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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