my hope of adding a 32nd mountain to my list went slightly awry over the weekend when i ended up missing the trail entirely and found myself, 2 hours later, on the saddle of what mountain, i don't know. no, i'm not going to count this as one of my climbs, and who knows when i'll be this way again. so now, i will forever suffer the ignominy of not having climbed talamitam because i assumed the second bridge would be a little farther away, and not immediately after the first, as i discovered the following day when there was light. actually, i could've pushed for the summit and tried to locate the campsite and feast on the goodies they took with them, but the fact that i had a guest with me didn't quite welcome the idea of hacking through the bushes. we camped, instead, on a vast saddle with a lonely, mysterious-looking tree, where we munched on beef jerky and popcorn, joked about the horse turning into a tikbalang, while i watched a full-length movie on an iPod video plugged into an altec lansing iM3. well at least i discovered a new trail, muddy though it was. a footnote to this story is that it almost headlined saturday TV news. imagine the embarrassment of being described as lost mountaineers. never, never. not to me. i'm not that irresponsible. i've done a night trek on a mountain i wasn't familiar with before, but this was something else. the road turns out to be the incorrect one. some lessons learned: if you're not sure, get a guide. or better yet, don't let other people delay your schedule. night treks can be a pain, even if you're armed with the most updated headlamp.