MT. MANDALAGAN: All Women’s Climb

My first all women’s climb, a controversial one yet we had so much fun.

ROCK ‘N ROLL TO THE WORLD LADIES!

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photo credit to Ma’am Annelyn

Girl power! Yes! Do not underestimate the will power of a woman because she never back down to any challenges that life throws at her.

All Women’s Climb is an annual project of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines, Inc (MFPI) to provide venue for all women enthusiast in the country to pursue and develop their skills in the spirit of fun and camaraderie.

The event is held as to who will organizer the climb for the year. For this year it was NMCI (Negros Mountaineering Club Inc.) and was held at Mount Madalagan Tinagong Dagat, Negros Occidental.

It was my first climb on this mountain and I’ve heard stories ’bout my so-called crazy friends, leeches. The struggle is real with them. I was so afraid they came crawling under my skin especially the green one who even get inside the eyes. Jeez! So I took every precaution just to minimize their impact. Lols!

Most of the girls came from Cebu and Mindanao. I only knew one person from the group but it doesn’t matter since I know how friendly mountaineers are. As usual, first day is awkward. We meet up at Capitol Lagoon and head straight to Negros Forest Ecological Foundation, Inc. (NFEFI) for a little bit of introduction and Eco-Wildlife tour. We proceed to EcoTrails base camp at Kampo Hiyang-hiyang, Brgy. Campuestuhan, Talisay. We spent some time there to wait for the other participants from Mindanao.

The trails going to our first camp site for the day where we spent our first night.

It was about two hours trek from EcoTrails base camp to camp site 1. We passed trough a river, crossed it and get wet. Yay! It so cold with a little bit of rain on a foggy afternoon. Oh I so love it! 😀 It’s our first night together and all girls! It still very new to me since I’m used on cimbing with guys. It was fine. So after dinner, we had a little fun getting-to-know each other. Share some stories and so on. One of the girls shares her condition of having a scoliosis. It not just as simple as mine but her condition is complicated that she needs to take medication if she felt weird or pain on her back. It’s scary though since she have to carry big pack with all her things for the climb. She said, she almost lost hope because of her scoliosis. It was difficult for her and her partner when she start climbing but as she continue climbing her body adapt to the pressure of Mother  Nature and miraculously she get a little bit better according to her doctor.  I admire her passion in climbing and what she’s doing with her life now. Strong woman indeed. Truly its how nature heal someone not just emotionally and how someone look at the positive side of life.

Because the organizers and some participants from Bacolod were outnumbered by Bisaya they struggled to understand our conversation especially our youngest. HAHAHA! It was fun though. They learned bisaya a lot from us not only that night but for the whole duration of climb.

photos credit to Ma’am Gwen and Ma’am Elle…

We meet the time in our itinerary from the morning till lunch. We started our trek the next day at exactly seven and arrived at our lunch area at 12 noon. By lunch the rain started to pour and continue until we finish our lunch. We reach our campsite by 1:30 in the afternoon. Sadly it was filled with water. Next option is along the lake but because of the rain the lake is filled with water. So wait for the last group to arrived so we can regroup and the organizer can decide for the next move since we can’t camp on two camps. Last option to camp is camp 3 or go straight down if we can’t. We need to passed along the big and slippery rocks. Just then, one of the girls injured her ankle when she slipped on the rocks. I was like, “Sh*t!” My heartbeat accelerate for a minute when we heared her groan in pain. I know how it hurts since I’ve been to that situation luckily not to severe as what she experience.

To avoid more casualty, the rest of the group proceed to camp 3 and then re-group when everyone arrived except of the injured and the medics. Because we can’t camp at our last option campsite the organizers and the group decided to head down. Since we’re early on our arrival schedule at the campsite it will take us another 4-5 hours trek to community with the rain to consider. So we left campsite 3 after we organize the remaining group while the other group of organizers, medics and local guide accompany our injured companion. While they wait for the rescuers, they improvised hammock for the injured so they can carry her along the trail and apply first aid and other necessary precaution to avoid more injury.

We made it down by 7 in the evening and were assisted by the organizers and rescuers who waited for us. It was a very challenging climb with straight 12 hours trek with all those bags on our back. Yay! GIRL POWER! It was very tiring day to all of us indeed.

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coffee for the last group of powerful girls… we did it! Thanks Ma’am Eve for the photo

Sunday is supposed to be the schedule to descend back to EcoTrails base camp but because of the accident we made it ahead. Our injured friend finally arrived and went straight to the hospital by 6 in the morning. We can see how attentive the organizer were to all of us.  We just rest for the day and some went to Campuestuhan Highland Resort. But I prefer to stay and rest. 😀

Social is the most awaited part after hiking struggle. Right? Hehe. Our friend arrived from the hospital with cast on her left leg to join us for the socials. Yeehay! Thanks God she’s fine. It was our night to party. Visitors from MPFI and the rest of the members of NMCI were there to celebrate with us.

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All Women’s Climb 2016: We did it girls!

The party indeed has a highlight because WE MADE IT IN THE NEWS! It was exaggerated from a news writer who did not do her job properly to gather accurate data and information. Just for the sake of writing something, she ruin the event and make our families worried.  GRRR! We become frustrated reading the comments of those so called know-it-all people. Eat all your words K.I.A.!

Anyways, I have to share this beautiful sunset at EcoTrails base camp. A gift from Mother Nature. A sight to behold.

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Looking forward for my next all womens climb. Climb on ladies! 🙂

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