AFTER making their first successful expedition of the region in 2015, the Cordillera Great Traverse is set to embark on other journey to explore the region’s richness for 18 days passing through the different provinces and ends in Baguio City.
Trekkers, environmentalists and other ultra – running enthusiasts are seen to join the 351 kilometer route passing through Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Abra, and Apayao.
CGT project leader Leonard Soriano said the traverse will pass through mountain passes, forests, rivers, waterfalls, rice terraces, villages and historical trails of the Cordillera mountains.
Soriano added the CGT is seen as a local counterpart of the some of the best trekking destinations in the world such as Appalachian Trail, the Great North Walk, Drakensberg, and GR20.
“CGT is driven by a 3-part action plan that will eventually involve public participation, establish the longest and most scenic trekking or hiking trail destination in the Philippines through research, mapping, immersion with the locals, and actual reconciliation of the trails of each province,” added Soriano.
CGT in 2015 saw the first staging of the CGT which was completed by the expedition team when it embarked on a single-push travel from April 1 to 18 to cover the entire expanse of the traverse.
Soriano said the traverse aims is to learn and share the culture of each of the indigenous peoples who have made the mountains their home for centuries with the locals as guides to establish the trails and lead the organizers to discover more about the richness of the region.
The expedition will allowed them to mutually exchange knowledge with the locals on how to protect the mountains and together with the Cordillerans, be the advocates for the protection of the Cordillera.
CGT operates under the Philippine Trail Conservation Events, Inc. and the CGT 2015 expedition team consisted of National Geographic explorers, adventurers, nature lovers, ultra runners, environmentalist, mountaineers, and fitness enthusiasts.
To date, CGT consists of strong team members contributing not just their solid athletic background but also their talent and skills as professionals in order to move the project forward after the expedition two years ago.
Soriano said CGT is continuously looking for volunteers to join the team and that volunteer application can be sent via info@ cordilleragreat traverse.com.
Among the targets of CGT for 2017 and beyond include establishing a trail system that will promote eco-tourism across the Cordillera, become a leading source of information for natural and trails in the region, conduct biological survey of plant and animal species, discover and promote cultural and historic significance of the trails, create a trail economy for the locals by supporting and developing products and services, revive the love for the mountains for the locals and the future generations and promote and implement conservation efforts with partner organizations and the government.
In 2015, Mark Bryan Grey traversed in what used to be a no man's land, trekking 444 kilometers and completed the journey which started in Conner, Apayao and ended inside the former US military recreation base Camp John Hay.
A 30-man team was formed for the expedition that includes a reconnaissance and medical team during the expedition which passed through Maligcong in Abra, Balbalasang in Kalinga, and another hike to Sadanga, Mt. Province to Banaue towards, Hungduan, Kiangan and Tinoc in Ifugao followed by the trek to Nueva Vizcaya towards Domolpos and a climb to Mt. Ugo then down to Tinongdan and Poblacion of Itogon before making their way to Baguio City. (Roderick Osis)
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on May 06, 2017.
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