There are times when my adventures turn a bit risky on the spot. I still do my best but I listen to my body and honor it when the time comes so I don't regret anything. This is my latest Pico de Loro mountain climb from the campsite to the peak. The rock behind me (below) is the Parrot's Beak monolith that thrill-seekers attempt to climb.
From almost a tiring 3-hour trek to the campsite, my mates wanted to get "this" over with before stopping for lunch.
We prepared for the unknown territory ahead. We've come so far and I didn't do much research so I was curious too.
There's no more downhill part here,
only up, up and up with limited space.
There was "traffic" because there was only one worn path for those going up and those going down - unless you are like the local guides who can create their own path. Tall people and those with long hands or legs have an advantage here.
You get to an unshaded area where you can stop in a corner. See picture below, I backed away in a corner to stop but it also had limited space with a bangin just a few steps away.
People attempted to go up and down their own way next (see below). This is where the type of shoes you have, your upper and lower body strength, balance, footing and how helpful your guide is would come out.
We had to stop to let the children with "security guards" and parents pass through. After what I've been through, I wouldn't put my child in a dangerous situation like this. I was scarred for life honestly but to each his own.
It was the longest 10-15 minutes of my life - this part. I began to feel exhausted and disoriented when my feet began to slide at every step because of the loose soil with rocks and I didn't trust that my Merrell shoes could hold me steady.
In my head, I was both scared (I was going to die scared) and angry that this was one of the stupidest things I've ever done, that no one can help me not even J who was struggling himself and that I put myself at a brink of death situation. I started crying midway and just froze because I was damned if I go up (how can I go down?) and damned if I go down (my friends are all up there already and I will fall to my death once I slide straight down). Thank goodness I invited mountaineer friends and they brought me back to sanity. Imagine me crying and super disoriented (as in, I would cry even more every time I slid down a bit) and they kept on shouting for me to go on and held my hand at crucial points. None of my other long-time friends saw that I broke right then and there.
That's when I said that I've had enough.
It was not worth it to go further at my current state so I just sat there and looked at it from a distance.
I stayed rooted in my spot and just observed people. Not even the people with selfie sticks and cameras could ask me to move in my initially somber mood.
If you take the traverse route (meaning you exit the mountain on the other side and not like us where you just retrace the path where you went up), you need to pass through here - our same route then down this path near the monolith. Imagine carrying an overnight pack and going through all this for the first time so better decide well.
There's no shade in these parts and it's pretty much dangerous relative to my experience, especially if you're really not into mountaineering and you don't exercise regularly. I know that if the government puts safety measures here then it might destroy the whole natural thing but with the throng of people coming here and a number being inexperienced or at beginner's level, it might be worth looking into. So for now, just climb at your own risk, look at the profile of the blogger or mountaineer online if you're more or less like him or her, have a friend or make one there and take care.
From a distance, I zoomed in the 90-degree climbing part of the monolith that I could see.
I've read online that the Spaniards aboard the galleon ships noticed this peak and named it Pico de Loro. I'm sorry I can't give you any more details on achieving this (below).
All I can say is maybe you'd like to bring a camera with a lens that can get their clear faces if you're the photographer. Good luck carrying that weight though. There's also much wind and sunlight (no shade) in my location so my hat and jacket were of great help. You can add these to the list of the things you need to bring for your Pico de Loro trek. Don't forget food too, a bit of cash and water haha.
I sat there waiting for them and started eating my lunch.
It took them around an hour and a half more to go back to us because of their trek, rock climb and waiting in line to go up and down the monolith. It took me right about the same time to psych myself about the trek down that steep path and to calm myself down from my anger, the chills, shaking legs, crying in silence until my eyes were puffy. Thank goodness J was there. It was hard to smile at first but I eventually got to it (being thankful to be alive as a context).
These were our views and they were more than enough.
They said we came from and trekked this part earlier.
These are the people either traversing or going up the monolith.
These are the people before and after this rock formation.
We can also see almost the same 360-degree view as those who continued onto the monolith. They said that we could see all the way to Corregidor and the South China Sea from up here.
I guess for some, they want the view without the monolith, the added experience and maybe for some, bragging rights.
I was happy without that because I was here alive with the person I love.
I knew I wouldn't be 100 percent okay til I get to a flat road so I prepared myself for the way down. I was rested and full with lunch after all. Oh, by the way, no CR anywhere here (nearest is the camp).
You have to butt your way down on your own
or like my luck, some other guide helped me. See the person below in red shorts. We went down very very fast, I didn't have time to worry. He also never stopped telling me to trust him and so I did. I was so happy that I gave him a tip for offering a newbie like me a hand.
This is the view from the campsite. They said we climbed this so if that's true then the killer part is the right downward part at the middle.
After the ordeal, I was thinking that I could be happier here too while I waited for them to finish and overnight at this camp was not bad. Why? Because we took a long time up and near the "peak", we only had limited time here after. They were already thinking about hurrying down before the sun sets.
5:21 p.m. The trek down was a blur and we arrived around past 6 p.m.
I do remember that the four of us were at the tail taking our time and waiting on each other so that we have visuals all the time and Migs was prepared enough with the flashlight just in case it gets dark haha. Thank you for thinking about our safety the entire time and for your wonderful company :) I learned a lot from Migs, Yano and Allan and about myself in this adventure. Mischief managed! I still owe you guys one. Haha.
Pico de Loro Mountain Climbing Terrain - A Peek Into Our Mt. Palay-Palay Trekking Route From Nasugbu with Some Reminders