Sunday, April 13, 2008

Conquer Mt. Apo

It was March 20 -23, 2008 when my Mt. Apo adventure started.. but it really took me a month to think how will I describe my experience there. Well, I just had uncountable stumbles, butt blogs, sprained ankles and dead toe nails on way up and down.

Most of all the most embarassing and tsugeee tsugee of most all times was..chadang!!! "drowning down while crossing the Lake Venado" and all eyes were stucked on me and all applausing cheers and claps"whheeew"

Mount Apo is a large stratovolcano on the island of Mindanao. It is the highest mountain in the country with a 9,692 feet above sea level, the greatest upward surge of a long mountain range stretching from Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Davao City to Agusan and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao. Its name means "master" or "grandfather". Apo is flat topped, with three peaks, and is capped by a 500 m wide volcanic crater (crater lake). It is a source of geothermal energy, but the date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historic times.

The volcanic peak Apo,dominates a vast area of 72,796 hectares where natural wonders lure outdoor enthusiasts to trek through this tribal god's domain and conquer this towering peak.
It is one of the most popular climbing destinations. One can reach the summit through different route. Kidapawan trail, as the easiest route and mostly recommended for a first timer (like me!!!); Kapatagan trail, which will take 2-3 days trek; Boulder's trail, a trail from the word itself; and the newest is the Bansalan trail, where most climbers I've met at the peak abandoned of going back and had decided to take Kidapawan trail..That made me imagine how ten times harder could it be compared to the easy trail!!!

It was March 20, 2008, at exactly 1:00pm from the starting-off point at Lake Agko, 3,937 feet above sea level, the trail winds to the swift-flowing Marbel River over rocks and boulders, taking over from stone to stone.

Along the way, I saw the exotic wonders of nature -- abundant tropical forest; thriving mosses embracing the branches; the green ferns forests; the crystal clear and rush of mountain lakes; sulfur craters; orchids and wild flowers; the humming of cicadas; but unfortunately I have not seen even a feather drop of a monkey-eating eagle.Yet, the beauty of God's creation filters your exaspiration.
March 21, 2008. Reaching Lake Venado expires the groaning of knees as it lifted faith and confidence to myself. At first, I pity to the place for it looks like an abandoned area for years with grasses wilted, soil top layered with green mosses, and branches turn grey and crumpled skins..As we continue to walk, I could not believe what my eyes have seen. Beyond those golden grasses lies beneath is the LAKE VENADO..So, this is what they called Venado..I don't know why but its name sounds near to "beauty". The Lake Venado feels like I have reached the heaven.Fogs dancing around the lake, winds softly whimpers your sweat, and the sways of trees and leaves smoothly whispers in my ears.
We spent night at Lake Venado. The coldness was beyond my expectation!!! I wonder how it feels spending nigh at peak..Could I resist? when just this moment I wanted to burst out. I could hear my teeth chuckling, my chin moves up and down, body tossing left to right, clothes felt wet (but eally not) -- everything was cold and wet. Actually, it was an exhausting night - could not put myself at sleep!!! But what fascinated me? Smoking every seconds, minutes, hours, and days!! When I talked or laugh even just smile.. I saw the smoke comin out from my mouth!! It really felt like an Expert Smoker.

At the next day early morning, we started our trail heading to peak. The trail at start is so lumpy and at the middle to the peak..gosh so wide open. As i reached the peak, all the pain and tiredness were all vanished.. the beauty of Apo is amazing and can hardly be describe into words. Well, at that moment I just felt the wholeness of being a Filipino and the beauty of creation!!hihii

Too bad, we can't stay long at Apo, by that after lunch we headed back to Lake Venado, then to Lage Agko and goin home. Surely, the memories of Apo be always in my heart..hopin to come back again!

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