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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Kemensah-Lubuk Tedung (Pondok Repin LSD trail)

Crossing Sg Kelang (Klang River)

We have an ambition to get to Genting Bidai border stone from Kemensah side but we know that will take a full day (night not excluded) and risk stuck by the swollen river, given the knowledge of heavy rain everyday during this time (transition phase for the monsoons) and we actually agreed we will walk as much as we can until we feel it is time to turn back.

Along the way, mostly ATV and scrambler-carved trails, we crossed and hiked along several rivers and streams. Usual thing.

Back home, after plotting the GPS tracklog, I see Hulu Gombak Forest Reserve has many named rivers to the east of Klang Gates dam and we crossed some of them. Some of them have their sources from nearby famous peaks, as described below.


Map showing Sg Kelang drains into Klang Gates dam (sources: Google Map and OpenTopoMap - inset & underlay)
Larger image here

Sunday, 8 September 2019

A Clean-Up cum Workout at Shah Alam Community Forest (SACF)

Group photo before the start - check out the tools we brought!

The last clean-up I did was in 2014 - with Leave No Trace objectives in mind. This round, my hash walk group, Evergreen, decided to do something out of the ordinary walks and hikes. I had proposed SACF as the hash walk destination last month - Pete added on the clean-up idea after our chat group revealed a clean-up exercise (separate event) done by a member. Today we realised that clean-up mission. 

Our main target is the route MOU > The Wall > Masterpiece > Peak Garden, and we discovered the big chunk is the area near the base, or trailhead.

Personally, I was worn out from today's trip, partly due to yesterday's hike at Gunung Hitam. I have reserve energy but it ran out when I and a few did the heavyweight of grabbing, pulling, carrying, dragging, and transferring the big pieces. And loads of them...

Below are photos from our "expedition..."

Work begins

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Blue (or Green) Lake at BMC Blue Lake



I would tend to believe the colour transition between blue-green is dependent on the sky, time of day and the angle of sunlight as well as where the camera is positioned. 

It seems more people are flouting to this site to catch a glimpse of the unusual view of this famous, so-called blue lake despite barriers such as military-grade barbed wire and dug trenches. Hiking there takes less than half an hour, or slightly more, for those with slower pace. That area being part of forest, it is advisable to go in with proper hiking attire - and bring water!

Do take all precautions necessary when entering this area and getting close to the lake - standing near the edge is notably dangerous. Also, getting down to the bottom is even more treacherous as rock blasting takes place in the late morning - I was told works begin at about 11 am. Numerous signboards apparently appears as no deterrence other than the presence of workers - so automatically visitors will be asked to leave. They may allow hanging around the top area but the bottom part is strictly no-no!



360° view of Blue Lake from above - pinch (or drag with mouse) to zoom in/out


An aerial drone shot by Joseph (https://www.facebook.com/joseph.yong.984)


This believed to be from The Star media - thanks Mike Long for sharing this archive

For those who like history - what becomes of a quarry today was Bukit Enggang of yesterday - a name that is almost forgotten. Thanks Pete Leong for informing - I just didn't bother to look it out on the topo maps...


Below are some of my photos:

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

How to Import GPS Tracklog (in GPX format) into Google Maps

Prerequisites
You need the following ready:

  1. A Google account.
  2. Be online.
  3. A desktop/laptop.
  4. A browser.

Steps
  1. Upload your tracklog file (.gpx) at https://mygeodata.cloud/converter/gpx-to-kmz.
  2. After the file is uploaded, tick the checkbox "Merge output files" under Output Data column.
  3. Click "Convert now!" (green button) and download the file (in .zip format).
  4. Unzip the file to extract the KMZ file.
  5. Go to your Google Maps account. 
  6. Click Menu (3 lines) and select "Your places".
  7. Click "MAPS".
  8. At the bottom, click "CREATE MAP" (a new tab or window will open - starting with "Untitled map").
  9. Click "Untitled map" and give it a name, then click "Save".
  10. In the same box where the name is displayed, click "Import".
  11. Upload the KMZ file. Your tracklog will be displayed. 

Notes
  1. Besides the above format conversion, other formats are available.


~·~

A Poem on Langsir Falls (of the popular CBL)

Langsir Falls


I haven't really told many people that Langsir Waterfall in Terengganu's famous trio location Chemerong-Berembun-Langsir (CBL) is my number one camping spot with water source.

In 1998, a monk, Reverend Sujiva, attributing his love for Langsir Falls,  wrote a poem, as follows:

Those grass green waters
Fresher than the freshest I have seen.
O how they rush and pour
Down steep rock faces.
O how they splash, fall and tumble
Over steps green with moss.
And the joy, O the pure joy
Of swirling mists and sprays of water,
And the cool freshness of wakefulness
O how with joy it dances in my heart
So alike the pure joys of a Noble One
Lost in ecstasy.

He went on to comment:

People have told me about how nice this place is, and having been here, I agree It s the place for you if you want to be with Nature and have all the space and water you want. They have even labelled the trees.
We came at the right time when the guests were few and so, there were much quietness and solitude.
I have had one ecstatic moment here — that was when I was standing right in front of the Langsir waterfalls. The light around the place seemed so brilliant, the air extremely fresh and the waters were blue green. This was supplemented by the fresh green leaves all around the area. Its freshness, quietude and sprays of moisture brought about an extremely fresh kind of wakefulness that I seemed to be aware of all around me with great clarity and joy.


Poem source: Wind In The Forest by Venerable Sujiva, 1998
~·~







Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Look-Back at Bukit Permatang Resam (NKVE Lookout Point) 4+ Years Ago


"Zero traffic" for a moment! 

Above is the main attraction of one of the popular peaks in Klang Valley - the NKVE expressway, whose viewpoint is roughly East-Southeast of the peak. By the way, above photo is edited - very unlikely you will see zero traffic even during 3-4 am...

Puncak Denai Tiga Puteri  was adopted by A. Adnan and family while Unity Peak was sponsored by PPB Group Berhad - they are located at the same height about a hundred meters from each other. Both are named by KDCF Society - names more friendly and better-sounding than Permatang Resam. Personally, I like to call it NKVE Lookout Point, which is the main thing.

Below are a few photos that I had from my successful bushwhacking recce trip on 21st Sept 2014. Trail cut done with Carl Dunford. 


Grass vs barren landscape

No path vs clear hiking trail

No path vs erosion (note: Soil is healthy - see width of tree trunk)

Event logs

From time to time, people asked me the history of the peak's finding and I have a hard time giving them the links to see, so I'd decided to document them here once and for all, for easy reference.

First, casual recce (5th Sept 2014)
With wife. "Today was the first attempt to locate the peak of Bukit Permatang Resam -- a casual recce. Peak identified but not reached coz had to fetch the kids from school. We're just about 150 meters away; resam kaciau!"

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam Recce


Second, hardcore recce (21st Sept 2014 - completed)

With Carl. "Today's trip was a 100% success for 3 reasons: (1) Reached the peak of Bukit Permatang Resam that has a lookout point overseeing Subang/Shah Alam bound New Klang Valley Expressway, (2) Connected the trail from Taman Rimba Riang and from Kota Damansara Community Forest, and (3) Completed the loop hike-and-walk from TTR-peak-KDCF-road on Section 10-Section 9. Survey trip completed in 6 hours.

Lone joiner: Carl Dunford -- thanks for coming!

Video 360° from peak: http://youtu.be/AMPT0O25aTc
"

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam Survey Trip cum NKVE Lookout Point


Third, official visit (15th Nov 2014)
With TRAKS. And Carl...

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam with TRAKS


Fourth, normal hike (7th Dec 2014)
With KDCF Society. And kakis... "19 went. No rain. Slippery trail from yesterday morning rain. Rest and photography at peak. Paper trail format at Taman Rimba Riang Section 9 KDCF. Trail summary: Harmoni-Unity-Resam-Unity-Harmoni. 


Leg 1: Easy trail from TTR trailhead till end of Harmoni Trail where the shelter and benches are. [easy]
Leg 2: From Unity Trail till forked-trail to Fern Ridge route (via false peak) and Sahabat Trail from KDCF Section 10. [easy]
Leg 3: Trail gets raw; not-so-clear at some areas -- recce/retrace required. Crosses a faint stream. Ran out of tape markers. Trekked around the not-so-noticeable false peak (at 180 m asl). This route is South-side of false peak. [easy-moderate]
Leg 4: From spur enter into saddle, trekked the shrubs, headed up to fern route under the sun. Scrambling required. Trampled on fern; some leveling automatically done. [moderate]

Precautions (with reminders and suggestions on what could be done):
1. Obscure trail: More tape markers required for trees in Leg 3. Be mindful of trekking back on Unity Trail where the forked trail to Sahabat Trail is.
2. Loose soil on fern patch: Thread with cautious. Grab fern stems to draw support -- test first before pull to support.
3: Edge on retainer wall at peak: Avoid standing right at the edge.
4. Slippery mud along Leg 1 and Leg 2 trails: Trek in small steps. Leverage on momentum instead of constant braking.

Closing remarks: From my observation, this trek (despite rated at 1-3 for difficulty) proves a little tougher than usual for some due to (i) the stamina that is required of this trek especially on legs 3 and 4 and (ii) the obscureness of parts of the route, also legs 3 and 4. This trek is a good route for those training for longer day trips. General positive consensus on viewpoint from the peak; also OK for "picnic". For some of us who can recognise the trail can do a revisit and/or lead on their own. The peak is right now free of rubbish, please promote the cleanliness of the area."

Facebook link: Selfie @ Bukit Permatang Resam aka NKVE Lookout Point



This map was done in 2014 - certain elements are no longer valid - do not use this!

A significant part of the initial hardcore trail (via Section 9 Kota Damansara or Taman Rimba Riang) is now a big part of the official route from the first trailhead - thanks to KDCF Society, TRAKS and the orang asli for having it built/leveled into a hiking-friendly path but it is still by far the most-raw of all trails (from Section 9 and 10) to the peak.

With regards to the map and hiking routes, please follow the latest trail updates provided by Kota Damansara Community Forest Society and observe the guides therein.

YouTube video (21st Sept 2014)


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Saturday, 1 December 2018

Bukit Baginda - what's the speciality of this hill?






Bukit Baginda (local folks read 'Bagindo') basically has a number of boulders but only two with specific attractions - first with adventurous appeal and the other with photographic proposition.
My preference: Definitely the 'adventurous' boulder! Additionally, this boulder also offers photography opportunities all around 360 degrees, and top and bottom.

The final boulder, the "Wave Rock" (450 m asl) is not climbable without technical skills. It has the finest 'chiseled' rock wall unmatched by other boulders before this. At a glance, it looks like a clamshell.

It takes about an hour to reach the top and 20 minutes less on the descend trip. With photography build in, we took 2 hours just to get up and spent a good 45 minutes there before descending back to base (car park). We adjourned to Jeram Tengkek to wash up.

Some additional points:
  1. Mosquito - yes
  2. Leech - no
  3. Sandfly - no
  4. River crossing - none
  5. Any downhill climb? No - straight up after first boulder

Trip Photos

Trailhead cum car park
Quite a hefty sum just for this 2 km trip. See Facebook (< opens new window) for the write-up about the charges.