Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan Twin Hike

Friday, August 19, 2016

Imagine climbing a mountain. It is not an easy task, right? It is not impossible, but it will always be challenging. I guess that's the thrill of it. Now, imagine climbing two mountains in one day? That's crazy, right? Yes, that was what I immediately thought when a friend of mine was planning a twin hike in Rizal one weekend. Since I'm always up for some adventure, I immediately said "yes" to her invite.

Mt. Binacayan (424masl) and Mt. Pamitinan (426masl) are two small, rocky mountains located in Rodriguez, Rizal. It took us almost two hours from Guadalupe in Makati to reach Brgy. Wawa in Rodriguez, Rizal, where the jump off is located. Upon reaching the venue, we had to register at the DENR Station, at the Tourism Office in Wawa, and at the barangay hall, in that order. We then got a guide and started our hike.
group photo before starting the hike

First up is Mt. Binacayan, which is the shorter of the two. We started at around 7am. From the jump off, we had to climb an inclined road passing through a small town before reaching the actual trail. The earlier part of the trail offers an agricultural terrain with coconut and banana plantations. The trail was mostly of loose soil and some grass. The ascent here is gradual, with a stunning view of the Wawa River below. The latter part consists of a steeper ascent with bamboos and huge rocks. At one point, we had to climb a rock wall with only the edges and cracks to hold on to. It could be tricky at first but once you get the hang of rock-climbing, it is actually not that difficult. Just be sure to wear gloves because the edges can get really sharp. In the end, the effort was so worth it because we got a stunning view of the Wawa River and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
a view of the Wawa River below
at the peak of Mt. Binacayan
that obligatory "squad goals" shot

After taking A LOT of photos, we started our descent. We reached the jump-off around 11am. We then decided to take a rest, replenished our empty tanks with a hefty lunch, and recharged to get ready for the next climb.

We started our climb up Mt. Pamitinan around 1pm. We had to cross a hanging bridge first. From the bridge, we had a great view of the two mountains.
Mt. Pamitinan on the left and Mt. Binacayan on the right

The first part of the trail on Mt. Pamitinan is forested. The trail was surrounded by tall trees and rocks, with a very steep ascent. Because the Mt. Pamitinan trail is steeper, we took more breaks here than we did during our first climb. The latter part was the same as that of Mt. Binacayan's. We had to climb up huge rocks with bamboo trees weaving in and out of them. The climb here was more challenging as the rocks were taller, and required a lot of upper body strength. To reach the highest point, we had to scale a huge rock wall with only a thick rope to hold on. The trick is to "walk" on the rock while keeping your upper body parallel to it. The same technique applies to when rappelling down, so you can avoid hitting the rock wall. At the peak, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view, with Mt. Hapunang Banoi and Mt. Arayat to the north and the vast Sierra Madre mountain ranges from east to south. To the west, you get an eyeful of Wawa River and Mt. Binacayan. It was so breathtaking and the weather that day was just perfect for it.
Mt. Binacayan behind me
groufie shot with the gang

During the descent, I had to be extra careful. I found that going down the rocks was harder than climbing up. There were a few parts wherein the rocks had a huge gap between them, and I did my best not to fall in between these gaps, by sort-of jumping and extending my short legs (LOL) as far as I could. Because I survived that part without any slips and falls, I gave myself a pat on the back. Achievement unlocked! We eventually made our way back on solid ground, and some of us, myself included, ended up running all the way back to the jump-off. It was past 5pm when we reached the starting point.

Travel Notes:

How to Get There:
  • Via public transportation: From Cubao, ride a van going to Montalban, Rizal. Alternately, take any transportation that will get you to Montalban. Then take a trike from Montalban going to Brgy. Wawa. Travel time is usually 2-3 hours because of the stops and delays.
  • Via private vehicle: Take the route going to Rodriguez, Rizal via Marikina and San Mateo, and then follow the rough road going to Wawa Dam. An entrance fee of Php50 will be required for private vehicles. Parking spaces are available in front of the tourism office. Travel time is usually 1.5-2 hours.
Expenses:
  • transportation - Php200 (at most)
  • guide - Php400 (add more if twin hike)
  • registration - Php2
  • gloves - Php30
so happy that I did this with two of my teams: Team SCR and Team Ayala Triads

While the two mountains were smaller compared to the others I've climbed, they were actually more challenging because there was a lot of rock-climbing involved. These parts were tricky but I ended up enjoying them. In fact, the rock-climbing was my favorite part of the day hike. I must be really crazy for saying that, but oh well. 

So will I go on another twin hike again? Definitely! :)

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