Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gn Korbu - 18-21.09.2009

It's been a long awaited trip since my last visit to Gn Batu Putih. My changing life has keeping me away from the mountains.

Departed from PJ at 430am. A highway jam & Tiger's forgotten shoes caused us to be late but luck was very much with us. While we started our journey at Sultan Abdul Aziz Dam , 1145am, SKeng showed us what she did best in europe, hitch-hiking. A 4WD indeed stopped for us and drove us to the start point. It's a flat barren wide area where the construction to deepen the riverbed for the dam is undergoing. That saved us a precious 1.5hr by foot. Knowing a team of 40 ppl were heading off for the same peak earlier did made our goal to reach the Korbu & Gayong became bit uncertain. I did foresee we will be competing for space.

We rushed ourselves to Seroja Camp in 4hr. 13 tents + some 'preoccupied' space were there! Full house. An eye opening for such large scale hiking troop. When I found out how they organized their trip, I was amazed. They are not really a team but it comprises of groups and individuals where look-after-yourself manner was being practised. No permit, no guides. Wow... Choose not to be overzelous to give comment to them coz it might just backfire ourselves. Knowing it's imposibble to squeeze the camp site, KM ordered us to go on full speed for the next camp site, Kijang camp. The tent bearers attacked the steeps at full force with aim to setup the tents asap b4 the rain and nite come.

We reached Kijang Camp at 515pm. The trail was infested with leeches! I really bothered by it. The men did a 'bare all healthcheck' to each other. I shouldn't wear a to-be-thrown underwear. The grip is important to prevent those quirky leeches from COMING IN! I've got 3 hits at sensitive part! 1st time! Darn... Other than that, it's a nice camp site for 3 tents with the stream just besides us. Taking bath at higher altitude really test my guts coz of the icy cold water. But the feeling of wanting a clean body overwhelmed the doubt. And it really felt great after that.

As usual, ALing led the kitchen. Can u ever imagine having herbal chicken for dinner while camping? Then GW showed off his dessert skill with red bean soup. YUMMY! At the dinner, captain KM decided that we should be realistic and abandoned Gayong attempt coz the team as whole, wasn't moving fast enough. I can see why and respected that. Gayong summit is another 2hr back n fro from Korbu summit. I poked Tiger we should go for it ourselves. He grinned. We both know thats a joke! Im no more the person who MUST conquers all the G7 peaks. I enjoy more hanging out with the gang as a OX reunion. The latter is surely more fulfilling spiritually.

The nite was kind. No rain but the temperature in my tent did heat up with 5 ppl. Leong unzipped the tent's cover for air flow when he couldn't hold it anymore, but that also invited the notorious sand flies. My legs & hands are still with their itchy redish love bites.

Next morning, KM had instructed Tiger & Leong together with an Asli to lead Jason & Nicole for the peak with aim to balance the team's summit arriving time. The Asli is the most helpful guide I've ever seen so far. Im sure Nicole appreciates still to Jawavit coz he really led her at every step to the summit. The rest was left behind to clean up & pack up at the site. We only moved at 10am and it was all steep ascents! At the same moment, a lady from the 40ppl arrived at our camp site. She was the pioneer/infantry for the 40ppl group. Her task? Plotting papers with a fat man pic on it while she passed by some tricky paths that need to be clearly indicated as the route to the summit. I think that really help the rest of her group from getting lost coz they don't move in group.

At last water point, after all of us filled up 3L, KM passed me an additional fly sheet to carry. Just abt to start my grumbling, I swallowed it back instantly as I learnt he was going to volunteerly carry 5L of water! Salute. TBK and I then really pushed ourselves to chase the front pack to regroup. Managed to meet Tiger & Leong back at botak hill point in 40min. Then, it's all up up up & puff puff puff thru the mossy forest. The terrain is really challenging with some dangerous steep climbs. Some parts, we have to step on slippery tree brunches with rope in order to overcome a 3M high rocky slope. Sort of rock climbing stunts. Some teamates did struggle with what KM dubs it '5 star' rated routine.

At last, the tent bearers reached the top at 245pm. And, we have every luxury time to choose a camp site for our team. We settled down a site with all the plants fenced us around. That really blocked the chilly winds at nite, not mentioning a perfect privacy. All teamates reached at 4pm. Weather was unpredictable with dizzle and sunshine exchanging role. Not a huge issue anymore by then, coz all tents and the kitchen were ready. Just checked in! The chefs cooked curry chicken, lady fingers, warm hearted soup for dinner. Damn nice. Surprisingly, it was a stary nite but still windly. The nite almost freezed us at 12C. I wonder how did 40ppl squeeze themselves with the limited camp space. Well, I was sure the dust will settle eventually though. Some of them even arrived as late as 6pm!

Today, we plan to decend all the way to the starting point. A 9hr walk. After regroup at Camp Kijang, KM imposed a speed limit to us so that we all moved in group. That made me uncomfortable mentally & physically. Mentally, I really want to reach the next camp asap to rest earlier & physically, im not used to walk in slow pace and stop too much coz that actually added more pressure to my toes for too much braking while going downhill. Not to complicated KM's decision, I comply but was moody along the way. Nonetheless, I know captain was doing the rite thing to safeguard everyone. 630PM, finally, we were back to the barren construction field, a perfect place for camping, with a shallow river aside for water & bathing. Yes, bathe!!! It was a fun nite as everyone as in relax mood. Throwing out jokes & teases at full force.

Oh man, 1.5hr walk out. Weren't we so lucky to meet the uncle who gave us a free ride on day 1. Thank God. Everyone is safe. It's a perfect way to end the trip. Later, a group of us went for Tualang Prawn. Another authentic Malaysia food. Very nice at a very reasonable price. I would rate Korbu the 3rd toughest peak. After Tahan, and Chamah.