Conquering Eastern Visayas' Highest and Treacherous Peak : Mt. Aminduen/Alto Peak


Every mountaineers dream is to experience major climb in different places and in different mountains. No matter how high the peak is and how tough the trail is, kay laagan man lage, go lang ng go. Visayas may not have the title for having the highest peak in the Philippines but it is well known for its spectacular peaks. 

Laag Bisaya


Cebu has OsmeƱa Peak which is the highest peak in Cebu Province, but climbing is very hmmmm. It’s for you to find out.

The Peak

Alto Peak or commonly known as Mt. Aminduen is located in Brgy. Cabintan, Ormoc City which is 1.5 hrs away from the city proper. Mt. Aminduen is known to be the highest peak in Eastern Visayas at 1332 MASL (meter above sea level).


Laag Bisaya

Trails to Alto Peak

There were actually two trails going to Alto Peak, one was via the abandoned road (as per guide/tourism) and the other one was via Lake Janagdan traverse to junction then to Alto peak. The first trail is not that difficult or adventurous, it may be just your regular trail when doing a day hike and it will only take an hour or two from tourism office (jump off) to the junction.

Laag Bisaya
Laag Bisaya

Lake Janagdan

Muddy...
Full of assault trail ...
Air and water consuming....
Slippery....

That is just how I can describe and remember the trail going to Lake Janagdan. The hike from tourism office (jump off) to Lake Janagdan may take 3-4 hrs depending on the pacing. We had a very slow pacing due to its assault trail and with the heavy backpack. 


Laag Bisaya

Less than an hour since we started with our hike, we had a lot of complaints and even said "ma manghugas nalang ko’g plato, dili naku mo saka ug bukid".  Corny jokes were made just to divert our attention to different things and not to the never ending assault trail. We don't even have a lot of photos along the trail kay kapoy kaayo


Laag Bisaya

Laag Bisaya

After roughly 4 hours assault, we finally arrived at the peak of Lake Janagdan. The peak is located 1120MASL (meters above sea level). From the top is the panoramic view of the Lake Janagdan and a small part of Jaro Leyte.

Laag Bisaya
Laag Bisaya Laag Bisaya

One thing that I've observed during our hike was the scars left by the disastrous typhoon that happened a few years ago, Typhoon Yolanda.  I was saddened upon looking at those dead trees standing without branches. You can definitely see the pain and massive damage caused by the typhoon. Kung sa hugot pa,"time flies so fast, wounds heal but the scars where pain and blood flowed will remain forever''. lols


Laag Bisaya
Laag Bisaya

Laag Bisaya


The lake is located 10-15 minutes away from its peak. The water in the lake was so cold and so tempting; however, since we were running out of time, we just ate our lunch then continue hiking. 

Laag Bisaya

Everyone was running out of drinking water, but we were very thankful because the water in the lake was drinkable. To be safe, I and Hardz fetched water at the center part of the lake.

Laag Bisaya

Heading to the Junction

The junction is a place where the trail from Janagdan, Sulfutara and to Alto Peak campsite met. The harkor team arrived at the junction first while I and my team arrived sooner because the struggle is Nesfruta "real na real" haha. 

Laag Bisaya

From Janagdan, it took us roughly 2 hrs walking downhill plus the weather was not so nice during that time coz it was raining hard. The muddy trail kept us from walking fast due to slippery trail.

Alto Campsite

When at last we saw the junction, we were very ecstatic because we knew that the campsite is no longer that far and at last we can rest. As per kuya Efren, the hike from the junction to the campsite will just take less than an hour. So yeah, we were walking faster since it’s already an easy trail and we knew that the campsite is within reach.

Laag Bisaya

Alto's Campsite is not that spacious nor had a flat surface but we can’t do anything about it, we just need to hover and bear with it, anyway, we won't stay there for a long time. The very good thing about the campsite is that there’s a drinkable water source.

mariawettotown

Laag Bisaya

Tents were set up, dinner was served, socials and chit chat done, lights off at 10 pm.

Alto Peak/Mt. Aminduen

Everyone was awaken by the never-ending sound of an alarm clock. So yeah, at 4 am, we were all awake so we had to prepare ourselves for the highlight of our journey which was going to the highest peak of Eastern Visayas, Alto peak. 

Laag Bisaya

The group was divided into two, one was Team Bang with Rhyan and Dave (joiners from Leyte) and the other one were from my Team, Laag  Bisaya with Shandy, An Jurvel, Shekeinah and James.
Why divided into two?


mariawenttotown

Laag Bisaya


As we all know, Leyte was stricken by a massive typhoon a few years ago which killed hundreds of thousands of trees in the mountains. Nowadays, there are a lot of natural calamities (i.e landslide) happening in the mountains nearby the peak and even at the peak itself. 

Laag Bisaya

Laag Bisaya

Right before we arrived at the peak, there were parts of the mountain that were destroyed by the landslide. Kuya Oheng, strictly reminded us not to stay at those part even just for a second because the land may move at any time.


Laag Bisaya

So why treacherous?
Why divided into two groups? 


Laag Bisaya


Laag Bisaya

 
Well, the peak is not that stable, the back part of the peak already gave up and there were a lot of cracked areas and it may collapse anytime if a lot of people stay at the top. Just to be safe, it would be better to have less than 10 hikers staying at the peak at a time.

Major Trail Run

The harkor's Rhyan, Dave and Idol were the ones who lead this funny interesting trail run then it was being followed by Sheila and Salve and then me. Our goal is to descend from the peak less than 30 minutes.  Regardless of the dangerous and tough trail, we still managed to descend to the campsite safe and sound. 
mariawenttotown

The harkor's Rhyan, Dave, and Idol reached the campsite in just 35 minutes, Sheila and Salve got 45 minutes and I made it within 31 minutes. How we did it? Hmm just run and run. It was not actually a race, we did it just for fun and it won't matter who was the fastest, what mattered most was that we arrived at the campsite safe and sound and had a great experience with our first major trek. Well, this is my first major trek but not for them.

Laag Bisaya

Laag Bisaya

Thanks to Shiela, Maria, and Kevin for inviting us to this wonderful major trek. Cheers for more katkat and major trek. To read more the amazing story behind our first major trek, please visit Maria's blog site.


Credits to the owner of other photos used for this post and thanks to Lochie for helping me creating this post. Cheers!

RESPECT mother nature and practice The Leave No Trace Policy.

  • Plan ahead and prepare 
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces 
  • Dispose of waste properly 
  • Leave what you find 
  • Minimize campfire impacts 
  • Respect Wildlife 
  • Be Considerate of other visitors

LEAVE nothing but FOOTPRINTS, TAKE nothing but PICTURES, KILL nothing but TIME.


See ya!
Below is the Final Itinerary and remaining expenses for Alto Adventure prepared by Sheila
Below is the Final Itinerary and Expenses for Alto Adventure Prepared by Sheila
Mt. Aminduen/Alto Peak Itinerary
DAY 1
TIME REMARKS/ACTIVITIES
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Grocery
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM Meet up at Pier 3
ETD 10:00 PM Cebu to Ormoc
DAY 2
ETA 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM Ormoc City/Eat breakfast
6:00 AM - 7:00 AM Buy foods for lunch
ETD 7:00 AM Brgy. Cabintan
ETA 8:30 AM Brgy. Cabintan/Preparation Final Orientation Registration
ETD 9:00 AM Start hike to Lake Janagdan
ETA 11:00 AM Lake Janagdan/Picture Taking
12:00 PM Lunch
ETD 12:30 PM Start descend to campsite
ETA 4:00 PM Campsite/Set up tent/Cook for dinner
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM -10:00 PM Socials
10:30 PM Lights out
DAY 3
4:30 AM Wake up/Prepare for breakfast
6:00 AM Eat Breakfast
ETD 7:00 AM Start ascend to Alto Peak
ETA 8:30 AM ETA Alto Peak/Picture Taking
ETD 10:00 AM Start descend
ETA 11:30 AM - ETA Campsite/Lunch
ETD 12:00 PM Start hike back to Brgy. Cabintan
ETD 2:00 PM - ETA Brgy. Cabintan/ Depart to Ormoc City
ETA 3:00 PM - ETA Ormoc City
ETD 3:30 PM Depart to Baybay City
ETA 4:30 PM - ETA Baybay City
6:00 PM Dinner
8:30 PM Chill out at Baybay Port
ETD 10:00 PM ETD to Cebu City
DAY 4
ETA 5:00 AM Cebu City/Home Sweet home
EXPENSES
Foods P150.00 each
Guide Fees P3,000.00 (good for 14 persons for 2 days)
Transportation (Jeepney going to Brgy. Cabintan) P2,500.00(good for 14 persons)
Entrance Fee to Mt. Aminduen P25.00 per head
Bus Fare from Ormoc to Baybay City P50.00
Roble Shipping going to Ormoc P340.00
Roble Shipping going to Cebu P340.00
Important contact numbers:
Guide services Ramil Morales +63 921 724 3042
Transport services Rodel +63 920 715 6011
Click here to Download the JPEG File of our IT
Mt. Aminduen/Alto Peak Itinerary



LIKE THIS ARTICLE? PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW!