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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

Embedded rock

The vertical cliff

Descending from huge boulder on the ridge

The narrow ridge - edges are expressway to the bottom

Patches of moss in good condition

First sight of cliff arch - spot the opening to the other side

View from the bottom

Arch opening to the East side

The cliff arch as seen from the other side (East)

After crossing over to the other side, we continued on an existing (new) trail heading out to Sg. Rejang Orang Asli village first with a relaxation moment at the upper Pisang falls before exiting to the expressway and to where we begun the hike. Overall trip: 9 hours over 12 km, thereabouts. The bulk of the time spent was on recce and bushwhacking from start till the cliff.

Relaxing at Upper Pisang Falls

Important: The hike along the cliff ridge is more dangerous (challenging) than that of Tabur in general (for comparison) due to existence of extreme narrow paths, soft soil, loose rocks, trees with weak roots, sharp rock surface and steep slopes.

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Update 19th March 2018: Revisit.