Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hiking Adventures #26: Mt. Arayat Traverse Dayhike


Mt. Arayat

I've always wanted to hike Mt. Arayat because I always see the mountain every time I go North and pass through NLEX. I know the view from above would be great as no other mountains near Arayat. Finally, I've got a chance to scale this mountain and do a traverse dayhike.

Mt. Arayat from below
Mt. Arayat from below

What made this climb more interesting is because the group was composed of random people. Ed Velasquez who were my companion in my last climb brought his friends, while I invited my hiking buddies plus an officemate.

It took about 4 hours of travel before we reached the jump-off. The main jump-off is located in Brgy. Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga. We immediately logged our names and I think there's no registration fee in Mt. Arayat, as far as I can remember, we just need to donate. But we were surprised about the guide fee because it cost too much.

DENR Information Center
DENR Information Center
Group shot before we start trekking
Group shot before we start trekking
 
The trail is very straightforward and has signs. I don't know why guides are required, maybe because it's a long trek. I like the trail of Arayat because it has a lot of obstacles and very scenic. It took us about 3 hours before we reach the North Peak. The view from the North Peak is good but according to our guides, South Peak has greater view.

Along the trail
Along the trail
Mt. Arayat trail
Anna Marcos a.k.a Lara Croft

View from North Peak
View from North Peak

Apparently it's lunch time and everyone is starving. We decided to take our lunch along the trail going to South Peak. After having our lunch, we took some photos in some rock formation. Our guide suggested a more difficult rock to scramble by which has amazing view.

Ruth Berdensen
Ruth Berdensen
Me, Anna and Abbie on a Rock Formation which is very difficult to climb
Me, Anna and Abbie on a Rock Formation which is very difficult to climb

90-degree descent
90-degree descent
Ed, Me, Ehm and Bob
Ed, Me, Ehm and Bob

We resume trekking and after less than an hour, we have finally reached the South Peak and I hurriedly went to the view point near the peak.

View from South Peak
The blogger at the edge
The blogger at the edge
Group Shot at South Peak
Group Shot at South Peak

Rest!
Rest!

From South Peak, it would only take more or less 2 hours before reaching the exit point. After 30 minutes of rest, we started our descent. In the exit point, there are available shower rooms to tidy up.

This climb was my first major dayhike. Although Mt. Tenglawan still holds the hardest climb I've ever done. Climbing Arayat Traverse feels like you're doing more than a crossfit workout at gym because of its obstacles in the trail. However, conquering this climb will serves as first step for conquering more difficult mountains. Actually this climb serves as training climb for our Mt. Guiting-Guiting adventure.

Thanks to Abbie Giron for some photos on this post.

Mt. Arayat Traverse (1,093+ MASL)
April 3, 2016
Entry point: Brgy. Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga
Exit point: Brgy. Juan Bano, Arayat, Pampanga
Difficulty:5/9

ITINERARY

0400 ETD Manila
0730 ETA Jump-off. Brgy. Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga
0800 Start Trek
1200 ETA North Peak
1230 Lunch.
1430 ETA South Peak
1700 ETD Arayat, Pampanga
2100 ETA Manila

EXPENSES

Transportation (Private Van) ---------- P400 - P500 / head
Guide ------------------------------------- P1500 per guide per x 2 for us = P3,000
Note: Try to bargain for guide fee. In our case, our leader bargained for this. As far as I can remember, we were convincing the DENR officer to give us only 1 guide instead of 2 since we're only 10, but they didn't allow us. So we just agreed but our donation would be included to the fee.
Shower ------------------------------------P20

Estimated Budget: P700 - P900




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