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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. 

Take the left
Along the rubber plantation road, avoid taking detours until you reach this clear, forked junction - take the left - the wider route.

'No Entry' sign is the correct direction
When you see the sign, you are heading right towards the first boulder, which is just a stone's throw away. 

First open boulder
This is the 'adventurous' boulder - there are two ways to get to the top - one at the left-side with wooden shelter (from this view) with thick rope and the one at the right-side with thin rope. 

View from front rock face

View of right-side (trees)

Thin rope
This thin rope is to assist hikers to climb up from the trees section. Caution! Before you start to climb up using this rope, first test it by pulling it and leaning down. This rope is fraying due to constant friction with the coarse rock face, and will not hold for too long. It will last only a short term before it snaps. It is possible to climb up on the slopes without using the rope if you are experienced rock climber; if you must use the rope, you have to be guided - how to lean your body forward, use gloves (to prevent rope burn), leverage on the rope rather than using full body weight, making sure rope is free (i.e. not stuck at rock protrusions) and etc.

I have requested the guard to monitor the rope quality from time to time and replace it with a thicker rope like the one at the shelter section. 

Vertical rock wall
This is the thicker rope at the shelter side. Caution! This is not recommended for beginners who have not done any rock/wall climbing before. They do not know how to stand at the right angle for foothold and not knowing how to assess their forearm strength. The safer ascent is from the trees side. The height of this boulder is about 20 feet. Again, you need to test rope quality before starting to pull up - the rope is securely tied to a tree on the opposite side.

Caution! One person at a time.

Thick rope and thin rope
Caution! You are not supposed to use the thick rope here to ascend. Use the thin rope.

The guide who accompanied us mentioned the part of the rock face that resembles the foot. It does. It does look like a molar too!

Photo credit: Joseph Yong

A smaller boulder further at the back

Trail is generally clear

This is the peak (450 m)

Small flat ground
Just shortly after the peak is this small flat ground for resting - suitable for camping too!

Direction to the "Wave Rock"
The trail is clear. If you pay attention, you can already spot the boulder on the right side - this is the top portion of boulder - you go around it towards the bottom to get to the "waves".

The closest spot to climb up but don't!
After getting around the entire boulder, there is no visible and easy spot to climb up. This is the closest but will require rock climbing skills to access the top side. For your safety, better not.

The wide indent on this tree is caused by the growth and swinging during bouts of wind, over the many years. This tree may have reached its supposed height.

Group photo

Photo credit: Joseph Yong

YouTube video traces my recorded tracklog from Wave Rock down to base!

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