Hiked to: Mt. Taronton

Sunday
May 14, 2017

Looking for a quick dayhike on a Sunday, Khat saw an event for a mountain I’ve never heard of. Mt. Taronton in Infanta, Quezon, supposedly sits 1234masl and has recently opened. Actually, the event we were joining was the opening climb. Since we were curious about the place, we confirmed our booking and prepared ourselves for an exciting hike.

Our assembly place was at Greenfield District in Mandaluyong. When we arrived, we were greeted by our organizer, Ryan, as well as none other but Koi Grey. I found out later that he was going to be the driver of our team. So we boarded the van and got some sleep as Koi drove us to the jumpoff. Early in the morning, we reached the place right beside the highway. Here the locals were already waiting for us. We secured our guide and started our hike. It was still dark so we had our headlamps out and weren’t able to take pictures yet.

Our guide, kuya Pwedelito (Pwede Pwede, pwede Lito) told us that a slow group would reach the summit in about 4 hours, so we prepared ourselves for about 3 hours of hiking. The trail was very fresh and moist, even those that were covered with the forest canopy. It reminded me of the young trail of our Limay-Tarak traverse. It was mostly all uphill from the jumpoff with a couple of places having short, flat areas that our guide named Station 1 and Station 2. Next, we passed a wide, open area that served as the campsite. Of course, no one had yet camped there as we were only the second group to ascend the mountain.

We reached a very beautiful mossy forest just as the sun started to rise and we were treated with the wonderful views of a very fresh mountain. It was quite sad to think that this mountain will have to adjust for the future hikers, but for now, we reveled in its beauty. Some parts of the trail were still thick with foliage and some had very loose soil. We had to go around and under tree roots in order to advance but it was fine, the soft songs of the birds helped calm me down.

The wooden viewdeck at the summit

After a short while of ascending, we reached the summit. It had only been around 2 hours, and we were already on top. The summit was marked by a wooden view-deck made by the locals. It was reminiscent of the one in Mt. Tabayoc. Yet, there was still no clearing as the morning fog enveloped the mountain. We sat beside the first group and waited.

Waiting for the fog to clear

As the time passed, the wind carried the fog over to the distant side and we were able to get clearings in short bursts. We used every opportunity to admire the beauty of the surrounding peaks. From the distance, we were able to see Laguna lake, the mountains of Rizal, as well as the windmills of Pililia.

The fog finally lifts

Once we had enough of waiting, we took our time going down as the way was even harder on the descent. We slipped and slid down while taking occasional stops to admire the views. We reached the jumpoff again in around the same duration as the ascent. We still had plenty of daylight left, so we went to the next highlight of the trip, the 20-40-60 waterfalls.

Pitcher plants with a view

Our tour guide led us across the highway and into some local lands that descended further down. The falls were named as such because it has three layers with 20 feet, 40 feet, and 60 feet drops accordingly. The path was actually concrete and it looked like remnants of an old resort complete with stations of the cross. The place was beautiful and there were lots of giant ferns surrounding us. After about 30 minutes of descending, we reached the last layer of the waterfall. Here we took a bath in the frigid water and also got some sleep. Afterwards, we started our hike back up to the highway to start the next activity, tree planting.

The way to the waterfalls was filled with beautiful flora

The tree-planting was required for all hikers by the local authorities and I really like this initiative. Khat took a cacao sapling while I took a rambutan one and we both planted our trees in the hill right beside the highway. After that, it was the last part of our trip, the Wishing pool.

The bottom layer of the 20-40-60 falls

The Wishing pool is actually a well-known spot and is the landmark of the jumpoff of Mt. Taronton. Here, we joined groups of motorists who rode all the way from Manila to take a bath and spend time with their family here. The water was from a natural spring and the locals built a concrete pool for it. This was actually the source of the water from the falls we went to.

The wishing pool with lots of weekenders

After a quick dip and rinse, we finally got out and took a bath before heading home. The whole day was a very good opportunity to relax. The climb was not too challenging in terms of duration and there were lots of side activities as well. Plus, Koi even took us to his favorite place to eat on the way home. We stopped by Cafe Katerina and had some delicious bulalo and Bicol express. This was also a good place to chill because it had a wonderful view of Mts. Banahaw and Cristobal. Definitely a place worth visiting.

The view from Cafe Katerina, with Banahaw and Cristobal looming at a distance

Big thanks to Ryan for organizing this climb, as well as to master explorer Koi Grey for the knowledge and the transportation. Please like his page here, and you may also ring him up if you need transportation and mountain logistics. Thank you to the other participants and to Khat for accompanying me even if it’s just an easy hike. Most of all, thank you to the Big Guy for the favorable weather and blessing us with a good day to climb.

 


Itinerary:

  • 01:00 ETD Greensfield District
  • 03:30 ETA Jumpoff, Wishing Pool
    • P500 Guide fee 1:7 ratio
  • 04:00 Start Trek
  • 04:30 Station 1
  • 04:50 Station 2
  • 05:00 Campsite
  • 05:45 ETA Summit, Photo-ops or early breakfast
  • 08:15 ETD Summit
  • 10:05 Back at Jumpoff
  • 10:30 20-40-60 Falls, Tree Planting, Wishing pool
  • 16:00 ETD Jumpoff
  • 19:45 ETA Manila

Safe Budget: P900

Contact Person: Kap Alex – 0915 987 0601


I’d recommend this climb for families who want some bonding time that is a bit different from what the city offers. The short climb duration is perfect for beginners and they also get to see the beautiful forests that we have which are quite near to the metro. Plus, with the falls and the wishing pool around, it’s also a nice place to cool down. The locals are also very friendly and accommodating. All-in-all a good halfday hike if you are around the area. I’d also recommend climbing this mountain now while it’s still young as the flora and fauna are still fresh and haven’t been displaced yet.

Plant more trees!

Keep your eyes open on the trails!

-jgzn

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