Bocaue Peak is one of the peaks that can be trekked nearby Cebu City. People climb the peak either for leisure or other reasons like training/pre-climb for a major climb or simply for capability test and or test of one’s limits. Anyway, last late January, the NCR Trekkers club has once again embarked on another jaunt to a nearby peak. As usual, I once again invited myself on their event. Hahaha ka baga-a naman gyud nako ug nawng! The climb served as one of the pre-climbs for the upcoming major climb in Mt. Talinis. Which I will surely be writing an entry about it soon. I’ve been to Bocaue Peak once on a day trek but haven’t spent a night camping yet. For further details as to where and how to get there, just refer to my old blog entry. As to why Bocaue Peak can be one of the good choices for pre-climbs especially the 5-tower trail? Well here’s my take on that.
Bocaue Peak can test one’s capabilities and limits.
Bocaue Peak shares the same trail as Mt. Babag on the first quarter of its course. As known by many, the trail to Mt. Babag is very unforgiving. There are lesser trees but more bushes. That means lesser shades when the sun rises to its most glorious time. Well, not glorious for our skin. To top that, the trek going to the peak usually takes around 4 to 5 hours. This really depends on one’s pace though. Imagine trekking on a constantly ascending trail for 4 to 5 hours straight. Throw-in the heat factor and the dehydration plus the weight of your bags if you are planning to camp on the peak. It could really test your cardio and your muscle strength.
The seldom used 5-towers trail will test your directional instincts.
There are several ways in reaching the peak. The easiest one probably is to get yourself to Temple of Leah and start your “easy” trek heading to RCPI towers, then straight to the already established and cleared trail to Bocaue. The most challenging I bet, though I haven’t experienced this yet, is probably the Mt. Babag trail. This trail follows the whole Mt. Babag route then goes straight ahead to Bocaue. This would probably take more than 5 hours of trek. The least taken one is the 5-towers trail. This trail follows the Mt. Babag trail on the first few kilometers of the trek, then suddenly detours on a secret trail hidden behind the bushes where you start following the trail and start counting the towers as you pass by them.
For this trek, we chose to take the 5-towers trail. I’ve been on this trail before, during my first Bocaue encounter. If you have read, or watched my vlog, and followed through my story during my first trek, you already know what happened. Taking the 5-towers trail will bring you to several sudden turns and confusing path forks. Not only that, there are sections where the trail is already covered with thick bushes and fallen wood barks, completely erasing any clue of the trail. Being so ever confident with my navigation skills, I tried leading our subgroup but it all went down. Though it was just my second time, but I swear the trail already looked very different to me than when we went there the first time. We just waited for the rest of the group to catch us up and have the most experienced one to lead us. Lesson learned: “Dili mag pataka ug pasagad ug lead. hahaha”
The trail will test your resilience. (bushes, thorns and more)
Since the trail is mostly covered with thick bushes, expect few itches and scratches on your skin especially if you are not wearing any protective gears or a rash guard at least. I recommend you to wear caps and rash guards. These gears are not only to protect you from the sun’s harsh kiss, but also from those clingy vines, thorny and sometimes itchy stems. Even with those gears, there will still be few scratches that’ll slip through your skin. I remember the first time I took the trail, I did wear arm sleeves and a cap, but still I got scratches on mah face! Let’s not talk about my legs though. I was wearing short pants that time with no protective socks or sleeves, what else should you expect. Ugh!
Not only that! Since it’s a jungle mountain, obviously, expect different types of critters and crawlers along the bushes. From the cute, tiny, bitsy to “WTF mutant” ones that’ll “scare-the-sh*t-outta-yo-moth*f*rking-being”. We actually saw this very threatening giant centipede crawling its way up on the bushes, blocking the trail. What we did? Simple. We got a long stick, scooped the centipede, and flipped it far-far-away. Judging by the trail, snakes should not be unusual to be seen on the trail.
The peak can test your tent.
Pitching your tent at the peak is like taking your first college exam. You’ll never know what to expect. But one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a hell of a ride. At the top of the peak is an ample amount of space that can accommodate around 5 3-person tents. It has a 360 degrees clear straight view. When a peak has a view like this, then technically, it means nothing is surrounding it to serve as a shield from the harsh winds.
During my first Bocaue camping experience, we camped not on the peak itself. Rather, we went downhill and found a flat spot where we pitched our tents. The weather went on and bullied us. It rained so hard that night while the wind shook our tents. It felt like my Mt. Takliad camping experience. We were even lucky on our situation compared to the campers who bravely camped at the top of the peak.
The peak will test your adaptability to extreme weather.
Trekking Bocaue peak is a test to one’s adaptability to extreme weather. Because of the trail’s nature of having fewer shades, dehydration and hyperthermia can be expected. Enough hydration packs is a must. Meanwhile, it can really get cold during the night. Fogs can even be witnessed during dawn. I suggest you bring jackets just in case the weather gets moody at night.
The cold guy, as I describe myself. I always find cold weather so hard to deal with. The night we camped in Bocaue was actually a struggle for me. I was not expecting the weather to be that rude that I did not bring and prepare myself with warming gears. I stayed inside my tent and wrapped myself in my sleeping bag the whole night just to keep myself warm.
Overall, I can really recommend the peak for your pre-climbs prior to your major ones. Or just simply to test your capabilities and limits.
If it challenges you, it’ll improve you. – WanderingFeetPH