I was given a chance to climb it last weekend (January 12-13, 2008) and aside from me forgetting the ground sheet which caused some water to penetrate the floor of my tent, I had a great time mingling with a group of energetic mountaineers - Mountain Lemmings.
Trail : Thick rainforest, must wear durable shoes if possible - waterproof. Trail is highly visible. There were several parts of the trail where we had to cling to tree roots. Watch out for deep ravines.
Getting There :
From JAC Liner station along EDSA (it's near GMA-Kamuning MRT Station, north bound) board the bus to Lucena and ask the conductor to let you off at 7 Eleven in San Pablo City - 119 pesos/head (airconditioned bus). It's around 3-4 hours from EDSA to San Pablo City.
From 7 Eleven, walk towards the Jeepney station near a commercial center (forgot the name of the center, sorry but you can ask around)..walking will take around 10-15 minutes.
Hire a jeep for a ride to the geothermal site near the foot of Mt. Cristobal since there are no trips going there directly.
Jeepney Standard Rate : 600 pesos round trip for the entire jeep- fits around 13-15 people with huge packs.
Going home :
Ask the jeepney driver to pick you up at a specific time from the geothermal area.
Get off along the highway in-front of the 7-Eleven in San Pablo City. There are a lot of bus companies that ply this route. We went home Sunday afternoon, around 5 PM and we were able to get decent seats on our way home. There were 9 of us. Fare was also 119 pesos/head for an airconditioned bus
Where to wash up after the Climb:
The psychic's house (popularly known as Montelibano) has a washing area which you can use but after that you have to walk another 30-45 minutes where your jeepney can pick you up so you may want to wash again after that.
We opted to take a bath in one of the resorts in San Pablo - Bato Springs which offers cheap swimming.
Rates As of January 2008:
75 pesos - Weekends
50 pesos - Weekdays
They also offer overnight accomodation. You can also rent a cottage for 300 pesos for the entire day.
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION SOURCE : http://www.metropolitanms.org/IT/Mount%20Cristobal.pdf
- This link offers helpful advice and information regarding Mt. Cristobal.