Monday, February 26, 2007

A way to go - Mt Banahaw itinerary


Mt. Banahaw can be scaled through various jump-off points like Dolores, Tayabas (Banahaw de Tayabas), Sariyaya (Guis-guis Trail) and Lucban (Lucban de Banahaw) but most of these trails have different peak destinations though there are already recorded traverse from one peak to the other or climbs using a combination of these trails.

This itinerary is the Dolores Trail. The Dolores Trail, the most popular particularly among the pilgrims, have two other sub-routes, the Crystalino and the Tatlong Tanke routes. There is a third route in Dolores that is no longer being used. It connects to the Guisguis trail of Sariyaya going inside the crater. So officially, the two Dolores trails, Crystalino and Tatlong Tangke are considered the Banahaw de Dolores climb.

In climbing, it is advisable to take one of the trails going up and the other on your way down to see the two routes. The climb can be easily done even without a guide for trails are visible and marked. Looking for guides within the place may be difficult for most people living within the jump-off area are not inclined into climbing or guiding in particular. The climb itself is not a technical one, but a long strenuous hike. To go there, take a bus bound for Lucena City (Tritran, JAM, JAC, BLTB).

Get off at San Pablo Laguna. Ask for the jeepney stop for jeeps bound for Dolores Quezon (regular trips are from 4:00 AM to 4:00 PM, though special trips can be arranged 24 hours a day with much added cost). Kinabuhayan in Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Dolores, Quezon is the official jump-off point. From Kinabuhayan, you can ask the locals for the start of the trail or you can go directly at the back of the barangay hall. The trail initially splits into two, the Crystalino and the Tatlong Tangke trails. Either of the two, follow the established path straight to the peak (Durungawan I). From there you can choose what trail to take in descending the mountain, either the other Dolores trail, the Guis-guis trail or Tayabas/Lucban trails.

Banahaw can be scaled any time of the year though it is best advised especially for beginners and the curious to climb it during the Holy Week. Few weeks before the Holy Week is the best time because during that time, the place is already prepared for the Holy Week revelry with make-shift stalls along the trail but not as crowded and littered as the Holy Week itself.

No comments: