Mt. Kanlaon traverse
Canlaon City, Negros Occidental
December 12-14, 2012
It was not a perfect climb. The weather was crappy. We spent an entire day stranded in the campsite, shivering in the cold and bored out of our minds. We ran out of butane. I was crippled by dysmenorrhea, severe diarrhea and dehydration, and I thought I was going to die in a tent with shit in my pants.
And yet somehow, it still turned out to be one hell of an awesome climb. The sun came out and the battering winds gave us a break. We made it to the summit and caught a glimpse of the crater. I survived on a bottle of Propel and a strip of beef jerky.
I can’t write the whole story yet but for now, I’m just happy to be alive (with bowel movement back to normal) and overwhelmed that I was able to achieve one of my dream climbs.
Whenever I get too cocky for my own good, I’m reminded that I’m only able to climb a mountain by the grace of God, the favor of nature, and the enduring support and patience of my fellow climbers. For these, I will always be grateful.
On that note, let me give a shout-out to the seven guys who summited Mt. Kanlaon with me: Ed, my halimaw friend who preserved my sanity by helping out with the logistics of the climb; Edwin, the old school Montanara mountaineer who always takes the initiative to help out in the campsite; Dave, whose optimism to reach the summit remained unfazed even though the odds (and the guides) were against it; Trajan, who spent his birthday with us and treated us to a post-climb dinner at Joring’s Café (our favorite spot in Canlaon City); Niel, our resident photographer who takes the most amazing pictures; Mike, who took on Kanlaon as his first major climb and came out of it still a happy trooper; and Dante, who kept me alive throughout the entire ordeal (thanks for the Propel, for keeping watch while I meandered weakly on the trail, for pushing me on to the summit when I was about to give up, for carrying my backpack on the last leg of the trek, and for generally making sure I don’t drop dead on this climb). Thank you guys! You are all amazing and in spite of everything, I’m glad I was able to do this climb with you.
Kanlaon was beautiful beyond words and I will definitely go back (this time, armed with water purification tablets).