Mt. Makiling

Mt. Makiling
Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Jump-off: Brgy. San Miguel, Sto. Tomas
LLA: 14.13°N 121.20°E, 1090 MASL (Peak 2)
Hours to Peak 2 / days required: 1-2 days / 7-8 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 3 with roped segments

Much more challenging than the UPLB trail are the trails on the south face of Mt. Makiling, arising from Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The forests teem with limatik and poison ivy and the trails are labyrinthine, spawning a lot of entry and exit points. Moreover, the precarious location of the trails have taken its toll on climbers, causing injuries and even deaths in the past. These elements of danger must be considered by anyone who dare enter Makiling on this side. The rewards, of course, are great: after crossing this difficult trail, going down via UPLB is relatively pleasant, especially during the summer months. The sights along the way, especially in Haring Bato and later in Melkas Ridge, encompass much of Batangas province and the vicinity, including Mt. Maculot (S); Mt. Malipunyo (SE), and Mt. Banahaw (ESE).

'Maktrav' has become the nickname for the Makiling Traverse, and such is the itinerary detailed here. It is commenced on plain ground of rural fields: patches or fields of bananas and corn, and segments of cogon grassland. PinoyMountaineer has isolated two major trail variants of the Sto. Tomas trail. The more often used is the west trail, which is more outlined in the internet as passing landmarks like the Palanggana campsite and peak. The other - the Sipit Trail, goes straight to the Melkas Ridge (Gubatan) campsite. The two have relatively similar time requirements.

Mt. Makiling

From the campsite, one will cross the Melkas Ridge itself - some of its parts have ropes to assist you since this is the most precarious part of the trip. At the end is Peak 3, from which another challenging part of the trek begins - the ' Wild Boar Trail' which ultimately leads to Peak 2, or the summit of Mt. Makiling. From here is an easier, more familiar descent via the more commonly used UPLB trail.

After the UPLB trail was closed as an entry point in 2007, there has been renewed interest in the Sto. Tomas trails. An action-packed dayhike, traversing Mt. Makiling, is likewise gaining popularity. Considering the difficulty of carrying heavy packs across Makiling, a dayhike is a good option.

TMOG Group

TMOG's (Trail Masters Outdoor Group) Training climb to Mt. Apo for the year 2012.



Makiling Traverse (MAKTRAV)

Via Sipit (East) Trail
0430 Assembly JAC Liner, LRT Buendia1
0540 ETA Sto Tomas Market
0600 Take tricycle to 'Bundok' or 'Mt. Makiling' (left of highway).
0630 ETA jump-off. No registration required. Proceed to Resthouse
0700 ETA Resthouse
0730 ETA Station 1 then Station 2 (Kambigan)
0800 Find trail left of Rocky River
1030 Merge with main trail (marked with red and white ribbons). Follow it to the right (NE).
1100 ETA Melkas Ridge campsite. Snacks.
1130 Commence Melkas Ridge crossing
1200 ETA Peak 3. Follow Wild Boar trail to Peak 2
1400 ETA Peak 2 (Mt. Makiling summit). Late lunch
1430 Start descent via UPLB trail
1800 ETA UP College of Forestry; walk down the road and wait for jeepney (P8)


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