Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gunung Gap and Gunung Ulu Semangkuk, here I come!

First thing first: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you had fun today.

I had loads of fun too. On a rainy (oh no...) Saturday morning, I met up with my two of my colleagues, Huey Ying (HY) and our driver Halmie (H), in the office because I was car pooling with them for a day trip up to Fraser's Hill. We started our journey at 6.14 a.m. and reached there at about 8.25 a.m.

Today is the day I hiked not one, but two mountains: Gunung Gap dan Gunung Ulu Semangkuk. This the first of the five trainings we have to go through for our Gunung Tahan Expedition scheduled in March next year. The expedition is organized by my company's recreation club. This is also my FIRST hiking experience in my 32 years of existence and I've covered two mountains. I'm so proud of myself... *GRIN*

We all made it!
(Photo credit: Azman)

You've just seen the photo of us at the end of our climb at the peak (above). Let's take a look of our journey up there. I didn't get the chance to take the in-between photos during the climb because I was busy keeping myself alive and was in full survival mode. The process was grueling although it is said this is one of the easiest climbs (that's crazy!). Here goes...

Briefing before the climb
Stretching exercises led by Leong (the dude in red)
We're ready to get into action!

Gunung Gap: About an hour later, we reached the peak of Gunung Gap. The climb's rather steep in most parts. I had to stop a few times because my body kind of went into shock from the exertion. My two team mates, HY and H really took good care of me. They're much more experienced in hiking and knows what to do unlike me who is doing it for the first time. I did train in the gym but it's a different ball game all together. Slowly but surely, my body got use to the abuse and the second part of the climb (2-hour climb up Gunung Ulu Semangkuk) was much easier.

We reached the peak of Gunung Gap! If you look beyond us, Gunung Ulu Semangkuk is right in the background. We're to trek and hike all the way there, and back here, and then down. Phew!!!
Mobile phone reception is quite good!
Time to dish out the goodies from our backpacks
Snacks of all kinds
"Hai yak!" HY's about to whoop H down the hill... (just kidding!)

Like I said, it's not the end yet. We're getting ready to reach the second peak at Gunung Ulu Semangkuk. The route from Gunung Gap started on a descend and then the climb started again. Some distance before reaching the peak, the climb is steep. This is a lot worse than Gunung Gap. I had to catch hold of the roots to propel myself up. This hike took about 2 hours.

We made made it to the second peak: Gunung Ulu Semangkuk (5,473 feet)! See that small dark area in the middle of the picture? We emerged from there!
Chilling before we descend back to Gunung Gap and then to where we started
Boy, I need the rest...
A fellow photographer lurking around
Our leader immediately launched into a cooking spree. He's boiling water to make... coffee!
Improvised cups
"Coffee very nice!"
"Red Bull nicer..."
I was eating with soiled fingers (but I was not complaining!)
*wipe wipe*
We wrecked our shoes... This is mine.
HY's and she's got some scratches on her calves as well. One tough gal, she is.
Halmie's shoes look quite OK
HY imitating a rabbit and H likes... That's one very cute rabbit. LOL!
We've got a first aid kit too just in case anybody needs treatment

I came, I saw, I conquered!

What I get from this trip: A bruised bum (from multiple falls) -- thank goodness for having a big bum!, some minor scratches on arms when caught by thorny plants, blue-blacked knees and thighs. Now my legs are refusing to listen to me and as long as I don't move them, they behave just nicely.

I got to know so many others from my company and definitely formed a bond with them. My team mates HY and H are super cool people. I don't know what I'd do without them. They took my backpack load when I was facing some difficulties, held and guided me along some really tricky paths. It amazes me they managed to take care of me and handle themselves at the same time. I love them to bits!

This whole experience really is about endurance, both physically and mentally.

Last but not least, thank you Halmie, for these wonderful photos!
~ The End ~

Oh wait, there are more photos at my Facebook album. Be sure to visit!