“There’s a short way to Mount Talamitam and there’s the long one. We took the long one, which were the local trails and even if it was a freaking 16 kilometer struggle, we got a better appreciation not only of the summit but the forest trails that came with it.”
Mount TalamitamTaking the longer and more scenic route.
Mount Talamitan starts at Km 83 of Tagaytay Nasugbu Road. It’s a few kilometers after Sandari Batulao. It’s the mountain just in front of Mount Batulao. There is the more tourist friendly route for Mt. Talamitam which is just about 6 kilometers back and forth from the summit of Mt. Talamitan. We took the longer and more scenic way to the top which was about 16 Freaking kilometers in total.
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The first 4.5 kilometers of route goes on a rolling terrain with river crossings and deep forest trails. The next 3.5 kilometer is an assault to the peak worth 500+ meters of climbing. The route descends sharply with a 450 meter drop in elevation over the next 1.5 kilometers. The next 4 kilometers goes on a very technical forest trails with a rolling terrain. Finally, the last remaining 2.5 kilometers shifts to the road with one final steep climb before rounding up the 16 kilometers course.
Trekking Mt. Talamitam
From Km 83, we started the trek with the road headed downward, which was mossy and slippery coming from the rain the day before.We took it slow and safe. The road led to a wooden bridge and a river.
I got to appreciate how clear and clean the river was. After the river, we slowly ascended the forested trail that had a variety of looks with trees, bushes, vines, rivers, bamboo shafts alternating along the trail.
The trails were really visually enticing. The climbs felt endless. We were also going at a fast pace as the pace was being dictated by the lead pack. Our only breather was the photo opportunities. It felt that that mileage was trickling so slow, which you can account to the difficulty of the trek.
With the terrain rolling, I pushed myself on the climbs and rested on the descent. It was a struggle and we had different surfaces of grass, rocks and a lot of mud. I even fell in a muddy patch as I underestimated the jump in a muddy area.
I did get a lot of mud. The trails were a bit technical so I had to watch my step on the descents. I went on smoothly with the descents. This were also the local trails so we’d occasionally be passing by the houses of locals and areas where locals are making coal. We did get the customary good morning greetings as well as barking dogs protecting their turf.
Deeper into the Woods
The climbs were endless but with the forested area, it didn’t feel hot and draining yet. It just got more challenging and more scenic as the trail went deeper.
After 3 kilometers, the trail goes into a more open area. You get to see and appreciate the nearby Mountains including Mount Batulao. It was a short peek as the trails immediately shifted back to the forest trails again. I love being in forest trails since its more shaded plus its refreshing to the eyes.
Out of the Forest
Being out of the wood also meant being in direct contact with the sun’s hot morning rays. The view from the top can be seen from this vantage point. You can see people lining up the more common tourist trails. As usual, we were taking the harder way up.
I was struggling on the climb. I got a pointer on proper breathing on climbs. I had to take a deep breath after 3 steps and it works. We always ended up taking the harder road but I guess, that’s the point of the adventure.
This was a long and dragging climb. We shifted again to forest trails and grassy areas as we made our way to the top. At this point, you just get awed by the beauty of the mountain range while fighting all the exhaustion in reaching the top. We also made some wrong turns but eventually we found our way back to the trail. The good part of being in the tail-end, I didn’t have to go back that far.
We had several rests along the way. We also stopped at an area where there is a storage of cold fresh stream water. This was a great way to replenish energy, which was hitting a low point already.
The path we took had tall grasses towards the summit. After all the hard work, we were on top and the view was breathtaking. All the effort was worth its reward. That’s 8 kilometers worth of climbing and it wasn’t easy reaching this point.
Aside from the view, there was some one selling ice cream at the top. I had two ice cream (buko and cheese) as a reward for my effort. We took about 30 minutes enjoying the summit. The fun part of the summit is that you can see the foggy effect nearby as it approaches our area.
The view is just priceless and it shows you that there are a lot more mountains to climb. It was humbling to be in this spot. The mountains has its way of humbling us – first with its challenging ascent and then of its raw beauty. We get weakened by the climb but we end up stronger after climbing it.
After endless picture taking at the summit, we were ready for the descent. The option was to go fast on 3 km worth of tourist road or spend another 8 kilometers on local trails. Of course, we took the harder road.
Time for the Descent
It was a huge drop in altitude and we ended up using gravity to blitz this part. It was really an adrenalin rush going that fast on the descent.
We waited on the grassy fields for the rest to descend. It was also a good time to rest as we still had over 7 kilometers to go. The area felt like New Zealand or the grassy fields of Austria in the Sound of Music.
After about a kilometer in the scenic fields, it was time to descend again. It was now on technical trails with a lot of vines, stones and twist that can trip you on your descent. I just went cautious here and trusted the traction of my shoes. We ended up resting in the river while waiting for the rest to descend the trails.
It felt so refreshing drenching my feet and my shoes over the cold river. The water-repellent feature of the show limits the water flowing in but allows water to flow out through the fabric. When it was time to resume the trail, it was good to go and didn’t feel heavy.
We were on the deepest part of the trail and the next 6 kilometers were ascents. After all the effort on the first 10 kilometers of the trail, it was a struggle being on the ascent again. I even felt dizzy after a short rest. I took my trail food and it was an energy boost. I joked around that even if I felt dizzy I was scared to faint since either way I still have to finish the trail.
The Long Road out of the Trail
The trail felt endless and the climbs were punishing so we took it one step at a time. The forested area was much cooler and the weather also started to cool down. Approaching the end of the trail, the rain started to fall and it was really heaven sent. We get refreshed by the rains. We then started walking our way to the rest of the route and I really didn’t mind that the rain was pouring at that time. Our companions eventually got a jeep so we went on with the jeep to end the route and yes, the remaining part of it was uphill.
This was not a walk in the park but it’s worth all the effort doing it. You have to be ready for this trail. You’ll enjoy the trails better when you are not huffing and puffing your way out of it.