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


Wan Lin said...

Hi KC, just wondering which direction that leads to the waterfall (the 3rd photo) at Apek Hill.

KC & the Sunshine Runners said...

Hi Wan Lin,
We trekked for a long time up and down the hill; walking on a fallen log above a stream to arrive at this quite a majestic waterfall. We started from Saga Hill. Derrick would know more about it. I still require Derrick to take us again ... :-) KC

Anonymous said...

Just went to Apek yesterday to check out the place (the starting point at Taman Wangsa Cheras). It seems that the place has been walled up and is now illegal to enter? Anybody can confirm this or you still can enter and hike up. Secondly, how's the trail? Is it easy to get lost?

Many thanks.