Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mt. Lagyo (Rizal, 396+ MASL)

Between the crags. Taken on the first peak of Mt. Lagyo (Feb. 2017)

Recently opened on the last week of January, Mt. Lagyo together with Mts. Parawagan, Susong Dalaga and Kapananan are the newest attractions of Sitio Wawa in Brgy. San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal. Located south of the Wawa River, Mt. Lagyo can clearly be seen on the summits of Mt. Binacayan, Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Hapunang Banoi. From the summits of these mountains Mt. Lagyo rises modestly at just around 396 MASL. Although dwarfed by its more well-known neighbors in terms of altitude, Mt. Lagyo presents its own challenges and difficulties even seasoned hikers would certainly appreciate.

Since this mountain has just recently been opened to hikers, there are no official specs yet. The following are based on my own experience climbing Mt. Lagyo - Minor Climb, Difficulty: 3/9, Trail Class: 1-4 with limestone scrambling, Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5 to 3 hours, Features: Panoramic view of the mountains of Rizal and the Sierra Madre LLA: 14°42'20"N, 121°11'2"E; 396+ MASL (unverified)

The sheer cliffs of Mt. Lagyo seen from the foot of the mountain

The jump-off is at the DENR registration site in Sitio Wawa. Heading south of the river towards the residential area, the first part of the trail runs through the concrete road lined with houses. A few meters after is another registration where hikers and their guide need to log their names and time of arrival. At that time there was just another group of hikers trekking to Mt. Lagyo that morning. A few meters from this second registration site, the guide tells me there is an alternate trail off the main road which passes through the forest that would cut our trek time to the foot of Mt. Lagyo. However, this trail is more difficult with several stream and rivulet crossings and moderately steep assaults. I chose the alternate trail.

Fork in the trail - The Junction to the right and Mt. Lagyo via the Forest Trail to the left. 

The Wawa trilogy - Mts. Binacayan, Pamitinan and Hapunang Banoi as seen on the trail towards Mt. Lagyo.

Mt Susong Dalaga (left) and Mt. Lagyo (right) in the background

The forest trail is wonderfully verdant and cool, in contrast to the hot and open trail on the main road. The trail passes through some isolated houses and deep into the forest with several small streams crossing the trail. The river boulders and rocks can be quite slippery. I think it was a good choice to pass through the forest trail as it makes the experience much more tranquil and closer to nature. Since the trail is less traveled (according to my guide, other guides do not know the way through the forest and that only a few of them knows how to navigate through this trail) signs of commercialization is almost non-existent.

Several portions of the forest trail are crossed by streams and rivulets

Along the forest trail

Less than an hour after trekking through the forest trail, we emerged back at the main road just a few meters away from the foot of Mt. Lagyo. At the foot of the mountain, the imposing sheer cliffs of limestone rocks and boulders present themselves majestically, foretelling the difficulty waiting for you as you climb up to the summit. With the blazing heat from the mid morning sun, we scrambled up the slopes of the mountain. Huge limestone crags and sheer cliffs dominate the final assault towards the summit. There are actually two peaks, the second peak forming the summit of Mt. Lagyo. The first peak is a jumbled collection of sharp and jagged limestone rock formations perfect for those daredevil poses. The second peak is a few meters away towards the northern portion of the mountain with a great view of the mountains of Sitio Wawa and Brgy. Mascap.

At the first peak of Mt. Lagyo

Precariously perched between the crags

Thumbs up!

Reaching the second peak is much more challenging since the cliffs are much more difficult to negotiate and there are several gaps in the rock that fall into deep crevices which hikers must cross in order to scramble up the towering limestone formation which forms part of the highest point of the summit. With the guide's help I was able to successfully scrambled my way up the limestone rock formation.

At the summit of Mt. Lagyo

To the north, Mts. Binacayan, Pamitinan, Hapunang Banoi, Ayaas and more distantly Mt. Balagbag are clearly seen.

Clinging for dear life! Note the horizon is not slanted (camera not tilted)!

After snapping several photos at the summit and resting to recuperate, we started the descent. Not wanting to backtrack to the first peak and into the trail we used to ascend, the guide led me to another alternate descent trail. The trail passes right on the side of the mountain on sharp and jagged rocks with crags plunging straight down. The white rocks reflecting sunlight from the hot late morning sun and the blazing heat makes it much more challenging than it already was. After what seems to be an eternity of grueling rock scrambling (actually the descent took less than 30 minutes), we finally made it back to the main road. We backtrailed into the forest trail where we ate our packed lunch at a local resident's sari-sari store (the 800 mL Lemon Soda cost only Php. 25.00!) and was back at the registration to log out at around 1:25 PM.

Mt. Lagyo and Mt. Susong Dalaga from a distance.

Another great way to spend the weekend, hiking to Mt. Lagyo is an unforgettable experience. The newly opened mountain trails of Sitio Wawa offer yet another promising great destinations perfect for experiencing the joys of hiking.


Useful information:

Trail Map: (For illustrative purposes only; may not correspond to exact coordinates)
Blue line - Mt. Lagyo via the Forest Trail; Purple line - Mt. Lagyo via the Main Trail (I took the Forest Trail)


Actual Itinerary:
5:50 AM - Departure from Cubao to Eastwood Residences in Rodriguez, Rizal
7:00 AM - Arrival at Eastwood Residences; tricycle ride to Sitio Wawa
7:15 AM - Registration, prepare to trek
7:30 AM - Start of trek
7:38 AM - Arrival at the fork to the Forest Trail and the Main Trail
7:50 AM - Trek through the forest trail
8:35 AM - Foot of Mt. Lagyo
9:20 AM - First peak, photo ops, rest
10:30 AM - Second peak
11:30 AM - Start descent
12:15 PM - Rest, Lunch
1:25 PM - Back at the registration
1:30-2:00 PM - rest, wash up/ tidy up
2:00 PM - Back to Eastwood, UV Express to Cubao
3:00-4:00 PM - Back at Cubao

Mandatory Fees: (as of February 2017, prices subject to change without notice)
Guide fee - Php. 800.00 (per group of up to 5 persons)
Environmental fee - Php. 50.00

How to get there: (Fares as of February 2017, prices subject to change without notice)
From EDSA Cubao Farmer's Market ride UV Express bound for Rodriguez, Rizal (Php. 50.00). Get off at Eastwood Subdivision and ride a tricycle to Sitio Wawa (Php. 60.00 - Special Trip) and get off in front of the DENR office to register.


17 comments:

  1. good for ilan po yung 800 na guide fee? 10 pax or 5 pax?
    aakyat po sana kami ngayon Sunday

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    1. Solo hike ako eh so not sure, pero yung group na umakyat din that day na nauna sa akin 6 sila 1 guide lang. Better prepare for at least 1 guide per 5 pax just to be on the safe side. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. Thank you very much for your detailed info! Very helpful for our next climb.

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  3. guide po me sa wawa and sa tingin ko the same rules regarding sa max accommodation ng guide ehh!! 1 guide max of 5 person poh!!

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  4. Hi sir, ask lang if you had contact number sa guide or dun sa registration if pupunta ng private van..pwede ba kaming dumiretso sa wawa dam if ever

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    1. Hi Sir! Eto po ung number ng nakausap ko sa DENR Registration - 09488480828, look for Guy (binigay nya sakin number nya kasi di nya daw kabisado yung landline nila) Sorry di ko nakuha yung number ng guide ko po sa Mt. Lagyo. Pwede po kayo pumunta ng Wawa Dam wala naman bayad magswimming dun, sa cottage lang may bayad. Pasama na lang kayo sa guide nyo sa wawa dam after ng hike.

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  5. thanks sir, si susan po ito ginamit ko lang un account ng kuya ko..thanks uli sa info

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  6. Pwede na po kaya sa 6 at 9 yrs old na bata yung akyatin sa lagyo at susong dalaga? Salamat po.

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    1. Hindi ko po marerecommend sa 6 or 9 yrs old na bata na umakyat sa Mt. Lagyo, delikado po ang mga bangin at matatalim na bato. Sa Mt. Susong Dalaga po pwede siguro basta maingat lang, at saka dapat yung trail na dinaanan nyo paakyat din ang dadaanan ninyo pababa para di delikado sa mga bata. May descent trail kasi dun na dinaanan ko pababa na bangin at kailangan magpadausdos pababa, delikado sa mga bata. Thanks for the comment!

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  7. Replies
    1. Senya na di ko nakuha contact details ng guide ko, medyo matagal na din kasi kaya di ko na maalala name nya. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. hi may parking area ba cla for private car. thanks

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  9. Yes po may mga parking spaces po malapit sa registration area. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. Hi, possible ba i-trilogy ang Mt. parawagan Mrt. Susong dalaga and Mt. Lagyo?

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    1. Hi! Yes po very possible po i-trilogy yan. Marami na pong mga may pa-event na ganyan. Ang tawag nila dyan ay Montalban Triology version 2. Kayang kaya naman po basta maaga magsisimula. Thanks for the comment!

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