Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Freedom Climb 2011

How did you guys celebrated your Independence Day? Me, I was lucky enough to be invited by my college friend Rose to join the annual Freedom Climb. This event started last 2009 by mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts as their way of celebrating Independence Day, and was then turned into an annual event, but this year - 2011, it is more special. This June 12, 2011 - Freedom Climb will attempt to summit different mountains simultaneously in a attempt to set a New Guiness World Record. 

The Category is: Largest Ascent on a Mountain (Multiple Locations).

The record was set in United Kingdom and Ireland last September 10, 2000 having 600 people simultaneously scaled 112 mountains.

Upon registering, you may choose from the hundreds of mountains which one you would like to join in, but the organizers (FIMO) only allows a group with a minimum of 10 climbers. This is to prevent any accidents or unnecessary incidents during the climb. For us, we were lucky enough to join a group of veteran climbers; S.I.K.A.T headed by Kuya Alex. The chosen mountain, Mt. Irid in Tanay Rizal.

We met with the group in Cubao Q.C. and rode a jeep going to Cogeo, and there we met with other groups riding 5 rented big jeepney's  going to the jump-off point at Brgy. Sta. Ines Tanay Rizal on a multi-purpose basketball court. It took us around 3-4 hours ride on rough rode and crossing rivers going there.
Arriving at the basketball court early in the morning.

All the other groups waking up at 6AM for breakfast and get ready for the long hike up-ahead.
Since it was still dark when we arrived at the jump-off point, I didn't noticed that there was a nice river at the back of the basketball court.

The water is really cold and helped me to wake-up after washing my face. This is a sign, that I will be seeing more of this along the way.
A group picture before starting the climb for Mt. Irid.

Here we are as guest for S.I.K.A.T mountaineers.

Me, Dakilang Tambay and Rose (my college friend who invited us for this event).
This is one of the items given to us aside from the shirt during the event. This Bag Tag will also be used to exchange for an I.D Baller signifying that you climb the summit.

Some of the sponsors during the event and this bag tag can also be used as a discount card for the following sponsors.

Official ID during the event, though I never got the chance to fill it up with details needed.
The climb starts. We're already behind the other climbers.

First sighting of the long stretched river that we're going to cross all the way to the top.

First river to cross. A very beautiful site.

We were told that they are bringing this poor pig to the base camp half-way to the summit to be our feast for the night. Mind you, that this pig will also climb the same path that we're going to take. I just hope that this big won't get thin during the climb before they cook her.

Finally we caught with the rest of them. Or maybe it's the other group that caught up to us since we were one of the group who left the jump-off first.

Hey guys wait for me!

Another river to be crossed.
A Carabao (Kalabaw) carrying a couple of logs, maybe to the nearest town.

Finally our first rest. Me and Dakilang Tambay.

The one of the left is actually a chapel.

We're still so far away from our destination.

Oh! Another river to be crossed.

This time it's a little bit difficult, since the water is knee high and the current is a little bit strong.
We found a shallow path and a safer way across.

Wow! A Falls, time for another sight seeing.

The falls is not that big but our group mates are excited to get over there and see it closer.

I guess they were excited to take a dip as well.

Another rest time for us and cooling off as well.

Is it cold in there?
We don't have the right clothes so we just have to settle for a picture with the falls.

The other groups waiting for their turn at the falls.

By the way, it's me with our groupmates. They were also invited along and they accompanied us during the climb. Starting from the right, Gaiver, Jun (red), Gian and Dikoy.

I'm really getting jealous right now.

They're having so much fun without me.
Dakilang Tambay enjoying the nice view.

This is all I can enjoy here at the Kinabuan falls.

Time to get starting, we're still far way from the camp site.

After 5 hours of hike we finally arrived at the camp site.

For the other group it took them less than 4 hours. They've already set there tents.
Guess what we did after reaching the base camp?

Celebration for reaching the base camp and for the last part of the climb tomorrow morning.

One of the natives cooked this for us. Poor piggy.

The dish is called "Niluto sa Buho". It actually tastes like "sinigang", but they only used pork, onion and some vines (according to them). It really tastes good, I even wanted to ask for the ingredients.
Water source near our camp site.

Time to clean myself-up after passing thru mud and getting all sweaty.

After all that long walk and steep climb going to the base camp, this is what I get to experience 6AM in the morning June 12, 2011.

Mt. Tukduan, this is where the other group will climb since all 100-plus people can't fit at the top of Mt. Irid.
Breakfast before the actual climb to the summit.

Whats for breakfast?

Flag ceremony before the climb.

Group picture for those who will climb to the summit. Some chose not to climb anymore, because they will look after the things at the camp or they no longer have the strength to climb. The climb to the summit is another 3-4 hours and will return to base camp, dismantle the tents and go back immediately to the jump-off point. This means that there will hardly be any rests for those who will climb the summit.

Unfortunately, me and Dakilang Tambay decided not to climb to the summit. And since the climb to the summit is considered as a "technical climb", meaning sharp rocks and steep climb included, were in you will need to have a stick for balance, gloves and shoes - which we all don't have.
Since we can't join the final climb, we joined Bagumbuhay (Bong, Jon, Joni, Sir Dixie-Pres. of the group and sorry forgot your name) group for some drinks and told us that it's a good thing we didn't joined the climb because it will be very difficult for first timers like us.

Eventhough we were left behind we still had a nice view on our end.

One final dip before leaving the camp site.

For those who reached the summit, this is there proof.

For me this is the worst part of the climb, being bitten by a Leech (Limatic - native term or Linta). I was bitten by this thing 6 times. Actually it doesn't hurt at all, you will only know you were bitten when you see it on your body or when you see that you are already bleeding.
 This is my 2nd time to climb a mountain, but this would probably the hardest of the two. I can't describe the feeling of reaching the summit, but what Rose told me is that we were lucky not come along since the climb was really hard, and the she almost fell of a cliff several times. The rewarding part is that the view from the summit was amazing according to her and sense of achievement in conquering the mountain is hard to describe. 

We were all there to set a New World Record, but the best part for us is the experience itself. If we ever really set a new record then that would just be an added bonus for all of us. 

Official date for declaring the record by Guiness would be on July. Let us all cross our fingers and hope we made it.


Dakilang Tambay said...

Ikaw na updated. At ang panget ng pic ko sa isa. I hate u na..

Chyng said...

ang galing!
so hows the pig? namayat ba sya? hehe

Anonymous said...

eto hinihintay ko sir..hehe..salamat sa pagpapakilala samin mga "chikiboys"
haha..sama sama tayo sa mga next climb alak lng pampalakas haha..sayang di mo nakunan yung "encounter with a snake" natin..haha..more power!


Anonymous said...

actually ngayon ko lng nalaman na nabeat pla natin record..haha..kundi ko pa tinitignan site mo sa update..hehe..


Axel said...

@Dakilang Tambay >> hahaha, ok lang yun.. Maganda ka pa rin.. =p

@Chyng >> mukhang hindi naman namayat, ang daming putahe naluto sa kanya eh.. hehe

@Dikoy >> nakita ko lang yung picture na yun kay Sir Oliver eh.. Pero wala pa naman yung official from Guiness eh, party na toh kapag nasabi na nila.. Sa susunod na akyat uli..

Visual Velocity said...

Sounds interesting. Did the weather cooperate? Maulan ba?

Axel said...

@Visual Velocity >> yes, the weather did cooperate. It didn't rain during the climb, but it rained while we were sleeping so it was really cold during the night..