Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gunung Yong Yap (Single) -Dream Come True

Oh yeah... with my trademark yellow shirt

Gunung Yong Yap located within a stretch of Perak and Kelantan border with the height of 2168 meter and 17.2km in distance (one way). Gunung Yong Yap is also located in a series of two other mountains on its path i.e Gunung Bubu and Gunung Tok Nenek. Hikers will normally start at Sungai Rengil to hike these 3 mountains which located in a U shape trail.

Readers may find my blog posting of 2 days 1 night of Yong Yap Bubu Tok Nenek here and Tok Nenek Single here

Normally, Gunung Yong Yap single will take 2 days 1 night for normal hikers, but we attempted (and succeeded!) to do it within 14 hours, started at 6.30am and completed at 8.30pm. It’s doable and realistic – but you need to have the more-than-normal endurance and strength - let’s go!

From Start (Sg Rengil) Parking at Orang Asli settlement to Simpang Y 
Distance : 5.5km
Time taken : 1 hour 30 minutes
Trail difficulty : easy
Trail condition : river crossings, lots of them, 3 major rivers...oh yeah

Arriving at Simpang Y in 1 hour 30 minutes at 8.00am. 

We came from behind those river. and this is Simpang Y

Different Signboard at Simpang Y. Next will be Kem Agas

From Simpang Y to Kem Agas
Distance : 5.8km
duration : 2 hours
Distance from start : 11.3km
Duration from start : 3 hours 25 minutes
Trail Condition : river crossings, still a lot, easy trail, slow ascend
Trail difficulty : easy to moderate

This is Kem Agas. Ample camping ground

From Kem Agas to Kem Sungai Jerok
Distance : 2.4km
Duration : 1 hour
Distance from Start : 13.79km
Duration from start : 4 hours 34 minutes
Trail condition : few river crossings, dry
Trail difficulty : easy to moderate

From Kem Sungai Jerok to Kem Balak Pecah
Distance : 1.7km
Duration : 1 hour 10 minutes
distance from start : 15.57km
Duration from Start : 5 hours 42 minutes
Trail condition : dry
Trail difficulty : hard, get ready to climb!

From Kem Balak Pecah to Water Point
Distance : 700 meters only
Duration : 30 minutes or so
Distance from Start : 16.28km
Duration from start : 6 hours 13 minutes
Trail condition : dry
Trail difficulty : hard

From Water Point to Simpang Yong Yap/Simpang Bubu
Distance : 300 meters...easy
Duration : 30 minutes
Distance from Start : 16.56km
Duration from Start : 5 hours 41 minutes
Trail Condition : muddy and little bit dry
Trail Difficulty : Hard, up and up

There were many hikers on that day, one of them was from University Utara Malaysia (UUM) as can be seen "photo-boomed" here. That's one hell of powerful girl (powerpuff girl).

 you may proceed to Gunung Bubu from's 2.4km more of pure torture.

From Simpang Yong Yap/Bubu to Summit
Distance : 560 meters
Duration : 1 hour or so
Distance from Start : 17.12km
Duration from Start : 7 hours 37 minutes
Trail condition : muddy all the way, goodbye pretty shoes
Trail difficulty, hard, hard and hard - 4 core muscle, hanging on tree root

This is the peak 

the surrounding... 

 from where we came from...its like a hole

 walking on the other side and further up...will take you to a breathtaking view of the mountain
dont forget ya...on that day it was filled with clouds and mist. No nice view

Descending back to simpang yong yap...i cant remember what time we started descending but it was a quick and not so quick one. Descending from the peak with thick mud and slippery precarious edge made us a little bit slow just to be save. 

30 minutes to here...oh yeah...lets the speed downhill begins 

 around 40 minutes to here...piece of cake

 almost 1 hour to here....

We reached here about 7pm something..almost 2 hours i presumed as the trail is flat and same as when we came this morning, there was no advantage of doing speed walk. The time on the watch was unclear..demmit!


The final stretch from Simpang Y to the finish line was the challenging one as we have minimal energy left and our toes and legs were hurt like crazy. It's getting dark by the minutes as soon as we left kem simpang Y. Turning on the head lights and speed walking in the dark. Just ignore the surrounding's sound ya. There is nothing to worry about.

We knew that we were going to finish and getting out of the jungle after we crossed the last river, yes, I've been here 3 times and I know this river. Next, walking on an uneven road that used by lorry/pick up truck for few kilometers. That's a one hell of drama.
Suddenly, we saw a lights emerged far away from our sight, it's coming from the house! Yes, we're finally there!

After 13 hours and 47 minutes, 33.88km later, we finally completed a G7 mountain!

Summary of hike : 
Distance Ascending : 17.21km in 7 hours 37 minutes
Distance descending : almost the same distance in 6 hours 10 minutes
Total distance : 33.88km

If you're attempting Gunung Yong Yap Single please take note that you will cut almost 2 hours of your hiking duration on your way back.
Happy hiking!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mount Rinjani - Every Hiker's Dream

should capture the volcano on the left....demm!!

It should be like this having the volcano at the background.  Photo by Jaz Jerry.
Thanks man

Overlooking the mountain on Lombok

We arrived at Lombok airport around 9.30am and our chartered van were ready to transfer us to Sembalun village, the journey took around 3 to 4 hours.

Stop here for brunch...the bird was small and hard...but the rice and condiments are superb!

The team of powerful hikers

There are 2 popular routes for hiking mount rinjani i.e via Sembalun and via Senaru. Both have their own set of challenges but the most popular is via Sembalun as the route are more scenic with proper water points while via Senaru, there are less view and will find difficulties on the water point.

 this is at Taman Wisata Pusuk Sembalun...some sort of look out point to enjoy the view

 The view is ..mesmerizing

Our trustworthy van...

Most of Rinjani’s hiking operator will have 4 days 3 night package, which we will follow that, however, it can be modified to cater for faster hiker according to our needs :

1) Option 1 (standard package – 4 days 3 Night)
    Day 1 -  depart via Sembalun – overnight at POS II
    Day 2 – depart from POS II – overnight at Pelawangan
    Day 3 – Summit Attack from Pelawangan then to Tasik Anak Segara (overnight here)
    Day 4 – From Tasik Anak Segara to Senaru

If you’re a faster hiker, you may opt for the 2nd option :

2) Option 2 – 2 days 1 night
     Day 1
    9.30am from Airport, Depart straight to Sembalun village
    12.30pm – reach sembalun village and lunch
    2pm – start ascending from Sembalun to Pelawangan – overnight at Pelawangan
    Day 2
    2am – summit attack
    9am – reach back at Pelawangan
    10am – start descending to Senaru
    3pm – reach Senaru
    Done hiking. But may extend another night at Lombok before flying back to Malaysia.
Drop off our homestay in Sembalun 

 Preparing the gear...just bring only what you need

 Mount Rinjani at the background....within reach but yet sooooo...far...

Belum siap-siap lagi ke oi!...banyaknya packing

Here is our journey in conquering mount rinjani within 3 nights :

This will be the scheduled plan - day 1, 2, 3 and 4, at which point where we will be

Day 1

Depends on which part in Sembalun to be the starting point, the distance are more or less around 3km – 4km from Sembalun village to Pos I.

We decided to hike straight from Sembalun to Pos 2 which is around 5km or so which took us about 3 hours 30 minutes.

8.30pm we reached Pos 2. Don't bother about the distance as I forgot to turn it on..huhu

Sembalun Village to POS I – 3km – 4km
Trail difficulty : easy
Trail Condition : dry, dust
Duration taken : forgot to record (damn it!)
As we hike at night, there wasn’t much to see, even we didn’t realize that we have passed Pos 1. huhu

At Pos 2, this will be the water station. It had been filtered to produce a clean and clear water

The tastiest meal ever tasted - rice, piece of chicken, anchovies and with noodle soup.

*POS I  to POS 2 (camping at POS 2)
Distance from POS I to POS 2 : 1.4 km
Duration taken : forgot to record
Distance from Start : 5.4km
Trail difficulty : easy ascending
Trail Condition : dry, dust
 * we didn't stop here

Our tent facing mount rinjani 

 The're ample space to set up the tent and it is a popular spot for camping while admiring Rinjani's beauty.

 At most of the Pos (check point) there will be stall vendor like this. Instant noodle,
carbonated drinks, hot drinks...but no ice...have a try, support the local to make ends meet.

The sun is rising from our camping ground point of view...nice isn't it?

From Start straight to POS 2
Distance from Start to POS 2 : 5.4km
Our porter was infront of us all along, hence, they already prepare the tents and cooking for dinner.
There is one more option to get to Pos 2 the fastest way…riding a motorbike known as Ojek according to the locals. 3 of our team member opt for this as they scheduled to come a little bit later which is on the 2nd day to be with our team.

Yup...ready for Day 2 from Pos 2 going straight to Pelawangan Sembalun aka crater rim

High altitude breakfast...prepared by our porter

21 of us (3 had just join us on 2nd day, another one will be joining us the next day)
Wohoo...bring it on!!

Day 2

POS 2  to POS 3
Distance from POS 2 to POS 3 : 1.7km
Duration taken : 1 hour (from 8.10am - 9.10am)
Trail difficulty : moderate hard ascending
Trail Condition : dry, dust
Distance from Start ; 6.1km

 Its like a very slow ascending in a hot sun

 Its like a scene from a savannah movie or something

Having a breather at one of the mini check points. I can see Sembalun valley from a far

POS 3  to Pelawangan Sembalun (Camping at Pelawangan Sembalun)
This check point also known as Crater Rim
Trail difficulty : hard, long climb and scorching hot!
Trail Condition : dry, dust
Duration taken : 2.16 hours (9.10am – 11.26am)
Distance from start : 9km

 We reached here at 10.05am, almost 2 hours from Pos 2. Switching off the gps recording to conserve battery...which I will regret later...

 Climbing up to Pelawangan Sembalun leaving the rest area hut

 My selfie doesn't cooperate well with the background scenery 

Nice view...yes, it is up, up and up

This photo signifies how tough it was from Pos 2 to Pelawangan Sembalun

 Finally we reached top of Pelawangan Sembalun....but not just yet...another few hundred meters to our camping site.  This will be some sort of transition area whereby hikers will camp overnight, went on climbing that crazy altitude rinjani, going back down here, then exit to Senaru. Oh yes, on the right of the photo is the trail down to Senaru.

 Once up here, turn on your left and go straight to rinjani's peak

11.44am and it is time to rest - 3 hours 44 minutes from Pos 2. We are far away ahead of our guide, as he is waiting for other team member 

As we go straight, we reached the 2nd camping area. Please be mindful of the "fall of death into the abyss" section on the left and right.

Surprisingly, we met Pak Syed here who just came down from the summit - 2nd from left.
Pak Syed is a well-known person in hiking community of his activities and hiking trips.

Estimated there were hundreds of climbers including porters and guides camping here. 

 Silhouette the sun goes down...there were many hikers admiring the sunset. Except the porter and guide la...they have been here many times, too many sunset and sunrise. 

"Cloudy with a chance of raining meatball"

Doze off early that night, as we have to get up as early as 2.00am to battle with our strength and endurance for summit attack in a blistering cold. 

Woke up at 1.00am by the commotion outside as other hikers are getting ready. We had cheese bread toast for early breakfast to boost up our energy for the final push.

As we started early, in a pitch black situation, there wasn't any photo taken with my cheap old handphone...huhu.    

Day 3

Pelawangan Sembalun to Rinjani Peak
Distance from Pelawangan to Rinjani Peak : 3km
Distance from Start : 12km
Trail Difficulty : extreme Hard (less oxygen)
Trail Condition : dry, dust, loose sand, gravel
Duration Taken : 4 hours (2am – 6am)
Temperature : less than 10 degree
Tips : use trekking pole to keep balance and easier to move your body forward

We started in a slow pace climbing up the mountain, there were many climbers started at the same time, as such, bottle neck section is everywhere. Climbers will stop to catch a breath, to wait for their team member, guide also will stop & wait for their client, and some of the climbers also stop to sleep at anywhere that they feel comfortable.

One thing becomes a challenge during the climbing is the dust from the loose ground. On each step,  the dust will emerged, mostly invincible and you just have to suck it up. I have to endure the situation from bottom to the top as I'm not wearing face mask. Lesson learnt to wear face mask next time...

Challenge number 2 - Cold Wind during hike. The temperature at the top around 10 degree according to my suunto ambit watch. The wind will continuously blazing through and my 2 layer cotton tshirt and a down jacket wouldn't hold in a longer period of time as I'm shivering. So as my finger.

Challenge number 3 - Thin Air. At altitude of 3000 meters, the're very minimum of oxygen in every breath that we take. I admit that I'm having difficulty in breathing and keeping my hiking momentum, thus, I've being forced to catch a lot of breath and a lot of stops. That's the way to manage it.

According to this chart, only 13.5% of the air that we breathe is oxygen. Imagine how powerful our heart need to pump those oxygen in. If it doesn't enough, Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) will struck due to lack of oxygen. Dizziness is one of common symptom.

anyway, our group managed to the top. Yes!

Photo taken nearly to 7.00am, the sun is up, revealing the path that we came from.
Rock and sand. Look at the! 

 Other hikers are still struggling inch by inch climbing up.
The loose sand will keep on sliding down on every step, consuming more energy

 It is only 300 meters or less to the top from here. The longest 300 meters I've ever had that morning.

Another mountain view

As for me, this is the satisfaction face that I can make on top of Rinjani with the sponsored Tshirt.
Do mind on the mundane face as I'm still recovering from the torture of hiking.

Pelawangan Sembalun (crater rim) to tasik Segara Anak
Distance : 4 km
Duration take : 1 hour 38 minutes (2.38pm - 4.18pm)

The lake that we used as a background in our nice photos are the same lake here.

We didn't stay long at the top as I'm not really adapting the cold temperature and I can't feel my finger. We make our move 'sliding' downhill with few clumsy falls...its fun! On the way back we met with fellow team members at few locations and encouraged them to don't give up.

The sun was starting to get harsh during the descending and 3km and 1 hour plus later, we reached the camp. Time to take a nap while waiting for others to return. 

There are water source here, but you need to walk a bit, climb a bit around 200 meters from our tent. 
The water is magically come out from the rocks, its cold and refreshing. 

We continued our journey around 2.30pm after all team members have returned. Down we go to Senaru.

 Going back to Senaru. On your right is the way it should be. 
Yes, there are local vendor selling food and drinks here. 

Let's have a speed walk down to misty trail below 

Admiring the porter - please give way whenever you come across them 

Hanging bridge 

4km and 2 hours later, we reached Tasik Segara Anak, a popular camping ground. 

Its a beauty! 

 From 2.30pm to 4.21pm

 Suunto Ambit with Volcano at the background

 Piece of cake to here. Once again, I should focus the handphone to the background

The water is ok to swim but not ok to drink without boiling it first. It tasted like gun powder.

Abang Rosli in trying his bet to catch the fish 

This place also an angler's attraction

This is the other part of Tasik Segara Anak, on the way to hot spring and water source point.
There is also a water fall.

People will flock here for hot shower or take fresh water

It's one hell of a journey to bath and take fresh water but its worth it

This way to fresh water, get yours now

The hot spring - its a small but sufficient. Its not that many people. Photo taken from google 

Abang Rosli playing as master chef preparing hot malaysian coffee & instant noodle 

Our camping area overlooking the mountain. Stunning view

We packed our things as we need to continue our 4th day to Pintu Senaru which is the ending point. Yes, we are heading home, leaving behind a thousand of memories.

We have 14km in distance to Pintu Senaru with heavy inclination on the first 3.5km. Please take note on this as sometimes you will be informed of heading to Senaru is all the way down...yeah right.

We started by walking at the edge of the lake. Then heading right towards the hill. What a hill it would be with inclination all the way.

Day 4

Tasik Segara anak to pintu Senaru (finishing point) - 5 hours, 14km.
The distance can be divided into 2 section – part 1 is the ascending and part 2 is the descending

Part 1 – from Tasik Segara Anak to Pelawangan Senaru
From Tasik Segara Anak the trail is flat and just walk around the lake until we reach a section whereby it is the beginning of the hike. It was a crazy hike, estimated around 3km long hard climb to top of Pelawangan Senaru.

"I'm on the edge, of glory"

One shot at the lake

It took us around 2 hours for 4km hike from Tasik Segara Anak to on top of Pelawangan Senaru.

Tasik Segara Anak to Top of Pelawangan Senaru
Distance : 4km
Duration : 2 hours
Trail difficulty : hard climb
Trail Condition : 70% rocky terrain, 30% small trees, grass

Then, from top of Pelawangan Senaru, it is all the way down until pintu Senaru finishing point

 Over contrast photo 

Yummy inclination... 

The porters are everywhere so no need to worry if you got lost somewhere. Just ask them, they will assist you 

Tough job 

Tough job requires constant smoke break 

 Bapak punya cantik!!

 Muka Pewai...bila nak sampai oi!

 At one of the section 

Traffic at a one way section 

The safety bar that help us all along 

 Finally, a few hundred meters more

 The white pole thingy - its a beacon...i think

An award winning photo for today for successfully completing part 1 of the climb

I forgot to take photo of the time we reached top of pelawangan senaru but estimated around 10am, 2 hours from Tasik Segara Anak

Part 2 - From Top of Pelawangan Senaru to Pintu Senaru
Distance : 10km
Trail difficulty : easy

Trail Condition : 20% open space, 70% dense forest. Loose sand at the beginning of ascending – dust alert!

Rocky surface 

If you look closely, I'm using a tree branch as shelter...ok not funny

Becareful of the steps ya.. 

 One of the rest hut when we descended down
Yes, the countdown begin....This is Pos 3 of Senaru link (don't be confused with Pos 3 sembalun when we first came on our day 2 ya - it is on different route) 

 around 40 minutes of fast descending to here. 11.09am

 11.54 at Pos 2 . Approximately 1 hour to here

28 minutes to pos Extra. another 1.3km to Pos 1 

Forgot  to take the time...demmit!

Personal glory. Somehow I enjoy downhill rather than uphill.

Wohoooo....Done! From 8am to 1.15am, Distance 14km in 5 hours.

Our homestay around 20 minutes walking from Pintu Senaru, less than a km

Yay! Dah Sampai..

We say goodbye to Rinjani with a heavy heart. There are so many memories and experience, not to forget the astonishing scenery of mountain - volcano - lake. Its so picturesque!

A little advise for those attempting rinjani for the 1st time or for the sake of your revenge or whatever, please train hard - long, hard climb, practice those leg muscle for a tough impact.

Hope to see you soon Rinjani.