On The Rocks – Mt. Pamitinan (462+)

Rodriguez, Rizal
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal
LLA (Pamitinan): 14°43′51.7′′N 121°11′29.2′′ E 426 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 1.5-3 hours (P)
Specs: Minor, Difficulty 3/9 / Trail class 1-4
Features: Limestone formations, scenic views of Sierra Madre and Rizal province
(www.pinoymountaineer.com)

After our stopover at the Banoi Junction, since this was a Rizal twin day hike, we commenced the trek to summit Mt. Pamitinan. From the junction it was a good 20 minutes of hike from where we were.

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Why so cirrus?.

Bernardo, Who?
The mountain was coined from the word bitinan/pamitinan due to the presence of hordes of bats clinging into the ceilings of a cave at the footholds of this Sierra Madre mountain. And this place is known from the local folklore about a man named, Bernardo Carpio. He was trapped inside a gargantuan rock, and due to his sheer force, he managed to break free from being held and splitted the rock into two. A river formed in between this rocks and as of today is more popularly known as the Montalban Gorge, made of mountains, Pamitinan and Binacayan.
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Mt. Pamitinan from Hapunang Banoi's view point.

And Again, Rock Scrambling
The trail is somehow similar to that of Mt. Hapunang Banoi but the rocks along are less jagged and sharp, might be because of the foot traffic this mountain experiences during weekends. And along the hike you’ll be seeing foliage of amor secos, augmented with bamboos, and thorny bushes and also an ancient balete tree stands tall and firm. Rocks are always present and rock scrambling is the only option.

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Some almost 90 degree rock scramble.

And after several minutes, we reached the summit.

On Hands Akimbo
What makes the mountains here in Rizal stand out from other destinations near Manila, is the rewarding summit themselves that showcases limestone formations that can be really death defying if you scale it.

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The neighboring Mt. Binacayan

Appreciate the scenic view of the Sierra Madre mountain range and the serpentine Wawa River flowing to the lower parts of Rizal.

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Success kid!.

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In the shadows, I am the Kung-fu mastah.

Your hands will go akimbo as you will be in awe just seeing the view from the top. All the effort we did was really worth it.

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No better way to appreciate the surroundings than by standing on the edge.

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Yasssssssss.

What Lies In Between
After resting, we descended for almost an hour and did a sidetrip to a more visited place in the Montalban Gorge that would complete the twin hike, the Wawa Dam.

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Antidote for the stifling summer heat.

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And here we are riding in the mandatory "Walang Forever" bandwagon.

The mountains called and so we heed to their calling. Another weekend to tick off from our bucketlists.

Itinerary and Expenses
Mt. Hapunang Banoi + Mt. Pamitinan Twin Day Hike
0445 – Assembly at Farmers Market Cubao
0500 – ETD, Take UV Express FX with signboard “Rodriguez”, alight at Eastwood. (50php/pax)
0615 – ETA, Eastwood, take tricycle to DENR station at Brgy. Wawa. (10php/pax)
0635 – ETA, Brgy. Wawa, eat breakfast. Pay fees and register. Secure guide. (Fee – 2php/pax, Guide – 500 per group of 5/per mountain)
0730 – Start Trek.
0830 – ETA Banoi Junction
1030 – summit
1215 – Back at Banoi Junction, eat lunch, rest
1300 – climb Mt. Pamitinan
1345 – Summit
1415 – Start Descent
1630 – Back at Brgy. Wawa, sidetrip to Wawa Dam
1700 – Tidy up
1730 – ETD to Cubao
2030 – ETA Cubao
2100 – Post Climb Dinner, Cubao Expo

Estimated Budget:

Transportation: 120php
Guides and fees: 800php/3pax – 267php/pax
Food: 200php
Total Damage:587php – 700php safe budget.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

Go, Carve that Niche,

Rex

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