Here we are again at the eleventh hour. Training climb #2 is up in the next six days and I’m psyched as hell because there’s only one thing AMCI members are saying about it: it’s going to be tough. Nothing is more stimulating than the idea of NOT making it with your pride and your limbs intact.
(Side note: The first and last time I had to keep myself from sobbing all the way back to the jump-off was in March of 2015, on a 36km trail full of unstable rocks, done in about 13 straight hours with a friend who was freaking limping. I loved/hated it to bits and remembering it is enough to make me shout putangina-ina-ina-ina once again)
But anyway, I’m here to chronicle–for the heck of it, because you know how faulty my memory is–the events that transpired during the first training climb at Mt. Naguiling (1007 MASL), one of the Lobo, Batangas peaks. This is the first time I climbed with a big group and it did have its share of Xs and Os.
- Extremely good food. Let me reiterate: extremely because I can’t cook to save my life, not even with a proper kitchen. It was refreshing to be with people who actually know what to do with fires, pots, and raw chicken (I was left to chop the salted eggs and tomatoes, because it was the best I could do without putting people in danger)
- Keeping up with a member named Jepoy, who could have been a human x mountain goat. I’m used to hiking alone on a slow, steady pace, but the guy I had to follow didn’t seem to break a sweat, even during the 400-meter assault #goals #wtf #pagoda #teng ene
- Choice of mountain. Naguiling’s completely off my radar until they told me it actually exists. Haha! I’m a sucker for hot, open trails (hence my dark, sun-smacked skin) but this one’s an agricultural heartland in the first half and a rainforest in the second. Beautiful canopy, weird animal sounds, mud slides and all
- Severe lack of group equipment. All the items I hoarded at R.O.X. and REI in the past were for solo hiking. Imagine my mother’s surprise when I said I’m packing the rice cooker because WHOAAA I FREAKING HAVE FRIENDS TO CLIMB WITH NOW, AND THEY’RE ABOUT A HUNDRED, AND WE NEED A BIG POT FULL OF CARBS
- Too many people, too hard to disappear and do the thing. Forget the trowel, bitches. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 😥
- Group presentations. Not exactly a negative, but SWEET BABY JEEEZAAS, I was just waiting for GOD to strike me with a flaming pitchfork when we were singing/dancing to the Skelan jingle HAHAHA, I KENAT!!!
We were told that training climb #1 is for nature appreciation and it’s supposed to be the easiest of the four that we’ll have to do before November. Personally, I think it was far from easy due to several factors: some rain, lack of familiarity with this kind of trail, and the goddamn mud that stuck to my shoes.
Mud makes descending a challenge and descending has always been a challenge to me, regardless of the weather or trail class. Unfortunately, my mom and dad’s families have weak knees. So yeah, fuck genes and fuck mud.
To end, let me give you this photo of TC1, Group 8. Yeah, baby! All photos (c) Lira Avedillo our GL.