First Training Climb Never Dies

First Training Climb Never Dies

First Training Climb Never Dies

Date : August 14, 2016

Location : Mt Apayang traverse Mt. Talamitam (Batangas, City)

Nothing can hinder the training climb, even the heaviest rainfall. It was still a green light for the batch 12 to have their first training climb as part of the application to be a member of GMT. Despite the fact that some applicants were not able to attend the said activity (which caused them to lose one green card), it was still a success. Luckily, there’s no heavy rain that had occurred that day (though most part were humid) nor scorching sun rays that might make them lose their patience.

Basically, the training climb was an application of the Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC). It was organized in order to prepare and equip them for their 2 major hikes. It was a two-hit day hike in Mt. Apayang (600+ MASL) traverse to Mt. Talamitam (630 MASL) with a seedling planting side event. Both mountains are located in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The group was comprised of 20 participants. 9 GMT (both from officers and members); 10 batch 12 applicants and 1 guest. The team meet-up at McDonalds Pasay Taft Rotonda at 3:30 early in the morning. They set forth around 4:30 am going to their destination (which took them 2-hrs ride to JOP).

Special instruction was made for the applicants — to bring 4L water. This was strictly checked by the officers as soon as they arrived at JOP. As the saying also goes, “Expect the unexpected”, each applicant was asked to pick in the draw lots to determine their role. Guess who were the lucky ones?? — Rhynald as the Sweeper (the one who will sweep / tail of the team), Irving as the Scribe (person who is responsible to document the whole climb), Julius as the First Aid (responsible to assist and provide care during health-related emergency during the climb), Avs as Mid-Man (who will lead the middle team) and the star of the event — Martin as Team Lead (is there a need for further explanation? Haha.. Basically, the one who is in-charge of the whole climb). Martin in his own words describes being the Team Lead “As a TL (base on my experience and what was taught during the training climb) you’re responsible in making critical decisions, you may change the IT depending on the situations during or before starting the climb. You take full responsibilities of your group. You communicate with the tail to monitor your group or their location. Team Leader has the power whether when and where to have a compression stop. Responsible for keeping the group intact during compression stops.”

Another surprise was unveiled. GMT officers and members has the opportunity to ask randomly any applicants during the trek proper. The applicant who failed to answer the question will guess between two-poker token that will determine how many pushups they will do (green chip is equivalent to 10 while the red chip is equal to 15).

Of course, the climb started with a prayer led by Marife, to ask the Lord Almighty for safety and protection. By 7:50 am, trek already commenced. Kuya Paul and Eugene acted as their guide. But guess what? After a  few minutes of chill walk, Ceejay (the founder) instructed the applicants to stop and assemble (in the middle of a narrow road) to do intensity exercises (such as pushups, forward lunges, reverse lunges, mountain runner, high jumps, jumping jacks and squats) for 3 lapses. As Rhynald expressed, “What a great way to start a climb!”.

First stop was made at the river crossing wherein Martin was tested on his decision making and ropemanship skills. He was asked about how to set-up a safety line in case river crossing was necessary. Along the 3rd stop is where they picked up the seedlings for the tree planting.

Muddy and looonnnnggggggg steep assaults welcomed everyone going to the tree planting area up until the summit. There was no clearing when they reached the summit, but nevertheless, it was still fun. They have seen more than what they have expected anyway. The team had their lunch at Mt. Apayang peak at 12:20 pm to feed their growling stomachs. By 1:30, they have their photo-ops (C’mon who in their mind, forget to take pictures, it’s always part of the itinerary!).

By 3:00 pm, the team started to descend. Others went ahead of the others by trail running. Few decided to be left behind by the usual trek. It was not easy for the Mid-Man to descend given the slippery trail due to the non-stop rains the past few days. Thankfully, Jean (the president of the team) stayed behind her and swept her. She considers being the weakest link of the team given her slow pace (but not a slowpoke:)). After all, this is why she joined in the first place. One key takeaway, she had during the climb is that she realized that everyone has their own strength (if used well) can help cover the weakness of others.  Irving also had a difficult time descending. Actually, he almost back-out of the climb considering his health issues (good thing he didn’t, else he could’ve missed all the fun). Being the scribe of the team made him to be more observant. He considers it as one of the trait every mountaineer should cultivate.

Indeed, it was tiring day — physically. But who cares? Physical energy should be maximized after all, right? It was given to each and every one to enjoy the great masterpiece of mother earth.

Thank you to all GMT officers and members for guiding us, Batch 12 during our very 1st training climb…and yes, we are looking forward to our next training climb adventures. Surprise us!

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