Check out the start of our Mt. Talinis adventure in Part 1.
We had a great sleep, thanks to the cool weather (12 degrees Celsius). The next day, we woke up to a cold, wet, gray morning as a gentle drizzle showered the landscape. The mist that descended on Lake Nailig made everything ethereal and magical as brilliant colors muted.
Our campsite was enveloped by mists.
Sweetie and I woke up at 5:30 AM and decided not to go to the summit (for time efficiency, actually) and cooked our breakfast instead, skinless chorizo and scrambled eggs. Several others proceeded to prepare for their summit bid.
Let’s eat! Sweetie gave me that bonnet. In cold mountains like Mt. Talinis, you need to wear a bonnet or pull your hood up (if your jacket has one). A bonnet or hood helps retain your body heat. Remember that you lose 70 percent of your body heat through your head.
Cleaning up after breakfast. That’s my trusty Luxe Habitat tent. Thanks to my sponsor for this reliable, strong, waterproof tent. This tent easily survived a storm in Mt. Napulak.
While Sweetie and I prepared to break camp, the Talahib mountaineers went up the summit (around 30 minutes from the campsite).
After the guys who summited came back and ate breakfast, we started to break camp and pack up.
Sweetie following the rules of LNT. Those are rice crumbs. She’s burying them under the ground to discourage mountain fauna from invading the campsite. Leaving food in the mountain, even if it is biodegradable, can alter the natural feeding habits of mountain animals.
Later in the morning, the fog lifted up and offered us a very clear view of Lake Nailig. The water is very clean, and you can actually use it for cooking.
We posed according to Sir Ruel’s cinematic direction. Hehehe! Next year, when we may climb here again, Sweetie and I are planning to bring our inflatable kayak so we can check out the other side of the lake.
After we packed up, we began to trek towards Apolong, our exit point which is an 8 to 10-hour trek from Lake Nailig. For energy, Sweetie took some chocolate bars. We have around 10 of those bars in addition to our nuts, raisins, and chocolate trail mix.
A few hours on our traverse, we came up to an extremely steep, muddy, and slippery section of the trail. Even with my pair of Merrell shoes and trekking pole, I was unable to stop myself from slipping. As we came to a more comfortable part of the trail, we were amused to find out that EVERYONE slipped and skidded down the trail. Look at all that mud on my raincoat!
Next time, I’ll wear something dark so that the evidence of a slip would be concealed. Hehehe!
A huge, huge landslide caused by Typhoon Sendong. Sir Kevin recalled that huge swaths of trees were taken along with it. Our trail involved crossing this treacherous landslide.
A creek and a canyon just beneath the landslide.
After crossing the landslide, the trail gets a bit easier. After an hour or so, you suddenly smell the stink of rotten eggs.
Half an hour later, we arrived right smack at the middle of the Kaipuhan Sulfur River, an immense solfatara system.
That’s the Kaipuhan Sulfur River, which is full of solfataras. Noxious sulfurous gases emerge from this place, suffocating all living things after being exposed for a long time. Those trees are dead, burned by sulfur dioxide.
The river runs deep into the lowlands.
Dead trees line up the Kaipuhan Solfotaras in stark contrast with the healthy living trees that surround the river.
A close-up of a dead, sulfur-burned tree
That’s a solfatara, otherwise known as a fumarole. It’s an opening in the earth’s crust that emits steam and gases. This is one of the sources of gas around the area. Since the opening is under the water, the gas causes the water to bubble. My sweetie here was trying to feel if the bubbling water is hot. Is it hot? Well, we’ll leave it up to you to find out. 🙂
On our way to Rancho, for the first time in days, the sun came up, albeit briefly. You can see deep fern-like plants. While walking here, we thought it was some kind of farmland. Nope, these were really wild plants.
We finally arrived at the Rancho, one of Cuernos De Negros Mountaineers’ campsites and meeting points. We met two Cuernos mountaineers when we arrived at the place. We ate our lunch here.
Lofty mountains covered with forests. The Talinis range is one of the last few first-generation forest areas left in the Philippines.
After eating a quick but filling lunch, we continued on our way to Apolong. Before going any farther, we filled up our water bottles with fresh, clear water from this spring. The water is so cold that it’s similar to water that has been chilled inside the refrigerator.
We left Rancho at around 1:00pm. Sir Kevin decided that we visit the magnificent Twin Falls considering our pace and the extra time we have left in our compressed itinerary. At around 3pm, we arrived at this beautiful river. You have to be really careful here because visiting the waterfalls involves scrambling over slippery, moss-covered, wet river boulders.
Boulder strewn river heading to Twin Falls. Be careful! They’re wet and slippery.
At the end of the river, we saw this magnificent waterfalls, the Twin Falls.
The awesome Twin Falls. That is taller and more powerful than our own Budlaan Falls in Cebu.
The pool beneath the waterfalls. Locals do bathe here from time to time, but that is quite infrequent due to the remoteness of the waterfalls. Yes, you can swim here…if you can stand the cold. Hehe!
This is the waterfall’s “twin,” located at the side of the main waterfall.
Adrenaline Romance sweethearts enjoying the cool, refreshing spray of the waterfall.
How about a group shot before leaving?
We left the Twin Falls after 30 minutes. A short while later, we came to this house, the first sign of civilization for over two days we’ve been in this mountain. The homeowners keep a logbook to monitor groups who have exited the mountain.
Confirming our exit by logging out. There’s ZETS, the first mountaineering group I’ve joined!
That’s the beautiful Banica River with flowing fresh water. It’s a primary water source of the lowlands.
The long trail back to Apolong. This is a muddy, rock-and-root strewn trail but relatively easy to traverse. It takes 4 to 5 hours to walk down this trail even with a fast pace.
We arrived at Apolong, at the entrance of Casaroro Falls around 7 PM and parted ways with the Iloilo climbers in Dumaguete. We celebrated our successful climb with Sir Kevin and Jay Warren of Cuernos De Negros Mountaineers and the Cebu contingents: Sir Ruel, Sir Ronald, Sweetie, and yours truly with a sumptuous dinner at Dumaguete’s Atong Kamalig.
Sumptuous! We were very hungry indeed!
Home sweet home!
‘Till the next climb and adventure! A fun time was had by all.
Our Mt. Talinis expedition was really spectacular. There was an impressive plethora of sights to see: the serene Lake Yagumyun, the eerie and ancient maribuhok forests, the grand Lake Nailig, the tree-laded summit, the Kaipuhan solfataras, the Twin Falls, and Casaroro Falls (highest waterfalls in Negors). Except for Casaroro Falls, we were able to see the wonders of these sights.
In addition, Mt. Talinis is one of the cleanest mountains we’ve visited. Thanks to the efforts of Cuernos De Negros Mountaineers, the Siliman-based mountaineering group whose strict monitoring and enforcement of the LNT principle made the mountain pristine.
We would also like to thank our guides Kevin Rocamora and Jay Warren Ferolino for making our climb safe, sound, and extremely enjoyable.
Some photos courtesy of Sirs Ronald Ramiso, Vincent Tambanillo, and Bernie Intrepedo.
Update (2/6/2017): We are not sure if Sir Kevin is still offering guideship services. If you can’t get in touch with him, the local mountaineering group Cuernos de Negros Mountaineers can help you. Please get in touch with them by visiting or sending inquiries in the Cuernos de Negros Facebook page.
2:00 AM – ETA Dumaguete, sleep in ship
5:00 AM – Wake up, prepare for departure
6:00 AM – meet up with guide and prepare for jeepney ride to Bediao
7:30 AM – ETA jump-off. Last water source before reaching Lake Yagumyum
8:00 AM – Start trek
12:00 PM – ETA Lake Yagumgyum. Lunch.
1:00 PM – Resume trek going to Lake Nailig
5:00 PM – ETA Lake Nailig, set up camp
6:00 PM – Prepare dinner
7:00 PM – Dinner and Socials
10:00 PM – Lights Off
4:30 AM – wake up call
5:00 AM – Talinis summit assault (Optional)
5:30 AM – ETA Summit
6:00 AM – Head back to Lake Nailig
6:30 AM – ETA Lake Nailig campsite, cook breakfast, prepare packed lunch
7:30 AM – break camp
8:15 AM – ETD Lake Nailig Campsite, start trek to Apolong
11:30 AM – ETA Kaipuhan Solfatara River
12:00 PM – ETD Kaipuah Solfatara River, head to Rancho
1:00 PM – ETA Rancho, lunch
1:30 PM – ETD Rancho, trek to Twin Falls
3:00 PM – ETA Twin Falls
3:30 PM – Resume Trek to Apolong
7:00 PM – ETA Apolong
7:45 PM – ETA Dumaguete, side trip at the Dumaguete Boulevard
12:00 MN – ETD Dumaguete Port for arrival to Cebu
- Guide – 500-700 per day
- Porter – 500 per day
- Hired Jeep (Dumaguete to Bediao) – 150 per head, minimum of 10 pax
- Hired Jeep (Apolong to Dumaguete) – 150 per head, minimum of 10 pax
- Standard Jeep Fare (Dumaguete to Dauin) – 18 per pax
- Standard Habal-habal fare (Dauin to Bediao) – 150 per pax
- Standard Habal-habal Fare (Apolong to Valencia) – 25 per pax
- Standard Jeep Fare (Valencia to Dumaguete) – 12.50 per pax (last trip 5pm)
- Standard Tricycle Fare (Valencia to Dumaguete) – 30-50pesos per head
- Casaroro Entrance Fee – 10
1. For guideship services, contact Kevin Rocamaroa at 0915-1098759. Guide fee is P500 per day. You can also hire a porter at P500 per day.
2. It is better, safer, and more convenient for you to let the guide arrange for the transportation. Best transportation is a hired jeepney which can take you straight from Dumaguete to Bediao, and can fetch you from Apolong straight back to Dumaguete.
3. If you want a more relaxed climb and time to have a side trip to Casaroro Falls and Dumaguete City, it is recommended that you follow a standard 3-day itinerary. Ours was compressed, and we weren’t able to stop by Casaroro Falls.
4. You have to have a good sleep to muster the energy you need for the climb. That is exactly why we took the ship rather than the bus; we can sleep on the ship while it sails to Dumaguete.
5. Bring tough shoes because the trail is full of roots, mud, and rock that can wreak havoc to unprotected feet.
6. Bring sufficient waterproofing because the mountain is really misty and wet.
7. Bring warm clothes. The Lake Nailig campsite is very cold.