Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tarak Ridge

TARAK RIDGE
Mariveles, Bataan
Jump off point: Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles
LLA: 14°30.357′N, 120°30′E, 1,006 MASL (ridge); 1,130 MASL (peak)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days, 5-6 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3

BACKGROUND
You may actually choose to scale the very summit of Mariveles, but it is Tarak Ridge, on Mt. Mariveles’ west face, that has gained much attention. Its craggy landscape, sharp rocks, and steep location may have given rise to its name, Tarak, which is somewhat of a cross between ‘Tabak’ (hunting knife) and ‘Tarik’ (steep). There is a scenic, 270-degree view of Bataan which includes the islands of Corregidor and neighboring islands, as well as Manila Bay all the way to Cavite.

The trail is divided into two: a first part involves wide trails, at times dense grasslands – which are during summer months burned in kaingin. The typhoons in 2006 damaged sections of the trail, including one which now needs the assistance of a rope to be crossed. This first part takes three hours and ends in Papaya river – a rest station and water source. Then the next part involves woodlands, steep trails in which you can hold on to branches and roots for support. After 90 minutes, you’ll find yourself in Tarak Ridge. Set up camp here, then go for the optional assault on Mt. Tarak (El Saco and Tarak peaks). By the time you return, it’s approaching dusk. The sunset is colorful and dramatic.


















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