Looking back at the past two years it really makes me wonder how I’ve changed from being a not-so-outdoorsy person into someone who has seemingly unquenchable wanderlust. And now after finishing my 8th peak it gives me all the more reason to try to go out more and challenge myself.
For my 8th climbing ordeal it was planned for us to do a twin hike, Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan. It’s two mountains separated by a river, it’s not that high so we thought that it would be possible for us to try and climb both. But from the results of our research and inquiries from hikers far more knowledgeable than us we learned that it would not be so easy, since both mountains are filled with jagged rocks. So we revised our plans and decided to just climb one mountain. Pamitinan was chosen because one in our group already climbed Binacayan.
•Located at Rodriguez, Rizal
•426+ Meters above sea level
•Trail Class 1-4
•Difficulty rating of 3/9
0445 – Meet-up (Cubao)
0500 – Take van from Cubao to Rodriguez, Rizal
0630 – ETA Rodriguez, Rizal, take tricycle or jeep to Brgy. Wawa
0730 – ETA at Brgy. Wawa, Register at barangay hall
0800 – Start trek
0900 – Arrival at Hapunang Banoi junction
1030 – ETA summit; lunch
1200 – Start descent (New Trail)
1400 – Back at Brgy. Wawa (Explore Area/Side trip)
1700 – Tidy up
1930 – Back in Manila
After realizing that it would be a task too herculean for us to climb two mountains on the same day, we’ve just looked for some side trips that would fill the excess time left by cancelling the climb in Bincayan. We’ve found out about Wawa Dam, Pamitinan Cave and from that info we’ve formulated this itinerary for our trip.
Since we’re just an eight-man team this time meeting up was not a problem. We didn’t have to wait for so many people and everyone of us was on time. Everything was going as planned and we were on schedule. Upon arriving in Wawa we registered at the barangay hall and told them our intention of climbing the mountain. We also told them our plans of going to Wawa Dam and Pamitinan Cave. Due to some stroke of bad luck, the cave was not available since they’re in the middle of fixing a bridge that would get the people there. And also they informed us that the water in Wawa Dam is murky due to the continuous rain during the past days (but they still told us that it’s up to us to decide wether we want to go or not). We were a bit disappointed since our trip will have to be cut short. But that didn’t put us on low spirits thinking the climb would be enough of an adventure for us that day. And so we prepared our gears and bought some gloves (you will really need this if you plan to climb Pamitinan and/or Binacayan) for our departure to venture the Pamitinan Mountain.
In order to reach the top of the mountain you have to pass through three stops the first two was easy since it’s comparable to most of the trails that we’ve encountered. Still it’s tiring but it’s not that hard once you get used to trails that have steady ascents. We’re taking rests every now and then since we’re taking it easy cause we have the whole day just for climbing.
Since we’re not rushing it gave our photo enthusiast friends more time to take some shots along the way. One of my friends also made a video of our climb which would be nice if you check it out. All in all it was a chill climb from the first two stops. Heat was not a problem since most of the trail in those part are covered in trees. So even though we took long rests, it didn’t took away that much time.
The hard part really starts after you passed through the third stop. You’ll find stores there to freshen up and buy food. You can also leave some of your stuff to lighten your load since the next trail would be a real challenge. It is advised to only bring some water (enough for climbing up and back down) and some trail food, any additional items in your bag like change clothes should just be left there in my opinion for you to feel a bit more at ease for the coming ordeal.
From there you will experience a trail that is full of jagged rocks. That’s where the gloves come in handy. And also trees become seldom along the trail there which exposed us to sunlight that added more difficulty to our climb.
It was hot and our hands felt tired from holding on to pointy rocks. Were running out of drinking water and the scorching heat of the sun was battering our backs, but that didn’t stop us from conquering Pamitinan. Upon reaching the summit we had to wait for our turn to go up on it’s highest point since it can only accommodate a number of people. So we took the chance to rest and take some photos. After a couple of minutes of waiting it’s finally our turn for the summit.
The view from the top provides a panorama that shows the mountains around Mt. Pamitinan and the Wawa River below. We didn’t spend much time in the summit since it’s really hot at that time and we’re almost out of water.
The climb down is no easy task to due to the sharp rocks. But it was faster compared to going up, maybe because we are really thirsty and hungry (we haven’t taken our lunch yet) that time so we’re in a bit of a rush to reach the stores on the third stop. When we got there we rested and took our meals and we ultimately decided to not go to Wawa River. And so we proceeded to go down the mountain.
The problem was it’s still too early and everyone’s still not in the mood to go home. Good thing is we saw some ads that shows that there are public pools nearby. We decided to just spend the afternoon swimming to make up for our jeopardized side trips.
We spent our time there just chilling and left just before sundown going back to reality.
Credits to (photos):
•Kate Suan (thewanderlens)