by Rex Godinez Ortega
(Photo by: Johannah Rose Ortiz)
IT HAS long been the observation that not just anybody should be allowed to go on fun climbs as these sometimes result to injuries or environmental vandalism.
Seeking to save people from unnecessarily putting themselves at risk and curbing the defilement of forests and the disturbance of wildlife, the MSU-IIT Mountaineers, Inc. gave a free basic mountaineering course on November 4 and 5.
The two-day training that targeted IIT faculty and staff members, students and interested alumni was organized in cooperation with the Association of IIT Alumni Foundation, Inc., the Faculty Union, and the Administrative Non-Teaching Employees Union.
Lectures were given at the Mini-Theater on November 4 while the hands-on training was conducted a day later on Iligan’s highest peak, Mt. Agad-Agad.
MSU-IIT Mountaineers, Inc. President Prof. Manuel C. Cabido said that the training was conducted primarily to provide faculty and staff members and students with the basic knowledge and the necessary skills in mountaineering before they start engaging in outdoor activities.
“Most people who go up Mt. Agad-Agad do not even know basic first aid skills,” Cabido said.
“In worst case scenarios, they would not even know who to call, much more know how to extract an injured climber out of the mountain,” he said.
Cabido also noted that they have observed an average of 100 climbers, mostly students, visiting Mt. Agad-Agad almost every weekend.
According to Cabido, most of these climbers are untrained in mountaineering and would tend to violate basic environmental requirements, would not possess any knowledge in solid waste management, and have no concern for the environment.
“Untrained climbers pose a threat to the environment as they dirty mountains with their garbage, and they could accidentally start forest fires,” Cabido added.
Cabido also expressed concern for the wildlife in Mt. Agad-Agad as visitors could be disturbing them.
“Lately we have been observing or getting reports of the presence of monkeys, civet cats, pythons, giant centipedes, and even tarsiers in the area,” Cabido revealed.
The November 4 and 5 Basic Mountaineering Course of the MSU-IIT Mountaineers, Inc. is just one of the many yearly activities conducted by the IIT-based mountaineering club formed in 2007.