Sanchez Peak, GenSan’s Highest

Sanchez Peak, GenSan’s Highest

NOT VERY far from the urban center of General Santos City, one can experience adventure and fun with nature and enjoy a breathtaking sight of the cityscape from a lofty vantage point. I joined my mountaineering friends (Team Bundol Mountaineers, UGTAS, and Wasalak) in a trek to Sanchez Peak via Balakayo Trail and then traversed to Amsicong and Kalaja, Falls, and finally, exited to Cassava, Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Getting There

I prepared a two-day itinerary for this outdoor adventure. We hired a multicab from Lagao Terminal to Conel at Php 20 per head. At Conel, we took a single motorcycle that charged Php 100 per head. The road is very rough, I understand, but the price is still a bit too high. We tried to haggle and we were able to lower it down to Php 80.

motorcycle to balakayo

The motorcycles took us to Balakayo, where the trek started. It took us roughly two-hours to reach the peak. The first part of the trail was very steep until you reach the  cross-road to the 5th Mountain Adventure Park, where you could ride the zip line and cable cars for a fee. It wasn’t part of our itinerary, though, so we continued on.

We stopped by one of the peaks because it was too misty that time, we couldn’t see the trail very well.

mist covering the trail to sanchez peak general santos city

Mt. Matutum can be seen from that point on. It’s beautiful shape stands out from the surrounding landscape.

mt. matutum as seen from sanchez peak

Sanchez Peak is a good site for relaxation. You can see the whole GenSan area and the towns of Alabel, Malapatan, Glan, and Maasim, which surround the Sarngani Bay. It has a wide area for camping. The owner of the land collects Php 15 from trekkers. They also sell potable water at Php 20 per gallon.

Sunset, City Lights, and the Sunrise at Sanchez Peak

The perfect time to start the trek to Sanchez Peak is in the afternoon so that you will be welcomes by the wonderful sunset. In our case, we left Lagao at about 1:00 PM.

sunset at sanchez peak

We were lucky to still be able to watch the beautiful view of the setting sun, which Sanchez Peak is known for, despite the bad weather in the past weeks.

panoramic view of gensan from sanchez peak

And of course, everyone was caught in awe when GenSan started to light up as the night crawled. Looking at the whole city and its bright lights is one of the most relaxing things you could do. If you are in need of inspiration and some quiet time, Sanchez Peak is just so perfect for you.

waking up at sanchez peak

bright morning at sanchez peak

One more thing you would love about Sanchez Peak is to wake up to a beautiful morning. I would run out of adjectives to describe how great it felt to be like standing on top of the world.

From Sanchez to Kalaja

side trip to klaja from sanchez peak

According to some friends who frequent the area, there is a shorter and an easier to route to Sanchez Peak as an alternative to Balakayo. The Balsinang trail would only take trekkers about an hour to reach the peak. I have yet to try it. Yes, one day, I will.

balsinang trail to sanchez peak



From Sanchez Peak, we trekked to Amsicong and Kalaja Falls. It took us two hours to reach our destination through a challenging river trail. If you have been reading my blog, I had once visited Amsikong and Kalaja Falls. Team Wasalak led us in this part of the trail.

Itinerary

Day 1

12:30 PM             Assembly at Lagao

1:00 PM                ETD Motorcycle from Lagao to Balakayo

1:25 PM                ETA at Balakayo

1:30PM                 ETD Trekking from Balakayo to Sanchz Peak

5:00PM                 ETA at Sanchez Peak

6:00PM                 Tent Pitching / Preparation for Dinner

7:00PM                 Dinner

8:00PM                 Happy Hour/Camp Socials

Day 2

6:00AM                 Wake Up Call / Preparation for Breakfast

7:00AM                 Breakfast

8:00AM                 Break Camp

8:30AM                 ETD Trekking to Amsicong and Kalaja

10:30AM              ETA at Kalaja

11:00AM              Preparation for Lunch / Swimming

12:00NN               Lunch / Swimming

1:30PM                 ETD from Kalaja to 2nd Camp Site

2:00 PM                ETA at camp site

2:30PM                 ETD from camp site to cave

3:00PM                 Cave exploration

4:30PM                 Homeward Bound

 

 

Ariel Lalisan

I’m a teacher by profession. When I’m not in the classroom, I’d be in the mountains, exploring the wonderful creation of God. I’m also into photography, writing, filmmaking, song writing, and name-it-i’ll-do-it. This blog is a proof that I love everything I do.

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