Mount Pico De Loro Hike: Facing Acrophobia

Anyone who went to “Parrot’s Beak” can easily remember the beautiful Pico De Loro falls and scenic landscape. But I will not forget how I faced doubt and an illogical fear.

Mount Pico De Loro in Cavite has a friendly trail for beginners like me, but the challenge is when you climb the summit and onto the adjacent monolith.

Last July 27, 2014, three old and one new climbing acquaintances and I, went on a hike. Well, we were supposed to be more, but the unpredictable weather made others to cancel.

We arrived early at the jump-off (Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, Nasugbu, Batangas),had a little breakfast, and started hiking shortly after. Since we already knew each other, our hike was just pure laughter. I guess we were on the same page in terms of jokes. We also enjoyed every scene along the trail and took as much pictures as we could. These are some reasons why hiking is fun.

Hours later, we arrived at a junction where one leads to the falls and the other to the summit. We decided to check the falls first.

Mount Pico De Loro Falls

The cold water was refreshing. We could stay there longer, but it’s time to go as we are only there for a day hike.

As we ascend, we met other hikers that are descending. Moments later, we reached the second base camp and the summit is at hand. We took pictures and there’s this one picture (below) where I am looking at the “Parrot’s Beak”. I never knew this image would be memorable that later on I would caption it as “facing fears.”

Facing Fears in Mount Pico De Loro
“Facing Fears”

All hikers and campers from the previous day almost descended and we were the only hikers present there. We pretty much owned the place that day. It felt good shouting knowing that you were the only people there. Knowing that there are no other people other than your climbing buddies up there that you might disturb.

What Hikers Forgot To Mention

We ate our lunch as we enjoyed the view and rested for a while. After a good rest, we then proceeded to the summit. There, I came face to face with my doubts and fears. You see, going to the summit requires caution. If you slip, you can say bye bye. Eminem said, “his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy… he’s nervous.” That is how I felt standing before the summit. But I just thought that fear is just an imagination just like monsters under our bed and I made it, we made it!

We made it

But it’s not over yet. I wanted to go to the monolith adjacent to the summit so I must face my doubts and fears again, but double them this time.

Monolith as seen from the summit

Climbing the monolith is twice the danger than going to the summit. You must have to climb an estimate of 12 ft. barricade using a rope, pass a narrow walkway and climb a chest-high rock. When someone says “Don’t look down”, you know it’s serious.

Narrow pass at monolith

chest high climb at monolith
“Don’t look down”

At last, the monolith. What an amazing experience! What a battle!

Battling Doubts and Fears

Will you go there? Will you return? I know I will.

UPDATE as of April, 2015
DENR Jump-off to Old Trail has been closed.
We can still start our trek at DENR Jump-off via the new trail (shorter).
Base camps have been closed.
Mt. Pico de Loro falls has been closed too.
Registration is Php 25.00

Mount Pico de Loro Hike New Trail
New Trail Map. Photo from Vigz Santillan

Thank you, Jonel, Jonas (http://makithegreat.blogspot.com/), Gwen, and Davz. Til’ next climb. Cheers!

Photo Credit: Jonel, Jonas, and Gwen

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