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Saturday, January 31, 2009

1st Mountain Climbing for 2009

24 January 2009 - My first mountain climb for the year happens to be Gunung Datuk. The organisers, Messner and Sirdar wanted to climb Gunung Angsi, but due to some reason, they'd changed it to Gunung Datuk just two days before the climb. I dislike climbing Gunung Angsi not only because it's a longer hike but also because there is a river to cross and I have to take off my shoes to cross over. Who knows what creepy crawlies are swimming inside the river, right? We don't want them nipping at my toes and sucking all my blood.

Since they have changed it to Datuk and the weather was hot and dry, I thought, why not sweat a little and join them on this hike. So I went.

There were 13 of us - David, Sirdar, Messner, PeterK, Cecelia, Francis, May Hui, Faith, Nicole, Terence, Eunice, Jason and Calvin.

We met in church at 7.30am. We left for Gunung Datuk at 7.50am, reached there probably at 8.30am, took a group picture at 9.07am and started climbing.

The first 100 meters or so was easy.

After 15 minutes, I started panting... My calves started murmuring. The slopes were getting steeper.

We stopped for a break at this point and chit-chatted a little.

Tree roots all over to help us climb. This looks better in reality than in picture.

Almost there.
I summited at 10.47am. 1 hour 40minutes from the start of the climb. Upon reaching the top, May Hui took out a HUGE packet of mee hoon from her bag and started eating.

Resting and enjoying the CNY breeze. It was really windy up at Gunung Datuk.

There was another group who shared our resting place. They actually brought a burner to make hot coffee.

Here's a short video clip of our resting place.

Most of my group went to the topmost part of Gunung Datuk. May Hui, Francis and I stayed back to look after our bags. (It's true!!!). In order to reach the peak, one must climb a few almost vertical metal ladders.

Those who made it to the top had a fun time admiring the view. The sun was scorching hot but the CNY wind allowed them to stay on top a little longer.

A few things one can do on top of Mount Datuk -
1) Admire the view
2) Sunbathing
3) Take pictures
4) Pretend you are climbing the boulder.

Just before we left the summit, we did some investigation. Three weeks prior to this climb, a group of my friends hiked up this mountain and one of them got lost. It seems that this person was off the track even at the start of the descent.

This is what we found. Notice the bigger picture above. He was supposed to go South-east, but he went North-west. Some of us followed the path and found that there was actually a pathway heading down. No wonder he thought it was the way down.

Here's a video clip. A group of us were heading down to the correct path, but the climber went to the other exit.

I forgot to mention earlier, while we were at the summit, the soles of Faith's flimsy shoes were coming off. I had a roll of ribbon with me and a pair of scissors, but it didn't helped much when we tied Faith's shoes to hold the soles and top of the shoes together. Faith decided to abandon her shoes and walk bare-footed. I didn't feel comfortable, so I gave her my one and only pair of socks, the ones that I was wearing to protect her feet. PeterK also took off his socks and asked her to wear them over my socks.

We walked for about 45 minutes before PeterK asked if we had any plasters with us. I had some and I gave them to him. He had blisters on his last toe because he wasn't wearing any socks. Someone wondered why I didn't complain of any blisters, and someone said, probably because my skin was thicker. Ha!

Descending was just as tough as ascending. At times we had squat on one leg and use our hands to balance, while our other leg would try to reach the next step. If the ground was wet... just imagine all the leeches would have a feast sucking all our blood.

The last of us reached the base at 1.34pm. We left the summit at 12.10pm. 1hour 24minutes. Not bad huh, considering we had a 15-minute rest when PeterK stopped to attend to his blistered toe.

We washed up and went for lunch in Pedas.

All of us were so hungry. At first we ordered 3 plates of noodles and later we had to add 2 more because our stomaches were crying out for more food.

It was a good climb, I would say. I forgot to add, while I was hiking up, I had trouble remembering my age. Seriously... I tried so hard to remember. Only when I was down at the base that I remembered how old I was. Temporary AMS??!

Gunung Ledang's next - 9th of February. I think I will skip this Ledang hike. I had trouble hiking up Gunung Datuk too. Must be getting old. :)


Anonymous said...

Great adventure! Those metal ladders look interesting.

team.warsurfer said...

Wow, I didn't know I appeared in so many pics in this post.. haha..

Nice post!


euniceta said...

Korpun - Let me know if you decide to stop by Seremban on the way to Beijing.*smile*. You can then experience climbing those ladders yourself. :)

team.warsurfer - this happens only when you are going on the same pace with me.