LEYTE 2012: A Peek of Alto Peak

This is the best not to mention nearest photo I have of the elusive Alto Peak. Been on a fieldwork assignment for almost two months now, and I finally got the excuse to put this on my fieldwork itinerary though not really a priority. Alto Peak is the highest mountain peak in the Island of Samar-Leyte.

We weren't there to hike and have fun.. Its supposed to be work, but it doesn't mean, we can't have fun and just smile for this photo.. I can see you guys smile, but everone's still shying to look at the camera.

Okay guys, Take two!! Now please look at the camera..

The first segment of the trail to the well pad of interest was wide and off-road. Up to a road junction, the trail to Alto Peak sharply bends to the right. An evidence that the road hasn't been used much was the overgrowth of moss that seemed like grass carpet.

The trail is bounded by these wild berries. Yum yum!!

After the first well pad, the trail becomes really narrow, with mostly tall cogon grass and some ferns to the left and right for most of the 2km trail segment. 

The trail opens up again to this grassland which is the second well pad. 

We found some jointed rocks and marked it as station on the side of a sulfatara.

Colleagues called out to me to climb up the sulfatara as they went ahead of me 10 minutes ago. They enticed me by saying the view is great. I climbed up and I did not quite understood the great view they were talking about, because all that I saw was fog and clouds. Then before I could orient myself and locate where my sought after Alto Peak should be, the clouds thinned out at the horizon and I recognized the peak I have only seen in photos. "That's Alto Peak" I exclaimed while reaching for the camera in my bag.

I had a colleague took a photo of me (first photo) right before the cloud cover hid the peak again. We waited a while for a clearing but the weather turned sour on us and soon rain poured.

I asked our guide how long it would take to climb up to the peak. He estimated it to be at least 4 hours, but we will have to make our own trail. I thought hard about pushing it to the peak.  

Can I make it in four hours to the summit with an unestablished trail!? Even if I do, I have to be back before dark to our service vehicle, and that's 3kms away from the sulfatara. Damn, It started to rain!!

My climbing experience brought back some sense to me. I told the guides we will no longer climb the peak. To pass on the climb was a tough decision to make, especially when its there, right before your eyes.

I will soon have a taste of you Alto Peak.. and by the time I do, I'm sure I will be happily anticipating the challenges of your trail, and the bodyaches you will soon make me feel. Yes, I do hope its soon..

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