Sunday, April 25, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

This week, I went to Gunung Ledang with my colleagues. This is going to be the highest mountain yet for our group! There were 11 of us and 10 of us made it to the summit. The other person gave up after 2nd Check point complaining that he's too old for this!

Thank you to one of our colleagues who agreed to allow us to stay at his parents' place in Bukit Gambir prior to climbing the next day! Without him, this trip might not have been possible. The original plan was for us to stay in cabin/chalet at Gunung Ledang Resort. However, the place was full for the weekend!

We started the climb at 8am after the briefing session by Taman Negara Johor's staff. We were told that Gunung Ledang is the tallest mountain in southern Peninsular Malaysia and it's the sixth toughest mountain to climb! It'd take 10 hours to complete the climb!

Everything went well and smoothly from the first Check Point, Bukit Semput. By the time we reached the third Check Point, the guide must have noticed that our group was on the slower side and suggested that we took the alternative route to the summit instead. I objected as that meant we'd have to skip some of the interesting and challenging trails especially Batu Hampar & Gua Kambing! Finally, everybody agreed to go through Batu Hampar as we were not that slow after all. We could still make it to the peak around 2pm and start descending about 3pm!

Batu Hampar is about 60 degrees slope of rock surface and it's 110 meters high. Congratulations to my colleagues as everybody made it through this trail despite the fact it's an acrophobic experience!

We reached the peak at 2pm, after climbing for 6 hours! If we didn't reach the peak by 3pm, we'd have to turn back as we might not reach back the base before dark! Congratulations again to all.
We reached back the base at 6pm and the last person reached there 25 minutes later. Even though we were slow but we made it before it was dark. After taking shower, we left Taman Negara Johor Gunung Ledang with fond memories and sense of achievement!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

I had to cancel my trip to Gunung Rajah last week as I wasn't feeling well. I had food poisoning or is it my recurring gastritis? On Thursday night last week, I purged five times and by the time I attended the last day of my five day training, I was already very weak. My lunch on Friday was the most expensive as I didn't touch the buffet spread at all. All I had was just plain bread and oxtail soup!
My Tahan team mates went ahead with the plan of hiking Gunung Rajah. I heard they had fun time. It was raining heavily on Friday night and it rained again Saturday. From the pics that I see on FB, they put on their poncho as well.
However, the pay off was fantastic. They had a clear day and could see the surroundings very clearly including Genting from the peak. The above picture is from their Gunung Rajah's album in FB.
As for me, Gunung Rajah remains elusive and I had already included it in the list of mountains to conquer this year. I may go there again after my Tahan trip. Insyaallah!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

GUNUNG NUANG - 9 & 10 April

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

The last time I went to Gunung Nuang was in July last year, that was two weeks before I left for Mount Kinabalu. At that time, I joined a church group from Seremban. It was challenging and fun as usual, we completed the climb in 11 hours. I decided then if I were to go to Nuang again I'd prefer to camp for one night at Kem Lolo and go for the final push very early the next day. The reason for that is because the return trekking along the never ending road from the base to Kem Lolo (the starting point for the climb) will take at least 4 hours. By camping for one night I'd have saved at least 2 hours of trekking the next day. So, instead of taking 11 hours to complete the climb, I'd need only 9 hours!

As part of my preparation to go to Gunung Tahan this year, I am going to do just that, camp for one night at Kem Lolo and go for the final push very early the next day.

All I can say is, we can only plan and God will determine the final execution. The whole thing didn't start as what we planned it. We wanted to leave KL at 4pm, we left at 6.30pm instead. And instead of going for the final push at 7am, we started at 9.45am only!

It was all because it rained heavily on the day that we left, the roads in KL were jammed and due to that and also work commitment I could only leave my office at 4.30pm. After picking up my first hiking buddy in KL area, we picked up the second one at 6.30pm and left for Ulu Langat immediately via Ampang route.

We also planned to have our sandwich dinner at Kem Lolo. Since it was already dinner time and we were already hungry we stopped over near Taman Agrotek for the dinner. It was a nice dinner!

By the time we reached the base camp it was already 9.20pm. And after the final preparations of checking that everything is in order and well packed in the heavy backpack, we left at 9.45pm only! For the first time ever, I had to carry heavy load on my back, it must have been 50 liters at least. I got my tent, sleeping bag, clothes for change and food rations for two days packed into my 48 liters backpack. My oh my. It was so heavy! I had no choice I had to do this as part of my training to climb Gunung Tahan, of which I have to carry heavy load for 5 days in a row!

The evening trekking along the never ending road didn't seem to take that long. After about 20 minutes, I remembered that I left our breakfast and dinner (a loaf of bread) on the boot of my car. John, the youngest amongst three of us offered his help of running back to the base camp for the bread! We stopped along the way at the three rest areas located along the way. Every time, I resumed the journey, I felt the air was so refreshing and it recharged me to continue further.

By the time we reached Kem Lolo, it was already 12.15am, that means we took close to 2.5hours! After setting up the tent, I left no chance at all and went to sleep straight away with my sweat soaked t-shirt and pants! I woke up 2 hours later to change to comfortable and dry clothes. As usual, I didn't have good sleep in the jungle, and I also noticed there were 3 more groups arriving between 3 to 6am! Wow, this mountain is so popular!

At around 6am, I was already wide awake and I heard the storm far away and I was speaking to myself, God, don't let it rain again! My prayers were not answered and it started pouring at around 7am and it stopped only 2.5hour later. Deep in my heart I was telling myself not to proceed as I heard so much about Nuang, it can be very nasty after rain, it's very slippery and it's full of mud! Anyway, I don't want to spoil the spirits of my buddies and I kept the thought to myself.

When the rain had finally stopped at 9.30am, we prepared ourselves for the final push and left Kem Lolo fifteen minutes later. The trails were slippery with potholes filled with water here and there and we made it to the next check point, Kem Pacat almost 2 hours later. Along the way, we met some other hikers namely Syed Khairul and his group of Rumah Merah from PSMB and Hafidz and his three angels. We met all of them at Kem Pacat and exchanged greetings! They were a bunch of nice people and very friendly too! Syed Khairul was there with his wife and eldest son!

Kem Pacat or Leeches Camp is unlike its name, instead of leeches there were a lot bees. I got stung by one of them as it was squezed in between my finger and the backpack while I was adjusting it. Having said that, the night before I didn't realise that I got bitten by 3 of these dancing queens (leeches/pacat).

One hour later we reached the false peak or officially known as Puncak Pengasih. And we gathered here again for the rest of the group members to arrive. To inform his group members that he'd reached Puncak Pengasih, Syed lighted a loud firecracker!

The final phase was the 1 hour trekking from Puncak Pengasih to the summit. When we finally made it there, there were already many people resting and enjoying the view from the peak. Some of them must have been camping there all night long!

Janda Baik can be seen clearly from the peak, while the view from the other side of the peak was very misty. We couldn't see anything at all. The squirrels were gone too, apparently, they had been fed a lot in the morning by the earlier group. It was all worth it, especially for my first timer friend.

We made our way back to Kem Lolo 45 minutes later and reached there around 6.15pm and left at around 6.55pm after dismantling the tents and packed up everything. And we reached the loggers trail at 7.15pm, before it was dark. It was a 2 hour night jungle trekking again and we reached back the base camp at around 9.15pm. After cleaning up, we left Gunung Nuang with lots of memories.

As a conclusion, rain or shine, I don't mind to do Nuang again!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

We are now ready to climb Gunung Ledang on Apr 24. At first, we had some hurdles on the logistics. Originally, I booked the cabins for 12 pax on Apr 22, not knowing and not checking on the calendar that it falls on Thursday. I confirmed with my colleagues that I had booked the cabins. In actual fact, it was booked on a wrong date. Another thing, I had the feeling that I was in JB when I made the call to Gunung Ledang Resort while in actual fact I was in Kuching! I was so disoriented with place and time!

A few days later, I called Taman Negara Ledang management to book the hiking permit and by then I realised that I should have booked the cabins on Apr 23 (Fri) instead. I managed to book the permits for 12 pax as planned on Apr 24.

With that confirmation, I had to call Gunung Leadang Resort to shift my booking date from Apr 22 to Apr 23. Unfortunately, the cabins and chalets were all full from Apr 23 - 26.

That was when I decided to change the overall logistics from one night camping trip to a day trip. That will involve meeting up at Seremban R&R at 5.30am with the aim of reaching Ledang and start hiking at 8.30am. My colleagues were all okay with it with the exception of one lady who thought that it'd be too risky to do it on a day trip as we had to leave very early in the morning and came back very late in the afternoon! That's always the case when we plan for group hiking and it's very difficult to please everyone. So this option was off!

We were exploring the idea of staying for one night in any cheap hotel in Ayer Keroh (at least it's already half way) when out of the bluw, a colleague offered his parents' place instead. And thank you to him, everyone agreed on that option!

Talking about the permit, below are the charges:

1. Entrance fee - RM5.00/pax

2. Hiking permit - RM5.00/pax

3. Insurance - RM2.00/pax

4. Deposit for Littering (Refundable) - RM25/pax

5. Guide - RM140 per 10 pax and we have to take 2 guides since there are 11 of us.

And I planned to have two guides anyway regardless on the number of pax as I want to split the group into two. One guide for the slower group and the other is for the faster group! And I don't want the faster group to wait for the slower one to reach any checkpoint!

I really hope that it's going to be a success and everyone will reach the summit regardless of their speed! And of course, my worry is the trail called Batu Hampar where it involves climbing a 4 storey-high rock surface with the help of big ropes! If the ladies can pass this level, they can go all the way up to the summit!