Monday, August 31, 2009

Saga Hill and Apek Hill

A Wet, Wet Trekking Trip

Please click here to view photos take by yours truly, KC.
"Reaching the peak already?" Sharon asked me albeit in disbelief after we had trekked up the hill for 30 minutes under the heavy rain on Sunday morning, 30 August 2009. Much to the amazement of many of the other hill walkers who were taking shelter under the few canopies in a clearing at certain height of Bukit Saga, our team were all equipped with rain gear save other than PK Chan, the seasoned marathon runner and EBC trekker, who trekked without rain gear with just the Camel hat to cover his head.

First group photo -- the stream is on the left of this photo frame. L-R: Sharon, ChooTS, Henry, Ng, Derrick (in purple), PK Chan, Cheban, OngWK, KC Leong, Yee Choi. Holding camera: Jamie.

After hearing Sharon's comments, I immediately checked with Derrick, the Team Lead for this Bukit Saga/Bukit Apek 'expedition' as it fell short of the 3-hour expectation. He assured me that more exciting terrain would be coming our way. After standing in the rain examining the other walkers for a while (at the same time, let them examine our ‘keng chow’ team also), we sped off into one of the trails again which looked like a maze to me as there were many trails leading to different locations.

Crossing a slopping downwards stream -- Ong WK and Cheban, the EBC trekking agent from Nepal.

Rainy Morning
While waiting for the other team members to arrive at 7:15 a.m., I told Cheban, the Trekking Agent from Nepal who was here to join us in this trekking trip, that it would rain as the dark rain clouds were gathering at an unusual momentum. At 8:30 a.m., three minutes when the team started the trekking, it started to pour. Nothing could stop the team which was all charged up to trek up the hill. So the team proceeded despite the rain while donning rain gear. The starting trail of Bukit Saga was going uphill all the time. On the way up, we met many morning walkers who were hurriedly coming down due to the impending rain. A few were surprise to see us just starting the journey in heavy rain.

Cheban -- first time trekking in a tropical jungle with ease.

What Derrick said was true: the trail led us going up and down the hill in heavy rain. With the slippery ground and water gushing down the slope, it made ascent and descent really challenging. Donning rain gear, I could felt my T-shirt and pants were all wet – the sweat and water were all mixed together. We told Cheban that the rain is a good sign showing the presence of a very important person.

It is an achievement to trek thus under raining condition to stand in front of the waterfall. The water, instead of dropping from top, is now splashing from behind.

At one point, the team has to walk on a fallen log resting above a stream. With the rain, the surface was slippery that required much focus and steady landing to avoid falling into the steam. We were trilled when we finally saw flowing water cascading down the rocks. Yee Choi and Cheban proceed further and later told us that there were people further down. So the team proceeded further crossing another bigger stream. Since we were wet, we did not hesitate to cross the stream in knee-length deep in fast moving water. We were trilled to see quite a moderately high waterfall. At that very moment, I realized that I have been there before (in February 2009) using a different shorter route from Bukit Apek.

Another group photo at a lower and milder waterfall.
L-R: OngWK, PK Chan, Ng, KC Leong, ChooTS, Sharon, Derrick (in purple), Jamie, Cheban, Yee Choi.

After the first waterfall, we proceeded to another waterfall further down. So we managed to arrive at two waterfalls within one single trekking in a wet, wet, wet Sunday morning.

Later, we returned via Bukit Apek trail crossing over to Bukit Saga. We rested at the clearing where the team was admired by other trekkers in the morning. This time, the area was empty without people. We took another 30 minutes to go down the Saga Hill. Total trekking time: 4.5 hours. The team then proceeded to Taman Muda area in Cheras for lunch.

EBC Lady in wet suit -- Sharon

A few weeks ago, in anticipating of the trekking to Saga and Apek Hills, I have requested Derrick, my badminton kaki, to lead the team for a 3-hour trekking. He was most kind to take up the challenge and he has been surveying and trekking the connecting hills two weeks in advance to design the route that could last for three hours. To ensure everyone was happy (with much activity), he constantly asked the team whether we have enough of trekking. Otherwise, he could just lead the team into another longer trail. Thanks to Derrick for a task well done!
Please click here to view previous posting on Apek Hill... scroll down the pages.

Please click here for another 7 hours of reverse 'expedition' on 21 September 2009.

Written by KC

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Putrajaya 12 Hours Walk

Josie Yap sent me the notification of 2nd Putrajaya International 12-Hour Walk 2009 the moment the event is published. Details are follows:

Event: 2nd Putrajaya International 12-Hour Walk 2009
Date: Saturday 12 December, 8pm
Venue: Putrajaya Boulevard.

She was participating in the 12-hour walk last year. Despite the tough challenge, it was such a fun event that she is eager to participate again this year.

To all trekkers, this is a highly recommended event by yours truly, KC. While most of you have climbed numerous mountains and hills, this is one event where you only walk on a plain – but for 12 hours.

For those who have doubts as to how to last or walk for 12 hours, the organizer actually provide hot red bean tong sui, fried bee hoon, sandwiches, power drink, water, etc and etc, enough to power you to walk for 24 hours. BRAVO to the organizer which is walkers-friendly and take care of details.

Rocky Dan (left) with his signature mobile gas burner

As to where to sleep if you are sleepy, well, don't forget that being a trekker, you have your camping tent, camping utensils, mobile gas burner, etc. You just chose your territory next to the walking route. Imagine pitching your camping tent at the Boulevard of Putrajaya – the Administration Centre of the Government of Malaysia. Wow! What an experience! That would be the shortest route to your bed. Do remember to invite me if I am tired too.

If you must have your Maggi mee with hot Tom Yam flavour, you can set up your mobile gas burner and start boiling water and making the delicious bowl of noodle, just like what Rocky Dan use to do after arriving at the peak of Gunung-gunung.

Another good thing about this 12-hour walk is that you would have lots of time to chat with your friends which is usually not possible when you are participating in running event. You can even discuss (or argue) on the hottest political events taking place until the cows come home and you are probably still walking within the 12 hours limit.

Since all the participants are walking in a circuit, you can actually see all your friends or if you would like, make new friends. You can then chat from Friend A until Friend Z. I am sure 12 hours would seem like 2 hours.

The late Michael Jackson in The Thriller

In the early hours, it is recommended that you should continue talking to your friends or even repeatedly use the same ice-breaker scripts to any new friends such as “It is very hot this evening.” If you don’t, and sleepiness creeps in, you may walk like a zombie. Of course, this year, the organizer may play Michael Jackson’s top hits – The Thriller – and a group of participants in the correct condition and in perfect timing (early hours) may want to dance to the tune.

The dancing concept is something similar to Bollywood movies where immediately after one ‘keng cheong’ scene, we have one group of dancers – don’t know where do they come from – happily dancing around. Of course, in the 12-Hour Walk, all dancers will be the registered walkers and there will be no phantom or ghostly participants.

As to what is the feeling when one completes the race; Well, click at the link below to my blogsite and scroll down the pages where you see the expression of two girl participants (in purple and white T-shirts); photo by courtesy of WENG.

BTW, many months later (after the event), Sasa and Leng (both new friends) responded to the Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC) article in The Star newspaper in May 2009. Click here. When I requested for something for ease in identification, they asked me to go to KC and the Sunshine Runners blosite at certain URL address. Hey, that is my blogsite.... Nervously, I probe on and realised that the photos that I have selected (because they look good) for the 12-hour Putrajaya walk, they were Leng (B467) and Sasa (B466).

In jubilation – Leng and Sasa when completing the Putrajaya 12-Hour Walk 2008
Click here for the previous postings published by yours truly (KC) on the Putrajaya 12-hour Walk (scroll down the pages).

Click here for official website

Note: This posting is written with humour, indented to amuse the readers; at the same time, promote the event. However, if it generates negative feeling, my apology.
Written by KC

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheban in Malaysia

We are quite excited to welcome Cheban, the EBC Trekking Agent from Nepal, who came to participate in the MATTA fair in promoting Nepal tourism. For your info, the MATTA fair in Ipoh was held from 21 – 23 August 2009; Kuala Lumpur MATTA fair would be from 4 – 6 September 2009.

Saturday 15 August, 9 pm - I could not believe it: many smaller hotels in Petaling Street and Raja Laut areas were full house!! After the eighth attempt, we finally got one in Jalan Raja Laut. Reason for Cheban to stay there: the Putra Bus Station (to Kota Baru) is at The Mall (or opposite PWTC) and not in Puduraya. He would be going to Kota Baru the following day.

Savouring the King of fruits: (L-R) PK Chan, Lili Ng, Cheban, Tai. Photo courtesy of PK Chan.

Report from PK Chan (an EBC 4Oct2009 Team Member):

I fetched Cheban from a hotel opposite PuduRaya Bus station, Kuala Lumpur yesterday evening (20 August). He checked in early morning following a fruitful visit to Kota Baru where he met up the group who went to EBC in May 2009. He informed that the group of 6 successfully scaled EBC except one who suffered some mild altitude sickness.

I brought him to a vegetarian restaurant at Jaya 1 for dinner. Lili Ng and Tai (former Annapurna Base Camp trekkers in May 2008) joined us on last minute invite since they lived nearby.

Guess what, we later went to the famous durian stalls in SS2. Cheban was courageous enough to have durian for the first time in his life! (Attached photos from my mobile; sorry poor shots.)
Cheban, the EBC trekking agent from Nepal who come to Kuala Lumpur to participate in the MATTA fair in promoting Nepal tourism

Response from yours truly, KC (EBC Team Lead):
Thanks Pk for your kind effort. The photos are well taken that look like a tourism campaign promoting the King of Fruits with a model engaged from Nepal set in a misty environment ... :-)
Of course, other than the few leng chai gentlemen, it is good to see our gorgeous Lili Ng again.
Cheban, I hope you have a good time in Kelantan visiting our serene seaside which is just the opposite of Mount Everest. So you actually travel from the mountain top to the ocean deep (okay, could be just the surface)... :-)
Do inform us if you like the durians as it is in season. Eating durian is like drinking Guinness stout: you may not like it the first time but given time, you would savour the unique aroma and taste of this fruit. Cheers!
Reply from Cheban:
It was really so nice and a wonderful evening having durian and dinner with PK Chan, Grace, Tai and Lili. My visit to Ipoh MATTA fair was not much interesting and not what I was expected. There were very few companies around. Tomorrow I am coming back to Kuala Lumpur again. Will see you all soon. With kind regards, Cheban.
More about Cheban ... click here.
Cheban's trekking company in Nepal ... click here.
About ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trip in May 2008 ... click here
Posted by KC

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gunung Angsi

As part of the training programme for the Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC) trekking trip from 04 October 2009, the EBC team and other trekker friends were excitedly went trekking to Gunung Angsi in Seremban.
Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Pei Ling
Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Leng
Countdown to EBC trekking trip = 40 days
A group photo before the start of trekking. A cone on Alexis's (in yellow) head?
Photo by Pei Ling, an EBC team member.

Fiona - with the dry season, less water in the stream that makes crossing easy

Fiona and Pei Ling -- deep in the canyon?
Obstacle course along the trek. Sharon Tan at foreground.

Sasa with a 'yow yeng' pose while Pei Ling looks on (photo by Leng)

Wong, Joseph, Leng, Fiona ... while Sasa is on her way up

Rocky Dan's signature camping equipment

Wong, Joseph, Sharon Tan ... (front) Leng, Sasa, Alexis

The amount of nasi lemak can power two trips of G. Angsi climb ... :-) Sharon and Leng

The group has some refreshment at the peak (Lisa is at right)

Another group photo at the peak of G. Angsi

At the famous steam sang yee restaurant in Seri Kembangan (Kuala Lumpur). Yummy, yummy... Look at the number of dishes! Definitely a sumptuous meal ... Fiona, Sharon Tan, PK Chan, Leng.

Just like in trekking -- keep the environment clean
Posted by KC
EBC Team Lead

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Rat Race (3)

Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2009 (or KL Rat Race):

Please click here to view Album 4 -- photos by courtesy of JASON LEE.

Dress to the occasion

Yes! Almost there !

Nice facial drawing

Posted by KC

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Rat Race (2)

The Edge - Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2009 (or KL Rat Race)

Please click here to view Album 3 -- photos by courtesy of JASON LEE. Stay tuned for more photos...

Shierley - The gorgeous runner

With wings some more ...

Posted by KC

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Rat Race

Event: The Edge - Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2009
Date: 11 August 2009, Tuesday
Venue: Bursa Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Start Time: 5:00 p.m.
Running Attire: In office attire with running shoes.

Photos by courtesy of JASON LEE... stay tuned for more photos.

click here for Album 1

click here for Album 2.

The event was flagged off in pomp and splendour
Running in office attire complete with ties and executive suites
Good turnouts

Performance of cheerleading teams that spice up the event and attract much attention

Say Cheese !!

In the driver's seat
Running with a trendy handbag

(Jason Lee - left)
Posted by KC

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bukit Tabur

It was a free and easy filler trek -- 11 trekkers and a mountain dog went for this trekking trip at Bukit Tabur (or Klang Gate Ridge). Lead by Rocky Dan, and at times, the mountain dog, we went by the orchard way that was planted with many fruit trees such as durian, champedak, mangostin, petai, etc. The chempedak and petai radiated their unique fragrance; we could tell which territory we were at without even looking around.
Started at 7:45 a.m., the trip took about 1 hr 10 minutes to arrive at the 'peak'. We rested at the 'carpet' area; round trip took about 3 hours. The group then adjourned to a makmak coffee shop for drinks and chat and have good laugh. Thanks to PK Chan who paid the bill for all. We left at 11:30 a.m.

We went by the orchard way with many durian, chempedak, petai, mangostin trees, etc ... Siti, Alexis, Yoke Ching.

Tough uphill climb

This female dog is unique: it follows the pack (at times, lead the pack) to the peak. Alexis and Siti are giving drinking water to the dog. They tried giving it 100 Plus and it does did not like sweet drinks -- must be a purist.
PK Chan's trekking pants (Brooks brand) attracted many weeds. One trekker said it is the testimony that he went trekking and not elsewhere... :-) Another trekker quipped (stretching the imagination) that it is also a good idea to wear pants that can auto attract rubbish (for ease in auto retrieval) -- The Magnetic auto-rubbish trekking pants
It is a small group today. Photo taken by Siti. Notice the bird flying above.
L-R (back): WongFK, Yoke Ching, Simon Tan and son, yours truly KC
(front): Rocky Dan, PK Chan, Bernard Lee, Shirley, Alexis.
Taking a breather -- Wong, Alexis, PK Chan, Yoke Ching

Bernard Lee is offering the chempedak (drop on the ground when we passed by the orchard).
L-R: Siti, Shirley, Rocky Dan, Bernard Lee

This is where we rest... Simon Tan (in yellow) and son.

A grass carpet

On the way down... Siti in foreground. She is one of the EBC team members.
Close up of the seeds of grass for pollination via PK Chan's pants.
KL Executive Rat Race -- stay tuned... work in progress to process photos from Jason Lee.
Written and posted by KC