Dec 14, 2010
Riding up Lake Balinsasayao
Location: Lake Balinsasayao, Sibulan, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Lake Balinsasayao is actually 2 small lakes nestled on top of the Cuernos de Negros mountain range. The lakes were formed by rain and goes down deep - one diver ran out of rope at 90 meters down without seeing the bottom. Riding up Lake Balinsasayao is by no means a feat for the faint-hearted. It's about 3x harder than our usual Calabnugan loop route. From the jump-off at the shoreline, the winding road shoots up to a dizzying 918 MASL in only 13.6 km.- that is one intense and gruelling climb. Add the sun's heat to the equation and you get a recipe for fatigue and heat stroke.
GPS track from jump-off to Lake Balinsasayao
Elevation profile of GPS track
Benchmark Bike Climbs
The Balinsasayao climb is one worthy for benchmarking. In Sagada, we have one such benchmark that begins in Dantay. Coming from Baguio, it starts where the road forks along the river - straight takes you to Bontoc and left starts the unrelenting ascent to Sagada that takes another 1 hour by jeep. To give you an idea, downhilling it from Sagada takes a whopping 30 solid minutes. A non-stop climb on a bike takes 1.5 hours.
After a filling breakfast, Rene and I biked our way to the jump-off. We allowed ourselves 3 hours (including rest) to reach the top. Towards the end, Rene was challenged by the heat and I was challenged by cramps. We had more rest stops than we planned for. Some sections were just too steep and protracted it took the wind out of us. By the time we reached the top, we clocked our ascent at 5 hours! An elite rider climbed it in 1 hour 20 minutes. On the way back, a sweet downhill ride topping 55 km/hr was a sweet dessert.
Whoa! That climb was one for the books and definitely a great way to cap 2010. Now that we have a better idea about the climb, I'm hoping our next attempt can shave us a few minutes (maybe hours?). In the famous words of General MacArthur, "We shall return!"
Many thanks to Rene for letting me use the Silver Streak bike.
- At the Gate: P10/person, P30/car
- umbrella cottage: P100/day (donation only for those who will not eat)
- viewing tower: P100 (to eat and relax), free for viewing only
- big bangka: P250/hour up to 7 pax
- double body: P250/hour up to 7 pax (additional P35/person over 7)
- kayak: P100/hour
- tour guiding: P300/day (surrounding lake view), P200 if less than a day, P1500/day from Twin Lakes to eco-spots of Valencia
- take a pedicab (tricycle) and ask to be taken to the jeep or bus terminal going or passing through San Jose
- tell the jeep/bus driver to drop you off the junction going to the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes. This is after you've passed Sibulan proper but before you reach San Jose proper. ~30 minutes
- from that junction, it's a long uphill road. Hire a motorbike (habal-habal) to take you to the lakes. Make sure to arrange for your return. P100 one-way
(July 17, 2011) Great pics and looks great fun. I'll be in Negros in August 2011 on a MTB...would love to do a ride or two with you. I plan to ride up to the twin lakes also...looks like a good climb:)
(Dec 20, 2010) Wow! I dropped by Endong's shop last last week, buti may new stocks na! Found a really cool folding bike for P3,500 lang, pero in cdo! hehe. See u soon!
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