You see, I climbed this lonely giant thrice already. The first time was last April, though it was a fun experience, we really did not get the chance to fully appreciate the mountain, especially the view that was supposedly seen from its southern side (blame the uncooperative weather). After that experience, I promised myself to return some other time. Came August of this year, I fulfilled that promise, I went back to Mt. Arayat for a 2nd go, but again, it was depreciated by a very bad weather.
The third and probably the last for this year happened just a few days ago, I was with the Tramping Philippines Team. Unlike my first and second, we're so blessed with an awesome weather. Actually, I never enjoyed my experience in Mt. Arayat as much as my third time being there.
Sunday - November 25, 2012
We took the same itinerary as my previous traverses, entered the mountain from Brgy. Ayala, Magalang, then exited at Brgy. Juan Baño, Arayat, but unlike before, we finished the whole traverse in just 9.5 hours (2.5 hours shorter than my 2nd AraTrav). We began our trek at 07:00 AM, and ended at around 04:20 PM.
One significant change in this climb is that we took the new trail in the Magalang side of the mountain, and not the traditional trail that passes through the rooty-rocky trail and the junction to white rock. This "New Magalang Trail", otherwise known as the "Poste Trail", is just one month old according to the military men at the north peak. It cuts the original trek time to about 1-2 hours, a faster trail but indeed much steeper, and not that scenic as well.
|the "New Magalang Trail" or "Poste Trail", it was created for the installation of electric posts. This trail will branch out from the traditional trail somewhere at the talahiban part (where you can see the White Rock ahead of you).|
|It is pretty much a newly created trail, just one month old. Freshly cut trees, fallen branches and loose soil are the characteristics of this trail. It's much shorter and a lot steeper than the original trail.|
|the poste trail (blue arrow) reconnects with the traditional trail (yellow arrow) near the north peak where you can find the rope support (that's about less than 5 minutes to the cell site at the north peak).|
|a target range now replaces the flag pole at the north peak|
|our group proceeded to the ridge by 11:20 AM., and completed the traverse from north to south peak by 01:00 PM|
|South Peak view deck, magnificent Pampanga plains at the backdrop.|
|that's me standing at the Arayat's pedestal|
Mt. Arayat now has a place in my heart. It truly makes me happy that I had experienced the bests and the worsts of it. It is definitely one of those mountains na hindi nakakasawang balik-balikan.
For my first Arayat experience, follow this link.
And my second Arayat experience in this link.