For the past 7 years, the recommended trail to Mt. Pinatubo crater has been the 30-km nature-formed streambed along O'Donnell river where 4x4 jeeps bring tourists for an hour of rough ride to a point where they have to trek for two hours more before reaching the summit/crater. However, with the Skyway (a shortcut trail for the 4x4 jeeps to pass through) initiated and maintained by a Korean company, the Pull Destination Company (PDC), many tourists have been able to go to Mt. Pinatubo the easy way. The skyway was recently extended so road travel now takes only 1 to 1 1/2 hours drive and 20-30 minutes of trekking up to the crater lake. Thanks to the Skyway, even non-mountain climbers have a chance to go to Mt. Pinatubo sans the rigorous trek.
There is a down side to the Skyway though... Due to the "carving" of the mountain trail, the Skyway now poses a potential threat to the communities, as well as tourists at the peripheral areas of Mt. Pinatubo. Phivolcs has warned about "the possibility of an avalanche of loosened volcanic debris resulting from the trailblazing project, especially during heavy downpour or slight tremor."
Given this info, it is up to you to decide if you would like to take all risks in going up to Mt. Pinatubo. I strongly suggest that you proceed with your trip only with trusted companions and guides and only after studying the weather advisories.
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Do not go to Mt. Pinatubo alone and without telling anybody that you will head here. Many have become lost or trapped here in sudden landslides. Be prepared for emergencies. Make sure you bring some communication devices like mobile phones (have a spare battery) or two-way radios so you can call for help. Ask for the help of a tour guide or bring people that can run to the nearest town should your means of communication is out. And most importantly, bring lots of food and water in case you get stranded like what happened to us.