In January, we resumed the regular trips to Baguio for some bouldering action. “Friction” is a word that has been thrown around if you want to do some really hard boulder problems, especially slopey holds. But what is good friction? I suggest you try the boulders in Montalban and Manalmon to get a comparison of just how good (or bad) friction can be.
Even within the different areas in Baguio, the friction can easily vary depending on the type of rock. For example, if you drive 20 minutes down the bouldering area in Capitol there is another area where the rock is softer and breaks much easily than the boulders at the top of the rivers. With the variety of rock and friction there has been a number of new problems established or extensions that have been completed. It’s also amazing how having a new climber to the group and something you once perceived to be difficult gets unlocked. Something new I learned was, before trying problems make sure you properly clean it before you climb it. Plus, it’s always good to share your projects or established areas to new eyes. Who knows the next best boulder was just around the corner or just underneath it. Creativity and keeping an open mind is your best friend.
Speaking of new projects, the Cebu Boys have also developed a new area in Cebu, the Mansorela Project! It’s a huge wall with at least 3 pitches that are overhanging. We’d like to thank Geordi Yip and Xtian Gurerror for their support in this initiative! If you would like to bolt, donate or support please check out the Cebu Rock Climbing Community (CRCC) Facebook group for details.
Then there was the deep water soloing trip to Palawan between February and March. Disclaimer: Deep water soloing will not make you a strong climber. It will take away all the rough skin on your fingers but it’s something I will suggest everyone to experience at least once. You may not climb very hard or go very high but the awareness/perspective that the experience gives you as a climber improves movement and decision making. It’s as close to soloing you can get without risking your life. Plus, the experience of letting go and landing is just scary, exciting and relaxing all at once.
A friendly reminder before going into DWS is you read up on safety practices or better yet have an experienced climber along to guide you. Suggest bringing the following: 1. Loose chalk 2. Quick dry chalk bag 3. First aid kit with waterproof bandages 4. Dry bags. There are more than 5 areas for DWS in El nido and there is so much more potential. You can have short bouldery routes, long jug haul routes or event stalactite routes. Best thing about DWS is the experience of unlocking a route since you always have to climb ground up and no ropes or chalk to indicate the holds. One professional climber said about El Nido DWS, “It can’t get any better than that.” If you want the real deal check out El Nido.
March has been the start of the warm weather. After the cold weather of Baguio and the numerous beaches in Palawan, it was time for me to journey back into lead climbing after a 2-year hiatus. We decided to go to Atimonan to scout new areas and check if details on this website are still accurate. Unfortunately like any trip, our supposedly 4-hour drive turned to a 7-hour drive due to numerous road works. Suggest you leave early in the morning to maximize a shorter travel time. It was only my second time in Atimonan and still the area provides a variety of styles of climbing for those wanting to try outdoor climbing.
To end the quarter we returned to Montalban for some bouldering and sport climbing. It was also a time to say goodbye to Aling Norma, the beloved mother of our “second home” which is the crags of Montalban. Aling Norma has taken care of more than three generations of Montalban climbers, as well as bikers, cavers and mountaineers! We thank her for all her contributions and will surely miss her cooking. Especially the fried chicken, for me. Thank you Aling Norms!
What’s in store for the rest of the year? Get psyched for the upcoming rock trips, bolting development and climbing competitions.