Ever since I did my first ever climb, which you can read all about here, I've been raring to go on another one. So the moment I got an invite to climb Mt. Pico De Loro, I immediately cleared my schedule for it.
We left Manila at almost 5am which was later than our expected time of departure. Just like the last time, we simply rode a van that would take us straight to the jump off point. The jump off was at Ternate, Cavite which was a good couple of hours away from Manila, depending on the traffic. We got there a bit early, around 7-ish but because we had to wait for two other vans to arrive, we started our climb at around 8:30am.
The difficulty level of the trail wasn't like my first one. This was way easier since it wasn't that steep, and it was mostly of dirt. In fact, it was so easy that I even did a bit of trail running when grounds were almost flat. It took us roughly an hour and a half to get to the campsite, which gave us this view.
of course, some photo ops were in order
From the camp site, it was another ten to fifteen minutes to get to the actual peak of what they call the Parrot's Beak. This time, the trails were steep and they can get quite slippery if it rained. And it did that day so we had to be extra careful.
view from Parrot's Beak
To get to the monolith, we had to climb down the side of Parrot's Beak, where it was mostly of rocks. Though it was steep and it looked scary from the top, the climb down wasn't really that difficult. One just has to know where to hold on to or where to step on. Then we had to trek down this muddy trail which would take us to the bottom of the monolith.
The monolith is this very huge piece of rock that one would have to rappel just to climb. Because only one person can rappel at a time, there was a long queue. Also, we had to make way for those who were climbing down. So we took that as an opportunity to rest and relax.
While watching the others do it, I thought the rappelling part would be difficult. When it was my turn, I found that it was actually quite easy to do. That is if you know the technique. It was simple, really. One would just have to use their feet rather than their knees. It was kinda like walking on the rock. And of course, one would have to hold on tightly to the rope for dear life.
When I got to the top... there was no view. It was foggy that day. And did I mention that it rained? But while it would have been safer for us to not climb the monolith, we did it anyway. Because the experience wouldn't be complete without it.
no view because of the fog :(
And just when we were about to start climbing down the monolith, the sky cleared up a bit and we finally got to see some amazing view of the Batangas area. It didn't last for long as it became foggy again after a few minutes. It was awesome, nevertheless.
From the monolith, we had to climb back up to Parrot's Beak, go back to the campsite where we stayed and rested for a bit before starting on our descent. We had to trek on the same exact route, which took us a little bit more than an hour. It was a bit more difficult on our way down because the trails were very muddy. I was trying my best not to slip, to no avail. I slipped about three times and at one point, I fell and landed on my butt. Haha.
My Pico de Loro experience was actually fun because it wasn't that hard. I actually got to enjoy the trek part, despite the mud. Also, the view from the peak was sooo much better compared to the one during my first climb. I would recommend this especially to newbie climbers like myself. It's definitely a must-climb. :)