Tarak Ridge

Since before, it's been really my dream to be on the top of a mountain, where I can see the world, breathe fresh air, escape the hustle bustle of Metro, and appreciate the natural beauty of GOD's creation. However I have very strict parents, they're not allowing me to climb. But since this is on my bucket list this 2014, I really made sure that they will agree. With many weeks, days, hours, & minutes of dealing with my folks, they finally said YES!!! I was like a Lottery Jackpot Winner that time.

My First-slash-Major Climb starts here! It's the first but definitely not the last.

  Luckily, we were given a very pleasant morning after we started walking from the jump off point.


We met Aling Cording (according to my friend, ang nanay ng mga mountaineers sa Mt.Tarak), and her family who lives there. She shared stories about some mountaineers who leave their trash and gave a few tips regarding the trails.

Trail marks

I would say that my friend was right when I asked him how the trail was and how long would it be. He said that it should be rolling for 3-4 hours to the famous Papaya River, and an hour and a half or two of assault to the Ridge. I actually enjoyed the wide spaces grassland, little bit of rockies, ascents, flats, and minimal descents.

 Thanks to the beauty of nature it gave me positive wisdom to continue my adventure way to the peak of the mountain. INHALE, EXHALE. Feel the fresh air and enjoy the sceneries.

We started our trek over a flat trail. The path was dry and the weather was good so we enjoyed the trail. The trail then went up, eventually leading to the forested part.There were logs blocking the trail and it made hiking more challenging but not difficult  though. From here, the trail was a rolling one – up and down, up and down.

Open trail ends on a view deck with a wonderful view of Corregidor Island.
  Reaching the the Papaya River is always something to look forward to among mountaineers when climbing this fantastic mountain. The water in the river is very clean and safe to drink. Once you found it, it means you are three quarters of the way through the Ridge. It almost marks the start of the assault to the greater elevation of Mt. Tarak.

According to the blogs that I've read, since the trail to the Ridge would be too steep, it came to me to think about whether to bring Ollie (DSLR) or not. I asked my friend, who had been there before if I can bring my camera to the ridge, he said yes but I just need to be more careful. But since this is just my first-slash-major climb, I didn't take the risk to bring Ollie, to be safe. Thanks to my S3 and Steph's camera, I was able to continue to capture the beauty of Tarak Ridge!

  We started to head for the ridge. The assault to the ridge was more difficult than the first part. The rocks were more loose and the ascent steeper. Thanks to the roots that seemed to have formed into a sort of a staircase.

When we finally reached the ridge, I was literally blown away, like LITERALLY!!
 It's windy on top and the view was fantastic. You have the forest, a better view of Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, the town of Mariveles, and the South China Sea.

We failed to see the iconic tree of Tarak. :( 

 The scenery at the summit was fantastic and breathtaking. I really love the nature. Ang galing talaga ni Lord!  

Group Picture! (c/o Sir Al of Voyager Adventure Club)
It was a successful Major Climb for all of us. Good Job guys! And thanks for our ICONIC company, Carlo & Co., VAC and Shell folks!

These photographs are not enough to show you how beautiful the mountain is and how great the experience was. Breathtaking view, you have to live that moment, of being in awe of what nature has to offer. It was completely worth the climb up. I will surely do it again! Truly, one’s FIRST is something for keeps.

Here’s a quote to cap this off.  

“Climb the mountain not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world” – Anonymous

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


  1. You have a good set of eyes and taste for photography. Nakakamangha kuha mo. I just like it I swear.