Mountains,  Travel and Adventures

Climbing Mt. Pigingan

Hi everyone! This post is a bit late but I shall do my best to narrate our experience last October 28-29 in climbing Mt. Pigingan, my 52nd mountain and my comeback hike after three months.

Mountain Stats

Elevation: 1,328MASL

Location: Dalupirip, Itogon, Benguet

Difficulty: 4/9

Trek to Summit: 4 hours

It was such a refreshing feeling to be able to go back to the Cordilleras again. And although I have slowed down from hiking, I am glad to have been able to remember the exhilarating feeling of reaching the summit. Read on below to know more about this hike.

Transportation Details

VEHICLE FROM TO FARE TOTAL PER PERSON (11 pax) ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME
Van Ortigas Baguio Php 11,500 Php 1,046 5 hrs
Jeep Baguio Dalupirip, Benguet Php 5,000 Php 455 1hr 50min
TOTAL Php 1,501 6hrs 50min

 

VEHICLE FROM TO FARE TOTAL PER PERSON (11 pax) ESTIMATED TRAVEL TIME
Jeep Dalupirip Baguio 2 hrs
Van Baguio Manila 6 hrs
TOTAL 8 hrs

 

Other Expenses

DESCRIPTION AMOUNT TOTAL PER PERSON (11pax)
Guide Fee (1:7, overnight = Php1,000) Php 2,000 Php 182
Registration Fee Php 100 Php 100
Climb Certificate Php 50 Php 50
Food Php 1,040 Php 96
TOTAL   Php 428

*Contact Number for the guide: Ate Lanie of Registration (0998-233-7994)

*Contact Number for the monster jeep: Kuya Edison (0907-981-9803)

SAFE BUDGET: Php 2,500


Day 0

I met with my friends near Megamall where we were picked up by our chartered van. It was around 12:00AM when we finally headed to Baguio. Luckily, the van had available throw pillows so I was able to have a comfortable sleep.

Day 1

We arrived in Baguio around 5:00AM. The breeze was cool but bearable and this made me look back at all the times I have been here for a hiking trip with January and February being the coldest trips I have ever had. We transferred to our chartered jeep that would take us to Dalupirip simply because it is said that the roads going there are steep and rocky and it would be easier for a jeep to maneuver than a van.

While on transit, everyone tried their best to get some more sleep in despite the cold air slapping our faces because the jeep had open windows. We arrived at the jump off only to notice several vans already parked (which meant there were several groups hiking as well and that vans can apparently get here too). We also had our breakfast cooked by one of the locals here and bought our packed lunch here as well. After all the final preparations and a quick prayer, we started the hike.

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The happy group at the jump-off!

The trail starts off with a long road that passes beside a beautiful and pristine river. Downside to this part is that it is very open and thus making us catch all the heat from the sun. We continued walking until we came across a long hanging bridge that connected the village to the second part of the trail – the forest (or somewhat like that)

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Start! Look at how open the trail is.

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The first hanging bridge

The trail during this time was now a mix of soil and small rocks with minimal assaults every so often. As we trekked, we passed by three vendors who sold cold drinks and halo-halo. But because we just started, we just greeted them good morning and headed our way.

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The kind of trail after the hanging bridge

Soon enough, we had to cross a river but luckily, there was a wood bridge that helped us cross without getting wet. As we pushed forward, the assaults started and although gradual, it still made us catch our breaths with the combination of the open trail and the heat of the sun.

We crossed another hanging bridge, this time shorter, which then led us to the third part of the trail which was composed of a lot of rocks. This lasted for about an hour until we got a good view of the surrounding mountains around us. The assault here was much steeper but more bearable because of the breeze and beautiful views.

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Inviting river!
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The views that make everything worth it
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Yup, assaults are steeper but with views like this, hiking up is a breeze.

 

And finally, after about four hours, we reached the campsite where we saw another group resting. They were doing a dayhike so no tents were pitched and so we had first dibs on the best spot to pitch our tents! But because it was still very early, some of us decided to sleep first while the others began their socials.

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Our group’s campsite spot

Eventually, more groups came in and pitched their tents and soon enough, the campsite was full of hikers.

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Socials with the hikemates!

At around 9:00PM, we went back to our tents to get some sleep to power us for the next day.

Day 2

We woke up around 4:00AM to a very cold breeze. Because it would take about an hour to get to the summit, we began early to also witness the sunrise from atop the mountain. However, upon arrival at the base of the summit, our guide told us to wait because there was another group on top and the summit can only accommodate a few people. We knew we would not be able to witness the sunrise then so we waited patiently for that group to go down as we watched the sunrise from the base of the summit.

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Good morning from Mt. Pigingan!

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Beautiful sunrise
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Us waiting at the base of the summit wearing our jackets because the wind here is really cold

Other groups began arriving as well and thereby causing a long queue because the first group took very long at the summit. Eventually, we had our turn and we only took quick photo ops at the top before descending back to the campsite.

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Beautiful morning glow atop Mt. Pigingan’s summit
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Summit groufie!

After descending back to the campsite, we ate our breakfast quickly, broke off our camp and started our descent.

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Saying a prayer before starting the descent

The descent was far more tedious than the ascent because the heat of the sun was much more piercing. All I had in mind was the store that sells cold drinks and halo-halo. And true enough, when we got to the first store, I requested for a take five to rehydrate with a cold drink.

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Look at the heat!

When we got back to the jump-off, we congratulated each and everyone and started washing up before heading back to Baguio and finally back to Manila.


Thank you very much to my hikemates for a fun hike. It was a pleasure to go back to hiking with them as companions.

Rayford for organizing this and for inviting and pacing with me and for cooking everyone’s meal.

Robin for sharing trail food and securing the campsite spot.

Jepoy for carrying the Jasmine rice and all the other grocery items!

John for taking all the photos and being generally nice to everyone.

Nerli for sharing your tent with me and for accompanying me during the important times I needed company.

Arnel for always leading the prayer and for being the life of the group

Lory and EJ for that comfy chair! And also for being fun people, as always.

Francis and Ronald for being good hikemates also. Congratulations on your first hike, Ronald!

And to our two guides for making sure we finished the hike safely. Lastly, to Him for guiding us all throughout.

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From L-R: Arnel, Francis, Rayford, Robin, Jepoy, Nerli, Ronald, Camae, Lory, EJ, John

Tips and Observations

  1. Avoid stopping for too long as the entire trail is infested with niknik (little, black insects that fly around). Bites from them are very itchy and leaves a mark. I have been bitten many times on my arms and the marks are still very much present though less itchy now.
  2. Do not leave your belongings outside your tents. As much as possible, keep them with you as the cows at the campsite tend to get them at night.
  3. Trail is very open so be prepared with enough hydration
  4. As far as I can remember, there are two water sources throughout the trail
  5. Because the summit can only accommodate a few people at a time, be sensitive enough to not spend so much time at the summit especially if there are other groups waiting.
  6. There is a designated place to wash items and a place where to pee and poo. Much like other mountains, it will just be a hole where everything is mixed together. Yup, just to set expectations.
  7. Be kind to the black dog who accompanies hikers to the campsite and back. We saw a hiker who hit this defenseless dog and it was very offensive not just to us but to its owner as well. ALWAYS BE KIND!

Things to Bring

Clothes

  • Jackets (fleece, thermal)
  • Bonnet/Head Wear
  • Gloves
  • Extra socks
  • Scarf
  • Layers and change of clothes
  • Raincoat/Poncho
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Slippers

Toiletries

  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Tissue, wet wipes
  • Deodorant

Essentials

  • Alcohol
  • Sun block
  • Plastic bags (for trash, dirty clothes, gadgets and to be used as mats)
  • Medicine (Paracetamol, Loperamide, Ibuprofen, Loratidine, Phenylpropanolamine HCl/decongestants, etc.)
  • Powerbank
  • Trail Food (biscuits, chips, candies, chocolates, etc)
  • Water
  • Lunch, dinner and breakfast food (talk to your group about the arrangement)
  • Money
  • Bag Rain Cover
  • Flashlight
  • Baby Oil

Miscellaneous

  • Trekking Pole
  • Cookset
  • Stove
  • Butane
  • Tent
  • Earth Pad
  • Camera
  • Mess Kit (Plate, Spoon, Fork, Cup)

Itinerary

Day 0

9:30PM – Meet up

Day 1

12:00AM – Leave for Baguio

5:00AM – ETA Baguio. Transfer to monster jeep

6:50AM – ETA Mt. Pigingan jump-off. Final preparations.

8:10AM – Start trek

12:00PM – ETA campsite

9:00PM – Lights off

Day 2

4:35AM – Start trek to summit

5:25AM – Base of summit. Wait for other groups to go down from summit.

6:20AM – Assault to summit

6:35AM – ETA summit. Quick photo ops

6:55AM – ETA campsite. Breakfast

8:50AM – Start descent

11:40AM – ETA jump-off. Wash up

2:35PM – ETD jump-off to Baguio

4:00PM – ETA Baguio. Early dinner

6:00PM – ETD Baguio to Manila

11:00PM – ETA Manila


It was such a wonderful experience to be able to hike in the Cordilleras again. And although I have a lot of niknik bites which are still visible on my arms, I do not regret going.

And while I am now more focused on running, I am still open to joining my friends should they invite me for another hike.

Thank you for reading and I hope this blog post helped!

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3 Comments

  • MARIE m STAIGER

    I have search for an hour to find how many kilometers hike to Mt. Pigingan. I never understood why no such information. It should be the first information for hiking trails instead it just show MASL. May i know the total kilometers back and forth. Thank you, Marie

  • Carla Mercado Punzalan

    HI Camae, given that the trek is an overnight, do you think a first timer can do it? thank you 🙂

    • Camae

      Hi Carla. Thanks for visiting my blog! Yes, essentially, it is doable for first timers given that it’s an overnight hike so you have more time to climb and there’s no rush to finish. 🙂 Just be careful with the little black insects all throughout the trail. Their bites can leave a mark for weeks and can be very itchy.

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