Monday, October 30, 2017

Gunung Kenderung & Kerunai Daypack- I beat the Sunrise!


Gunung Kenderung standing 1220 meter and Gunung Kerunai - 1000 meter situated in Kampung Pahat, Gerik, Perak. 300km plus from Kuala Lumpur, a 4 hours journey.

Both mountains situated side by side and most hikers will conquer these 2 mountains at one go with 2 days and one night camping.

The distances of both mountains are not much different, depending on which part you choose as a starting point.
Kerunai - from Simpang Y - almost 2km
Kerunai - from campsite - 3.8km
Kenderung from Simpang Y - 2.1km
Kenderung from Campsite - 1.8km
* the distances may have variances (plus minus)

illustration above is an estimation on the destination from relevant point

Duration of Hike:
Mount Kerunai - around 2 hours up, 1 hour descending
Mount Kenderung - around 3 - 4 hours up, 2 hours descending

Trail Difficulty :
Kerunai - Easy to moderate
Kenderung - Moderate to hard to Extreme

Permit from forestry department is needed for every purpose of hiking, so make sure to get approval beforehand. Permit is around RM13 per pax excluding administrative fees which is quite cheap.

Pick up Truck or 4 wheel vehicle Service is needed to bring you at the starting point, around 30 minutes journey. The cost per head is around RM25 to RM30 for return trip.

* for 4 x 4 service and Permit application please contact En Syaiful 0195233768

Gerik town - plenty of cheap hotel. 20 minutes from Gerik town to Kampung Pahat.

Food : 
Gerik town - so many of them. please restock and refuel here

Entrance Fee;
Every hiker need to pay an entrance fee to the village community organizer at RM5 per person.

The Entrance Gate
The entrance gate is controlled by the village folks. It will closed at midnight and re-open for business around 5.00am daily. Pre-arrangement is needed, normally by the 4 x 4 operator.

The Step by Step;
After you obtain the permit and made arrangement with the 4 x 4 provider, you will rendezvous at the 4 x 4 house. There, the 4 x 4 will call the person who will check the permit and you may pay the entrance fee.

GPS coordinate Kampung Pahat :
Kampung Pahat Meet up point gps coordinate : 5.498048, 101.115539

Tips : 1) wear glove - for the rope, holding tree branches
          2) Bring 1 liter of water supply to kerunai (ultra light
          3) Bring 2 liter of water supply to Kenderung (you may refill
              at the campsite before hiking Kenderung
          4) Wear long sleeve and cap with flap to beat the heat on
               the way to Kenderung
          5) avoid bring unnecessary load - especially excessive
              drinks and food. You don't need that for less than
              2km distance

The Plan
We will hike Kerunai first as it is the easiest and hoping to catch the sunrise here. Then, hiking Kenderung with all our might and try to sustain the heat. Watching for sunrise from Kenderung is not possible as the journey may took longer and chances we might miss the sunrise in action is rather high.

The Hike
We decided to make this trip a daypack as based on estimation of the distance, it could be done within half a day. Our plan is to start around 5.00am to catch the sunrise at Kerunai, however, the whole process of waiting for the person in charge to open the gate and checking of permit, made us reached the campsite around 6.45am.

The journey via 4 x 4 from where we parked our car was around 30 minutes to the campsite.

The Map of Kerunai can be found here : Kerunai GPX File. Downloaded to my suunto ambit 2 wrist watch to assist in the navigation.

Reaching the campsite and we straight went to Simpang Y - almost 900 meters from the campsite.
There are 2 ways to Simpang Y,
- route no. 1 is, you may follow the 4 x 4 track which is 900 meters away OR
- you can use route no. 2, which is near the stream, where the water pipe is flowing which is much shorter route, 20 - 30 minutes - 400-500 meters :

This is the way to simpang Y. Just climb up following the water stream, then turn right

Another angle from the entrance to Simpang Y. The foreground is the campsite

This is Simpang Y
From the entrance from the campsite below, you will emerge from the way I pointed out.
On the right is the entrance to Kerunai
(This photo was taken on our way down from Kerunai)

After almost 30 minutes of hiking Kerunai, we reached at one point where we can view clearly the sun is rising with a sea of clouds covering the valley. The view was magnificent!


From Simpang Y to Kerunai Peak
Distance - around 2km (from Simpang y)
Distance from Campsite using 4 x 4 road - 3.88km
Duration - 2 hours from Campsite (ascending), 48 minutes descending to Simpang Y
Trail condition : dry
Trail difficulty - easy to moderate
Caution! : many black ants at the branches here, be careful on the trees

Reached Simpang Y from Peak of Kerunai in 47 minutes. Piece of cake 

 To Kenderung Peak is another 2.11km from Simpang Y

Back at the campsite. Go straight to the entrance of Kenderung

Another part of the campsite

Camp Solar - 780 meters from the Peak of Kenderung
Photo taken from our way down from the peak.
Took us 26 minutes to reach here.
There is telecommunication line here.

Can you spot me? This is the extreme part of the hike

Done! Kenderung Peak 

Distance from Simpang Y to Kenderung Peak  : 2.11km
Duration ascending: 4 hours (slept and rested at few sections..haha)
Trail condition : dry
Trail difficulty : moderate - Hard - Extreme
Duration descending : 1 hour 45 minutes
Caution! : Scorching hot! Technical climbing using rope. Falling rocks. Danger while descending
Tips : wear glove and let it slide while holding the rope, it will make your descending faster.

Safely reached the campsite at 3.42pm. Started descending from Kenderung peak around 2.30pm.

Summary of Hiking
Distance Kerunai and Kenderung - 11km
Duration overall - 8 hours 45 minutes

There is no telecommunication lines at the campsite. You need to walk a bit towards simpang Y to get that line (as indicated in my drawing above).

We got the news from other hikers who just came in that the 4 x 4 unable to reached the campsite due to slippery hill. So, we decided to walk towards simpang Y and make that call. Our driver was waiting for us just below Simpang Y to fetch us. Yay!

Based on the above walkthrough, readers would be able to arrange, estimate and properly plan their journey thus, making their safe journey in conquering both Kenderung and Kerunai.

Until me meet again.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bukit Repin and Gunung Lentang Legong – A Torture To Remember

the scratches mark at my arm (degil
taknak pakai long sleeve)

Bukit Repin located at Janda Baik Pahang standing 1341 meters and Gunung Lentang Legong also in Janda Baik standing at 1360 meters. My previous Bukit Repin journey is here.

Our mission this time around to conquer 3 mountains at one go. Mission number one, climbing Bukit Repin then proceed to Bukit Lentang Legong (mission two) subsequently to Gunung Nuang (mission three). Total journey estimated 20km within 20 hours.

Photo credit : Dendang

Meanwhile, I have my own mission whereby hiking Bukit Repin and Lentang Legong only.
Initially we have 5 or 6 of crazy hikers, then added up to a total 11 hikers with a mixture of conventional runners, ultra runners and podium winners. The team lead by team leader En Khalil whom I had hiked before climbing mount Tahan daypack years back.

Tagging along are Zulfazli (ijoi), Asyraf Ghazali (Acap) and Saifuddin Ramli (Dendang) which were among known podium runners/hikers.

The rest of the team are En Nosly (Wak), Elle Nash, Khairul ezwan, Muhd Ezwan and Norsharina who had the courage to follow (or being forced to follow !)

Wak and Elle admiring the beauty of forest flower power
photo credit : dendang

The Lentang Legong route are treacherous and haven’t being used for a long time. We will un-chartered this trail route and equip it with proper trail mark – lead by our trail marker master – En ijoi.

Few machete or ‘Parang’ needed to re-open the trail thus a good and strong pair of hand with inter-exchangeable ‘swinging’ duty among team members are an added advantage.

Need to be physically fit like crazy, able to carry medium weight with food and drinks ration among others basic survival and basic first aid kit. Few of us also brought cooking stove, ground and fly sheet just in case things don’t go in our way for some reason.

leeches hunter at Repin's Peak

The most important thing in this journey is the Navigation. Most of us have navigator wrist watches but only some of us knew how to properly translate it to a useful detail. This job is being handled by our team leader, En Khalil with the assistance of Acap, dendang and wan. They will be mostly in front of us.


In view that we will be starting at Bukit Repin trailhead and end up at Nuang via janda Baik trailhead, we parked 2 cars at one point and the rest, at the other point - to take care of the logistics arrangement.

As I mentioned earlier, the Navigation is the most crucial aspect in the whole journey, thus, it will be based on suunto movescount route pre-installed in suunto device with added navigation by handheld device of En Khalil’s (‘view ranger’ – a Gps device apps installed in handphone).

Analysis had been done prior, for proper trail route, topo map, weather condition, what to expect and how to manage every condition in case of emergency.

the parang in action
Photo credit : dendang

Cut-off time
Time Management is also plays important role whereby each point of destination need to be measured – how long it takes to reach, how long we supposed to rest and cut-off time to turn back at some point.

Head lights
One of the important device as we will be walking in wee hours in the morning and estimated completion around 1.00am. A good head lights are important – Petzl nao (high end) or Fenix (medium end) may assist you in the darkness. Please do be mindful of your battery life as most conventional battery will only last around 4-5 hours burning time. Getting your battery where the slot that you can easily reach is the best strategy to change your battery in a nick of time.

This is important as to shock audio level with excessive explosion sound – it will scare away our number one enemy – WILD BEAST.

The Journey
We started at 6.00am from Bukit Repin trail head heading towards Bukit Repin peak – 5.76km. We reached there within 3 hours. A slow ascending route at the beginning to a hardcore straight up nearly to the end. The leeches are everywhere! Equipped yourselves with leech socks and insect repellent.
We rested around 30 minutes here and proceeded to Gunung Lentang Legong – around 3km away. This was where it became tougher. The route had been covered by re-grown bushes and trees with unclear trail and trail marker.
Duration, distance and time of the day

Kindly take note that from Puncak Bukit Repin there are 2 exits – the one we came from and another to Lentang Legong. Another trail route to Kemensah (pondok repin) is at one of the junction not much further down where we came from Repin Janda Baik.

Yes, finally at Lentang Legong 
total journey so far : 8.09km

Our move became very slow here as few of our team member cutting tree branches in front while navigating to the correct path. We reached Lentang Legong around 4 hours, the time was 2.10pm. Not much time wasted here. We proceeded to Simpang Nuang – Repin – expected few kilometres away.
The “parang’ action continues until dark. At one point we seems lost, this was the part where En Khalil and the team gear up figuring out how to get back to the trail path and we succeeded! The night walk continues like forever. Looking at my watch, its 8.00pm, then 11pm, then 12am…..we are still in the wild jungle!

yay, success!
photo credit : Khalil

At 12.00am, we reached the Nuang – Repin junction. Finally! En Khalil and few others decided to proceed to Nuang Peak another 0.92km or so while others decided to go back to Janda Baik. En Khalil’s team will catch up with us later on the way back.

Them in Nuang Peak with ijoi falling asleep
Photo Credit : Acap

We have another 6km to reach Janda Baik (Nuang) trailhead. It was the longest night ever! We reached Chemperoh Waterfall few hours later and suddenly En Khalil’s team emerged from the darkness! They only took 20 – 30 minutes from Simpang Nuang – Repin to Nuang Peak. Then, fast walk – run to us with a staggering amount of speed. Yes, this wasn’t my game lah.

photo credit : either dendang or khalil

We continued to Nuang Janda Baik trailhead few hours later and finished around 3.00am. We ended the journey with tears and smile in our face…haha. The total journey is 25.5km within 21 hours (Parking Janda Baik to Bukit Repin – Gunung Lentang Legong – Parking Nuang Janda Baik). En Khalil’s route may have extra 2km plus for his crazy effort to Nuang Peak.

Special shout out to En Khalil for being a tremendous leader and the rest of the team who had assisted him in achieving the same goal and to those who braved enough to take the challenge.
completed in 21 hours, 18km
(It's actually 25.5km according to most navigation devices within team members, maybe mine need to calibrate)

Complete log based on En Khalil's data :

Parking Bukit Repin to Bukit Repin Peak
Time start : 6.00am
Distance : 5.6km
Time Taken : 3 hours

Bukit Repin Peak to Lentang Legong Peak
Distance from Bukit Repin peak to Lentang Legong Peak : 4.1km
Time Taken : 5 hours
Time of the day : 2.00pm

Lentang Legong Peak to Simpang Nuang-Repin - 10km
Time Taken : 10 hours
Time of the day : 12.00am

Simpang Nuang - Repin to Nuang Janda Baik Trailhead - 6km
Time Taken : 3 hours
Time of the day : 3.00am

* Nuang - Repin Junction to Nuang Peak - 920 meters
   Time taken : 36 minutes

Gunung Lentang Legong is NOT for the faint hearted hikers as the route is confusing and risk of being lost is extremely high without proper guide and navigation device (to my opinion).

Nevertheless, it was a great hike, great company and great experience.

Stay tune for route GPX file

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pondok Repin via Kampung Kemensah


Pondok Repin situated at Kg Kemensah (behind national Zoo) with the height of (700 meters - will update later)
The distance is 12.5km one way with lots of killer hills! The total journey is a staggering 25km! (distance wise, it is similar to Gunung Nuang, altitude wise, it is a little bit higher than broga hill).
I would advise hikers to prepare themselves with adequate fitness to conquer Pondok Repin as the trails are mean, requires long hours of trekking and might end up after sun set.

Initially, our intention is to get to Bukit Repin, however, our journey only ended at Pondok Repin, We unable to continue to Bukit Repin as there was no proper trail (or we just can't find it), insufficient trail marker and insufficient of time.

Pondok Repin (or Repin's Hut) is a man made wooden hut. It was built by orang asli here (early settlement's folks) for  a resting station. Looking at the structure, we acknowledged that the hut is properly taken care of.

Pondok Repin, Kemensah trail are being projected as a trail running event called "King of Kampung Kemensah". Being held annually for the past 2, 3 years organized by Team Pacat.

This is where it all begins....

Starting Point to Bukit Roket

We started at Kampung Kemensah, a placed called "Jinbara" - a river chalet (GPS coordinate 3.225344, 101.780303). It was raining that morning. A little bit worried of the leech and muddy trails.

You will be coming from Jinbara (from the black car)

 or you can park at the road side here

Distance from Trail Head to Bukit Roket : 5km
Time taken : 1 hour 16 minutes
Trail condition : muddy, slippery
Trail difficulty : moderate. up and down but manageable
Time taken from Trail head to Bukit Roket : 1 hour 16 minutes

It's called Bukit Roket (Rocket Hill) because of a tree that has shape like a rocket.

Bukit Roket To Lubuk Tedung

Distance from Trail Head  to Lubuk Tedung : approximately 6km
Distance from Bukit Roket to Lubuk Tedung : 1km
Trail condition : muddy, slippery
Trail difficulty : moderate, up and down - manageable
Time taken from Bukit Roket to Lubuk Tedung : approximately 15 minutes

Lubuk Tedung is a name of a location where a crystal clear river flowing through. You may have a dip in the cool water if you wish to.

 This is bukit roket

The Famous 'Rocket' tree

oookkkaaayy...that's a deer ...phew..

Lubuk Tedung to Bukit Dogol

Need to cross the river to get to the other side, please look for the trail marker and please be careful while crossing. Prepare to get wet, you have no choice.

Distance from Trail Head to Bukit Dogol : approximately 6.24km
Distance from Lubuk Tedung to Bukit Dogol : approximately 200 meters
Trail condition : River crossing. Muddy and slippery.
Trail difficulty  :easy
Time taken from Lubuk Tedung to Bukit Dogol : less than 10 minutes

 River Crossing at Lubuk Tedung

 Lubuk Tedung surrounding

Lubuk Tedung Surrounding - its being used for one of the checkpoint during Kemensah Trail run

Oh yeah...cry me a river...

Bukit Dogol to Bukit Merah

The mini hills at earlier stage are nothing. Bukit Merah is the beginning of the climb. Stay slow, take your time as there are more hills to come up ahead.

Distance from Trail Head to Bukit Merah : 6.82km
Distance from Bukit Dogol to Bukit Merah :  600 meters
Trail condition : muddy and slippery.
Trail difficulty : slow ascending. Moderate
Time taken from Bukit Dogol to Bukit Merah : 13 minutes

There you go...Bring it on 

6.24km from Start 

Its 'slippery when wet' meaning

Bukit Merah to Bukit Korea

Bukit Merah is one hell of a climb! prepare for more!
I don't really know why its called korea.

Distance from Trail Head to Bukit Korea  : 8.17km
Distance from Bukit Merah to Bukit Korea : 1.3km
Trail condition : muddy, slippery
Trail difficulty : Hard climb,
Time taken from Bukit Merah to Bukit Korea : 34 minutes

Wak Nosly is fighting his inner demon to overcome the hill...haha 

Yay..Bukit Merah! 6.82km from start. Going up and up

Bukit Korea to Bukit 'S"

Killer hill no 2! Bukit Korea also known to be the toughest incline in this trail. Just be patience.

Distance from Trail head to Bukit Korea : 10.97km
Distance from Bukit Korea to Bukit S : 2.8km
Trail condition : muddy, slippery
Trail difficulty : very hard climb
Time taken from Bukit Korea to Bukit S : 47 minutes

Another killer hill - Bukit Korea, 8.17km from start in 2.14 hours

Finally, Bukit S to Pondok Repin

Killer hill no. 3 (Bukit S). Hard climb. Torture your hamstring to the limit.

Distance from trail head to Pondok Repin  : 12.5km
Distance from Bukit S to Pondok Repin : 1.5km
Trail condition : muddy at certain part. Dry at most part
Trail difficulty : hard climb
Time taken from Bukit S to Pondok : 33 minutes

 Killer hill ahead...oh my hamstring!

Okay...thats one hell of a climb...! 

Big tree spotted 

Pondok Repin from afar...getting there..

We started at 7.40am and ended at 11.21am (pondok repin).

This is the u-turn for 50km during Kemensah trail run. I can imagine their suffering 

Its dry ground. But still leeches are playing around 

Ample space

after a gruelling 12.5km, we finally reached here 

 View from the pondok

We continued our journey to Bukit Repin. The entrance is from the top part of the pondok. Trail marker can be seen on the tree. Following the trail markers will lead you higher ground until you reach a point that there was no trail marker left and there was no clear/proper trail. We headed back to Pondok Repin and decided not to proceed to Bukit Repin.

This is the trail path to Bukit Repin, just behind the pondok with trail marker tight on the tree 

This is the view from the trail leading to Bukit Repin.
The construction is ongoing

The leeches are attacking us!

I have more than 10 bites. A 'mossy guard' spray should come in handy at this point. Wak Nosly offered his insect bite repellent, the leeches let go of its bite when sprayed.

11 bites and counting

The journey back to trail head was mostly downhill and we managed to get to the car park at around 4.05pm (3 hours 20 minutes).

Completed! 25.87km in total, 8 hours and 20 minutes.

Thank you.