assured us it was a fast way to the summit. But because it was entirely an uphill climb, we ended up taking long frequent breaks, nearly depleting our water supply.

Good thing I was wearing leggings underneath my shorts as well as arm sleeves. I didn't feel the heat much nor did I itch at all.

Water Break # 231315
It took us 3 hours to get to the summit. And it took us another 3 hours to get down (using the longer and more existent trail this time) and we ended up at the Field of Faith Sanctuary. There were several sari-sari stores along the area where we bought ice cold beverages to rehydrate ourselves after our brutal waterless descent. I brought 1.5 liters of water and 500 mL of Gatorade. It was barely enough for me. I suggest bringing at least 3 liters of liquid per person as there are no vendors up in the mountains.

Almost near the summit!
Many visitors flock to Mt. Kalisungan during summer and holy week, but we climbed on a regular weekend, and only encountered at least 5 other groups. 

The cross at the summit

View from the summit
San Pablo, Laguna from the summit
As of this writing, Mt. Kalisungan is probably the highest mountain and most difficult one I've climbed. I am not going back, even if they find a better and easier route to the summit. The view is great, but it's not worth a second look.

At the summit!

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