Yes, I made it to the summit of Gunung Tahan. A feat that I never thought possible and I never dreamt about.
Personally, I prefer day hiking activities as I don't have to carry heavy back pack and I don't have to apply for leave from work as it always takes place over the weekend.
Reaching the summit of Gunung Tahan is a very important milestone in my hiking activities. With this achievement, I am confident that I can climb any of those mountains listed in G7 namely, Korbu, Gayung, Yong Belar, Chamah, Yong Yap and Ulu Sepat and Ulu Sepat. A friend who is 50 years old that I met in Tahan, was already going for his 2nd G7 (Chamah) last week.
As for me, I am thinking about doing Korbu and Gayung, no date as yet as I am now recovering from my back problem. It could be next year.
In the meantime, let me complete the diary on Gunung Tahan.
The biggest challenge for me on the first day was carrying heavy back pack. Being a day hiker, I am not used to carrying heavy load at all. The heavy back pack had slowed me a lot. In fact until today, I still have the mark of the back pack strap on my chest! That should explain how heavy the back pack was!
On the second day, the challenges were to ascend from 750 meter to 1,943 meters, going through slippery trails with heavy back pack. I had reduced the weight by leaving behind some rations and clothes at Kem Kor, however the back pack still felt heavy.
The climb on the second day was to reach Kem Botak (1,943 meters) where we will camp for another night. We went through several check points along the way namely Permatang (874 m), Kubang (1,406m), Belumut (1,493m) and Bonsai (1,705m). The distance was around 15km.
From Kubang onwards, the temperature had dropped by a few degrees. As it was quite cold already and we were sweating, I told myself that I couldn't stop for long. No stop for proper meal as we also lost the appetite. We were really tired and lunch lunch was just apple, raisin and nuts.
From Bonsai onwards, the view was beautiful and the vegetation was shorter and stunted. Conifers were abundant.
We reached Kem Botak around 5.30pm, after hiking for 10 hours. It was very tiring and at times, I was just dragging my feet. I had more and more stops. After a few steps, I stopped to catch my breath. I was in the last group with another 3 climbers and by the time we reached Kem Botak, some of our friends had already been there for 3 hours and they had their tents ready. These people were super fast!
That night, it rained heavily after dinner. It lasted for almost two hours. We were lucky as our tent was on a slope. For others, their tents were flooded.
It's the day that we'd hike up to the summit which was an hour away. We left at 6.45am and 45 minutes later, we reached the summit. Yes! I made it.
Nothing much to say about the peak, no 360 degrees view of the surroundings! Nevertheless, it was an ecstatic feeling being at the highest peak of Peninsular Malaysia!
Upon reaching back Kem Botak, we had our breakfast, packed up everything and left for Kem Kor again for the last camping night. On the way down, it was raining. I was always scared of rain while hiking, first the surface will be slippery and then it's going to be cold. Much to my surprise, I welcomed the rain as helped me cool down my body temperature.
Another thing that I always try to avoid is to hike at night. The group that we met at the first night at Kem Kor, they reached there at around 9.00pm. Considering it took us 10 hours to climb up and if it took us the same time, we'd reach Kem Kor when it was already dark. The descend took only 7 hours and by 5.00pm, we reached back Kem Kor. I was relieved!
It's the final day and the pressure is off. We left at 9.00am and took 3 hours to reach back the starting point.
In conclusion, it was very challenging for me. However, all the preparations have helped a lot. By conquering this mountain, all other G7 seems possible.
In the meantime, I'll take a long break to recover from the spinal problem that has deteriorated. There will be physio sessions to attend!