Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mount Bunga Buah-Berangan

From Left: Apit, Ti, Baung, Azizah, Forever Yours and Mahfiz
Courtesy of Mahfiz's camera

A true friend is one soul in two bodies. ~ Aristotle ~
People say, nobody should live alone in this world. We need at least a friend or a family to support us emotionally if not financially. Hahaha... that is out of the subject.

My posting this time is not about the summit that I've recently conquered. It is more about the journey that brought bonding of friendship that goes stronger because of hardship. This is also a mountain story but not of 'Mount of Agony'. This one is called Mount of Bunga Buah-Berangan :)

Unlike my previous sojourn to Mount Chabang, I shared a tale of suffering while climbing one of the toughest mountain in my list as per that moment. The next mountain was Mount Bunga Buah or Mount Flower of Fruits (direct translation in English) in Genting Highland, Pahang. This one tells a different side of mountaineering story :)

Here goes....

Azizah & I taking a break 30 minutes away from the peak. Beautiful view at the back :)

The rest of the gang, arriving a few minutes after us. More at the back. We were always infront :)
Mount Bunga Buah was only 1,500 meters in heights. To go there, you may just park your car half way at the entrance near the road leading up to Genting Highland. Then take a walk using the old paved road that is now covered with all sorts of vegetations and swarmed with leeches. Yikes!!

Generally speaking this mountain was the easiest to climb. The trek was fair, going up and down giving you a variety of feelings. The weather was cold at the time we were there; it was around 21-14 degree Celsius because of the constant rain from day of trekking till the wee hours and till morning and till we got back to the starting point at 1.15 p.m. Sigh…. Mahfiz was diligently checking on the temperature from time to time :)

The most memorable thing about the climb was Buah Berangan or Chestnuts in English, bought by Azizah at the Genting Sempah rest area. It was our savior because we were mentally down due to growling stomach and uneven ground to sleep on. We were out of food supply. We were trekking non-stop, skipping lunch. We ate at 6.30 p.m. and we were not motivated to even go to the peak which was only 5 minutes away! Huh! The Chestnuts which were forgotten earlier lifted our spirit and woken our gastronomical senses. Thank God!

We were like nuts talking under the fly sheets. Because our eyes just can’t be closed with the condition we were in. We were angry for we were hungry and the stories kept us going. Buah Berangan which we ate divided equally to all, helped us drifted to a dreamless sleep for awhile. Then heavy rain came at 4.00 a.m. to leave us sleepless again till morning came because we were wet with drops of water coming through the non-water proofed fly sheet. Sigh…

The next morning… due to sleepless night, we decided to pack up early and shoot down without going to the peak which was only 5 minutes away. For Azizah and me, this was not our first time climbing Mount Bunga Buah, so I was not motivated to reach the peak as well. Surprisingly, Mahfiz, Apit and Baung all agreed not to go too because all of us were not motivated by the night’s ordeal.

However, after breakfast, our spirit started to soar just like when we first started to climb. We were back to our jolly selves but still stick to our decision not to go to the peak this time. We will repeat next time in a better condition. We headed down fast enough to catch up with our next agenda, i.e. to visit Azizah’s new apartment :)

The three of us missing Mie because he was not with us in this trip :)

The moral of the story here was that, when we go through hardship together, we become closer to the person who shared it with us. Through hardship, we get to know each other better. And through hardship we learn to appreciate little things we do not usually care in our every day’s lives. Hardship is good once in awhile. It kept us grounded and more humble.

That’s all folks. Till the next posting, I want to wish everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009!!!

Mwah! Mwah!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mount Chabang - The Summit Dream

Magnificent light from the first ray of sunrise from Mount Chabang
All photos courtesy to Mahfiz

“It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe”. ~ Muhammad Ali ~

What people do for fulfillment in life is beyond comprehension. Everyone has their own dreams to reach up to whatever they wish in this life of evanescence. I love everything that is from the creation of time immemorial. Animals, people, jungle, rocks and mountains, it all has something to teach us. I love a balanced ecosystem whereby we all could live with peace and harmony. I go to the jungle often enough to find my peace. It makes me happy, it makes me humble to the great creation of the Invincible.

My recent mountaineering adventure was in the State of Perak. I joined Azizah and Mahfiz for a meaningful weekend climb on 28th-30th Nov’08. The mountain is called Mount Chabang situated near Pos Selim, Simpang Pulai, Perak. It is at the heights of 1,711 meters (5,612 ft) from sea level. We started our journey from the Orang Asli Village of Pos Selim on Saturday, 29th. As we passed through, children and adults greeted us with smiles and curiosities. We took the opportunity to snap a few photos with them. Always fascinated with their original ways of living :)

From the starting point - Pos Selim, The Orang Asli Village

The suffering started there and there soon after a river crossing. It was an ascending trail all the way up and up and up endlessly! As we progressed… the terrain got higher and higher. Lots of bamboos and thorny rattan trees. The ground was slippery due to recent rain. One wrong step means kissing the ground, struggling and crawling was the way to do it as stand up would be quite difficult. Muddied and not much trees to hang on to. My Goodness…This mountain has no MERCY!

With much difficulties, sweats, scraped calves and arms, heavy breathing, twisted ankles and etc., we reached our campsite, ‘Kem Botak’ (Bold Camp) to spend our night before shooting off to the peak. It took us almost 7 hours of hiking. We didn’t shoot to the peak just yet. We saved it for the next day to regain back the lost energy.

Botak Camp was a great place indeed. It offers the best view of the surrounding mountains. You can see all of them in their best glories. We had great time on top with lots of photos as evidence of our almost conquest of Mount Chabang. It’s only 45 minutes away from the summit. But it can wait for a little while :)

As always the case in the jungle, I can hardly sleep. It was real cold sleeping under a fly and a ground sheet. But I dozed off at the end, I think. Except for our friend, Mahfiz. He couldn’t sleep till the wee hours. He took photos of the night scene. Very beautiful.

Morning glory - Camping at the top was awesome!

Then morning came, with all its glory. Soooooo beautiful. The first ray of light. We all ran out to witness nature’s wonder. A magnificent creation! I was truly humble by the magnanimous beauty!

After breakfast, prepared by our designated Chef, Ijan and Fiza, we shoot off to the summit. Nothing much to see but the beirut to mark the summit and the marking stone. We took crazy photos of victory. That was real feat when you know that you have reached the highest peak.

Faces of triumph - we've made it! Malaysia Boleh!

Everyone say Hahaha....

Just about 30 minutes after, we shoot down the ‘Mountain of Agony’. Again, it was not easy to descend as the trail was steep, muddied and full of thorns, that you can’t simply touch anything. However, it was much easier than ascending. Hehehe… it took us only about 3 half hours to get back to where we had started. That fast! Yes! Because we were sliding and gyrating down the mountain like a rotten jackfruit or “macam nangka busuk jatuh” from the tree.Yes, that bad lah!

Tired, hurt, sweating, spent but triumphant - back to the Orang Asli Village

We took bath at a nearby river, under a bridge. Who cares anymore. Changing clothes in the open conveniently and off we shoot to Cameron Highland. We want to buy strawberries and roses. That’s the aim. And we got what we aimed for.

It was started to rain. We have our strawberry umbrellas for shelter. Nice… :)

We drove back home around evening, Sunday, 30th Dec’08. I requested for our team to cut short the rendezvous because I had another important one in KL :)

Thank you to Mahfiz, I got to reach home just nicely to drop my hiking bag and flowers from Cameron Highland. Then off I go to my next rendezvous :)

18 members of climbers, i.e. myself, Mahfiz, Mie aka Adam, Along, Azizah, Mie-G, Fasha, Ijan, Fiza, Bad, Sue, Kechik, Ijoi, Lela, Ben-Kerex, Salam-Kerex, Nazri, Naza, Salman. The guides were Botak, Omar & Amir.

Please note that I appreciate all whom has helped me during the difficult climb. Firstly to Azizah and Mahfiz for the tears and the laughter. Next to Mie for temporarily exchanged his bag to mine which was much heavy, to Along for being sporting with us all, to Sue who had passed me the stick to ease my climb, to Omar who kept me company, sang and tied my shoe laces twice on the trail, hehehe….to Fitri and Salam for accompanying me on the trail to Botak Camp, to Nazri and Naza for great photo seasons, to Ijan and Fizah for the fantastic cooking, and not to forget all the rest of the gang Mie-G, Bad, Kechik, Ijoi, Lela and the guides for being sporting throughout. Thank you all for making it an enjoyable and bearable experience :)


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