The Relish of Mt. Mayon Revenge Climb ~ The Philippine Mountaineering

The Relish of Mt. Mayon Revenge Climb

Touchdown: Legazpi City, Albay
Climb consideration: Difficult
Jump-off Area: San Roque, Malilipot
Contact Person: George Cordovilla 

It is our common idea that revenge is not good. The word revenge according to wordweb dictionary means "action taken in return for an injury or offence." 

For me with regards to mountaineering it is better to have a revengeful spirit in climbing than stopping. Last year I fixed my heart do have a "revenge climb" against Mt, Mayon. As mountaineer for couple of years, as I climb I always reach the summit or the highest point of every mountain I climbed but the experience with Mt. Mayon was different. In Mt. Mayon, for the very first time I experienced not to reach the summit and I have to tend for a revenge climb just to finish one of the must climb mountain on my wishlist. 

Mt. Mayon is one of my wish list not because of its elevation or natural resources but because of my being Bicolano. I was born in Tabaco City wherein the majestic Mt. Mayon can be observed from its perfect cone compare to Legazpi City. March of 2010 I decided to climb the majestic Mt. Mayon. I called for the attention of lots of mountaineers and no one can give me the information of reaching the crater summit. 

The popular information at that time is that the highest possible climbable area is only until the knife edge. I felt disappointed with the information because the knife edge is too far from the summit. I did not stop looking for guide that could bring me to the summit.

Praise the LORD! Through the use of facebook, November of 2010 I got a contact that could help me be in the summit. I got the information of kuya GeorgeGeorge  is known to the mountaineering community as the "tiger of Mayon." I sent a private message to him to get his number then he responded immediately. I asked lots of questions and one of those is the possibility to be in the summit and amazingly his answer was "yes." From that point I asked for an itinerary, I prepared my body through routinely jogging, I did water training and prepared my mental strength. It took me four months to prepare for my first Mt. Mayon climb.

Before, going to Legazpi City I often talk to manoy (bicolano word for older brother) George regarding the weather and also the trail consideration. According to him the hardest part on climbing Mt. Mayon is the unpredictability of the weather. He always told me that the micro-weather of the said mountain is very unpredictable and at the same time dangerous when raining. That word was the concern of my prayers even when we reach the jump-off area- Barangay Hall of Barangay San Roque, Malilipot. On our climb I met a Manila-based bicolano mountaineer,  Genel Zuñiga. It was raining when we started climbing and manoy George declared that if the rain will continue we will stay in camp 1 or the Toril camp. Since we reached Camp 1 in March 2, 2011, we only saw rain drops and wet surroundings. On our second day we woke up early to prepare for summit attempt but the rain just stop for a few minutes then rain once more. It was a tough condition for us, the tents of manoy George’s assistant guides were flooded because they only used low-quality local made tent. There we appreciated the use of my tarp tent from my friend Terry Villas of Apexus because under of the said fabric we talked from morning till in the evening, we also shared lots of experiences and lessons in life.

Our first and second days were spent within camp 1 only. We attempted to reach the summit on the third day. We left the first camp early morning but after an hour of walking the rain come and we only reach camp 2. There I saw the distressfulness of the trail from camp 2 thru the summit because the trail head going to summit is the gully fronting the municipality of Malilipot. 

The water from the top runs fast and it was scary to see the rocks rolling towards us. There Kuya George decided and encouraged us to stay only on the second camp for a while then back to camp 1. As I heard that declaration my heart was full of disappointment, and I whispered a question, “is this price of preparing for more than a year?” One of the words of Kuya George comforted me is that, "the mountain will always be there, just keep the desire to finish it." There even half-hearted I respect the decision of the group to go back to camp 1.

In camp 1 I said to Kuya George that I will not stop praying to finish the Mt. Mayon. There I promise to myself that after a year I will bring him to the summit by GOD's grace. Through this climb schedule I gain numerous friends from MOGA (Mayon Outdoor Guides Association) and from the community of San Roque. One of the important results of this climb is to have Kuya George as my friend. With that experience I learned the lessons not to under estimate the mountain and respect the wisdom and decision of the mountain guides. On my next post I will share to you useful information for Mt. Mayon climb and also the blessing of reaching the summit of the majestic mountain after a year of waiting and praying.

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  1. Congrats Pastor/Manoy Reynold for conquering the highest mountain in our province. Next year ako naman ang ma-rerevenge climb dyan. 2 years in the making. God bless!!!

  2. manoy genel10, salamat sa suporta alam ko namang talagang nais mong makasama. manoy akyatin mo na gad, ganda ng Mt. Mayon


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