Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mt. Romelo (River trek)

4th Training Climb (River Trek)

Mt. Romelo

Siniloan, laguna
Major Jump-off: Brgy. Macatad, Upland Siniloan
Elevation: 300 MASL
Days required / hours to summit: 1-2 days, 8-10 hours
Spec: Major climb, Difficulty 7/9, Trail Class 2-4
Features: Waterfalls, rain forest

Water world as we call it, the river system of Mt. Romelo is the perfect getaway for any outdoors men and adventure enthusiasts who would like to escape the heat of summer and challenge his/her capabilities of survival in the monsoon seasons. It is a quite a rough trail trekking upstream this river going up to the main falls, the Buruwisan falls.

The Great Valley. Mountaineer's stop-over.

As everyone knows, Mt. Romelo has 7 marvelous water falls which is fairly accessible by anyone via the traditional trail, namely the Lanzones falls, Buruwisan falls, Batya-batya, Old Buruwisan falls, Sampalok, Twin-falls and Sapang Labo falls.

RTU Mountaineers has been conducting its training climb for river trekking here every year and has guiding numerous successful climbs in the area.


From the Great Valley where mountaineers stop-over to shower after the trek, the first marker of the river trek is the "Grotto" which is one and a half hour away from the Great Valley, the trek from the valley is quite easy yet be wary for in summer season the current of the river tends to be so timid that green algae grows on the rocks which make it so slippery.

Green Valley 1

From the Grotto you'll be arriving at what we call "Green Valley 1" which is just 30mins. away and fairly easy to manoeuvre if you have the skills of swimming. This is where the fun starts, doing some river crossing techniques learned from BMC making a raft out of your packs, "Boat-Bag" as we call it. This is to go towards this obstacle which is estimated to be 6 feet deep or more.

Start of Green Valley 2

End part of Green Valley 2

After the easy part, the next is the Green Valley 2 which is just 20-30mins. away from Green Valley 1. This gulch is about 30-40 meters from end to end and 10 feet deep roughly. This obstacle will surely take away your energy in securing your packs fighting the strong current of the mini falls to cross over a 6 foot falls.

Emergency Campsite in front of this is the abandoned tent of local people who makes charcoals.
River gulch after the steep descent from the diverting off the Butas na Bato

After this you'll be arriving at the emergency camp which is marked by an abandoned camp of locals who makes charcoal. This campsite is quite small which can only accommodate two 4-5 person tent and one 2-3 person tent. This also marks your way out of the river temporarily to ascend the side of the gulch avoiding the "Butas na Bato" which is marked by a big boulder about 10-15 feet high trap between the gulch and a strong current mini fall under it which is way dangerous to prusik/climb because of the large volume of water coming right at you. The ascending trail which is on the right side, if you are looking towards the butas na bato from the e-camp will lead you left towards the direction of upstream river. Trekking for almost 30 mins. or less, you will come across a quite steep drop which is fairly soft soiled trail so you have better rig a rope segment on your way down.
Magnificent rock formations of White Walls.

After this descent you will see the magnificent "White walls" which is a sedimentary rock formations about 50-60 meters tall.
Heart shaped bath tub.

Then you'll come across several mini pools which one of it has a distinguishable heart shape. We call it the "Heart shape bath tub". after this just 20 mins away from the Heart shaped bath tub is the Old Buruwisan. But before the Old buruwisan is the ascend going to the camp site and the famous buruwisan falls.

Old Buruwisan.


Day 1

0300 – Assembly at Star Mall, Crossing
0330 – ETD to Raymond Transit, Legarda – Sampaloc, Manila (After Nagtahan Bridge)
0600 – 1st trip of bus bound to Infanta, Quezon
0830 - ETA Famy Junction (Stop over), last buying of provisions
0900 – ETA Brgy. Macatad, Siniloan, Laguna/Register at Great Valley/Breakfast
1000 – START TREK!
1130 – ETA at Twin wall
1215 - Green valley 1
1300 - Green valley 2 (Take lunch after G.V.2)
1400 – Take lunch
1530 - Resume trek
1545 - Butas na bato
1700 – White Walls
1730 – Heart shape bath tub
1800 – Bivouac; (Opt.A Heart shaped Bath tub/Opt.B Old Buruwisan)
2000 – Dinner time! SOCIALS!
2300 – Lights off!

Day 2
0500 – Wake-up call! Prepare breakfast
0730 – Break camp!
0800 – Start trek to Buruwisan Falls
0830 – Mulawin Wall
1100 – ETA to Buruwisan Falls; Explore
1600 – Start descent
1730 – ETA at Great Valley; Shower
1900 – ETD to Manila
2130 – ETA at Manila; Post climb


Be careful for some logs that are being carried downstream by the water because of the locals who cuts and make it into charcoals.