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Gunung Irau - Yellow - Pass (2008)

Posted : Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by johnybravo at 10:36 am | 21 Comments

Date: 21 June 08 - 22 June 08 [2D/1N]
Location: Cameron Highlands

Mountains conquered:
Gunung Irau(2110m) - Conquered previously
Gunung Yellow(1667m) - Never been before
Gunung Pass(1587m) - Never been before

First of all, let me just say a big congratulations to all 5 of us for conquering this 3 mountains on limited resources of water and food. Never have i climbed 3 mountains in 2 days and with just 3L of water each person.

We started our journey a day earlier on Friday (20/06/2008) at 830pm, leaving the Kelana Jaya LRT station(rendezvous point). Our dedicated driver Mr. Chai or KM, drove us all the way to Cameron Highlands. Breakfast and lunch was to be prepared by ourselves, supposedly bought at Kampung Rajah upon arrival at Cameron Highlands via the Simpang Pulai Highway.

Due to time constrains we exited at Gopeng, looking for a 7-11 or petrol station which was still opened at 1045pm. We stopped at petrol station after petrol station and all of them were closed due to security reasons(robbery at night). We finally ended up at a mini mart which was still open in the middle of the nite, so we bought some High5 and Gardenia buns as breakfast and lunch.

There was a mamak still opened nearby, so i "tarpau" a packet of Nasi Lemak for supper, hehehe. We soon continued our journey up to Cameron Highlands via the Simpang Pulai Highway, its much faster to get up using this way but its further from KL and you pay a higher toll rate than going from Tapah.

We stopped by a signboard which says sempadan Perak Darul Ridzuan which is where we will come out from the mountain on Sunday. Mr. Chai took some GPS readings at this point. This is the first time i have trekked using a GPS device and its quite good to have information like your altitude and distance to your end point, so psychologically it will make your journey better. Psychologically only!

After a few minutes of driving from the end point we finally reach Kwan Tee temple, where we spend a very chilly nite there.

At 710am, the lorry driver arrived to pick us up but we haven't had our breakfast. After going through all the trouble to buy stuff last nite we found out in the morning that a mamak and chinese stall was open nearby the temple. We quickly had our teh tarik and wanton noodles and off we went.

When we reach the entrance to Gunung Irau we saw a sign saying that the trek is closed due to maintenance... Puzzled, since when does a hiking trek need maintenance? Unless they are building a walkway in, which is what they were actually doing but only for a short distance only. With cement walkway and stairs. It will all be completed in a couple of months.

I didn't really take much pictures during the hike cause i was too lazy and tired most of the time to take any good pictures at all.

1.55km more to go would most probably take you less than 10 minutes to walk or jog but in hiking terms, that's about 1 - 2 hours...

On the way up to Gunung Irau you will pass by False peak, which is the first peak before you reach the actual Gunung Irau of 2110m.

Along the way, i manage to get some nice shots of some mushrooms.

Can anyone guess what footprint is this?

Not to forget the beautiful pitcher plants.

Were getting closer now, only 0.35km left to the peak.

Finally we reached the peak of Gunung Irau.

I did not take anymore interesting pictures after the Gunung Irau peak cause the trail between Gunung Irau and Gunung Yellow was rather thick with plants and mossy forest carpet grew in abundance an undamaged by hikers. It was rather hard at times to hike through this trail. We were looking for border stone no.334, which is the water point in between this two mountains. But we were too tired and have been hiking for nearly 6 hours already and decided not to stop to refill and continue on.

We soon reach Gunung Yellow peak at about 6pm++ which is border stone no.341, can you tell the number from the picture?

The view from the peak of Gunung Yellow

The Simpang Pulai Highway can clearly be seen from this peak.

Our plan the next day was to leave early and reach the end point early as well. The terrain after Gunung Yellow was not as tough as after Gunung Irau to Yellow. Our target was to look for border stone no.507 which is the next water point, according to other hikers. But in reality its actually a right turning at a junction after border stone no.507 which you will find border stone no.509 which is the water point. According to other sources, this water point has dried up due to the dry season. We again did not refill our water bottles and continued on our journey to Gunung Pass. - Actually we were too lazy to go look for the water point as we were all too tired and can't wait to reach the end. hahaha.

After trekking for a good few hours we finally manage to reach the 3rd mountain Gunung Pass at border stone no.533, again this is a junction. Turn left and its 2-3mins walk up to the peak of Gunung Pass, which doesn't offer much of a view or even camping space. Turn right and you continue to reach the exit.

We spent sometime at the peak to take some photos and the usual group photo and soon left the peak to go towards the exit. Once you reach border stone no.561 you know you have reach the end of your journey. You will end up on top of the highway up on the slopes. Using a stairwell which passed water from the mountain to the drains was the only way to walk down this 3 storey high slope.

There was fresh mountain water flowing down this stairwell and we washed up a bit and soon our lorry driver arrived and send us back to the temple and our journey has finally ended. It was a tough and gruesome 2 days of hiking in uncharted territory which is still new to fellow hikers. It took us 9 hours on the first day from the beginning to Gunung Irau and finally to Gunung Yellow and another 6 hours on the second day from Gunung Yellow to Gunung Pass and finally to the end point.

The trail in between Gunung Irau and Gunung Yellow is really beautiful and undamaged, moss grew very thick here and its as if you were walking on mossy carpet most of the time. Some trees were covered in thick moss and it looked really like scenes from Lords of the Rings. Overall i really enjoyed this trip with some good company and really nice and breathtaking scenery's at times and also an experience to remember, my very first mountain expedition.



Posted : Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by johnybravo at 3:49 pm | 5 Comments

Its been a while since i last lifted weights. I've only been jogging and running and playing football for exercise but soon realize that its not enough.

So i am on a few weeks plan to get fit for a 21km Marathon in August.

Which consist of some strength(lifting weights)+ stretching sessions and lots of running/jogging a few km's a day.

So i decided to try out an old workout plan from Men's Health Magazine. And it only involved Leg Press, Front angled lunges, Calf raise, Bench press, Bicep curls and thats it. Did the Leg presses with ease and soon realized how unfit i am these days. When it came to the front angled lunges, that totally killed my hamstrings. They were like violins strings being played.

I almost cramped but manage to pull through to finish the whole workout. And today my glutes, quads and hamstrings are begging for mercy. I can lose balance if i walk too fast, hahaha. I need a day or two to recover from the muscle aches.

As for marathons, will be participating in a 10km run on the first sunday of July. The good thing about this run is that more of my friends will be joining me for this marathon. Wooo Hooo. So i hope they have been training like how i have been training, not necessary similar but atleast do some jogging or running. Hahaha

A simple guide to train for a 10km marathon is rest on mondays, run 3km on tuesday, wednesday & thursday then do an hour of cross training on friday, 1 hour of cardio on saturday and cross train or jog for an hour on sunday. Do these for a few weeks and rest assured you will come in within qualifying time, that is if you dont weight anywhere between 80-90kg! hahaha.

Okay, till the next marathon...

p/s: Will be going for a camping trip this weekend and it involves hiking up 3 mountains. in-te-rest-ing.