The day after conquering Mt. Daraitan, I went on another dayhike! This time, I conquered Mt. Ayaas with my college buddies! 🙂 Initially, we wanted to climb Mt. Sipit Ulang as it seemed relatively easy(given my situation) yet features scenic views and limestone formations.
Maan, Zach, Allen, and I met at Cubao at 4:30am and rode a van going to Rodriguez, Rizal(₱50). We got there at 6am and then rode a tricycle(₱37.50) that dropped us off at Barangay Maskap.
Before starting, we paid an environmental fee of ₱50. Our guide informed us that we could do a traverse from Mt. Ayaas to Mt. Sipit Ulang with a visit to Payaran Falls in between. It seemed challenging as my calves were already in pain but we told him that we would wing it. So, scrapping our initial plan, we opted to climb Mt. Ayaas first instead.
The trail started with a flat cemented road, gradually steeping. This was followed by a steeper and longer unpaved road with an open view on one side.
After walking for more than an hour, we reached the woods and relied on different trees for shade as they were all over the place. However, the shade didn’t cover the rest of the trail entirely. I forgot to bring my cap again.
We spent the last hour of the trek on a grassland with a desire path for hikers, leading to the summit. From here, we could already see the beautiful mountain ranges of Sierra Madre.
We reached the summit at 9:30am. The summit was pretty bare; all that stood was a flag and a bamboo framework that supposedly was a hut. Even with the scorching heat, we felt relieved that we’re done walking uphill (I hope!). The summit gave us a 360º view of the mountain ranges! This is the highest mountain among those available to the hikers around Barangay Maskap and Barangay San Rafael. But I think we would have enjoyed Mt. Sipit Ulang more.
We started descending by 10am because we couldn’t stand the heat much longer and we still had to visit the falls. By this time, we also told our guide that we wouldn’t pursue Mt. Sipit Ulang.
We ran downhill on some short segments as it was easier to do so than negotiate with every step. However, on long segments, we decided to walk backwards. It was easier on our calves than to let gravity pull us forward. We reached the trail to the falls after two hours.
Payaran falls offers seven infinity pools of different sizes. The last two are the crowd’s favorite. I was a bit underwhelmed with it though. The basin was small, not enough to fit five persons comfortably. People would also need to take turns for pictures. Anyway, we did try to enjoy ourselves before heading back to the barangay hall.
There was a house that offered unli-shower for only ₱20! Super sulit!
We got back at the barangay hall by 3:30pm. The guide fee for Mt. Ayaas was ₱500 and for Payaran Falls, at least ₱200.
Like our morning route, we rode a tricycle(₱37.50) to the terminal and then a van(₱50) back only up to Philcoa. We ended the day with silogs and pancake at Ally’s!
This weekend has been very awesome as I managed to conquer two mountains with two sets of friends! I’ll be sure to visit Mt. Sipit Ulang soon! 🙂