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Saturday, April 25, 2009

3rd Gunung Datuk Climb for the Year

Climb Date : 25th April 2009 Mountain Conquered - Gunung Datuk

I don't believe this. My 3rd time to Gunung Datuk this year and yes, I'm going to blog on this climb too. It was a satisfying climb. Read on and you'll find out why.

As usual, we met at Agape at 7.15am. I was late. Minch, Matt, Mctc and I were having our breakfast at a nearby coffee shop. The shop only opens at 7.00am and we were there at 7.05am.

When we reached Agape church, we saw so many people there. I met a friend via Facebook and when I told him of this climb a few weeks ago, he was keen to join this hike. He brought 2 other friends with him.

As usual, we sorted out the transport for those who needed a ride to Gunung Datuk. We tried to car-pool as much as possible because there wasn't much space to park at the foothill of the mountain.

We registered and paid RM3 each. Then we got ourselves organized.

There were 37 adults and 7 children, 44 in total. This is the largest group we have ever organized. Messner couldn't make it to this climb because his son developed a fever the night before. Sirdar, the co-organizer briefed us and Ban Meng prayed before we started the climb. Steve was volunteered to be the point man and PeterK, the sweeper. Sirdar made known to everyone that Dr KK Tan would be the medical doctor for this climb.

We started at 9.02am. Everyone was excited.

It was uphill all the way. There were many new climbers including Mctc (surprise, surprise), Aunt Chris and Aunt Shirley. Oh, and Eddy and 8 year-old Natheniel from Australia joined us on this climb too. Eddy, who climbed this mountain once before he emigrated to Australia, found this climb challenging. He couldn't remember this mountain being so steep.

I spotted the 1st leech moving very slowly. I pointed it to Mctc and he was disappointed that it was scrawny and small. He expected it to be like the one in Rambo. I told him that it would be big only after it has sucked enough blood.

Yep, that's Eddy, looking ahead to see how far more he had to go. His son, Natheniel was ahead of him together with all the other kids.

9.45am. We reached the blue hut. Steve was there. He wasn't feeling well and took a longer break than usual. He passed his duties as leader to Dr KK Tan.
We waited with him till the next batch of people came up, then we continued on. Not 5 minutes later, Steve was behind us and overtook us after a while.

If you noticed all my other posts on Gunung Datuk, I have always taken picture of this spot - the tree roots (Above -1st pic on the left).

A fallen tree.My legs weren't long enough but I had help from Mctc. Well, he SHOULD help me. After all, I'm carrying his water supply. :)

The kids, posing for the camera. 6 boys and 1 girl. The girl must have gone ahead.

The funny branches.

The huge boulder. This is the "landmark". When you reach this boulder, you know you'll be reaching the top in about 5 minutes.

Yes, we have reached the top. Time was 11.11am. Slightly more than 2 hours to reach the top. We were slow because we waited a little longer at the blue hut and there was a child who was having a difficult time climbing and needed to rest a lot of times. When I saw Jason, I asked the boy to hand his bag pack over to Jason. He did, and was able to walk slightly faster.

This is the top, but not the highest point. Someone made a table and the kids had their lunch there. There were LOTS of bees here. They kept coming to us because of our sweat. Sometimes there could be 6 or 7 bees stuck onto your shirt and some on your exposed forearms and legs. I was terrified by them but couldn't do much about it. If I were to "attack" them, they would sting me. This is my 6th climb to this mountain and never have I seen that many bees before here.

Climbing the 1st sets of ladders to the peak. Mctc kept wanting to go up, but I told him I wanted to wait for Sirdar. Steve was observing our climbing from the top.

Here's what it looks like, just above the 1st set of ladders.
We had to climb the 2nd set of the almost vertical ladders in order to say that we have summitted. Sirdar's 8-year-old daughter was piggy-backed up to the 1st set of ladders; from there, she climbed by herself to the top. She was so brave and cool. She wasn't afraid at all.

Yes, we are at the peak of Gunung Datuk. Not all 44 of us wanted to climb up to the peak. Some came up earlier and left, some were just down below resting or having their snacks. Steve climbed higher to take these shots for us.
Although I have climbed Gunung Datuk 6 times, this is my 2nd time climbing to this peak. I didn't want to risk my life going up and down the ladders.

Steve, while he was at the top of a boulder took this picture of Minch, Brian and S.Jian. They were waiting for us just below the 2nd sets of ladders.

Aunt Chris and Aunt Shirley made it to the peak. YAY! They were so brave.

View at the top of Gunung Datuk. Those who love nature should take a hike up to Gunung Datuk to witness the view with their own eyes. It was really beautiful up there.

Going down... some of us were afraid, including me. Sirdar was at his usual place helping and encouraging those who were afraid. Eddy and Steve were just below the ladders to encourage us too.

Going down the 1st set of ladders to get back to the others.

Sirdar at his usual place. This time I think I'm more daring. I remembered the first time, I was so scared till Sirdar had to tell me where to put my foot and which step to take next.

12.25pm. We started descending and reached the blue hut at 1.22pm. I spotted a leech and yelled. Someone below me was so excited and he quickly rushed to where I was. I just wanted to get away from the leech and asked him to move aside. But he was so eager to see the leech that I had to move to one side and when I did that I slipped and slid a little. Thank God nothing happened.

We reached the base at 1.59pm. Took us about 1 hour 34 mins to descend. The kids looked longingly at the pool. I'm not sure whether they took a dip because I just wanted to get to the bathroom to have a good shower. Mctc was surprised that I could still walk so fast. He was very tired, his legs were aching. I asked him for the car keys so that I could take my clean clothes out and left him walking slowly back to the car.

Mctc and Steve didn't bother to shower. They just changed their clothes. Mctc said that the bathroom was too far, and his legs were just too tired to take him there.

Oh, it seemed that the car park area was so packed that we had to double park. Later, we found out that some strong men moved Mctc's car aside so that the bus could leave the car park.

We had lunch in Pedas again. We wanted to eat at a restaurant in Chembong, but it was about to close for the day. We reached this place at about 3.15pm.

I had Kikapoo joy juice. I haven't tasted it for a long, long time. I was so thirsty that I ordered a second drink. A chinese herbal drink... So refreshing.

We reached home slightly after 4pm. It was a good climb. I enjoyed myself very much.

Here's a short movie clip of Gunung Datuk at the peak. Enjoy!


messner said...

great blogging eunice. Enjoyed reading it. My son was really disappointed he could not go.

messner said...

by the way, keep Mctc going on mountain climbing. I have told him that we will bring him up Mt K one day. He can do it....

Ruth said...

You must be inspiring....because, when you first mentioned mountain climbing, it was a small group....now you have the large group of church members going, including Mctc! Awsome. Great job.

Unknown said...

i thoroughly enjoyed the climb...definitely not a stroll in the park for me....and, well,..... yea! looking forward to the next climb (G.Ledang)...thanks all for support and encouragement...

Unknown said...

so, for Aunt Chris, it's Ledang next, then Mt K, followed by the G7....looks like the sky is the limit...

euniceta said...

Messner- Yeah, Mctc's first climb and you are not there. I was kind of disappointed that you could not make it too.

Ruth - When Mctc and I get to MN, make sure you organize a mountain climbing trip for us.. hehe

A.Chris - you are even fitter than me...I'm sure Ledang's easy peasy for you.

KG - don't scare her... tell her one mountain at a time. :)