Mt. Mariveles -Tarak Ridge

Tarak Ridge is surely included in the bucket list of mountains to climb of every Filipino mountaineer. The jagged landscape in the western face of Mt. Mariveles has gained so much attention in the recent years. We were very lucky to cross this out from our list as we join Meta Montaineers in their overnight trek to the famed ridge of Bataan.

Pinoy Mountaineer consider this as a major climb, a difficulty level of 4/9, and a trail class of 3, which mean the trek includes scrambling or being on two feet and hands.

Early brunch and final preparation.

The journey started as the group met in Genesis Bus terminal in Cubao where we took the 6am bus heading to Mariveles, fare is around P250. We got off at Alis-asin, Mariveles where jump off point is just a few walks away. We decided to take our brunch at a nearby carinderia across the street and do final repacking before starting the trek.

Let the climb begin!

We started our trek on a concrete road until the formal jump-off point is seen. This is the final stop where one can buy provisions or refresh on their buko juice. Very recognizable in the jump off point is the long stretch of tarpaulins of conquerors who already climbed the ridge. No registration fee were being collected here, as all registration will be done on barangay hall, just a few walk away from the carinderia earlier. Though the tenants are asking for voluntary donation.

Wall of Fame. Mountaineering groups that conquered Tarak Ridge
The trails are divided into two parts, from the jump-off point it is a three hour easy trek on wide grassland and vegetation that will end on Papaya river. Papaya river is a rest station, but most climbers decide to camp here , due to proximity to unlimited supply of water the river provides. We decided to camp here as weather forecast are stating that it will be raining the whole day. Luckily rain only started to pour as we reach a few meters before Papaya River. The downpour did not last that long, and never disrupt our peaceful sleep over the evening.

Campsite at Papaya River.

We woke up early, around three am to continue the ascent to the ridge. We charged up with coffee and noodles before huddling the final part of the climb. The next part involves steep ascent on a woodland were scrambling is required. The trail will also pass by what looks like a dry riverbed on a summer. The second part will then end up on an open grassland where the final campsite is seen. From here it's just a few meters to see the jagged ridge of Mt. Mariveles. The gust of wind is very refreshing, and we were lucky to reach the ridge before daylight so we were able to witness the sunrise. A few picture taking with the group and we decided to go back to Papaya river.

Tarak Ridge at breaking dawn.

Team Coventrek atop Tarak Ridge

Descend is much easier and would take half the time it took to climb the ridge. In camp, breakfast was already waiting as some of the group decided to stay and prepare the meal. After a hefty meal to boost our strength we break camp and continue to descend.

 'Take 5' during descend.

From Papaya river the trek going down is far easier. In a matter of time we were already in the jump-off point. we took shower, ate our lunch, and bid goodbye as we head back to different places in Manila.

Meta Mountaineers and Friends! Thank you for the invite!

And big thanks to Sir Ley Castillo for the invite.

 NOTE: Thanks to Mam Ericka Sarmiento and Sir Allan Santiago for the group picture.


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