I remember saying “Yes” to my best-friend Joy when she asked me if I wanted to join her in a day-hike in Benguet. And so when she said that it’s going to be in Mt. Pigingan, I did my research right away and got super excited when I saw some of the pictures in Instagram and few blogs that I’ve read. When I saw a picture of the trail going up to the summit, I told myself, “Ok xai, this will be another one training climb for you”.
Major jumpoff: Sitio Balocloc, Brgy. Dalupirip, Itogon
Height: 1328 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 5-7 hours
Specs: Borderline major
Trail class 1-4
I met my friends in KFC Shopwise Cubao – In front of Kia Theater at around 11 PM. After having our dinner and buying our packed lunch we started to travel from Manila to Benguet.
Five hours later, our van arrived at Sitio Balocloc where we registered and hired two guides (for 12 pax). After all the final preparations and a quick prayer, we started the hike.
Mt. Pigingan means slanted. Pigingan came from the local Ibaloi word “piging” which means “slanted”. It was said that the mountain was named as such due to the descriptive outline of its peak.
Start of the hike:
We started at around 5 AM, everything was still cloaked in darkness. The road going to the trailhead was a very narrow cemented pathway used by locals. After 30 minutes, we reached the hanging bridge called Pau/Pao Bridge, which hangs across the widely known Agno River.
The long cemented path continued after crossing the bridge. We haven’t had any problem on this first part of the trail. But the catch is, it’s an open area so expect the scorching heat of the sun. Good thing you’ll pass by two water sources were you can refill your hydration.
After that a continuous climb begins. The trail becomes gradual and moderately ascending at the side of the mountain, which becomes steeper as you ascend. The trail in this part of the hike is mostly composed of soil and some loose sand.
Good thing, along the trail you will be rewarded by a beautiful scenery of Itogon. We took enough time for a short rest so we can enjoy watching and appreciating this magnificent view while resting.
After reaching the campsite, we decided to continue and head to the base of the summit since we knew that the summit can only accommodate few people and there’s a queue on the way up . So while waiting for our turn that’s the time we decided to eat our lunch.
All of us are a bit exhausted but we still have to finish the final leg going up to the summit.
Some of us didn’t want to go the the peak anymore. But here’s us – Jin, Joy and me getting ready to conquer the peak. The experience was actually fun but terrifying for me. You have to be very careful because you have to climb an almost 90 degree assault before you reach it.
Finally, we’ve reached the summit. Indeed the view from the top is worth it. It is beyond beautiful. It made me appreciate how wonderful and amazing God’s creations is. The feeling was surreal. “Thank You Lord for allowing me to witness this awesome creation of Yours.”
Another one-off my bucket list. After taking our time appreciating the view and taking pictures, we started to decend. The trail going down was a knee-breaker. But I was motivated by the thought of me buying Halo-Halo and cold soft drinks at the jump-off. haha silly!
This is another hike were I pushed myself again to it’s limit. A lot of times during the trail, I could feel my legs burning, my endurance was tested. But I’m so happy I was able to finish it. With this experience, I must say that Mt. Guiting-Guiting isn’t for me yet. Maybe after a lot of training, but not now. Dreams can wait anyway! 🙂 For now, I’m very thankful to be able to enjoy Mt. Pigingan.
Mt. Pigingan Itinerary:
20:00 meetup KFC Shopwise Cubao – In front of Kia Theater
21:00 ETD from Cubao
04:00 Arrival at Sitio Balocloc. Reguister and secure guides
05:00 Start Trek
07:30 Arrival at Junction
12:00 ETA summit
02:00 Start Descent
14:30 back at Trailhead; Tidy up
15:30 ETD Sitio Balocloc going to Baguio
17:00 ETA Baguio
20:00 ETD from Baguio to Cubao
Thing to Bring:
-2-4L water (depends on your water consumption)
-Trail food (e.g. Mani, jelly ace, etc)
I just completed conquering my 23rd mountain – Mt. Pigingan in Dalupirip, Itogon, Benguet.
Until our next trip!
Another mountain to hike? Tarak Ridge (Mariveles) Day Hike Itinerary and Guide
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