When your usual everyday route just doesn’t get your blood pumping anymore, it may be time for something more exotic…green…unpolluted and invigorating! Head out for the trails!
This is what we did yesterday with running buddy June as we decided, at the spur of the moment, to forego our usual run in UP and head to the backyard trails of Montalban, specifically to the mountain trails of Alyaas, near Puray.
After running these past few weeks to both the Tanay and the Cavinti trails, i was starting to feel some longing for trails nearby, so Montalban sort of filled-up that gap. Besides, we both plan to run the Cavinti Road and Trail Adventure Marathon in 4 weeks time so what a better way to get those lungs ready than by running actual trails!
The mellow vibe of the mountains near the Wawa Dam was enticing and a bit invigorating as this would be my second time in running this place. The river crossings alone were captivating and a big bonus was discovering a new trail, an alternative route going to Puray and that was via the trails in Baranggay Magalipit!
The trails here were simply captivating, with wild trees and greenery mostly enveloping the area while the air was cool at times even with the smidgens of the sun peeping from the clouds failed to dampen our mood to run on these secluded parts. After discovering these pristine and quiet trails (the dogs were even forgiving to us galloping strangers), i am reminded why i should visit this place more often.
The landscape which stretches along the community of Mascap to the routes going to Puray is absolutely absorving! Staring at the mountain tops while you soak your shoes down river crossings is one of the most exhilarating experiences of a trail runner. During our first outing here about 2 years ago, we went for the downhill route that had about a dozen river crossings. This time, we went for the more arduous uphill route, with an elevation gain of about 880 meters.
Our destination was suppose to be at Puray Falls but when we saw this hidden trail that weaves uphill along the Sierra Madre mountains, we decided to forego the falls and instead explore the mountain sides.
The views atop Mt. Alyaas is certainly impressive. The undulating Sierra Madre mountains, the bamboo tree forest, the chiseled steps on the ground for the uphill assault and the totally unexpected mini-waterfalls that was a refreshing sight to see!
But all is not a walk in the park when you tackle those jagged hills. I had to stop every 10 meters just to catch my breath while traversing those climbs. There were parts of the trails that were inches away from ravines that you had to cling on bamboo trunks for balance. June, who was the expert climber between us was forced to wait for me on several occasions after i got winded.
All in all, it was one great experience to climb atop those trails. It’s not an easy climb for newbies in trail running although i would suggest to them taking the river route for a more satisfying experience!
Here are some of the pics along the route. Enjoy!