Mt. Kanlaon

November 30, 2010 Mountain Climbing

It is such a wonder how a place that releases much of earth's fury can reveal such a tranquil sight.

Mt. Kanla-on or (Canla-on) is an active volcano, which has recorded 25 eruptions since 1886. On August 10, 1996, it erupted without warning, killing 3 mountaineers. 

Its last recorded activity was from August 23, 2009 to 1 September 2009, with 257 volcanic earthquakes recorded.

Getting here is another story.

We took advantage of the last long weekend (with November 29 declared as holiday in lieu of November 30 Bonifacio Day) and went on an expedition on this popular mountaineering destination. We took the Mapot - Mananawin Trail, which we found out later on from our mountaineer friend from Bacolod, Jomari, that this is one of the most difficult trails. Our aching legs were proof of that.

We started our ascent at Sitio Mapot past 9AM, which is quite late. The heat took much of our reserved strength so we spent a lot of time resting during the first few hours of the hike up Mapot Trail.

It was already past 1PM when we reached our lunch area. Good thing we decided to cook our dinner here already, taking advantage of the water source.

Ben aka Solarman and Mamu Rex

This next part of the trail leads us to Makawiwili Peak. This is the part when two of our friends already experienced cramps, delaying us further in our itinerary. 

Melvin, Mavie, Rhandz, Noel

It was already dark when we reached the final assault to Makawiwili Peak. The first team to arrive at the Makawiwili Peak decided to set up an e-camp (emergency camp).

Soup and dinner were waiting when I arrived at the peak. There is no water source here so we had to conserve whatever little water we have. The other problem is that the peak cannot accommodate all of our tents so some of the boys decided to bivouac. Bad idea. It was super cold that night and it rained.

Mavi, Rhandz, Solarman, moi and Noel

Makawiwili is an excellent vantage point. This secondary peak is also the 4th highest in the Visayas. Good thing we were rewarded the following day with a glorious sunrise.


The best part of this three day itinerary is the 2nd day when we just trekked to our next camp site, which is the shoulder and explored the summit. We decided to forego the Margaja Valley (except for our guides who went there to get water for the camp and one of our friends.)

Margaja Valley from our Campsite

We started our summit assault at 3PM after a good nap at the campsite. Fog covered the trail and the summit during our assault. The rain left us chilling. It was a good thing nature smiled a little on us to give us a 3 second view of the crater (which is quite scary for me). Negotiating our way down on those loose stones and with fogs covering us was also a bit difficult. Three of our friends even got lost. Good thing there we spotted them.

trek to the summit with a view of our campsite

this is me at the summit

Third day was our descent from our campsite. We started again quite late, hoping the sun would shine to dry our tents. The guides mentioned that they can complete this in two hours. It took us a lot more. The way down is very slippery. I actually lost count of the number of times I slipped. But it didn't lack the magnificent, sweeping views. 

We passed through grasslands, leaving us some scratches on our arms and a portion of the forest.

There were a lot of interesting sites on our way down like the sunflower field, the farmville and some friendly locals. It was dawn when we reached Sitio Mananawin, where we took a multicab back to our hotel.

In the end, Kanlaon left us with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, tons of good memories. loads of pictures to share to our friends, reddened cheeks and really firm butts.

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