It was a last minute decision that had me packed so little in a short span of time to join IIT Mountaineers and friends for a 3 Day traverse hike to Mt. Lumot and Mt. Sumagaya. Joined by familiar faces, we embarked into a long ride from Iligan City to Cagayan de Oro to Claveria and then to Gingoog for the jump off point of Cebu Pacific Flight 387 Shrine.
Remembering the coldness of the damped lumot filled rainforest, I can still feel the aura of fresh cold air with occasional rain drops and strong wind hammering our garbage bag turned gown slash anti-hypothermia jacket to keep our body heat intact back in those days when I and friends joined Freedom climb 11 aiming to gain the world record. We didn’t made it but our experience has surpassed them and made us stronger and eager to climb the clever mountain back again and again until Mt. Lumot allow us to enjoy her beauty. No wonder the Cebu Pacific flight 387 had crashed into the vast forest and left no one alive.
This time, from 10 down to two, only Beth and I had trekked during the latest IITM activity among my group of friends. With the company of new faces, we made it to Haribon site enough to feel our numbing feet and chilled body. We technically found ourselves pitching the tent, fly, and made our own food like a programmed robot. I as a mom and Beth as a dad, we enjoyed every laughs and stories through the whole night while in our own deep thoughts thinking how to survive the long cold night.
We woke up before the wakeup call and found strong wind. I concluded: 40% chances of the group will pursue going for the next camp. True enough, Sir Manny, the President, declared to go back trail and for those who want to go the crash site can go but the traverse must be aborted because of the bad weather. Later, we found out that there is a Low Pressure Area and heavy rains are pouring in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro. Safety first is our main priority.
Upon preparing our breakfast, we found out there were two in the group who suffered hypothermia that night and the cancellation was the wisest decision made.
I told Beth, “This is somewhat similar to the saying, It doesn’t matter how slowly you go so long as you don’t stop. We are taking one step at a time, last time, we only made it to the shrine and hopefully next time we can make it to Camp Neil Perez.” We laughed.
Past 2 PM, we finally made it back to the Shrine that looks more like a ruins. But that ruins had sheltered us the following stormy night. We all thought, it would be a disaster to pursue the traverse good thing we decided to stay if not, more will suffer hypothermia and worse, there might be casualties. The following day, 1 participant had to be rushed off to the nearest hospital. But nonetheless, the activity was successful. We joked, the patient couldn’t handle the hyperacidity, hypothermia, and the hot attraction to our other colleague that is difficult to take them all at once. Indeed, the most awaited story at this time of the year. ROLF!
Beth and I said agreed, “it was the coolest and most enjoyable climb we had by far.” Because of this, I am more eager to climb back to Mt. Lumot again and to Claveria – the quaint town I fell in love with even just as a passerby. For sure, I’ll be visiting back again to see those farms, those roses and maybe for a longer stay.
Cheers to more climb with you guys!
Mt. Lumot belongs to Balatucan Range, Misamis Oriental. It can be accessed at Sitio Harrohay, Brgy. Lunotan, Gingoog City with 2320 MASL. (by: pinoymountaineer). Mt. Lumot is known as the crash site of Cebu Pacific Flight 387 in 1998. Known by its name, the mountain of Mosses and is termed as “Mountain of Souls”. There is a yearly tribute climb to Mt. Lumot hosted by KAPLAG Mountaineers of Gingoog City.
***Photos are from Ate Memie and Cris