The Kidapawan City Tourism Office (KCTO) in North Cotabato has announced the scheduled reopening of the Mt. Apo trail starting next month, just in time for the October trek (Octo Trek 2019).
Joey Recimilla, city tourism officer, said Kidapawan City’s Mandangan trail going to Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak at 9,692 above sea level, will be opened to the public for trekking next month.
“In line with the activity, we will also be having a ‘Night Market’ which is now open for exhibitors and tenants,” Recimilla said in a statement Saturday.
Earlier, the six trails going to Mt. Apo’s summit in Kidapawan City, Makilala, and Magpet in North Cotabato; and Digos City, Sta. Cruz and Bansalan in Davao del Sur have been shut down due to the effects of the El Nino phenomenon in May this year.
“The mountain has recovered and we have measures to prevent destructions like a forest fire and improper garbage disposal by hikers,” Recimilla said.
Among the measures currently being undertaken for the forthcoming trek is the limitation to only 50 climbers per day to the mountain summit.
He said the KCTO and the Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB) are yet to decide whether to allow climbers in other trails, like Davao del Sur and Digos City, to exit using the Kidapawan trail.
“We have experience in the past where climbers using other entry points and exited through Kidapawan trail have left a huge pile of garbage and have violated policies,” he added.
Recimilla said the KCTO has complete records for those coming up using the Kidapawan trail than those who used other entry points, making it much easier for them to regulate and monitor the number of climbers.
“We would like to prevent forest fires that might hit the Mt. Apo peak some three years ago,” he stressed.
In 2016 huge fires hit the Davao side of Mt. Apo where it took more than two weeks to put off the forest fire.
He said the city tourism office is all set for the “Octo trek 2019” but preparations continue to ensure a hassle-free mountain climbing experience for trekkers. (PNA)