G7- 7 mountains in west msia with height more than 7,000 ft. Chamah is 1 of them. Mount Chamah, the 5th highest mountain in peninsular Malaysia. With the height of 2170m above sea level, is ranked as the toughest mountain trek (for single peak) in Malay peninsular.
another mountaineering that i felt excited as chamah is not a easy mountain to be conquered (as we heard from ppl) especially, heroically, we purposely choosen the hardest way. 3 days to get our ass at the summit, 2 days to decent to kg Lerlar, our starting point.
11 NOV 04
departed from Leong's hse after a good rest. heading to Lasah. Hooped on the 4WD Hilux, a bumpy ride started. roasted for 4 hr under the sun. Kg Lerlar was our destination where we were to start. Met the penghulu, Eddie, the same mid-age folk as 2 yr ago when we attempted G. Ulu Sepat. More rumah papan than ever as the population grows. wink*_*wink
had a simple lunch, at 1330, off we go with 2 asli guides. paid RM500 for their service. past by rubber estate then streams, then, we were in the jungle. abt 2hr walking, i overstretched my tendon at my left knee. lifting it was killing pain. wat a good start it was... everytime wh there's a trunk to get over, i took longer time to do the routine. i had to lift my left leg with my hand, couldn't really bend my knee. frustrating really but i accepted it and keep walking in slower pace.
rain poured around 1500. it was monsoon season in msia. i didn't expect the weather to be good to us. i actually looking forward to it. i love rain ;)
arriving Kem Agas (Sandfly Camp) at 1820 in 5hr with a limp. asli were off to look for water point and found 1 small water source which only sufficient for cooking but not bathing. i smelt salty;) familiar 'friends' came to visit without invitation. we all replied with ferocious slaps. damn sandfly... they made us gone crazy. another pour while we were cooking. lucky enough, we had our food ready. dinner in the fly sheet with a hot warm mushroom/tomato soup. as usual, we all looked for KM or BK for massage. BK lost in action that night as he sneaked into girl's tent and do whatever. haha.
12 NOV 04
BK looked rash on his face! i gagged myself from making fun of him. poor him, KM & Fred who had to sleep under a piece of fly sheet. it was a Raya open hse for sandflies. many thanks to KM who had fogetten to bring his tent. he is aging indeed... ;)
0815, at 550m, started to ascend a hill with a pain at my tendon. felt the pain vividly everytime i lifted my leg. reached viewpoint peak (1700m), then Chandrik Camp, from 1450m, it was a descent all the way down hill. at 1100, crossed the Perak-Kelantan border. touch n' go, toll free!
according to photos we have as reference, we should be expecting a balak trail (logging trail). wide, red soil and sunburn. somehow, we were in the bush instead, covered by overgrown thorny floras! love bites were all over our legs. skin cell was slashed and sliced. sharp sticks poked you from nowhere. itchiness strikes, pain and frustration prevailed. it was THE MOST GOD DAMN @#$%^&*XYZ trek! asli were paving for us by chopping down the plants. at 1330, regrouped with the front team. they looked exhausted while helping asli to cut off the secondary jungle. a torturing maze to get over it. lunch break! appetizer, fruit cake. main course, 'plane' biscuit & 'pillow' biscuit with stream water. desert, califonia raisins.
journey continued with another secondary jungle to overcome. @#$%^&*XYZ. enduring such condition until 1610. another T. asli told us they were not to continue open up the path to Kem Rekom, our next camp site! instead, bringing us to a near kg asli! i felt doubt abt their credibility really. we took time to cross a river with rapid current. danger but fun. the men dipped themselves in it. the water was icy cool. we transported all the bags over the river, then, gave our hands to ladies. after another hour of walking, we reached a piece of land at 1800. it was Kg Rekom! after a negotiation with penghulu, we rented a bamboo+atap hut from them (RM5 per head). KM decided we should stay there for 2 nights. we were served with delicious ubi kayu by the villagers. finally, in 2 days, we got all the water we need from a stream. i smelt pantenne;) we had a good rest under a bamboo roof.
13 NOV 04
with KM fell sick, Leong decided to stay. good news to me was, the pain on my leg gone! the toughest day in the trip as we will attack all the way to the peak, then descent back to kg Rekom! expecting a 12hr walk.
0800 - a bright morning to start the attack. man... the asli really didn't live up with the credential they should have. we made a disastrous start. they guided us to a wrong way, a route where the locals go for hunting instead. a precious 1.5hr was wasted. worse, it demoralized the team. but, when a local told us that we can make it to Tongkat Ali in 2.5hr, and another 2.5hr to the summit, it reenergized the team's mood. i didn't buy it though! we walked faster to compensate the time lost ealier.
1130 - surprisingly, we reached Tongkat Ali camp site! exactly 2.5hr as told. i was a bit more optimistic then. while continue the quest, i overheard Rwen, who was in front, saying there's a wildboar's foot print. nah, i wasn't amazed. but it didn't look like a pig's print for me. a big and deep palm shape. (BK told me it was tok belang's (tiger) at later night)
1230 - lunch break at 1600m. Rwen, Ailing, BK were moving fast then others. i tried hard to push the back faster, and pull the front slower. try to keep the team in a tolerant distance. the track was quite frustrating as we endured ups but also downs. Gosh... it evened the vertical height that we attacked earlier! hence, it took lengthy time to hit another 100m.
1350 - '1850m, another 45min to go!' i shouted my 'kind-lie' to spur those at the back. intelligently, GW doubted abt it. but i insisted my 'lie' and told them, it can be done! that was my last sight to the pack at the back. gradually, the team spilted into 2. i had joined the front pack without i really realised it while focus on attacking the steep slopes.
1430 - we were at 2040m. mathematically, just another 0.5hr to go. but, the slower team was a distance from the us. i pleaded the front team to stop. minutes later, somehow, GW caught us from the back! he past the message, saying the rest were to turn back becaused we had reached the agreed cut off time which was 1430. i know this summit is important to Ailing, BK and Rwen as this is the final summit to complete their G7 quest. but the slower team did raise our concern of their physical level. a dilemma for us. finally, they + GW decided to continue the journey uphill. i had decided to go back to the rest at the back. it wasn't a tough decision for me as safety always is my 1st priority. we have to get back to Kg. Rekom before dark, intact! that was the challege.
1445 - i turned back with the tired team. gauging from the time we had, we should be able to reach kg Rekom before dark. my worst time in mind to reach was 1930. we left some foods for the front team on the way down, coz mistakenly, i thought they carried foods with them. WL had asked the asli to lead the way to gear the speed and make sure we were in the correct way back. i followed asli's back and tried to match his speed of going downhill while keeping eyes on the rest at the back. it was kind of pacesetter strategy. MC, Amoy, Fred and WL were following closely.
1700 - reached Tongkat Ali. the rain started to pour on us! to me, it was so refreshing as i personally love rain very much. been through some dangerous, slippery and narrow trails along the cliff. a ferocious sg Rekom after the pour can be seen just aside the cliff. i really prayed hard for the front team which will need to walk in dark for 1 to 2hr on the way back. MC & the rest were tailing me closely from behind.
1900 - sharp! we saw what we were dying to see. we reached the kg. KM and Leong were cooking for us already. sky turned to dark just after 15min then. at 1945, wh i was moaning to WL that he sh make use the walkie-talkie as other did, intuitively, i pressed the paging button. it followed by an immediate response! it was BK who replied the paging. thank God, they were within 3KM to us already.
2000 - i felt so relieved when the front team had arrived safely.
i can't skip to mention abt the dinner. an extremely hard to crush kg chicken meat and wild vege were from the local villager. purple vege soup, octopus slices with cabbage. sausages... as whole, it was a sumptous dinner with candle light;) rain splashed that night. while i tried to keep my eyes open for red bean soup, i fell asleep Zzzzz...
14 NOV 04
the effect of 11-12hr of walking yesterday still on everyone's face. we looked tired. plus, we all look no more enthusiastic. yeah, we have to go through the mailto:~!@#$%5EXYZ balak trail again. KM seemed to have regained his fitness from illness. departed at 0815. bushy and thorny trail boiled our temper well. a lengthy and boring trail. everyone was just so moody. 1330, we got out from the balak trail and heading straight to viewpoint peak. an ascent all the way. reached the peak at 1400. i was refreshed by the cooler climate. then, a descent all the way. 1530, as KM noticed the team was in bad shape, we stopped at Retai Camp (1400m) to get a good rest. a good spot with stream just aside. it was a chilling bath i had. Leong tried to have a camp fire but failed! woods were well soaked by rain. just as our iron chef Ailing finished her final dish, sky poured again. the outcome? apart from a romantic mess tin licking good dinner, we got ourselves a watery tent. GW and WL cleaned up the aftermath in the tent after the downpour, sacrified my towel for 'dry-cleaning' the tent. mother nature had been kind enough to us though. it was a dry night during our rest. BK squuezed in with us as he had surrendered to sandfly cavalry. poor Leong who agreed to switch;)
15 NOV 04
GW's bushy mustache showed it was a day i was looking forward to! we were abt to head home to kg Lerlar. as GW was the 1 who sufferred from injury most, KM decided that he had to make a move earlier than the rest. an inflated elephant-like legs, peeled toe nails, cuts, scratches and slashes, bandaged knees... ironically, he is 1 of the summit conquerer! stubborn old man actually, huh! ;) he was escorted by the 'notorious speedy wild horse' - RWen and a asli for earlier departure at 0815. the rest were only departed at 0930 after having a KM style fried rice. it tasted so good! encore!
obviously, we were all in a good mood. we sang along the way until noon. from #20's till 70's. from classic to hip hop. hey, we still can't catch up with GW and Rwen! they were surprisingly fast! after a lunch break, we tried to move in full speed to catch up with them. suddenly, i felt something stung on my thigh. it was a hot pain feel! while i saw a bee was flying by, some others yelpped to the team, 'run! bees!'. we ran for life in shocked breath. after the horrific moment, we did a health check to confirm that everyone was alright. WL also got some stings. i took out some allergic medicine for him as he is allergic to bee sting. ya, i know abt it when we climbed Tahan together. he was like having skin disease at Tahan. 'u r welcome, WL;)' after awhile, we heard Rwen's shouting! great, finally we were able to catch up the lady horse. 'Gosh, what happened to you?!' her face was swelling! like an obesity lady indeed. she also stung by bees, worse, the bees stung at her face. basically, there's nothing we can help. moral support and care were all i gave.
good news was, we had regrouped. walking in a unit again towards the end point. 1330, we were back to Kem Agas. somehow, the following trek was really bad. the soil washed by rain. this made the trek so slippery. it dragged down our speed again. we fell numbers of time. Amoy hit 17 times! a record that no one wants to break. i slipped once, and hit hard with bamboo sticks on top of me. hurt my wound which i fell from bike months ago as well. piss off man... BK swore hard, Ailing released her anger by chopping down the thorny plants. others kept the frustration within themselves. i felt alright comparing to the notorious balak trail. our 'day'mare indeed. at 1715, we found ourselves in rubber estate. i looked at ppl around me, we smiled to each other as we knew we were very near to kg lerlar! finally, touch down at kg lerlar at 1730. at 1800, everyone had arrived. we rented a big hut for our last night. when we, the men, washed ourselves at the river, we were well served by some stunt show from the children. they were doing somersault with a degree of difficulty, plunging themselves from a giant tree trunk into the river! we gave our applause, they got even more excited to show off! children... ;)the most sumptous cooking happened that night. trekking together with Ailing is a luxury with her iron chef cooking. too bad, the sky wasn't as clear as 2yr back where i spotted my 1st shooting stars in my life.
16 NOV 04
at morning, a breath-taking scenery as the cloud uncovered Chamah from far. Hooped on to the Hilux and off we go. our final destination to complete the journey, a camp site called HOME;)