An Easy Climb to Malvar’s Peak (and a Beginner Climber’s Note)

Climbing mountains has become a favorite getaway of many people nowadays, particularly the youth and young professionals. Inspired by that Mt. Daraitan climb instagram post by your colleague? Are you planning, now, to experience mountain climbing? Starting as a beginner, climbing has attracted me to pursue more of this worthwhile activity in the future. Here is an easy hiking destination, which I believe preferable for beginner climbers, where my friends went into last Philippine summer. 🙂

Malvar’s peak is a mountain situated inside Mount Purro Nature Reserve in Antipolo City, Philippines, a forest sanctuary at the foothills of Sierra Madre Mountain Range. The mountain stands at 426 meters above sea level (MASL). For me, this friendly day hike can be done by anyone provided that you are well and physically fit. The hike is easy and suitable for beginner climbers. Those who have not tried mountain climbing before can surely try this one for experience. Other than being a fit and fun recreational activity with family or friends, I found it a good training ground where beginners can have an idea of the do’s, don’ts and what to expect in mountain climbing and other related activities, especially when they are planning to pursue such activities in the future.

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A moment with hiking. Photo by Mio Cortez

We started the climb at 7:30 am. (As preparation, we ate sufficient breakfast at our homes and performed stretching exercises before we began.) The hiking trail we walked into does not disappoint. It’s so good to feel fresh, unpolluted air again while witnessing nature’s beauty with our own eyes. Various trees are everywhere, so are fallen fruits, huge and small rocks, and bushes with unique fruits and flowers. Every mountain really has its own beauty.

 

 

 

We stopped over at three stations along the trail– with the third station as the summit. The first station is the Grotto, where a statue of Mama Mary greeted us in the place. The second station is the Bamboo, where bamboo trees are all over the place. The trail we walked on is less rocky and is smoother compared to other trails we have hiked before. Expect taking high steps upward though. This will need your balance and a lot of power from your legs.

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The incredible summit

The sun is so high when we reached the summit. We saw some trees at the top, mostly banana trees, and a vast area where we can rest for a while. We did this fun activity last May 2017 and despite our exposure to the sun’s rays in the summit, we enjoyed the beautiful overlooking view of the nearby green, luscious mountains in the area.

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Yes. The heat is real. But that won’t stop us from “chilling” after our strenuous climb to this peak. 🙂 Photo by Mio Cortez

After reenergizing ourselves in the summit, we continued the second part of our hiking by going down from the mountain. Most people say that going down is a lot easier than going up. This holds true for Malvar’s Peak. But for other mountains, especially the ones with more difficult climbing levels – I believe it depends on the person. Descending requires less effort unlike ascending the mountain, but we still need to be careful in going down so that we will not slip down (mostly true if a rainy weather catches us in our climbing trips).  We had a quiet walk with nature as we go down, but with soul-inspired conversations of friends that made this hike memorable.

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Our faces after the climb. Do you believe it? Haha. You be the judge. 😛 Photo by Mio Cortez

It took us nearly two hours to go up and down the mountain, and that includes our relaxation time at the summit. It sounds like a very easy hike, right? In reality, beginners should expect more in mountain climbing than just walking. To mention some adventures you will be facing on are: rock/boulder climbing, river crossing, carrying your own backpacks all the way up, trekking on muddy/slippery soil, huge and pointy rocks scattered everywhere, etc. (Luckily for Malvar’s Peak, we have not dealt with these kind of extreme activities.)

You will definitely exert a lot of effort in mountain climbing compared to other activities you have done before. In fact, your legs and back will be the most worked out muscles in your body for this activity. It is important that you check your strength and stamina before you do strenuous activities like this. All mountains, regardless of their classification as major or minor, easy or difficult, have their own challenges and one should be prepared for it. On my previous climbing experiences, I can say that we should not be pressured to go fast like other experienced climbers. All you need is believe in yourself, take your time and make that leap. Over time, you will surely improve. #IHeartMountaineering ❤ 🙂

The conclusion and a few notes for beginner climbers

Why do people climb mountains? There may be a lot of reasons. Perhaps it’s their hobby/lifestyle, or they want to try something new in their lives, or they want to overcome something, like their fear and self-doubt.

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Photo by Michy Sansano

Mountain climbing gives you a sense of achievement by: (1) overcoming your weaknesses, (2) discovering your inner strength, (3) developing confidence and perseverance, (4) meeting new friends along the way and (5) after all our hard work, seeing the beautiful view of nature at incredibly high altitudes that is, priceless. There are still countless things you can learn and appreciate in mountain climbing. In our country where we are blessed with mountainous provinces and gorgeous islands across seas, mountain climbing is just one of the activities we are lucky to do here in the Philippines.

But activities such as these are serious, you need to maintain your physically fitness before you do them. Keeping a healthy lifestyle (mainly, exercising regularly) will do you a lot of benefit in this activity. Some also take up a course before they start their first mountain climbing. If you are a beginner, you can always start at the easiest mountains to climb. Don’t be pressured to climb the moderate level of difficulty at the first time. It will all depend on YOU. If you assess yourself as more confident, you can start from there. But do not forget that as a first timer, you must do a lot of research before your first climb. When you have chosen your first-ever mountain climb:

  • Read a traveller’s previous experience on that place. You can research on the internet and found a lot of travel blogs which may be helpful for you. Their blogs usually give you an insight on the overview of the place, their climbing experience – was it good or bad? And of course, their photos to show the fantastic views in that place. Budget, itinerary, tips and their preparation for the climb may be also posted there.
  • Be more curious. Research about the meaning of mountain climbing difficulty levels. Pinoymountaineer.com blog has posted the Philippines countrywide scale of rating a mountain climb. They will help you understand more about climbs which may aid in your preparation for each climb. You can find the information here at: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/12/new-system-of-classifying mountains.html.
  • Take a basic mountaineering course and always climb with a more experienced climber than you. Done your research? Now it’s time to get serious. All we need is a plan and to put it into action. Taking up a course will help us learn more about the mountain climbing lifestyle. Here is a website where I found useful tips on doing your first climb: https://www.travelbook.ph/blog/mountaineering-guide-for-beginners/

After your first climb, you will learn a lot of things about yourself. One of that will be your strength. How you manage climbing those steep steps up ahead? How you put aside your “kaartehan” and continue moving on with aching limbs, perspiration and (sometimes) muddy clothes?

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You may have made mistakes at your first climb, but always take them as a motivation to improve in the future. Also take note that there is no pressure in each mountain you climb. You plan and do the climb in the most reasonable timetable for you. After all, choosing to be an avid climber means you are not doing these activities solely for the purpose of pictures, but rather for the unique experience with mountains and nature that you will forever treasure, deep in your heart.

A story that you can tell to future generations.  I believe that each one of us has an “adventurous oil” hidden inside of us. It’s up to us to figure that out, how and when to answer that call. And if you decided to explore nature, she will not disappoint you. 🙂

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We may have heard of sayings that exploration is the essence of being human. For me, that will be the exploration of the beautiful places in the world that I need to see in my life.” 🙂 ❤

Malvar’s Peak? ✔Check. What’s next in Mount Purro Nature Reserve?

I’ll write about it soon.

Cheers,

shar

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