Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Fifth Time's The Charm

It actually took us five visits to Gunung Nuang to finally made the effort to go all out and reach the peak. 

1st visit was only up to Kem Lolo.

2nd visit was up to Kem Pacat.

3rd visit was with son and we hiked up to Kem Lolo.

4th visit was when we kay-poh'ed during Nuang Ultra to cheer our friends and other runners doing the event.

We never made the commitment to spend half a day hiking up to the peak before. Half a day, you ask? Yes, a leisurely pace walk up to the peak would take around 10-11 hours especially during rainy season. Of course totally fit hikers take less than that. 

I know. I know. I've blogged about our hikes up to Gunung Nuang already but this one is special. It's our "THE PEAK" post. Ahahah

Gunung Nuang is the highest peak in Selangor and it draws border through Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Pahang, with the height of 4,898ft or 1,493m and is touted to be the 5th toughest mountain to climb in Peninsula Malaysia. 
We started our hike at around 7.45am, after getting the all-important "fuel" for the hike. Packets of Nasi Lemak! 5 bottles of Gatorade and mineral water, some energy gels (which we always ended up not eating anyway) and two bar of chocolates were our ration for the day.

I wasn't keen on doing a fast hike and I told hubby so. My calves were still embrassingly recovering slowly after the 5 stairs repeats that I did earlier in the week.

A leisurely stroll on the Balak Trail which consisted of gravel path and a bit of a climb and we got the first river crossing going to Kem Lolo in 1hour 09min. Pretty good, I told my husband despite achy calves.
It took us another 30min or so to reach Kem Lolo.It rained the night before and earlier in the morning so the trail was quite wet and the river was gushing with water and the water level was higher and the current stronger. For the first time during our hikes at Gunung Nuang, I really had to wade through the river to cross to the other side and got wet. It's was just the beginning though.
It took us another 75minutes to get to Kem Pacat. Slow and easy, remember? It took us 2hours 55min to reach Kem Pacat from the entrance. I was already soaking wet with sweat by this time and it didn't dry up because of the cool weather. Hubby looked pretty dry, darn him!

By this time I told hubby that my energy's depleting and I need to re-fuel i.e. eat. Both of us know well enough not let ME get hungry at any time. HAHAHA
So we had our Nasi Lemak! Rested a bit there to eat and took some photos before continuing our journey. 
Interesting tree, right? I've read somewhere about how it came to be that way but for the love of me, I can't seem to find the source and the story again. Anyone care to share? I think almost everyone who reached Kem Pacat will have at least a photo of this tree.

I had actually thought we'd turn back from Kem Pacat because of the slippery trail but hubby was like, "let's do a bit of recovery walk and see what's ahead. Maybe a few hundred metres?" and I naively agreed. 

That "just see what's ahead" turned out to a be a hike ALL the way to Kem Pengasih! A sign at Kem Pacat showed that it's 1.2K to Kem Pengasih and would take about 40min. Yeah, 40min for superfit mountain goat.

We bumped into a few familiar faces on our hike from Kem Pacat and they all cheerily informed us to keep going because it's "just" a bit more. Do not trust any "femes" Ultra runners when they tell you stuff like "it's a bit more" or "yeah, it's just up there". LOL
On one of the easier section going up to Kem Pengasih. The harder ones got me scrambling on all four. At this time, I told hubby that the descend would be murder as I can't help thinking about how treacherous it would be going down on a slippery, clay trail.

It had started to drizzle when we were resting at Kem Pacat and mist started creeping it; making it kinda mystical and COLD! I actually welcomed the rain. It did make me refreshed as it rinsed away all that clammy sweat. I usually would bring a spare change of clothes but I never used it before and decided to not bring any during this trip. Well, whaddya know. When you don't have them is the time you sorely need them!

I was getting slower because of a tummy full of Nasi Lemak and it made me wanting to "pangsai". Like, seriously. So the only way to not do any emergency toilet stop was to go slow and stop when the feeling/urge was strong. 

A fella who was walking easily up passed us and when we make way for him, he asked me whether I was training. Nope, I told him cheerily. "I am not even sure what I'm training for", I laughed. 
It was another 75min for us to get from Kem Pacat to Puncak Pengasih (False Peak). A total of 4hours 44min hike so far. We rested there for about 5min and hubby wanted to proceed. Again, I asked him whether we really have to do it especially in the rain. His answer was simply "might as well get it done now so we don't need to plan another trip to get to the peak". The fellas who were resting at Kem Pengasih were no help either. They were like, "oh, it's another 30min up to the peak". I muttered to hubby later... "yeah, 30min for what level?" You can't compare mountain goats with a newbie! hihihi

It was a descent (at first) from Kem Pengasih heading up to the peak so you get a false sense of confidence that it's not going to be that hard going to the peak. After all, it's just another 700m to the peak.

WRONG! You went down but then you had to scramble hard going up to the peak. Going up to Kem Pengasih was already hard as it is, then you are faced with another almost vertical climb. On rocks, roots though. No more slippery clay trail here. 
Puncak Nuang finally. A number of hikers in groups were already up there resting on the small area of the peak; eating, resting and generall being merry and loud with their feat so we decided not to linger so we were up there for a few minutes; just enough to take a few selfies. ^^

It took us 5hours 30min with two rest stops to eat to get to Puncak Nuang. You fitter people can do much better! Hahaha

Getting down was another challenge and a challenge I dreaded.

One : I have wonky knees. It creaked and it do hurt doing the descent.
Two : Safety issues. I was petrified of slipping down and hurting myself.

It was during the descent that I began to question my judgement doing this hike during a wet and slippery time. A responsible parent who has a kid waiting at home shouldn't be doing this was my thought. I was pretty annoyed with myself.

Bees were buzzing around me at certain points of the hike. I ignored them until at one point during a trek down a clay trail that I totally lost it and almost cried in fear and exasperation. It didn't help that hubby was annoyed at me for slowing down and letting  some kids who were slower than us pass through first.

How would you feel if a bee tried to kamikaze into your nose? A bee decided to perch on my glasses that made me nervous. Brushing it away didn't seem to work as it alternately decided to land either on the inner side of my visor, my glasses and my lips! I had been stung earlier climbing up to the peak and I sure as hell don't want to get stung again. Not on my face!

Why wasn't there any bees disturbing the hubby anyway??? Hmph!
My Inov-8 Roclite 268 shoes held up marvelously. I was thankful that it gripped firmly on all surfaces, be it wet rocks, slippery clay trail or roots. The photo of the shoes was taken when we were resting at Kem Pacat. By the time we reached Kem Pacat again during the descend, I was covered in mud and all I can see of the shoes was a brown colour. o.O

No issues too. Nothing got painful. No heel pain or arch pain. No black toenail. No hot-spots. No blisters. Even with wet condition and wet shoes for a good 10 hours, I felt good in this shoes. No sloshing. Water drained fast. I seriously love this shoe!

A girl slipped and hurt herself when we were going down from Kem Pacat to Kem Lolo but as she was with her a group and a guide, we didn't stop to check on her. Hope she's OK.

I know hubby was annoyed at me for letting slower hikers pass and we had to contend at being held up by them. To me, it's safety first and I didn't really want to feel the pressure of hiking in front of others.  Anyway, how do I know they were THAT slow?

So for about 30minutes or so, we had to see a group of three girls and their cadet sergeant walking slowly and behaving "gedik"ly with the fella. Like, really. It was excruciating to see a girl needing to be supported and have her hands held during the hike down. MOST OF THE TIME!

They didn't seem to care about holding us up too. Both hubby and I make a point to let others pass through whenever we bumped into other hikers but I guess this is not applicable to some. Just ignore people behind you and enjoy eating twisties, holding hands, gedik-gedik here and there and make us stop and wait for you, yeah? Seeing them seriously made me thankful that I don't have a daughter to worry about. Serious!

There were four river crossings from Kem Lolo back to the entrance and we spent a bit of time at one crossing to wash all the mud that were caking on us. I guess this was where I somehow gotten a pacat (leech) stuck on my arm. I didn't notice it until I took off my shirt to shower and there it was, a very fat leech on my inner arm! OMG! I didn't mind leeches (not when it's stuck on my legs, anyway) but seeing it on my arm really freaked me out.

A few minutes of splashing around in the river, getting ourselves cleaned up as best as we could and we were on our way again. The rest of the route were pretty uneventful. Felt easy(ier) even, after experiencing the hike up to the peak.

I decided to run a bit and did the last kilometre jogging slowly on the flat gravel path. Felt good to be running even after an almost 11 hours on the feet. ^^

We finished our hike in 11 hours 36min! Damn, crazy slow! But then again, we are no experts in mountain climbing and we came back in one piece. So yeah, I was proud of us.

I got stung by a bee, my compression pants now has holes, a few scratches & bruises, I had a very interesting experience and I even did some soul-searching and self-assessment.

It was all fun and games earlier but I realised that there are risks when one hike during a "dangerous" time. A rainy day, with wet and slippery trail is not exactly a safe time to do so, especially not for a newbie like me. All I thought going down was to get home in one piece with no injuries whatsoever. Come back alive and don't get lost was all I thought of.

Yeah, I can be pretty unadveturous when it comes to thinking about my son.

Anyway, I found a blog that tells about the hike pretty well so you can check it out here. It's a pretty detailed account of the hike up to the peak of Gunung Nuang.

Will I do another hike? Sure. But I'll definitely put my foot down if I feel it is getting a tad dangerous to my liking.

37 comments:

  1. I loves this kind of places, hehe...

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    1. can come join me if you visit KL. :)

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  2. wow congrats! Both of you made it to the peak! Btw, Lina, you might want to try Insaan Sea Cucumber jelly to improve your knee condition.

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    1. No thanks. I'll stick to Glucosamine and Chondroitin ^^

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  3. wow to the peak this time!! I think it feels more excited when you didn't really planned for it.. not bad, one packet of nasi lemak got you all the way up to the peak.. :p

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    1. Two packets actually! We bought 4 packets. Bwahaha!!!

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  4. yeah I do agree with you that safety is way more important than speed.. I guess you surely can do better if your calves and heels were not hurting.. next time maybe?? surely you can hike up faster, passed by other hikers and cheer at them!! or maybe did it and done, you are challenging other peaks on the list one by one.. would be fun!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Am still very new at this hiking thing so rather than tunjuk bagus, better be slow and even get scoffed at by other hikers than be sorry. :P

      Next time, maybe. Yes, maybe. Hehehe

      Wanna join? ;)

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  5. blogger, runner, hiker.. you are so many identities!! so what's next Mak Glam?? diver maybe?? haha.. diver jumping down from the sky, and diver jumping into the sea?? hey, interesting life that is!! :)

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    1. Diver, sky-diver tu semua cost a lot of money dei. Where can I afford one! LOL

      Though I do like and want to bungee jump and sky dive someday. Diving not so much. I don't really like spending time in water. :P

      blogger, runner, hiker... man. I sure have a lot of free time, right? ekeke

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  6. Wow! Very interesting. But I was laughing while reading this haha!

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    1. Good.

      It wasn't mean to be a serious read anyway ;)

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  7. I can imagine how difficult it is to climb up slippery trail and even worse, when going down hill!

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    1. Yup. It's always more dangerous when the trail is slippery.

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  8. Kem pacat got pacat one ah? I didn't mind pacat last time, but after my experience with pacat at Belum Rainforest, I don't want them to be any where near me! LOL!

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    1. Anywhere there also got pacat on a wet day. Thankfully, pacat is scarce on a hot, dry day! :P

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  9. Haha!! yeah never trust those fit and experienced hikers who tell you it's a just a bit more to reach the peak. Last time, I was in China, the guide said something like half an hour to reach the top for the sunrise, I took more than 1 hour to reach the top. LOL!

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    1. Yeah but they meant good and what they told us made us more hyped up to finish the hike, right? Even though we'd wonder where the hell is the top as we didn't seem to be reaching it! LOL

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  10. Oh no! You wanted to pangsai? Horrors! How you manage to tahan? Didn't do it in the bushes? Haha!!

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  11. Congrats at reaching the peak! Finally after 5 attempts! Luckily you did not give up halfway.

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    1. If we only went halfway, I wouldn't call it giving up. There were a few safety issues that we need to be wary of.

      Then of course, we were not time-pressed on Saturday and that's also a factor in us to make the (silly) decision to climb up all the way to the peak.

      Actually, I am in no rush to summit any mountain. :P

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  12. Wow, congrats on being able made to the top, not easy duh!!! =]

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  13. Kikikikiki You wanted to "Pangsai" and that cracked me up! First time I hear you saying a Hokkien word!

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    1. I used it a few times wor.... usually in race posts. Lol

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  14. I must try to hike Gunung Nuang! I know I have said so many times already but I won't welcome rains like you. So wet and slippery plus my camera would be soaked too! Look at your poor shoes!!!! Eeeewwwww!!! I would cry buckets to see mud on my shoes!

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    1. Oit... go trail hiking must hv mud on shoes baru fun. ;-)

      Go during dry season la then...

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    2. Zalora zallora...or ..brooks...got hiking shoes right :)

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  15. oooh.. i Iike your 'fuel' of nasi lemak! ^^
    i always let people pass, it's really stressful to have people walking behind me, especially when I am slow :|

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    1. Me too. Better being slow at the back rather than getting stressed out in the front :p

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  16. that is a long hike leh

    LOL...looking at you makan nasi lemak. At first i thought kena sunburn when face so red.

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    1. Meow ni funny la.

      My face always turn red when I do workout. Indoor or outdoor. :P

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  17. 11 hours 36 minutes slow but at least you take the time to see the view and enjoy it mah. It's the journey that counts la

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    1. People usually do it overnight though which allows you to enjoy more. Usually campers hike up to Kem Lolo and camp there before continuing the climb the next day. There's a nice stream at Kem Lolo :)

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  18. Gunung Nuang is tough kan...congrats Lina! I ni belum sampai2 lagi huhu. Hari tu masa musim kering tak terpergi. Urgh. I pun tak suka descend...mcm eee bila nak sampai ni oh my knees...

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    1. Tough!

      Tapi ala... Millie you nak dengan tak nak je.

      Kitaorg pun time cuaca senonoh cam takde masa la, nak balik cepat la, ntah apa la (& masa Nuang Ultra tu sbb panas maka adalah alasan utk diskaun je) Hahaha

      Tula... tengok orang best laju jer turun, jelesnya ai... I either need a stick or am so gonna just butt slide down. Ni yang kena ambik banyak ilmu dengan Niza ni kan? ;)

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