It was an interesting weekend for me together with the guys of takbo.ph for our first trail adventure. Rene (JazzRunner) was kind enough to give us a tour of the trails of Montalban and experience firsthand the magnificent sights and breath-taking trails of this wonderful place. This event was also made possible with the help of Mar (Forefoot Runner).
It was originally intended as an LSD on the country-side but none of us knew what was waiting for us (except possibly for Rene). When we arrived at our starting point we immediately got an idea that it was going to be a trail run, but later on we found out that it will no longer be a run but more of a walk—trail run sans run—trail walking? Unlike a typical trail run route the course was a continuous ascent to the top—there were very few flat areas along the course that would accommodate running comfortably and the angle of ascent at times is too steep to make running practical. Those factors together with the astonishing sights—walking became the most pleasurable and preferred mode of travel.
Pic Stop, this was a new term we developed while “running” this route. It refers to having a stop to take pictures or have our pictures taken, possibly because of a good view, to have time for some people to catch up, but sometimes just to have a reason to stop walking. Apparently pic stops make good motivations for people to hurry and catch up (to be included in a group shot).
Rains from the past few days made the trails muddy. Everyone was hauling mud on their shoes regardless of the type of shoe but it seemed like trail running shoes picked up the most. Before you know it your shoes are heavy and uneven because of the accumulated mud, and by the time we got to the top everyone’s shoes were “browned.”
The view from the top was simply spectacular. I never imagined that something like this could lie so close to Metro Manila. It was like having a wonderful garden in your backyard without you knowing it. On one side you get the magnificent view of the mountains and on the other the view of the city.
Climbing up trails with a good set of company made this adventure fun, not to mention the higher probability of having your picture taken. I think everyone in the group would agree that all the effort we spent climbing to the top was worth it! You just have to be there to experience what we did because truly, words are not enough to fully describe the feeling that we had when we got there—it was almost like nobody wants to go down anymore!
The route to the top is about five and a half kilometers of climb with elevation from 31M in its base to 473M in the summit (GF405 data). Taken into account the elevation, the total distance for this route is at least 11K from base to summit and back (5.5K going up and another 5.5K going down).
Side trip to Wawa Dam
After going back from the trail we were encouraged by Rene to go to Wawa Dam which is only a few hundred meters away from where we parked. It was indeed an interesting sight to see, too bad that we didn’t see its water on a clear state (possibly because of the rains as well) but still there were many people enjoying its waters.