Sanchez Peak’s 360º view of GenSan will take your breath away

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Allan Nawal,

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Even at just 800 feet above sea level, Sanchez Peak, the city’s highest point, remains a challenge to climbers and to those who just love the outdoor adventure.

Besides, it is the only point that offers a 360-degree view of the city and its surrounding environs–including Mt. Matutum, Mt. Parker and the Sarangani Bay.

Located in the boundaries of Barangays Conel and Olympog here, Sanchez Peak can be reached via two trails.

For the more adventurous, mountaineering experts here suggest that they take the Balsinang route in Barangay Olympog because it offers the most serious challenge: a steep and rocky pass that is only accessible by foot.

For neophytes, it is an opportunity to practice their strength and stamina too for future climbs without being exposed to too much sun. The Balsinang route is lined up with huge trees that provide shade all the way to the top.

It takes experienced mountaineers to reach the peak in less than an hour.

The other route to Sanchez Peak may appear to be easy because it is accessible by motorcycles.

But because it is an open area, no tree would shield hikers from the heat of the sun so it is a must to bring lots of fluids and food.

But once reached, the peak offers serenity and peace, according to those who have scaled it. One even described it as a hermit’s place because it is so tranquil.

Leana Margarita Diaz, a regular trekker of Sanchez Peak, said each ascend offered new challenges.

“Even if it is my fourth time here already, everything always seems new,” Diaz said.

Manong Jun Sanchez, whose family owns the peak, said the hill was a gift to his father by the native Blaan tribe as a token of friendship.

He said the family opened up the peak to make locals appreciate nature, especially so that it is practically at the heart of the city, one of the country’s highly urbanized areas.

“In peak days, the number of hikers staying overnight here could reach 250-300,” Manong Jun said. He said he and his wife,

Manang Mising, try to maintain the area’s cleanliness and always remind hikers to “take nothing but pictures and not to leave their garbage behind.”

“We also sought the help of the local government unit of General Santos City for the maintenance of Sanchez Peak,” he said.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the city government was working with the Sanchez family in preserving the peak and promoting it as a must-see destination in the city.

“Sanchez Peak is unique because the adventure and the nature that some people seek are just inside the city. In some other places, you have to go outside the city and spend more money just to experience an adventure like Sanchez Peak,” Rivera said.

COCOY SEXCION

FROM Sanchez Peak, which is the highest point in General Santos City, one gets a spectacular view of Mt. Matutum, Mt. Parker and the Sarangani Bay.

COCOY SEXCION

THERE are two routes going up Sanchez Peak.

COCOY SEXCION

AT night, one forgets all the worries in the world.

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