Saturday, February 07, 2009

Chamah-Ulu Sepat...Mud Me Mad

Triumphant jump from the three of us, my climber buddies

I mentioned in the previous posting to write about my climb to Chamah-Ulu Sepat. Two peaks that'll make or break you. When I started my climbing history, my first mountain was Mount Opir, or famously known as Gunung Ledang. Like all things FIRST TIME, the memory sticks for a life time.

I didn't go through stenuous training session for this mountain. Because when you are young, you are almost always fit and on the ready to go just anywhere. It's like a week decision without much thought and consideration. I said, "Let's do it, girl!". And that's what, us, young hearts did, then.

If people ask me if I ever set target to climb all the mountains in Malaysia. I would say, NO. I am not keen to conquer all of them. I am not an avid climber who sets target of mountains to climb in within certain period. I am only a nature lover and a tree hugger. I do it when my heart feels right to do it. Meaning the timing and the feel has to be right. I am not proud of ever climbed any of the mountains too, because climbing to a peak does not make you a great person. It is the journey and what you did during the journey that can make or break you as a great person. And that is what I am writing here.

A journey that make or break you at the Chamah-Ulu Sepat expedition. MUD ME MAD

When you go for a long expedition in the deep jungle. A meticulous preparation needed to be done, starting from planning of route, logistic, equipment, costing, rationing, man power and etc. The most important thing also is safety and contigency plan to back up any mishaps. In doing so, a group need to have a good leader. In choosing a good leader, a few criteria needed to be set upon to ensure the leader is well chosen as leadership is not just about popularity. It's about accountability and responsility not to be taken lightly. Choosing the wrong person means risking your success level or even lives. There you go. It pisses me off dealing with so called leaders who wear shoes bigger than their feet. Got it!

Okay, back to Chamah-Ulu Sepat 7-day climb, in my history of climbing, this was the most unpleasant climb I've ever had. The feeling stays until today. An eye opener to certain human being true character and a test of frienship. It made me smile in a cynical way now.

Gua Musang Train Station - Just got down from the train. Nice view of a breathtakingly, peaceful town.

Mount Chamah Peak - Don't be decieved by the pose... it's not as easy as it seemed to be on top. Our trade mark for this trip was strawberry umbrella, sun glasses, working shirt and neckties.

Mount Ulu Sepat Peak - No view on top. It was almost nightfall, so we were in a hurry to decend. Cold, cold... freeezzzzzzzing!

On the faraway down from Mount Ulu Sepat. Taking happy photo with Tok Batin, leader of the village :)

Chamah Mountain was situated in the State of Kelantan. It was the first we climbed and Ulu Sepat in the State of Perak, 3 days later. We started our journey from Gua Musang train station on Christmas Day 2008. I managed to wish my Christian friends Merry Christmas during the 13 hours train ride from KL Sentral. I would say that KTMB should look into a better maintenance of their rail track, train compartment and airconditioning especially going eastcoast. Our train stopped in the middle of no where because the wheel went off the rail track, and the airconditioning was faulty all throughout the journey!

Later we took a 4WD that would take us to the first Orang Asli Camp. However, the journey that suppose to be only 4 hours, turned out to be 8 hours as we only ride 2 hours in the vehicle and the rest of the journey, we go on foot! The condition of the road was just too bad following the raining season. Even a 4WD couldn't take it.

The nightmare was when the whole team of 45 people were being separated. Some far away infront, and some so far away at aback. It can't be helped when you travel with a big group and when fitness level is not in unison. Those fit can't be slowed because of those who were not. Therefore training is vital for long day expedition. Some of the team members were not seen at all until we reached our end point of going back to KL. Amazing, isn't it. But good to know that all was back in one piece

The worst part is yet to come. Imagine having to walk for 6 hours without water. Then when you don't eat enough. Then when you had to track that long undulating road like everyone else who don't care enough to ask if you are okay or not because they too are not okay. I tell you, it was true hell. I can never forgive this part of the expedition. The mention of it feels unpleasant enough. However, we got through it proudly, I would say :)
Mud me mad! Lots of mud, lots of madness.

MAN vs WILD by Bear Grylls. Have you ever watch it in Discovery Channel? I think everyone should watch this for their own survival. You might not know that simple knowledge will save your life. It sure motivated me during the journey. No need to mention what I did to survive the predicament along the way. At some point, you had no friends to help you. They left you behind for their own survival. I got through it. Everyone in fact had their own tale to tell. Drinking water from mosses, leaves and puddles. Shamelessly surviving on the charity of the Aboragines (Orang Asli). We ate and slept at their hospitality. We devour the topiocas from their garden and we drank and ate their coconuts. Allah bless the aboragine people for their generosity and humanity. The experience was surreal in some ways. I had nothing to complain, really :)

In the course of our predicament, we did had fun. We enjoyed posing for cameras the most and having to fulfil our dreams to wear a necktie with working cloths on top. We did it on both peaks, i.e Chamah and Ulu Sepat :)

I am resting from climbing a few months to heal and rejuvenate. Mud still makes me mad. Hahaha... Now is the time to see other areas in life that need my attention. I shall come back soon with another feat in my climbing history, i.e. climbing Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru in Indonesia. I want to do it because it feels good at the time I made the decission. Not because everyone elses have done it and I too should do it. We do what we dream of doing at our own pace and own capability. That is the only right way to reach up to your dreams.

Going home at last after stranded one night at the Aboragine Village. It was on the eve of New Year 2009. Everyone was in dire state to rush home for various reasons :)

All photos are courtesy from my multiply friends. Thank you all. You know which one is yours. Mwah! Mwah!

1 comment:

  1. Hey,i'm interested with Ulu Sepat + Chamah.

    With this 2 mountains plus G.Tahan den i can complete G7 already.

    Kindly contact me through

    i would like to join any team.




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