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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Refined Tebing Gila Trail

The vertical cliffs of Tebing Gila

This revisit was to refine the Tebing Gila trail since our last visit in February. We rerouted at the beginning part - without going up the steep hill but along the riverbank, having passed by an old, abandoned shelter.

Old, abandoned shelter

Tree with humanly figure - butts!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Tebing Gila, Batu Gila... How we fared in the recce?

 Batu Gila Recce (Tebing Gila)

Our target was the cliff arch at Hulu Gombak Forest Reserve, or Hutan Lipur Sungai Tua that many know. This rock formation is located Northwest of the famous Sungai Pisang Falls, along the narrow, treacherous and cliffy Tebing Gila. Both Batu Gila and Tebing Gila are unofficial names. In the RSO map, such names are absent.

We traced an old route immediately after the tunnel over Karak Highway, on the West side of Sg Pisang but not the whole route as we diverted to use a flatter route to the start of the cliff. 

Route to Batu Gila cliff arch

Note: The route from beginning to the high cliffs and till the cliff arch are over raw terrain. We did not traverse the entire cliff. In fact, we entered the cliff ridge only from midway, not from the start of cliff. From there on, the trek was all along the narrow, treacherous ridge. Our team affixed a permanent rope to assist with climb to the top of the ridge.

Rock wall at start of cliff

Saturday, 27 January 2018

KDCF Peak Solo Relax

Edited Relive video

Edited the original Relive video - not sure exactly how to make Endomondo place the photos more carefully into since the photos are time-stamped with GPS location. I've changed the app settings to allow manual update so hopefully that works.

Taking a break upon reaching Unity Peak...

Monday, 22 January 2018

Bukit Unyang Recce 14th Jan 2018

Trig Station at Unyang Peak

Brief notes

  • Bukit Unyang is located Northeast of Kanching Waterfalls, in Hutan Rizab Kanching.
  • Trailhead towards Bukit Unyang is located after Level 7 of Kanching Falls.
  • Some old tape markers left by earlier explorers exists along the trail.
  • We did most of our bushwhacking works independently of the markers but somehow we stumbled upon them from section to section.
  • The last section at the false peak before crossing the saddle over to the Unyang peak is the toughest.
  • At the false peak, we could see Bukit Bunga Buah, Bukit Boyan and Bukit Tunggul.
  • All of the three primary obstacles are there - bamboo, thorny palm trees and thick ferns.
  • The overall distance from trailhead to the peak is about 2.5 km. Time to hike is about 3 hours.
  • The altitude according to RSO map is 730 metres.
  • After the last river crossing post level 7, there are no more stream crossing.
  • Leeches are present along the way until before the false peak.
  • Good to know - the waterfall/river that flows down is Sungai Chul Tinggi.

Bukit Unyang track

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Trekalogue: The Highlands Eco-Challenge II 2017

Long Tanid in Long Semadoh, Sarawak

Last July, Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Borneo (Formadat) organised once more the highlands eco-challenge right at the highlands of Borneo spanning Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan. This is the second in the series whose inaugural event was conducted in 2015. The event is supported by World Wide Fund (WWF) Sarawak since inception. Alicia Ng of WWF Sarawak, who was on the field to coordinate the event, quoted a few challenges in organising such events, especially being new, is how to create and heighten the awareness of ecotourism in the Borneo Highlands, as well as how to generate more publicity for more participation by enthusiasts, forest lovers and trekkers alike. In supporting Formadat in their long term objectives, she hopes WWF will achieve more mileage in the coming years by helping Formadat to guide the local communities to manage a bulk part of the ecotourism and to promote cultural diversity.

Overall programme of Highlands Eco-Challenge II

This round, two eco-challenge trails were featured, the short 5 days 4 nights ‘Jungle Exploration’ trail and the highlight of all trekking packages, the 10d9n ‘Heart of Borneo Experience’ whose journey combines four-wheel drive and traverse trekking from Sipitang in Sabah through into Sarawak with a couple of days spent in Kalimantan villages. The entire journey was enveloped within the highlands of an average of 1,000 metres above sea level, which guaranteed an overall chilling experience for all. I took the short trip which covered locations Kota Kinabalu-Sipitang-Long Pa’ Sia’-Long Semadoh-Lawas. The extended trip has Ba’ Kelalan-Long Bawan-Long Layu-Ba Siuk-Pa Dalih-Bario added. In addition, the latter bears the transboundary triangle that covers the key village for each of the states. Participants for this trail gets to experience a different culture and get additional stamp on their passports!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Dream of Flying (Habu Airstrip)

Do you know there is a runway in Cameron Highlands where planes can land and take off?

Well, it not the usual airport for passenger airlines but a small airstrip for lightweight planes to do crop dusting or aerial topdressing.

In Cameron Highlands, this short runway of about 400 metres is located in Habu, a small township which is 5 minutes away from Ringlet toward Tanah Rata. This airstrip is in active service. BOH Plantations uses it for spraying fertiliser (not pesticide). During service, several bags of fertiliser are unloaded into the aircraft before it takes off for crop dusting. 

Many years back, we were able to walk up all the way to the airstrip and most of the time, nobody is there as the crop dusting service is conducted only a couple of times per year. This particular time, we were lucky as flying operation is halted due to weather. We walked up to end of the airstrip and managed to catch a conversation with the pilot who was waiting for the weather to clear.

The pilot Mr Collin

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Retracing Rhododendron Hill Peak & Trail No. 14

Viewpoint just above Puncak Arabella in Tanah Rata. Mount Berembun is on the right and whereas Mount Batu Brinchang is right ahead (11 o'clock direction) obscured by clouds.

Rhododendron Hill and Myrtle Hill were in my exploration plans since a few years back but never had the time to set foot on them. Until recently.

These two hills bear the old, colonial names during the days of late Sir William Cameron. Existingly, they are known as Bukit Mentigi and Bukit Kemunting respectively.  

The name "Rhododendron Hill" was noted in a local paper dated 12th May 1925. J.B. Scrivenor (Director of Geological Survey, FMS) stated "Rhododendron Hill", "Myrtle Hill", "Parit Falls" and "Robinson Falls" had survived, further quoting the latter was name in honour of H.C. Robinson whereas the rest were descriptive and apt. Apparently the name Myrtle Hill did not survive; and the name Bukit Kemunting is seldom used. 

On the larger map (10 in. = 1 mile), Scrivenor recognised that Myrtle Hill and Rhododendron Hill appeared as Bukit Kemunting and Bukit Mentigi respectively; he did not understood how "mentigi" appeared as a Malay name for Rhododendron; it was R.J. Wilkinson gave that Malay plant-name to represent rhododendron and whereas Kemunting was a literal translation. Mentigi in Bahasa Malaysia refers to a small plant.
Myrtle Hill (Bukit Kemunting) is located at coordinates N4.49129 E101.38444. The hill is located on the left side of the main road Jalan Pahang after the golf course but before reaching Brinchang town. It is the hill behind Parkland Apartment on its South-East with Strawberry Park Resort on its North-West. Jalan Kemunting is one of the roads branching off Jalan Pahang into Myrtle Hill. Since the hill is "well-developed" with private residences and resorts, I have not attempted to check out the hill. Moreover, there is no "tourist" forest trail to walk.

On the other hand, Rhododendron Hill, more widely known as Bukit Mentigi, has a peak with a viewpoint nearby and a couple of forest trails, namely Trail No. 13 and Trail No. 14.