Climbing Mt. Pico de Loro, Cavite – April 17, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, my friends from Microsoft Philippines’ Mountaineering Club invited me to join a trek to Pico de Loro in Cavite. Without hesitation I confirmed joining the group. My only hestitation was that I registered to join the Tour of the Fireflies on April 18… so I wasn’t sure if my legs could handle a mountain trek and a 40km bicycle ride on the same weekend. Nonetheless… I joined the trek

.PicoDeLoro20100417 056

A few facts about Pico de Loro. It is located in both Cavite and Batangas Province. Its elevation is around 664 meters above sea level. It is accessible from Ternate Cavite, or Nasugbu Batangas. The trek is considered a Level I or “Easy”… and all things considered, yes it was an easy trek.

The group had decided that it would be easier (and more convenient) to rent some vans to take us to the jump off point.

Getting there was easy. Head towards Puerto Azul. Go past Puerto Azul and look out for the sign to the magnetic point. There is actually a sign which indicates the place… but it has loong been faded. So if you pass a sign on the left (mountain side) where you can’t read anything… that’s it. Go forward a few more meters till you see an opening in the foliage. (see picture below).

When we got there, there was a local with a logbook waiting to take people’s names. There is no fee to pay, but he will then offer the services of a guide which will cost you P1,500. Though, if you can follow a trail and read the signs, a guide isn’t really necessary.

There a group that was there just before us and they were about to start when we got there.

PicoDeLoro20100417 006

After the required photo-ops we were off!

Ok, the first 30-45 min was quite easy. You just follow a path up through the foliage away from the road… the sound from the tricycles and jeeps slowly fades away.

Signs along the way...

Apparently, there are signs along the way. Some of these were put up by the DENR… other signs were placed by past trekkers.

I don’t often take video during my trips, but every once in a while I do remember to bring my Flip

 

Continue walking… and walking… until you find a path which goes down, yes down. Even when your objective is to go up, there are points where you have to go down before going up again. (sigh)

At the bottom, of this downward path there is an intersection. Fear not, there are… signs…

Signs along the trail...

… magalang pa ang mga signs. Hehe.

Base Camp I

After roughly 30 min or so, we get to Base Camp 1. The camp is a nice first resting point. They also sell canned Coke or Sprite for P40. We didn’t buy any on the way up, but we did on the way back… and a cold Coke is definitely refreshing.

Base Camp 1 Pile of plastic

I wasn’t just sure of what that big pile of plastic waste was for. Was it to just pile up? Or did they ever plan on bringing it down the mountain?

Anyway, we proceeded on our trek. The trek was mainly flat with some ups and downs.

Every now and then I would stop to appreciate the scenery…

Butterflies!

Part of the trail brings us past some private property. At first we weren’t sure if we were on the right path when we saw a fence. Apparently we just walk through it. It had a very interesting gate which closed automatically! Ingenuous!

And every now and then… another sign to point us on our way…

Most of the trek was under trees and miscellaneous shrubbery. So the sun wasn’t much of an issue.

PicoDeLoro20100417 052

But every now and then we would go through a clear path… although this was few.

Base Camp 2

After maybe around 45 min,  We reached our next major rest stop. We reached a big flattened area just before we would make the final uphill assault. We stopped here to eat out “lunch”.

pico_lunch

So we proceeded updard. We followed the trail up to the summit…

It was a loooong climb…

I am so pagod!!!

then after around an hour and a half…

PicoDeLoro20100417 072

WE MADE IT! We were not quite at the top yet. That was another 15 min. But this is the base camp location where anyone would set up camp.

So we made ourselves comfy.

Photo-opp muna. Oh, the shot above… I was standing on around a foot of surface area. Behind me was a straight drop downward! . And while it isn’t obvious… I was shaking in fear as Johnny was taking the picture..

.PicodeLoro_mellie6

PicoDeLoro20100417 108

Before proceeding to the summit.

PicoDeLoro20100417 106

… THAT is the summit. And that column on the left is the “Parrot’s beak” or Pico de Loro.

So after around another 15 min upward…

at the peak of Pico de Loro. The highest point of Cavite

Here I am at the summit of Pico de Loro. The highest point of Cavite…PicoDeLoro20100417 128

Syempre… photo opp muna…

PicoDeLoro20100417 138

The views were spectacular…

Pico de Loro

There was a group of young mountaineers that made their way up to the parrot’s beak. We were not as daring.

At the summit. 360 degree view.

Pico de Loro

Going back down

It was now already around 5:00PM and we had to start our way back down. And we had to rush as we needed to get down before dark. Given its summer, we had around 1.5 hours left of daylight. We actually made it in the nick of time. We just had enough light to make it back to the vans. With the resolve that we needed to make it down… we kept on going… and we only had two rest stops.

Final thoughts

All in all, it was a very fun trek. And though it was “easy” it was still nonetheless tiring as hell. The formost learning. START EARLY. I recommend starting the trek at around 7 to 8 am for two reasons… its cool when you start early… and you don’t have to run after the sun.

No photo opps on the way down as we rushed down like zombies. Also… it was getting dark.

Just a thought

Johnny had told us to bring around 2 liters of water. I loaded around 3 literts of water in my hydration pack’s bladder. It lasted me the trip… yet I wondered, where did it all go? And I didn’t pee through the trip.

Check out the photo set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lakwatsa/sets/72157623755971403/

( In preparing for the trek, check out this site for more details: http://www.waypoints.ph/detail_gen.html?wpt=picodl )

del.icio.us Tags: ,

23 Comments

  1. I had 2 liters in my hydration pack and it was all gone by the time we reached base camp. I was darn thirsty on the way down. Same as you, didn’t feel any urge nor need to pee. We probably used up more water than usual for all the metabolic processes…breathing hard, heart pumping hard plus sweating profusely. See you at the next peak, Jojo!

    Reply
  2. Hi! Nice account of the entire trip. I recently climbed Pico with much difficulty going up the steeper trails. Although, the view on top of the Beak, (yes, was daring enough to climb it although I was having doubts at first) was definitely priceless and rewarding. Nice photos too :)

    Reply
  3. Kuya, I just live in Gen. trias what is the way going to pico de Loro? do we have to stop over the baranggay hall for registration like in Mt. Maculot in Batanggas? can you help me with the information so I can organize a trek with my friends? Thanks!

    Reply
  4. wow.. namiss ko na tuloi umakyat ng mt. pico.. sobrang ganda..

    Reply
  5. Hi,
    I would like to ask if its safe to climb pico de loro for the month of october 2010 (compare to the weather condition last october 2009), were planning to hike on october 4th and are there still signs that shows the direction up to the summit or its better to have a tourist guide? Hope to hear from you. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Mylene. I really can’t answer your questions because i am hardly an expert. In this trip, sumama lang ako ang let my friends do the guiding. Sumunod lang ako. As for the weather… i guess all you need to do is check the weather conditions for that day and then decide of ypu really wanted to get wet. :) good luck.

      Reply
  6. Hi… we are planning to on mountain climb at pico de loro with a 6yr old kid… do you think its ok to let the kid come along?……do you think he can make it at least at the base camp site?

    Reply
    • When we went up, I did see a kid with his dad go up. It all depends on the kid. Although, to be safe, perhaps it might be too much for him.

      Reply
  7. I think thats us there at the top of the parrot’s head..

    “There was a group of young mountaineers that made their way up to the parrot’s beak. We were not as daring.”

    LOL.. me with the red short.

    Reply
    • Haha! Kayo ba? We were the pathetic group you passed on the way up then. Inggit nga kami sa inyo. Pero hanggang inggit lang. We were not tempted to follow in your footsteps. Thanks for visiting!!!

      Reply
  8. Thanks so much for posting this!
    I am so certain to go on trekking anywhere in the country since this is the best time of my life to do so. Thank you so much for the detailed trail on top.
    I’ll be inviting some friends to visit that one astounding place ;)
    Looking forward to more of your nature hopping posts!
    God bless po!

    Reply
  9. ..thank you for this blog..it is a great help for me because my cousin and i are planning to go up Pico de Loro and your blog gives me much info as i need..

    Reply
    • you’re welcome. thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  10. namiss ko pico de loro. nice pics too. :)

    Reply
  11. yeah,i went there before,realy its a fantastic moment that happend to me.it give me a good challenge to finish and reach the pick of the mountain,i see the creation of our beloved god ,it gave me peace of mind,i felt like im in heaven ,coz i can touch the sky,even in the nigth,i heard the singing of a wild insect,i realy miss that moment,and when i wakeup,i heard d beautiful song of many kind of bird ,showing us that we need to respect all leaving things in that place,even the big trees,to small tree. one day i will go back again in that paradise ,i miss as well as the good hospitality of the people living in that mountain ,specially the family of kuya Rey,the one who guide us to find the trail ,i need to prepare for my next adventure in pico de loro,

    Reply
  12. Sir, I just wanted to comment on the trash pile. It’s actually the standard etiquette for climbers coming down Pico de Loro to pick up any trash they find along the way and deposit it at the heaping pile of plastic waste you chanced upon. You might have noticed on your climb that Pico de Loro is one of the cleaner mountains in the Phils. If uninformed climbers don’t pick up the trash, someone else will (maybe a guide, maybe more responsible climbers, either way it benefits the mountain). The trash eventually gets moved down, but since the area is quite isolated, it is usually moved when it has grown to some size to minimize logistics costs.

    Reply
  13. that was nice peak , i want to go there and expirience the new adrenaline. of being a mounteneer.

    Reply
  14. Enjoyed reading about your trip to Pico de Loro. I am going there and camp overnight and hopefully it won’t rain as much as what the forecast says.

    Cheers and happy traveling!

    Reply
    • Thanks! Have fun when you go.

      Reply
  15. the best talaga ang pico de loro.. although maulan at maputik ang daan at madami akong dulas..hehehe… naenjoy ko talaga sya.. sobra.. it’s my first.. and i’m not expected na kakayanin ko ang pag akyat sa pico de loro..
    SURVIVOR ako!!!!

    Reply
  16. Nice Shots Sir. First time to trek…. err.. we trek also on the 2nd falls of Majayjay Falls. We are goin here tomorrow. Wish us Luck!

    Reply
    • sir may kelangan ba kontakin dito para makapagtrek? will be our 1st trekking experience.. hope you can help us.. thanks! :)

      Reply
  17. you guys try the nasugbu side of pico de loro, ascend or descend much more tiring but exciting and take a dip at the hidden cove of bgy. papaya. enjoy climbing :) PAL Mountaineering club

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Banaue, Ifugao Mountain Province – April 24, 2010 | Lakwatsero Travel Blog - [...] to say, I was not amused. I had just made the 8 hour trek to Mt. Pico de Loro …
  2. DREAM NEXT DESTINATION | I am Zyrelle - [...] my next dream destination? and hopefully my second climb ?? i wanna conquer this mountain FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>