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Last summer, our group had another major climb; this time, in Mariveles, Bataan.

Tarak Ridge has been popular to climbers as “Tarak Ridge – Mahabang Lakaran”. I never fully understood why Tarak is being labeled as such until last month. Well, it took us around more than 8 hours to reach the summit and another 6 hours to go back; it was really a long trek… a very long trek.

But I tell you, everything was… WORTH IT.
Yes, it’s all worth it.

Fast Facts:
1130+ MASL
Major Climb w/ a difficulty of 4/9, Trail Class – 3
Day/s Required/Hours to Summit: 2 days, 5-6 hours

Last summer, we had planned of a weekly or monthly getaway but due to busy schedule, we ended up with one last hurrah for summer. The climb was carefully thought of (we opted for a climb w/ a sidetrip) since we want everyone to enjoy especially my little brother who was about to enter college.

May 29 – We had our assembly in Makati at exactly 2am and went straight ahead to Bataan Transit Terminal in Cubao. The plan was to take the 3AM trip to Mariveles Bataan so we can reach the drop-off point at around 6 am. Well, that was the PLAN; unfortunately, it did not happen. When we got in the terminal, there were no available buses and we had to wait in the line for almost 4 hours. To make the story short, we left Cubao at around 6:30AM.

Tell the conductor to drop you at Brgy. Alas-asin in Mariveles. Travel time would be around 3 to 4 hours long. Fare is Php272.00.

Drop Off Point: Brgy Alas-asin
Important: Do not forget to register at the Alas-asin Barangay Hall before climbing Tarak. Registration Fee is Php40.00.
Let’s start! ๐Ÿ™‚
The start of the long walk. The group still feeling giddy and excited even under the scorching heat of the sun.

 The real journey starts here – I am loving the greens!

The famous businesswoman in Tarak :p

The popular stopover. Magkaka-tarpaulin din kami next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

The journey to Papaya River…

The trail seems never-ending – it’s a combination of flat surface, assault, “buwis-buhay” trails, descents, etc. Yes, it is literally a series of ups and downs.

Seeing an open area made us feel so alive again. Haha!

We were all in awe when we saw this – they say, we can see Corregidor from here.

One of the ‘buwis-buhay’ trails to Papaya River

These big roots on the surface of the trails made the trek more challenging

Sabi dun sa dahon, “Malapit na daw. Promise.”

Based on the blogs that we have read, the trail to Papaya River would take approximately 2 hours only. But since we had a lot of kodak moments, siesta, unload/short breaks, it took us four hours to reach Papaya River.

Anyways, there are 2 campsites in Tarak:
1. At Papaya River
2. At the Grassland of Tarak Ridge 

Originally, our plan was to camp at the grassland so we can witness the sunset and have some stargazing at night. Since it was already 5PM when we reached Papaya River, it would be impossible for us to watch the sunset. Trek from Papaya River to the Grassland normally takes more than 2 hours. Since, we are all non-pro, it might take us another 4 hours so we just decided to camp at Papaya River instead.

Campsite at last!

Setting up our tents at Papaya River

Time to cook for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚
It was our first time to bring a medium-sized stove in our climb. Why? Simply because we want to cook Pork Sinigang.

I like this stove coz it uses a small butane and is very light. 
Though it is portable, swear, it works like a real stove!
Tsadan! Our Pork Sinigang ala Tarak! ๐Ÿ™‚
Achieve!
Since we were all tired and hungry, immediately after dinner, we slept early to prepare ourselves for our 2AM assault to the summit.
Next stop:

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