mt. irid: the road to leeches and river crossing

Mt. Irid 1st Day

Sitio Sadlak, Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal
Jump-off: Brgy. Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal
1,475 + MASL (According to Altimeter reading)

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Here I am again wondering where to go and haven’t decided yet if I will to climb Mt. Irid on the weekends of August 9 and 10. I have no plans for the weekend except for the invite from a friend to climb this unfamiliar terrain. I haven’t checked Mt. Irid nor I have the desire to search it over the internet. Friday afternoon I decided to give it a go, my friend Raymund sent me the itinerary but it was vague. Anyway, I still packed my things and the necessities for the climb except that I have not read to not bring a tent. Arrggh additional weight!

Meeting place is at Jollibee Cubao at 3:00am then we rode the jeepney going to Cogeo and later I have known that the original meeting place is in Petron Gate 2, Cogeo where the chartered jeepney awaits. We reach Petron Cogeo by 4:00am and started traveling to Sta. Ines for 2 hours. The road to Sta. Ines is very bad, mostly bumpy, I counted the times the jeepney cross the river and as I recall it was eight (8) times (I have to cross check with the locals).

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After the eight river crossing you will notice the rice field on your left and then the steel arch marker of Brgy. Sta. Ines past that is the Elementary School and the covered court.  The jeepney will drop you at the covered court and you will need to register at the Brgy. Hall where you will pay for the P20 registration and of course for the permit in which Kuya Pitoy had done for you. (I’ll make a separate entry for the preparation to Mt. Irid)

Once everything is set, you may want to have a quick breakfast across Brgy. Hall it only serves rice porridge with egg for P15.00 you don’t want to climb with an empty stomach.

River Crossing Escapade

We started the trek by 07:15am, we turn right from Brgy. Hall up to the main trail shared by climbers, bikers and off-road cars going to Sitio Kinabuan. Be prepared for 11 rivers to cross. Well actually it’s just one river but you need to cross it 11 times up to the base camp. Don’t get too excited, you may walk fast because of excitement but the trek is long so you need more energy. Another thing is you may get cramps especially for a long walk with wet legs. This may not be true but having wet legs while walking long is more prone to have cramps.

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The first few river crossing is easy, it has shallower water and the current is not that strong. Beware of the fourth, sixth, eight and eleventh river crossing because of the strong current and deeper water that can get up to waist deep especially during rainy season.

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A rope maybe necessary especially if you have women in your group. Bringing one would be helpful than having none when you need it. Thanks to Sir Bong for bringing a rope, though we did not use it because we’re all “barako” at least we’re not worried.

The Blood Suckers

After crossing the river for the eight time you will notice a crippled monkey chained at the tree to your left, take note that from here is the start of blood sucking experience “limatik”. Blood leeches are abundant from this part so make sure to check your feet once in a while because you might be feeding leeches along the way. Anyway, it doesn’t hurt only the thoughts and the sight of bloody remains when they left you makes it very annoying.

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There are houses along the way but the eight river crossing you will enter into a community of “Dumagat Tribe” where they have improvised basketball court, a small school and houses made of cogon and bamboos. It’s your cue that you are near the waterfalls. Past the ninth river is a 10 minute trek to “Kinabuan Falls”. I will make a separate entry for the waterfalls so do check it out. “The road to Kinabuan Falls”.

We arrive at the waterfalls by 10:00am three hours after we left the Brgy. Hall of Sta. Ines. The group decided to stay for a while, take a cold bath, enjoy the serenity and peacefulness of the water. The group eventually decided to have lunch at the waterfalls. Most of them enjoy the coldness of the water, but I do different;y. Why? I’m not accustomed to cold so instead I enjoy taking long exposure shot of the waterfalls with my D90 which I call her Daphne90. I don’t have enough gear to make the best shot, but I did what I could. The result was not bad, but not plausible either.

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Thirty minutes past twelve we embark again in our journey, according to our guide it will just be an easy one hour from the falls to the base camp but of course we knew better. His one hour is twice for us. Two more river crossing and we’re sure to be facing the next challenge. The eleventh river crossing is the most challenging I guess, especially that I have my camera with me in a sling bag.

There’s a house with a store after that crossing and it’s where the gradual assault will start. We rest for couple of minutes before proceeding. It was a continuous gradual assault up to the base camp. Along the trail you will have a peek of Mt. Tukduang Banoy and Mt. Irid summit.

Mt. Tukduan Banoy

Mt. Tukduan Banoy

Mt. Irid

Mt. Irid

It took us almost two hours from the waterfalls up to the base camp. The base camp turned out to be a bunk house where you can sleep for the night. It was specifically built for the stevedores/porters who are bringing goods from Sta. Ines to Angelo, General Nakar. They brought rice, canned goods, noodles, alcoholic beverages and other goods to Angelo where there is a community of miners.

The Bunkhouse

There was no open space where you can put up your tent so you have no option but to sleep in the bunkhouse. The bunkhouse was made of wood and bamboo and was put up beside a big tree. The owner made beds out of hard wood with at least 2 inches thick and 8 inches wide, arranged perfectly. The whole bunkhouse can accommodate 30 persons. Water is abundant in the bunkhouse, there’s also a latrine that you can use. Ate Vilma is the one attending the bunkhouse she has a store inside where you can buy cup noodles, biscuits and alcoholic beverages. The cost for staying at the bunkhouse is P30 per night. If I had known earlier I should’ve not brought my tent.

We cooked our food at the bunkhouse and stayed their for the night where the group had their “inuman session” after dinner. I am not into drinking so I just joined them with their stories.

This is what happened on the first day of our climb to Mt. Irid.

itinerary and preparation for mt. irid (link soon)

mt. irid: gateway to mossy forest (2nd day)

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Kudos to this group, especially to Sir Bong for letting me join the climb! Tol Raymund salamat sa pag invite!

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7 thoughts on “mt. irid: the road to leeches and river crossing

  1. Pingback: mt. irid: gateway to mossy forest | Lakwatserong Sulit

  2. Pingback: mt. irid: itinerary | Lakwatserong Sulit

  3. Hi! May mga tulay po ba yung mga tinawid na ilog ng chartered jeepney nyo papuntang Sta. Ines? Gusto ko lang po malaman kung kaya ng scooter kong Yamaha Mio Sporty na makarating sa Sta. Ines! Masarap po sumama sa grupo nyo kasi mahilig din ako mamundok at sa nature pero baka di ko na kaya. 55 yrs old na po ako. Salamat po!

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