Mount Guiting-Guiting Traverse: No postcard pictures, Only challenging adventure

Mount Guiting-Guiting Traverse is a DIFFICULT route that starts from Barangay Espana in town of Olango, south side of Sibuyan Island, ascends the summit of Mount Guiting-guiting, descends via another knife-edge ridge to Mayo’s peak on the “traditional” trail, and ends up in Baranggay Tampayan in town of Magdiwang on the north side of the island.

Mayan Gutierrez, PALMC, orchestrated the climb. Unfortunately, she could not join us (Ang trabaho maka-kasira ng barkada). Tnx, Lady Mayan!

Knife-edge ridges are exposed and there are large gaps between boulders, some of them covered with thin layer of leaves (ala Vietnam war boobytraps). One needs to be ready to duck and hold on tight to the rock, else be blown off. In one instant, Remy got slammed into the rock by a strong gust. When wind dies down, we GO-GO-GO!!!

We enjoyed the hospitality of Ka Remy (Kagawad, Olango), Barangay Captain Nono (PALMC), brother Bermar “Toto” Tansiongco (G2 guide) and family and Nonong Mayor (Barangay Tampayan, Magdiwang). The Tansiongco’s carry on the legendary hospitality that the Manong Lee offered mountaineers.

Sorry folks, no postcard shots for you (you can find that on others’ sites). DSLR’s remained stowed in dry-bags. This is almost worst-case scenario (rain and strong wind less hypothermia, flood and injury) on one of the toughest routes in the Philippines.

A day after the climb, weather improved and we joked about going reverse traverse, knocking at Ka Remy’s door, saying, “we forgot something” – LOL!

Trip Report by Raymond “RAD” Deza, a back-country outdoors man who typically reach his destination under his own power, cook
his own food and setup his own shelter.

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