Mount Timpoong (1630m) is the highest volcano on Camiguin Island, making it one of 29 ultra prominent peaks in the Philippines. Unlike its popular neighbour, Mount Hibok-Hibok, only a few hikers have reached the summit of this "virgin" peak.
Summit log:24-Jan-2013: Mt Timpoong 1630 m (prominence 1630 m)
Participants:Lyngve Skrede - Norway
Local Guide - Philippines
Getting there:It's easiest to get to Camiguin Island by flying into Cagayan de Oro, and from there take a fast craft directly to the island. It's slightly cheaper (but more time consuming) to take the bus from Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan, from where there are frequent ferries to Camiguin. Arriving Camiguin Island you first have to take a multi cab or jeepney to Mambajao where you can apply for a permit and guide. The trailhead can be reached with a motorcycle taxi from Mambajao.
Red tape:A permit is required to hike this mountain. You need to apply at the DENR office in Mambajao. The application process will normally take less than one hour at the office. The permit cost 200 pesos per person and is good for 3 days. The permit is also valid for any peaks on Camiguin Island, so Hibok-Hibok and Timpoong can thus be climbed on the same permit as long as you do both of them within 3 days. It's required to hire a local guide, but please be aware that the guides are 3 times more expensive than elsewhere in the Philippines.
Route description:From the trailhead (located at 520 m.a.s.l.) it's 6 km to the summit, and the gain of elevation is approx 1100m. You need a local guide to find the trail to the summit, unless you download and use my GPS track below. Please notice that a guide is required by law, so if you still choose to go alone, then use my GPS track at your own responsibility. I still recommend you to take a local guide, because he will bring a knife and cut vegetation in case the trail is overgrown. Timpoong is infested by limatik (blood leeches) so take your precautions.
Link to my GPS-track at EveryTrail (also possible to download)
Notes from the trip:I found very little information on internet concerning the highest peak on Camiguin Island, even the name of the peak was a big mystery. All attention seems to be on the much lower Hibok-Hibok volcano nearby. I was relieved when the DENR-office told me that Timpoong is doable in one day. Emily opted out on this hike because her legs was still sore after our hike to Hibok-Hibok. The guide and motorcycle driver picked me up at Ardent Hot Spring, and the three of us continued (on one motorcycle!) to the trailhead. It had been raining for several days so the hike was really unpleasant. I have never seen so many leeches sticking on my shoes and trousers before. We even did eye-check on each others to make sure that no leeches went into our eyes, because some people say you can turn blind then (maybe a myth?). The trail was not obvious at all, my guide even had to cut vegetation to clean the path. I was really surprised how fit my 60 years old guide was. We reached the summit in only 2.5 hours in a fast pace. We stayed on the summit for a while, not because of the views (none at all!), but to get rid of all the leeches in our shoes. Then we headed down again while the rain was pouring down. The best moment of the day was to arrive back at Ardent Hot Spring and take a bath in the hot pools.