Surviving with minimal provisions

Once again, yours truly sets another journey last weekend. This time we head to Central Luzon to conquer my 1st Major trail run/climb in Tarak Ridge, Mariveles, Bataan. This mountain is known for its craggy landscape, steep location and sharp rocks that may have given its name, Tarak. The combination for “Tabak” (hunting knife) and “Tarik” (steep) [source].

Now, trivia time is over why don’t we jump to my adventure? Hehe

0000 – We started to gather in Ministop, Kalayaan Ave. Here we talk about things that might happen to us during the trail run, what to expect and our game plan during the run.

0115 – 0131 – We head to Cubao station where we board Bataan Express bus lines to Balanga, Bataan

0157 – The bus starts its way to our destination, Brgy. Alas-asin via NLEX (267php/each). After few minutes everyone grab their chance to gather strength while we travel.

0314 – 0326 – The time we spend in stopover.

0430 – After 2hrs. and half travel time we finally arrived in Brgy. Alas-asin where we register (40php/each) and made our preparation.


0654 – Almost 2hrs, 6.82K with 530 MASL we arrived in Papaya River. Here, we took a quick rest and plan for our next assault.



0728 – From Papaya River we battle lots of uphills before we took a rest at 7.67K mark and getting ready as we head to the ridge (2:32hrs. from the brgy. hall).

0818 – At last, the famous Ridge. Strong wind welcome us here. I don’t know how strong the wind is but it can surely throw you off guard if you don’t manage to balance yourself out. We rest for a few minutes here and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain. You can also spot Island of Corregidor from the ridge as well as Manila Bay all the way to Cavite.



Of course, the journey is not complete if we didn’t reach the peak. We didn’t come just to settle for the ridge alone. The group agreed to push until we reach the top so we moved on.


At 0924 (4:28hrs. from brgy. hall) we’re finally at the top! This is the most challenging mountain that I’ve conquered to date. With 1201 MASL and the distance of 9.52K everyone deserved a hand of applause. *clap! *clap! *clap!


0944 – Photo-ops? Check! Relax? Check! Enjoyed the creation of God? SUPER CHECK! – Let’s go home (start of descend).



1123 –arrived in Papaya River again. After 12.07K and lots of downhills we took a rest before we head to jump-off. Oh by the way I almost get lost on my way to Papaya River.

1249 – We reached the Jump-Off covering the distance of 16.59K in 7:46. While we stay here we manage to replenish our strength by eating Turon (12php) and Buko (15php). Also during our stay here we heard from the other group that they lost one of their member on their way back. They said he’s a 1st time climber and lost since 0900 that morning. Other members of their group search for that person and luckily they found him yesterday (Monday).


1353 – Our journey of Tarak Ridge is over. It took us almost 9hrs. to cover the 19.35K (Brgy. Alis-asin to Summit V.V.)

We left Bataan at around 1452 and arrived in Manila at 1749.

Tarak Ridge is highly recommended especially if you’re building your endurance for your upcoming trail run. For us this is a great training ground and preparation for our upcoming Salomon trail run 2014 and TNF 2014 race event. With minimal provision of 1L of water and few trail foods. We’re lucky to finish this tough terrain. This is a Major climb so if you’re planning to have your practice trail runs here make sure you must have iron knee and did a lot of squats because your lower body will be tested and will put to the limit.

One more advice. Make sure you bring enough water, trail food and make sure you eat your breakfast before climbing this mountain. Unlike us we haven’t eaten anything. Luckily we brought enough trail foods to support our hungry tummy but short in water supply.

tarak elev

tarak map

Budget for each:

543 – Bus fare V.V.

40 – Reg. to brgy. hall

12 – Turon

15 – Buko

55 – Lunch with Soda


665 – Total

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Summary:

Distance: 19.35 km

Time: 8:56:17

Avg Pace: 27:16 min/km

Elevation Gain: 1,260 m

Heart Rate

Avg HR: 72 % of Max

Max HR: 98 % of Max


Elevation Gain:  1,260 m

Elevation Loss:  1,259 m

Min Elevation:   243 m

Max Elevation:  1,111 m

Photo credit: Eric & JJ


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