Elevation: 1468 masl
Difficulty Level: Traverse 8/9
Specs: Major Climb, Trail Class 1-3
Hours to Crater: 12-14 hours
Days to traverse: 2 days
Registration Fee: Php440 / head
Guide Fee: Php1000 (dayhike); Php 1500 (overnight)
Guide to Climber Ratio: 1:7
Porter Fee: Php1000 (dayhike); Php 1500 (overnight)
Mount Pinatubo is the closest volcano to my heart. Way back in 1991, it ruined my 1st birthday in its last known eruption. LOL
The Delta V trail is known in the mountaineering community as the hardest trail in climbing the mountains of Mount Pinatubo. Before you can enter the jump off site in Sapang Uwak, there will be a check point for the baggage to make sure that climbers are not bringing any liquor. This is also where they check and collect the valid identification cards. They do not allow minors to track that trail of Delta V simply because it’s a major climb and not recommended for minors and beginners.
After checking our things, we went straight to the registration and had a little briefing before starting the night trek.
The first part of the trail was a little ascend. Make sure that you have prepared your feet and your knees for the first 17 km trail up to the campsite. What makes the Delta V trail popular is because of the unlimited river crossing and river trekking. Yes, I’m exaggerating with the word unlimited. Although, you really have to expect river crossings here and there so, better prepare the right footwear that suits this kind of outdoor activity.
In some parts of the river crossing, your clothes may also get wet. There are also times that you need to climb up in stones, rappel down with ropes, climb 90 degrees and face the wall. What makes this trail difficult is the long trekking on stones. You need to walk through big stones until you’ll feel that your feet seemed swollen because of the pressure everytime you step into the stones. Along the way, you will encounter the Apu Malyari Falls and the Twin Falls where you can enjoy the freezing cold running water.
The first campsite is located before the crater but we planned to camp near the crater which is the second campsite. Make sure to ask the guide for the last water source before reaching the campsite so you can have enough water for cooking and hydration for the next day trekking. The 2nd campsite is located right after passing the crater.
But before the crater, the trail becomes a ridge with almost 45 degrees inclination. The wind was so strong that we have to stop little by little because it seemed too dangerous. Upon reaching the top, you will be mesmerize with the beauty of the crater of Mount Pinatubo.
Then, we went straight to the campsite. The problem was there were already a number of climbers who were ahead of us. When we reached the campsite, we do not have enough space for our tents. The ridge was too dangerous to go down and come back to the first campsite as it started to dim already.
The third campsite on the other hand is still in Mt. McDonalds which is estimated 2-4hrs trek from crater campsite. We decided to stay and asked our guides to help us clear some areas. An overnight in the crater campsite of Pinatubo is almost the same as in the mountains of Benguet. It is advisable to bring jackets because it is too cold during the night. It was something that I never expected in Pinatubo.
The next morning, we woke up early to prepare the breakfast. We left the campsite by 8am and reached Mt. McDonald around 10am. From Mt. McDo, the trail becomes straight that it will be easier for you to trail run. This part of the trail is what they call as the Echo Valley. This is the crucial part of our climb because we’ve run out of water for hydration. It’s about 1pm when we reached the nearest water source because the water source before the Mt. McDo was polluted at that time and was not potable.
After the water source, it took us about 3 more hours walking and climbing up and down from small hills-like trail. The trail before completing the rosary trail of Delta V is what they call the Zombie trail because climbers are already exhausted when they reach that point. Few kilometers before getting back to the jump-off, habal-habal or motorcycles were waiting along the way for trekkers who were totally exhausted and cannot continue to finish the trail. It was almost 4:30pm when we’ve reached the registration point and rested before taking a bath.
22:00 – Meet up Jollibee Farmers Cubao Near Mrt station.
23:00 – ETD to Sapang Uwak
01:30 – ETA Sapang Uwak jump off
02:00 – Start Trek
07:00 – ETA Delta 5 trail (breakfast)
09:00 – ETA first water falls
10:00 – ETA 2nd & 3rd water falls
12:00 – ETA Dry river (lunch) last water source)
13:00 – Resume Trek
15:30 – ETA Mt. Pinatubo highest peak
16:00 – Start Descent
18:00 – ETA Mcdo summit (campsite)
19:00 – Dinner (Socials)
22:00 – Lights out
06:00 – Wake up call
07:00 – Breakfast
08:00 – Start descent
10:00 – ETA water source
11:00 – ETA Miyamit junction
11:30 – ETA Miyamit falls (swimming)
12:30 – Lunch
14:00 – ETD Sapang-Uwak
17:00 – ETA Tourism Office (Sapang-Uwak)
19:00 – Dinner (Socials)
20:00 – ETD to Manila
23:00 – ETA Manila.
Things to Bring:
-Valid Id (Must Bring)
-Poncho / Raincoat
-2 or 3 Liters of Water / Depending on the condition of the water source.
-Trail Foods (banana, nuts, chocolates)
-First Aid Kit /Personal Meds
-Headlamp or Flash light
-Plastic bag/Trash Bag
-Sandals preferred due to some river crossing.
Share us your experience in Delta V trail too. We will be happy to hear from you.
– Echo (www.byahecho.com)