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WHAT A RESPONSIBLE MOUNTAINEER IS NOT

Since my early years, I have been admiring people reaching major summits. I live in a province which is a home to 4 of the Top 10 highest ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A HEART FOR THE MOUNTAINS: A TALE OF A FIRST TIME CLIMBER

“His heart is weak to conquer the heights, but strong enough to care for the mountains”.

A very lazy Saturday. Gloomy. The sun selfishly hid itself. The heavy clouds dropped a gentle drizzle. And I was so disappointed. I should be somewhere soaked in a 13-tiered waterfalls. I was so regretful of the weather that never cooperated with my getaway plan.

Then here’s my brother, wondering why I didn’t resort to sleeping the whole day and get rested from a weeklong stressful job. I told him I only get rested when I’m moving from place to place. Anticipating a flashflood, he suggested me to rather climb Mt. Musuan and he would go with me. I was really puzzled, never expecting him to think of climbing because he has a weak heart, physically… Weaker than my weak, enlarged heart. His diminished vision also impairs his balance.



I’ve been to that mountain countless times but his will excited me. I also wanted to give him a summit experience for the very first time.

We took a 10-minute ride from Valencia to the entrance of Mt. Musuan Botanical Park. When we started hiking, he refused my suggestion of trailing the shortcuts. He even requested me to slow down my pace because it would still be me who gets burdened whatever happens to him.

I was checking our time moving uphill. Everytime he panted hard, I was cued to halt. Gasping for oxygen, he said “I just wish I can summit this 600plus meter hill so I can tell myself I’m a mountaineer”.

I laughed! I really laughed hard with sarcasm.

We continued. We stopped. We continued…

And we finally arrived at the peak!

He then said he is a mountaineer. Well, I agreed! I just couldn’t stop grinning. Haha! No matter how small and easy Mt. Musuan is, it’s still a mountain. I usually summit this mountain for less than 30 minutes, but that time we made it almost an hour. Not bad…


We settled in one of the sheds to enjoy the view of the lowlands, the Pulangui river and the mountains on the eastern side of Valencia. 


What the hell! Wrappers of unhealthy junk foods were scattered everywhere. 


Sadly, the ease of climbing Mt. Musuan makes it so accessible to irresponsible picnickers, some are even proud FORESTRY students of the prestigious Central Mindanao University.

It weakened my heart to see the trash anywhere, yet his was strengthened to pick them up. He looked for a bigger plastic bag among the trash and put in all he could see. “If we will leave it like this, others might do the same, thinking it’s alright”. 


When he was done, I took him photos any pose he could make, disregarding his request to teach him how to pose. Hehe! 



Then he sat beside me, entertaining himself reading the disgusting vandals all over the shed.

The weather turned out really good. I kept on blaming myself for not traveling and exploring my planned waterfalls. I was uttering how my time was wasted. He said it was never wasted. At least, he was granted that kind of experience. To him, summitting Mt. Musuan was really a big deal. So no time was wasted. He was right.
 
We transferred to another shed facing the national highway. He was bringing the plastic full of trash. He was clearing our way of the eyesores. 



We enjoyed the fresh air and the view of the city and the vehicles running like toys.

After an hour at the peak, we headed downhill. His job of picking up wrappers not yet ended. 

And he never doubted to bring the trash all the way down and placed it in a garbage sack near the entrance of the park.

He enjoyed what he fulfilled that day. We took a short walk to PCC and I treated him a melon flavored milk.

He went back to Valencia for some business and I took a ride going home.

While in the bus, I could smile remembering our childhood with countless fights and hurts we inflicted to each other. We were rivals. I even ran for my life with him chasing me with a bolo when he couldn’t bear my bullying. Hehehe!    

My mind couldn’t resist appreciating the thing he just did. That was the first time he climbed a mountain, yet his love for the mountain compares to that of a seasoned mountaineer.  

His heart is too weak to conquer the heights, but strong enough to care for the mountain. 

In a way, he is a mountaineer…



12 comments:

  1. lovely write up. maka touch gyud <3

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  2. nice! ako di pa nakaakyat sa musuan peak, buti pa si manong. :)

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    1. with his heart condition, this is one of his greatest achievements...

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  3. Really good of him to clear out the trash. Indeed, a mountaineer's noble act! :)

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    1. yes, gwen. i really appreciated his initiative...

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  4. Short yet wonderful hike! Nice view and nice captures.

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    1. thank you, trekker. musuan peak is really a wonderful mountain.

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  5. I Love the 3rd to the last Picture, nice horizon

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    1. thank you... you would love it more when you see it in person.

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  6. nice post. i hope to visit this mountain when i get the chance to visit bukidnon again. ive been to some of bukidnons highest peaks but had never visited this one yet. hope to see yah on the trails sir.

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    1. thanks, nomad. would love to see you on trails too.

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