Weekends at Mt. Romelo

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I Know. You don’t have to tell me to come up with a better title when my supposed weekend brought hysterics of emotions. But allow me to explain.

I broke a promise today and having that as a baggage – more like a purse – I had little energy to be creative. Monday was supposed to be for my film review. An item so darn late, my friend whom I went out with last Friday for a movie is now giving me ample dagger stares. I couldn’t break the news that a handful of officemates are hating me for watching ahead of everybody else, so I made a concious decision to wait. Another promise was to load all pictures from our mountain climb by three in the afternoon. As of press time (it’s 9:59 in the evening), I haven’t gotten around it yet.

We started our climb to Mt. Romelo (part of Sierra Madre Mountain Range more famously known as Famy) around six in the evening. This was my first night trek and four (of eight) was their first jab to climbing. It was a slow quasi-dangerous ascend given that it had been raining. Mud was our chief pain. We’d find ourselves knee deep in it or simply slipping back to where we started – meaning, the foot of the mountain. I didn’t mind the darkness and creepy sounds that come in the night; I can psych myself to be brave. What heightened my sense of fear are sudden drops (ravine) masked by the darkness. No one brought a first aid kit and none carried ropes. I for one had my share of escape. I remember being saved a handful of times by someone I was just introduced to. What was a little off is he kept saving me by catching me from behind – which entailed a pinch of suspicions that I’m being groped at. Eventually that idiotic misgiving evaporated when he indeed caught my leg from slipping through a ravine heaven knows how deep. Thanks Dan.

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It would also be polite to mention another individual whom I was just formally introduced to – whose initial experience in climbing fetched praises. Earl was quite the efficient novice who knew how to balance himself and knew where to step. He had to suffer the inefficiencies of a busted flashlight but he seemed equipped navigating through the dark. The other newbies Toni, Randy, and Abs also proved themselves well; all three reached stop # 3 long before the other’s did.

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If Toni, Randy, and Abs got there first, who got there last?  … Me. The 70-degree slope that was our final obstacle was so unforgiving, I was close to kicking myself all the way back home. No rope, plus mud, plus darkness, plus a gash under my right foot was enough to induce me to panic. Our porters had to haul me out there; which was humiliating.

We arrived at our final stop (camp) by one in the morning and had our dinner soon after. All the girls wasn’t going to sleep without washing, so we picked up our soap and towels and walked a few meters to wash at the river. In pitch darkness, we tried to wash. It was very cold but we made a conscious choice over pneumonia rather than being dirty. By five in the morning, everyone was in their tents to take a little rest.

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Eight in the morning: We moved up stream to see the falls. We were all in the water just hanging onto rocks wading our way up. It wasn’t difficult but we had to be careful of the current. Areas that narrowed had strong pulls so we had to be very careful angling ourselves against it. Going back, I enjoyed a nice dip just allowing the river to carry me. None of them took the swim (they chose to scale the rocks on the side for fear of drowning) but I just had to give it a shot.

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We started our descend by one in the afternoon and arrived at the foot of the mountain around six in the evening. Everyone was back in the city safe and sound around twelve midnight.

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By morning the next day I couldn’t move a limb, everything was aching. I can’t even go to my computer to write or check my emails. Instead, I lied down all day catching up on my t.v. shows. It wasn’t until after I had to dress the wound on my feet that I finally decided to summon the energy to write.


3 thoughts on “Weekends at Mt. Romelo

  1. Hey Jean, I think this sums up everything that we feel.

    When the 1000mg of Alaxan wore off yesterday, I had a better look of the nightmare we enlisted ourselves into. In an odd way, it was worthwhile and fun. I wouldn’t mind climbing again (in good weather conditions) and wouldn’t mind climbing with you guys again too.


  2. Pingback: Things You Forget Because Of The Altitude And Looking Forward To Twilight, Again « thinking aloud

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