Sunday, February 25, 2007

Klang Gate Ridge Challange

It was raining on Friday 23 February when I traveled to work at 8 a.m. I thought we were lucky that it rained a day earlier and not on Saturday as Wendy and other trekkers would take on another challenge to climb up Klang Gate Ridge again.

While I was driving in the direction towards Batu Cave that morning, it rained at around 6:15 a.m. Looks like the Year of the Boar brings in abundance of things – lots of rainfall (sound like wealth in Cantonese) even on Chinese New Year days and soaring share market prices.

The pack: Wendy Tan, Rose, ChongYF, PK Chan, Chef Chan, Chef Chin and I.

Wendy chose Ridge #2 (across the stream) as PK and Rose, both Pacesetters runners, were first time trekking up Klang Gate Ridge. Ridge #1 is deemed dangerous as there are more steep slopes and the trails are very close to cliff.

As usual, Chef Chan and Chef Chin wore only running shorts. Five minutes in the climb, while Chef Chan was busy walking, they detected one hungry leech was firmly clinging on to Chef Chan’s muscular legs hiving its fix of energy drink.

Chef Chin commented that the first person is the safest as the leeches were just been stirred from their slumber. The risk increases from the second trekkers onwards. Since I was the second person behind Wendy, I felt quite safe from attacked by leeches.

Being runners, the fitness level was no problem to take on the tough climb where both hands were required to pull oneself to higher levitation. However, all new climbers have to overcoming the common obstacle – fear of height – and that can only be achieved through constant exposure or training.

Mid-way into the ascent, we could see that the Klang Gate dam was covered with dense mist. It gave the feeling that we were above clouds. With cool breeze gently blowing, it was a pleasant experience that worth all the effort for the climb.

There was lots of laughter when the always cheerful Rose was around. While engaging in the dangerous 50-feet vertical height climb assisted only by rope, I could hear the “he he ha ha” sound from her while I was keeping silent busy focusing in my climb – albeit a little nervous.

As usual, Wendy was boiling water and making drinks at the peak and this time, we have the choice of Milo, Nescafe, coffer or tea. While admiring the scenic surrounding, the sunlight was strong and glaring at 9:30 a.m.

One can tell whether a trekker is new or an experienced one in this field. During the descent, one of the trekkers was a few meters behind me. Occasionally, I could hear the sound similar to a heap of clothing being dropped down and I have to raise my head to see what actually happened just in case any of the trekkers slipped – the landing was not smooth.

No matter how hard I tried while descent, I was always slower than Wendy. Chef Chan, the pro, was disappeared much further down the ridge. They were swift in action. Most of the time, Wendy would just sit there – like a sifu waiting for the apprentices – looking upward and waited for us. It was just like running – the fast and the slow runners. Climbing a ridge requires guts and skills. Somehow, being a runner after running for too long time on the plain, I have the phobia when ascending and descending vertical steep slopes.

While crossing the same stream, the rock obstacle, which took us a while to traverse at first, was seemed effortless to cross after undergoing a much tougher terrain.

Overall, it was a challenging climb that took 3.5 hours to return to base. I was completely drenched with sweat while both my hands were shaken a little with the hard pulling to maintain balance during the climb. Any person who can tackle the climb at Klang Gate Ridge would be able to trek other mountains – with ease.


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