Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ravenous Virtual Journey at Mt. Guiting-Guiting

These are 360 images, hit the pictures then click and drag the image in any directions after loading. 360VRs produced by Firefly Digital Designs Services.
Chocolates, rich creamy chocolates, the kind that you step on and make the trail slippery amidst torrential rain as we make our descent from Mt. Guiting Guiting on the island of Sibuyan, Province of Romblon.
No amount of rain gear can protect you from the continuous downpour as we trekked down under the steep forest canopy, our paths turned into mini rivers, drenched to the bones, for nearly 9 hours, this was the longest shower I ever took.

As we reached the Malamig River, being the last team to arrive, the day-long torrent had turned what used to be a gentle stream into a mad rapid of murky currents with rocks and tree trunks belting down; it was almost dark and we must get across.
Mt. Guiting-Guiting, fondly called G2 by mountaineers, is classified as the most technically difficult mountain in the Philippines. On a scale of 1 to 9, G2 is a 9/9 or even 10/9 depending on prevailing weather conditions and environmental factors. Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon, for comparison, is an easy 3/9.
Rising 2058 MASL at the heart of Sibuyan Island, one of the seven islands that make up the Province of Romblon, acknowledged as the marble capital of the country, guiting-guiting means jagged in the local dialect, make so by the saw-toothed peaks that projected beyond the clouds. 

It was in May 1982 that the first attempt to summit Mt. Guiting-Guiting was undertaken; with Art Valdez leading the combined team from the Bacolod based Philippine Mountaineering Society (PMS) and the University of the Philippines (UP) mountaineers. The team however failed to summit G2 in this first attempt but return two weeks later with Mon Ruiz, Kim Valino, Bubot Tan Torre (the UP mountaineers) and Edwin Gatia of the PMS team as being the ones to first stand at the peak of Mt. Guiting-Guiting.

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