Mt. Arayat Day Hike

Situated in the middle of the vast plains of Pampanga, Bulacan, and Nueva Ecija, Mt. Arayat stands there proud and inviting.

Every time I pass by the North Luzon Expressway on my way to Bataan, or farther north either westward to Ilocos or Baguio, or eastward to my home province of Isabela, Mt. Arayat seems to speak to me with a jeer.  “You claim to love climbing mountains but you haven’t even climbed me, and I’m just here right by your doorstep!” it seems to tell me in my face.

I’ve been wanting to climb Mt. Arayat for at least two years now.  There have been several failed plans to climb it, the last one was supposedly set on the last Saturday of November 2010.

So when my friends from the Scout Mountaineers announced that they were proceeding with the erstwhile cancelled Mt. Arayat day hike, I decided to join them.  At exactlly 8 o’clock AM on December 4, a Saturday, our party of six, including a 10-year old boy, started our day hike to the summit.

Mt. Arayat looked like an easy climb.  It still does.  From a distance it looks small and simple.  The ascent seems long but gradual.

To be honest I didn’t have much expectations of the mountain.  All I wanted was to “get it done and over with” so it will stop jeering at me every time I pass by, and I can move on to climb more challenging mountains.

Fresh from more than 2-weeks of touring four countries in the Middle East, including a hike to the summit of Mt. Sinai in Egypt, I was still sore but unconcerned.  After all, I just conquered Mt. Sinai which stands much taller at 2,640+ MASL (according to www.peakware.com) than Mt. Arayat’s measly 1,030+ MASL.

Mt. ArayatOf course, Mt. Arayat proved me wrong, and the age-old lesson that many mountaineers are wont to forget came back to me like a slap in the face — “Never ever underestimate a mountain, no matter how easy and small it looks.”  It took us four hours to hike to the summit, and almost another four hours going back.  I ran out of hydration fluid with at least two more hours to complete our descent, and I never ran our of hydration fluid before.  My toes were swollen like hell due to the long and steep descent.  It was a good thing I was wearing my AirTreks.  It could have been much worse.

And we were even lucky.  The conditions in Mt. Arayat were perfect for a hike to the summit on December 4.  While it was raining continuously for hours in Metro Manila and in other places around Mt. Arayat that Saturday morning, it wasn’t raining at all in Mt. Arayat.  In fact the ground was very dry.  But the weather was very cool because of the rains all around us.  It couldn’t be any better than that.

Well, I lived to tell about our Day Hike of Mt. Arayat.  But I now declare with no amount of uncertainty that it is not an easy mountain.  It is beautiful, that is a certainty.  And like most beautiful things, it can be deceiving and even dangerous.

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4 thoughts on “Mt. Arayat Day Hike

  • Pingback: Mt. Arayat Day Hike | Adventure Manila by Tech-X Adventures

  • December 26, 2012 at 11:20 am
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    Hello po,

    This is a very interesting post. Have you tried trekking the highlands of Porac po? Going to Miyamit falls, the hidden paradise in Porac. Went there (i am not a mountaineer po) and took us 5 hours to reach Miyamit. Here is a blog post from another blogger with full accounts about his day trip http://batangkapampangan85.blogspot.com/2012/03/miyamit-falls-its-more-fun-in-porac.html

    I enjoyed the day and scenery although it was the longest day of my life. The experience stretched me beyond the limit and taught me a lot of things.

    Next plan ko po sana is Arayat kaso I will have to prepare muna this time, physically and mentally. wehehehehe, don’t want to be so scared as I was with the Miyamit falls trekking…

    Thanks for this post and more power po.

    sunnyjean

    Reply
    • January 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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      Hi SunnyJean,

      Thanks a lot for your comment. I am an outdoor enthusiast that is why I blog a lot about my outdoor adventures. I’m glad you found this particular post interesting.

      I encourage you to be an outdoor enthusiast yourself. It is not only good for your health, it will open your eyes on the many wonders of nature as well.

      Incidentally, I am launching a new e-zine soon that will focus on outdoor adventures. We want to feature actual adventures of ordinary people like you and me and not just the professionals. I’ll keep you posted when this e-zine is already online.

      In the meantime, go and do Arayat and share your experience with us in our e-zine soon.

      Cheers.

      Reply

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