Training Climb: Mt. Apayang – Mt. Talamitam Traverse
January 21, 2016
Hi everyone! I was finally able to do my first hiking trip of 2016. This also served as our “team building” activity/“training climb” for our major hike next week in Benguet. Last Sunday, January 17, we did a twin day hike/traverse of Mt. Batulao’s sisters: Mt. Apayang (my 12th mountain) and Mt. Talamitam.
Difficulty: 4/9 (Because the assaults here are steeper compared to Mt. Talamitam)
Trek to Summit: 3 hours 20 minutes
Height: 652+ MASL
Location: Km83 Sitio Bayabasan, Nasugbu, Batangas
Trek to Summit: 2 hours
If there is one advice I can give to those who are planning to climb these mountains, it is that bringing an umbrella is HIGHLY recommended.
Before I narrate our experience in Mt. Apayang and Mt. Talamitam, I will share our transportation details and cost breakdown:
Our group of 16 members met up in Coastal Mall around 4:00AM and rode the bus to Nasugbu around 5:00AM. I fell asleep a couple of minutes after the bus left for Batangas but I think it was a smooth ride to KM91/Tumalim considering it only took us two hours to get there including the various stopovers. After we alighted from the bus, we rode a tricycle to Brgy. Mataas na Pulo where we registered for Php20 each before we started our trek.
Mountain 1 of 2: Mt. Apayang
Just like the neighboring Mt. Talamitam, one should expect Mt. Apayang’s trail to include open grasslands where the heat of the sun will be most felt. Worry not though because there are also vast forests that come after which give time for recovery. What made our climb difficult; however, were the mix of the following:
Heat of the sun
In any situation, being exposed under the heat of the sun for long periods of time is really draining that even if I brought water, it was not able to fully satisfy me because the sun has turned it warm, really warm.
Inclined trails are usually doable when there are flat surfaces every now and then. But for Mt. Apayang, the flat surfaces come way after the long stretches of assaults which made us catch our breaths every now and then.
The group took several breaks to rest, hydrate and eat. These also served as opportunities to get to know everyone.
After approximately three hours and twenty minutes, we reached Mt. Apayang’s summit. It is not as wide as Mt. Talamitam’s summit so it was a good thing that during the time we got there, it was only us and another group. There are also no trees here to give shade but there is a small hut without a roof where one can put his umbrella on top to create shade.
From Mt. Apayang’s summit, one can already see its sister mountain, Mt. Talamitam, and Mts. Pico de Loro, Marami and Batulao from a distance. I was also able to see several birds soaring which made the view much more spectacular.
We spent about an hour eating our lunch and taking photos. After that, it was a quick 25-minute trek from the summit of Mt. Apayang to the summit of Mt. Talamitam passing through tall grasses and scattered twigs (I lost count on how many times I tripped). It might just be the longest 25 minutes of my life though because of the extreme heat with little to no cool breeze present. Our only motivation was the thought of being able to buy cold drinks atop Mt. Talamitam. Imagine our disappointment when we found out that the vendors already ran out of cold drinks even before we got there.
Mountain 2 of 2: Mt. Talamitam
It was my second time to reach this summit and it was still as beautiful as I remember it to be except for the trashes I saw on one side (Reminder to always leave no trace when hiking please). Because the sun was directly above us, we first decided to rest and wait until such a time when the clouds would pass below the sun and cast its shade before we took our photos. My friend and I even recreated some of the shots we took during our first time in Mt. Talamitam.
Unlike Mt. Apayang, Mt. Talamitam’s summit is wide and can accommodate big groups. True enough, there were several groups present each finding their own spots to take photos.
As soon as we were satisfied with the photos, we began our descent. This was the fun part because everyone was just running down. The land is a bit loose though making the trail slippery so caution should still be observed.
Because Mt. Talamitam has more open grasslands than Mt. Apayang, the heat of the sun made our descent a bit exhausting that we took several breaks to re-hydrate. This time, our motivation was to get to the jump-off as fast as we could to buy cold drinks and take a cold bath.
When we got to the jump-off; however, there were a lot of people lined up to take a bath so what we did was to look for houses nearby and ask if we could possibly bathe there. Luckily, the locals were really hospitable and they allowed us to use their bathrooms. What was funny about it was that everyone dispersed and looked for different houses and we all just met back at the jump-off after we freshened up.
Before heading back to Manila, we decided to buy rice meals at the jump-off. While eating, I observed how aggressive some of the animals were – chickens scaring off cats and cats scaring off dogs, etc. Lol.
Finally, we paid an “exit fee” (applies to hikers who do a traverse) of Php40 each, crossed the road and rode a bus back to Manila. And as usual, we were not spared from the Cavite traffic and it took us three hours to reach Coastal Mall.
Here is a short video summarizing our twin hike/traverse:
5:00AM – ETD Coastal Mall Bus Terminal to Tumalim (Php134)
7:05AM – ETA Tumalim
7:15AM – Ride tricycle from Tumalim to Brgy. Mataas na Pulo (Php60 per tric)
7:30AM – ETA Brgy. Mataas na Pulo. Register (Php20 each)
8:00AM – Start trek
11:20AM – Summit of Mt. Apayang
12:15PM – Start traverse to Mt. Talamitam
12:40PM – Summit of Mt. Talamitam
1:25PM – Start descent
3:00PM – Back in Mt. Talamitam jump-off (Km-83). Fix up and eat.
5:30PM – Bus to Pasay (Php120)
8:30PM – ETA Coastal Mall
Overall, it was a great climb made even better by the people I was with. Thank you to my hikemates: Jen, Jervine, Jepoy (the official photographer), Glaze, Robin, Arnel, Bless, Maica, Rowe, Rayford, Maf, Tina, Ramir, Carol and James for a great climb. Looking forward to another hike with everyone next week!
Even though I currently have a mild case of sunburn and a wild case of tan lines (lol), I found the hike really helpful and enjoyable. If ever I come back here again, I will definitely bring an umbrella!
And that is how I conquered my 12th mountain and my third twin hike. What a great first hike of 2016! Here’s to more in the next eleven months. Join me!