It’s been a long time since I last climbed a mountain. My high school friends and I were meaning to climb Mt. Daraitan for the longest time but due to some unwanted circumstances, we only manage to do it last week. Unfortunately, still, Bianca and Jamil were unable to join us. 🙁 So, there were only four of us: Gem, Tati, Francia, and me.
Mt. Daraitan is located at Tanay, Rizal. Having a difficulty rating of 4/9, we’re in for some adventure!
At 5:30am, we rode a jeepney going to Tanay(₱58) and arrived an hour and a half later. Then, we rode a tricycle(₱125) that dropped us to the jump off. The ride was veeery bumpy and it took another hour and a half.
The weather was good. It was sunny and I forgot my cap once again. Good thing Tati brought one for me. 😀
We had to pay an environmental fee of ₱20 and were advised to climb Mt. Mamara instead due to the big crowd that’s already at the summit, some who started as early as 2am. It was already 8:30am, ideally, we should already be there, too. hahaha. Francia and Tati were first timers and along with Gem, they really wanted to conquer Mt. Daraitan so we pursued with our plan.
The trail was surprisingly difficult. I mean I expected it to have steep ascents but not constantly from the beginning. 🙁 hahaha! And like Kuya Albert, our guide, told us, it’s a 600-700m ascent to the top. So yup, it’s really difficult especially if you’re not physically prepared. Don’t worry, though, coz there are plenty of trees and holds, some roots and rattan. There are also 3 stations for resting that offer great views for your kodakan. However, each station seemed like an hour to reach so better do that cardio, really.
We reached the campsite before 12 noon but we still couldn’t proceed to the summit since there was still a big crowd. So, we ate lunch instead and rested for quite a while.
What made the queue to the summit take sooo long was the groups that wanted to take so much photos–group photos and then individual photos–usual photo, side view, jump shot. And we’ve seen groups consisting of 20 persons, 10, 15. 🙁 I wanted to complain but I guess we should’ve gotten there earlier.
At the summit, we were welcomed by the limestone formations overlooking the Sierra Madre, Tinipak River, and a glimpse of Laguna de Bay. Mt. Daraitan was not easy but it gave us the most rewarding views atop. We also saw the heart-shaped segment of the Tinipak River. The cool wind also gave relief to our numbing limbs.
We couldn’t stay for long because the descent would take longer.We started our descent to Tinipak River at around 1pm. It was more difficult than our ascent since we had to control our weight with every step. You also have to be cautious with your surrounding. While walking, a guide behind our group pointed out a snake passing by behind Gem. It made her panic so much even when she didn’t even see it hahaha. Anyway, in times like that, it was advised to stay calm and just let it pass first.
After a little over 4 hours, we reached Tinipak River, finally! Just like how we saw it in pictures, it was truly amazing. Every angle was picture worthy. We could see Mt. Mamara, the gushing water, and the trail that leads to the cave. Too bad we we’re not able to visit the cave. 🙁
We swam right in to soothe our tired selves. The water was so cold and relieving! We played in the water for a while and tried to swim against the current but to no avail hahaha.
Before going back to the barangay hall, we rewarded ourselves first with lomi(₱35)! It’s not that delicious though but we were very hungry hahaha.
We paid Kuya Albert ₱500 and then Gem and Tati added ₱200 because Kuya Albert has been very kind and helpful.
It was very rewarding to have conquered Mt. Daraitan! This has been my most difficult dayhike so far. Rizal has been blessed with so many beautiful mountains and this is truly one for the books! I wish I could try to stay overnight to witness the sea of clouds next time! Yak hane!