Friday, November 18, 2016

Mount Korbu and Mount Gayong (Korga)

Mount Korbu standing 7162 feet (2183 meter) from sea level. Being the 2nd highest mountain in Malaysia after Mount Tahan. We have another mount Gayong that stretch out a little bit further from Mount Korbu. Standing 7129 feet (2173 meter) from sea level. Around 2.4 km from the summit of Mt Korga. Both mountains located at State of Perak, Malaysia. Climbing these 2 mountains at one go is a must for every hikers to redeem pride and personal glory.

We started our journey as late as 8.30am on a calm Saturday morning. After having our breakfast at nearby Kampung roti canai stall.

The leader a.k.a our guide for this time was ‘Jebat’, a very skilful and experienced hiker (and lightning fast too!). He was kind enough to share tips of do’s and don’ts & what  to expect along the journey.

There were also many group of hikers on that day in view that Mount Korbu is among the popular spot for leisure but serious hikers.

1) Hiking Permit – prior approval is needed from local forestry department, normally 2 weeks before
2) Guide – you need a guide to navigate with basic knowledge of hiking, I don’t think its compulsory but highly recommended
3) Hiking with a group – never hike alone! To avoid any unwanted incident such as getting lost or injured

In case of Emergency
Phone Signals will be at the river crossings AND at the location where the building is on top of the hill (from the dam entrance) illustrated below  (please click on the photo):

Gear Used
Shoes : Adidas Hydroterra Shandal
Bagpack : Deuter speedlite 20 litre
Attire : normal tshirt and tights
Navigation : Suunto ambit 2 (pre-loaded with Korbu route map from movescount)

My trustworthy adidas

From Start to Water fall
Distance : 3.62km
Time Taken : 2.32 hours
Time of the day  : 11.04am
Time Start : 8.30am
Trail condition : river crossings, dry
Trail difficulty : easy

From Water fall to Kem Seroja
Distance from Water fall : 1.5km
Distance from Start : 5.12km
Time Taken from water fall: 1.05 hours
Time taken from start : 3.36 hours
Time of the day : 12.08pm
Trail condition : dry, hilly
Trail difficulty  : hard

From Kem Seroja to Kem Kijang
Distance from Kem Seroja : 2.5km
Distance from Start : 7.63km
Time taken from Kem Seroja to Kem Kijang : 2 hours 32 minutes
Time taken from Start : 5.53 hours
Time of the day : 2.24pm
Trail condition : dry
Trail difficulty : moderate

From Kem Kijang to Last Water Point
Distance from Kem Kijang : 1.48km
Distance from Start : 9.11km
Time taken from Kem Kijang : 1 hour 36 minutes
Time taken from Start : 7.30 hours
Time of the day : 4.01pm
Trail Condition : dry
Trail difficulty : hard

From Last Water Point to Bukit Botak
No data, forgot to record time. Distance from Last water point to Bukit Botak is 760 meter. We reached here around 5pm plus.
We spent our night here. Temperature here dropped during the night, can’t remember the Celsius but its damn cold! Please beat that cold! – sleeping bag, inner layer with heat technology, down jacket, rain jacket, winter glove and quality socks will greatly enhance the warmth.

The next day, we brought what we need in the bagpack to reduce the weight in our quest to conquer mount Gayong. Travel light will make us faster during climbing. Indeed it was.
We need to climb aluminium stairs countless times (I would say more than 5) as the ascending parts involved a very-very steep sections. Please do exercise caution.

From Bukit Botak to Puncak Korbu – no data, but the distance from Last Water Point to Puncak Korbu is 1.87km with an estimated time of 2 hours 40 minutes. Distance from Mount Korbu summit to Mount Gayong is 2.4km which is around 1.40 hours duration.

The hardest part was from Mount Gayong back to Mount Korbu with an endless uphill journey.
Started from Bukit Botak to Mount Korbu summit then Mount Gayong and back to Bukit Botak again with the assistance from our newly appointed guide, cik Noraini (damn fast too!) as Jebat has been given excused to cook for breakfast.

With a water supply of 1 litre from Bukit Botak to Mount Gayong was not a smart move. We ran out of water upon reaching Mount Gayong. We tried to hold on until we reached back to Mount Korbu. As we were in dire need for water and suffering from exhaustion, we took a short nap at the Korbu summit. Less than 5 minutes, there was this group of hikers just made it to the top.
They were kind enough to supply us at least 500 ml of water and a powder type drink (kukubina with grape flavoured). It was a live saving! To the group, please accept our million thanks for your generosity.

Going down from Mount Korbu to Bukit Botak was easy. But becareful though. The steep section and the stairs.
We reached Bukit botak around 11.00am. Having our breakfast like there was no tomorrow. Around 1.00pm, we headed down. Descending was my favourite part where we can speed up as we have only 20 litre of back pack. We reached Last water point in 22 minutes.

It's hot!

Descending Journey

Bukit Botak to Last water point
Distance : 760 meter
Time taken : 22 minutes
Time of the day : 1.23pm

Last water Point to Kem Kijang
Time of the day : 2.06pm
Time taken from Bukit Botak : 1 hour 4 minutes
Time taken from Last Water point ; 43 minutes

Kem Kijang to Kem Seroja
Time of the day : 2.56pm
Time taken from Bukit Botak : 1 hour 55 minutes
Time taken from Kem Kijang : 50 minutes

Kem Seroja to Waterfall
Time of the day : 3.41pm
Time taken from Bukit Botak : 2 hours 41 minutes
Time taken from Kem Seroja : 36 minutes

Water fall to Car park
Time of the day : 5.22pm
Time taken from waterfall : 1 hour 41 minutes
Time taken from Bukit Botak : 4 hours 20 minutes

There you have it, a total of 4 hours 20 minutes from Bukit Botak back to car park.

It was tough but very rewarding. 

Few reminders for those who wish to hike Mount Korga :

1) Fitness level - please, please train months before actual day to improve your fitness. You don't want to cause delay for the whole team. Don't think that it is ok if you're unfit as others will wait for you.

2) Sleeping Attire - winter glove, jacket, down jacket, layers of cloth, socks, beanie will make your sleeping more comfortably. You might get hypothermia even at Bukit Botak without warmth.

3) Navigation Matters - hike with someone experienced enough - who could find their ways thru the jungle or Navigation device such as Suunto ambit 2 (like mine).

4) Phone Signal Spots - remember those areas marked with stars above where the phone signal is strong enough to make a call in case of emergency.

Wish you good luck.