For one, I was not confident my right knee will be able to hold up. Number two, I am not a fan of spirits and bloodsuckers, both of which fairly occupy the mountain. With a big bag of salt and my ever go-go mood when it comes to trips, my eight friends and I set forth to conquer Maria Makiling on the first day of August.
The summit at Peak 2 is 1,090 meters above mean sea level. Since we did the main UPLB trail the previous year, this time we took the more scenic and challenging Sto. Tomas trail. The trail begins at San Bartolome in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and ends at the friendlier UP College of Forestry area in Los Baños, Laguna.
My first major climb for the year, I suited up and prepared to say hello to not just the limatiks, but also to the expected half day climb and to lots of bending, going over and roping through trails.
The MakTrav starts on wide rural or farm roads that eventually become a maze of cogon grasslands. The exciting portion commences at the roped segments of Melkas Ridge and culminates at the deep forest of the Wild Boar Trail. From the summit, descending becomes easy albeit hard on the knees as the toll of the Wild Boar Trail rubs on you.