LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — A group of young men and women in La Trinidad have been exploring the great outdoors together since 2003.
ETHNIC WALL. La Treo members designed and painted this wall for the physically fit enthusiasts, hoping to raise awareness in physical fitness and the environment. Photo by Lyn V. Ramo/NORDIS
Composed of around 30 members, the La Trinidad Extreme Outdoor Club, which they simply refer to as La Treo, has been engaging in physically exhausting activities, keeping mind and body fit at the same time and veering away from vice.
In a nutshell, La Treo promotes outdoor life and adventure racing while instilling in its members the value of caring for the environment.
Chanced while some of their members were installing a 32-feet wall near the premises of the Benguet Sports Complex in Wangal here during the Adivay Festival, this reporter learned the group would be sharing the wall-climbing thrill with other children and youth until the Yuletide season is over.
“Besides wall-climbing, we are into caving, mountaineering, rock-climbing and other outdoor sports like aerosoft, rappelling and biking,” said William Capya-ao, La Treo founder.
Group members also participate in rescue operations. They were among those who volunteered during the mine disaster in Itogon, Benguet where 16 miners were rescued from the flooded abandoned underground tunnel in September this year.
“We choose to work behind the scenes,” insists Capya-ao when asked what the group does in rescue operations. He added coordination work with other rescuers was important in those times. Aside from the Itogon tragedy, La Treo has done major and minor rescue especially along the Halsema highway where vehicular accidents become common work for them.
Capya-ao said he and the other members have visited the rockies of Tacadang, in Kibungan; Cayapa in Bakun; Camp 3 in Tuba and Kallugong Mountain in La Trinidad.
La Treo is also into cave exploration and cave mapping. Our respondents could not enumerate the caves they have explored, simply saying, “So many already.”
The organization also offers a week-long basic mountaineering course for all interested participants.
Although La Treo has a chapter at the Benguet State University, Capya-ao clarified he still encourages student members to concentrate on their studies.
In the meantime, all interested in wall-climbing may visit the La Treo Wall at Wangal, La Trinidad. The club charges a minimal fee per climb. # Lyn V. Ramo