Gunung Yong Belar, standing 2181 meter located at blue valley, Cameron highland, Perak.
Currently, there are 2 routes used by hikers as a starting point - old route i.e from dam through series of steps, long pipeline walk and river crossing then to the vegetable farm (camp cabin). The journey from starting point to camp cabin estimated around 1 hour or more.
The new shorter route is from masjid Lojing (lojing mosque) thru private land then the farm (camp cabin) via 4WD vehicle (around 30 minutes or less).
I would recommend the shorter route as it will save time and energy – the real deal is at the starting point also known as ‘Pintu Rimba’ (forest gate) – almost 190 meter from camp cabin.
The entrance to mount Yong Belar will begin at Camp Cabin and Pintu Rimba (both around 190 meters apart). The 4WD vehicle will stop here. Then, a short walk through vegetables farm to Pintu Rimba. These area apparently are private owned and no unauthorized vehicle allowed in here. The owner acknowledged that all hikers will trespass his farm for years but only by walking.
The owner had put a little blue signage at the entrance to Pintu Rimba for his 4WD service. The rate is RM40 per person (minimum 10 person) and RM45 per person for less than 10 person for a return journey – 2km away to the main road.
Made arrangement with Mr Joe (son of the vegetable farm owner) to meet up at BH Petrol blue valley at 7.00am. We parked our car 50 meters from BH Petrol (left side), Mr Joe’s small hut at RM10-00 per car for parking. The 4WD experience will start here – to Lojing Mosque – through a series of muddy and bumpy ride to camp cabin.
This is Mr Joe's hut and parking area
Our guide - Jebat
Few reminders here that the ride was not smooth! So be prepared for butt smacking against the steel floor, splashes of mud water on your clothes and the risk of falling off-road. Just hold on tight!
A journey of less than 30 minutes, we reached camp cabin in a cold and misty morning. Upon paying fee for the 4WD service, we set off to Pintu Rimba – around 10 to 15 minutes or so.
Pintu Rimba – it is an open area before we headed deep into the jungle.
From here, vegetable farm can be seen at the valley below – such a wonderful sight.
This is Pintu Rimba
From Pintu Rimba, set up camp at Camp Tudung Periuk, travel light to Kem Kasut then to the peak.
Heading down straight to Camp Tudung Periuk and spend the night there.
Taken at one of the opening
Pintu Rimba to Camp Tudung Periuk
It was up and down endless trail. Less muddy here, manageable contour. 4 to 5 mini peak points with an outstanding view. Distance from Starting point – 2.33km. It took us 1 hour 47 minutes to reach here at 10.19am. Set up our ground and fly sheet. Started our journey back at 11.15am to Camp Kasut.
Safely arrived at Camp Tudung Periuk
At Camp Tudung Periuk
Camp Tudung Periuk to Camp Kasut
Muddy trail! Leg manoeuvre required extensively. Stretching your leg at an imaginable position is unavoidable. Put on water proof glove please.
The distance from start, time taken and time of the day
At Camp Kasut - it was raining
Distance from Starting point – 5.37km. Distance from Camp Tudung Periuk – 3km. Almost 3 hours journey from Camp Tudung Periuk and 5.5 hours from start. Time of the day was 1.59pm.
It was raining since camp tudung periuk. The surrounding area at camp kasut is muddy. It is not suitable for camping, yet there were campers here.
Camp Kasut to Yong Belar summit
Another 900 meters to go according to my Suunto Ambit 2. We continued braving the rain through heavily muddy trail. My shoes was unrecognizable. I’m using Adidas Hydroterra Shandal shoes – it is without fabric and able to disperse water efficiently.
Almost one hour to get here. It’s a little bit tough with all the climbing.
At the top - preparing for instant noodle and hot milo
Summit of Yong Belar
We spent around 30 to 40 minutes here – rest mode on. Its windy and cold. The mist was all around us blocking all the view which was a bit disappointment. Enjoying our Instant noodle and hot milo.
Descending to Camp Kasut and Camp Tudung Periuk
Descending was manageable as there were less energy used compared to ascending. The only thing bothers me was the muddy, slippery trail. Slipped and fall few times. At one point the gravity was pulling me, lost balance and fell. I lost my watch and only realized it after 10 minutes downhill. It took a gigantic effort to climb back again to retrace my step searching that watch. Yup, I found it hiding between the tree branches .
Back at Tudung Periuk
Reached here at 7.16pm, 3 hours from the summit. We wash up at the small river before climbing up to our camp. Its dark and cold. Spending the night here – resting. Brahim’s nut sauce and nasi himpit was our dinner.
Sleeping with Cold Temperature
It was freezing cold at 16 degree celcius. I set up the sleeping bag (bought from Lelong.com for RM65), the ground sheet is the 1st layer, garbage plastic the 2nd layer and fly sheet the 3rd – then the sleeping bag. I wore tshirt, down jacket, glove and socks. But the temperature was just too cold, my body just can’t tolerate the cold and at some point I was shivering. But somehow survived through the night.
1) glove in glove – wear glove as base layers
2) socks in socks – wear 2 pieces or more socks
4) Fly sheet/ground sheet – this kind of setting will let the wind in. Either close all possible wind entry or change the setting to covered tent.
5) Based ground for sleeping – either carry mat/yoga mat (bulky) or you can carry simple silver plastic-paper type of material from Daiso or DIY shop at RM5 plus. It can be folded into a thin layer in your bag.
There will be 2 points of water source i.e Camp Tudung Periuk and Camp Kasut. It is much more easier at Camp Tudung Periuk with a small river (2 minutes). But not easy at Camp Kasut – around 10 minutes one way to get the water (I heard).
There are some part where you may have sufficient signal. I called Mr Joe from 5th or 4th false peak on our way down from Camp Tudung Periuk to Camp Cabin.
The Trail and Trail Marker
The trail is clear and well marked. As mount Yong Belar is also has connecting pathway to another mountain (V1, V2 – korga, Yong Yap, Tok Nenek, Chamah ulu sepat) there will be different trail upon reaching the summit and only those who experience enough will know about it.
Place to Wash up After the Hike
At Mr Joe’s vegetable farm, there will be toilet facility. You may wash here. But it’s cold water!
Alternatively, you can wash up at the parking lot where you park your car earlier (no toilet).
Place to Eat
Along the road of Masjid Lojing there are more than 3 restaurants serving breakfast and lunch. Not sure about dinner though. For those of you who are craving for tom yam, you may headed to Kedai Kak Yah just opposite Masjid Lojing.
Place to Stay
I would suggest Westwood hotel (please google) few km away from Blue Valley. But the hotel will always full house. Staying at Brinchang town is less recommended as the traffic jam is very bad and will spoil your journey.
Alternatively, you may stay around Ipoh town – 1 hour from Blue Valley/Kampung Raja.
My Sunnto Moves - Trail Route
I'm sharing my moves for convenience :
click here : Yong Belar Route
The distance from Camp Tudung Periuk to Pintu Rimba - 2.12km, took 1.47 hours
Another 197 meter to Camp Cabin..just below