Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All Systems Go!!

Note: There will be no postings for one month ... busy trekking to the Base Camp of Mount Everest.

I am pleased to inform that Jason Lee and Weng would be going to KLIA on 4 October 2009 morning to take group photos for the 13-member EBC team. While the team is flying to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal (via Thai Airways; transit in Bangkok), Weng would then process the photos and post them into his current photo galleries.

Do visit WENG's photo galleries below:
Click here for current photo albums (2nd and newer one).

Click here for photo albums (first album).

Till we meet again.

Happy Running and Happy Trekking


Jason Lee and Weng would be taking photos in the coming Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 (swim-cycle-run) to be held on Sunday 4 October 2009.
Weng with his new toy: Nikon D90 DSLR.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Local Training for EBC

After six months of almost weekly training for trekking in local hills or mountains of Malaysia, the EBC team is primed for the challenging action -- trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest (EBC) on 4 October 2009.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following Team Leads for leading trekkers to the various local hills/mountains during training:

Gunung Kutu - Rambo Chan and Rocky Dan
Pine Tree Trail - Tony Q
Kemensih Trail - Agnes Tan
Gunung Angsi - Rocky Dan and PK Chan
Gunung Irau - Tony Q
Bukit Saga/Bukit Apek/Waterfalls - Derrick
Other Hills (mention below) - Yours truly (KC)

Of course, all trekking trips would not have been possible if without the trekkers. In future, if you are interested to join us in trekking, do let me know (email address at the left sidebar of this blogsite).

Here is the score card for the local trekking trips:

Pine Tree Trail, Fraser's Hill - 8 February 2009: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Gunung Angsi - 11 April 2009: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Star Metro Newspaper Photo-shoot at Bukit Tabur - 25 April 2009: Prelude, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
EBC Article Appearing in The Star newspaper - 7 May 2009: click here
Gunung Nuang - 23 May 2009: Part 1, Part 2
Broga Hill - 13 June 2009: click here
Kemensah Trail - 21 June 2009

Gunung Irau, Cameron Highlands - 4 July 2009: Prelude, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Gunung Kutu, Kuala Kubu Baru - 11 July 2009: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Bukit Tabur (orchard way) - 18 July 2009: click here
Gunung Datuk, Seremban - 25 July 2009: click here
Bukit Gasing - 1 Aug 2009 (3 loops)

Gunung Angsi, Seremban - 8 August 2009: click here
Gunung Nuang (to the peak) - 15 August 2009
Hungry Ghost Month and Puasa Month:
Batu Caves (10 loops) - 23 August 2009: click here
Bukit Saga/Apek/Waterfalls - 30 August 2009: click here
Bukit Tabur (replaced by Melawati Hill) - 6 September 2009: click here
Batu Caves - 13 September 2009: click here
Bukit Apek/Saga/Waterfalls - 21 September 2009: click here
For a complete series of postings relating to EBC, click here (scroll down the pages).

Posted by KC
EBC (4 October 2009)

Monday, September 28, 2009

EBC - Camera Batteries and SD Cards

Jason Lee and Osaga Yap

I am pleased to inform that the Jason Lee, Osaga Yap and Weng are most kind to lend me their Nikon Lithium-Ion Battery Pack EN-EL3e and SD cards. So with the extra batteries and memory cards, I do not have to worry much about running out of battery power or memory storage when trekking to the Base Camp of Mount Everest.

Jason Lee even readily lend his CF (compact flash) memory cards after hearing that Pei Ling (EBC team member), who is using Sony Alpha 200 DSLR, requires additional memory cards.

Yap even offer to lend me his portable harddisk for transferring data in SD cards to the portable harddisk (thereby reusing the same SD card again). Since additional equipment means additional batteries, so I just rely on brining many SD cards.


Battery packs for Nikon DSLR and SD memory cards

In the Himalayan region, the lodges use solar panel to convert energy to charge the battery for lighting use. As such, it is not possible at this moment to charge any battery packs of cameras. The only solution is to bring many batteries.

Last year, for the 12-day ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trekking trip in May 2008, I took about 2,000 shots. So for a 17-day EBC trekking trip this 4 October 2009, it is estimated that I would take 2,800 photos for the Group.

To Jason Lee, Osaga Yap and Weng: thanks for your kind gesture.

Posted by KC
EBC (4 Oct 2009) Team Lead


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apek Hill and Saga Hill

Countdown to EBC Trekking = 7 DAYS.

Please click here to view photos taken by yours truly, KC.

“If we take the long way, by 6:00 p.m., we could still be trekking around within Bukit Saga and Bukit Apek,” I was conversing with Shirley who seems amused with my remarks. We started the trekking at 7:45 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m., after almost seven hours, the team of 12 trekkers are still trekking around.

This is the second time that I engaged Derrick, my badminton friend, as Saga/Apek Team Lead. We start from Apek Hill in Cheras and reverse the order of trekking as compared to the previous trip – trek in heavy rain – three weeks ago. Click here

At the lower waterfall. Before we could arrive here, we went up and down the hill for some warm-up trips. Derrick, Saga Team Lead, is in green T-shirt.
The four heavenly beauties from this team ... Carol, Shirley, Alexis, Su.

When we finally emerged from the jungle, we all enjoyed ourselves with fresh fruits and tong sui bought from the make-shift stall (at the edge of the jungle). Never mind the condition of the stall but the stall keeper, who was assisted by his daughter, sell sweet juicy fruits and icy cold drinks.

Last time, we never like to trek at Bukit Saga and Bukit Apek as it was not too challenging. Besides, round trip takes about 1.5 hours. But with a wider coverage, we could trek the whole day. The best thing is that with the abundance of trees, the trails are well shaded.
We meet ChongYF, Lai Khuan, Carina group of trekkers

L-R: KC, Derrick, Henry, SC Yong, Mak, Carol, Bernard, Sie ... Front: Shirley, Su, Eric, Alexis

Connecting the hilltop of Bukit Apek to Bukit Saga, the terrain is flat which is very good for trail running. The best thing about trekking here is that the trails are well-labeled with direction. Besides, with many people walking around, the trails are clearly visible and wide – much like a superhighway.

The fun things about trekking here is that there are a few waterfalls where one can relax and dip into the cold water. Further into the jungle, there are a few shelters complete with cooking utensils that look like a sanctuary located next to a pond that rear talapia fish.
How to cross the stream? Our Saga Team Lead, Derrick, is busy looking for some rocks.

The only way out is to walk on top of the fallen log. Two weeks ago, when it was raining cat and dog, the whole area was filled with water. Walking on the log was then slippery.

After trekking around so many hills/mountains, my choice venue for training has to be Bukit Apek/Bukit Saga. The reasons are: (a) located in Cheras which require shorter traveling time, (b) not too tough condition with up and down terrain, (c) very shady; one can trek any time of the day, (d) waterfalls and sanctuary area enhance trip and make the trip more enjoyable, (e) fruit and tong sui stalls nearby; one would just detour to enjoy the refreshing drinks.

After having completed almost six months of training, this would be the final local trekking trip before the EBC team departs for a challenging trip to the Base Camp of Mount Everest on 4 October 2009.

Alexis relaxing in a sanctuary located deep in the jungle

Boiling water and making tea


Derrick and Su enjoying the swing ... just like when we were young

Mak... watch up for Alexis's muddy shoes

The happy and satisfied trekkers roaming around Bukit Apek/Bukit Saga/Waterfalls ... goodbye.

Written by KC
EBC (4 October 2009) Team Lead

Thursday, September 24, 2009


L-R: Wong, Fiona, Jayne, Leng, Sharon and Joseph.
Joseph is holding the EBC certificate made by him for the EBC Team
(he is not able to join the EBC team)

Joseph Yong invited the EBC team members for fellowship and dinner (and some beers too) on Thursday 17 Sept. The venue of the fine dining was at BRUSSELS. Located at Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, it is a popular watering hold for Belgian, German, etc. for beer and good food.
Other than Wong FK, all the other EBC guys were not able to make it on weekday evening. The line-up for the gals trekkers are Fiona, Sharon Tan, Jayne, Leng and Hooi Ling.

Wong was worried as the gals outnumbered the guys. Nevertheless, it was the envy of many guys (for those that could not go, including yours truly) with all the good food, cozy ambience and pretty ladies. Okay, some guys have all the luck (by Rod Steward).

On that Thursday evening (two days before the Hari Raya celebration) it was raining cat and dog. Come rain or shine, the trekkers (or runners) would not let their buddies down; what more it was in a sheltered restaurant – the show must go on.

Brownie with ice cream ... hmm... yummy

Before the event, there were many emails flying around within the group. But the following day after the dinner, it was just too quiet and a few of the guy trekkers were showing concern of what actually happened (particularly to the gals also).

As feedback by Wong, there were many topics being discussed while they dined: other than the standards subjects like politics, health, medication, and women, etc the learned gals shared views on what to do and how to survive when they will be on the EBC treks in two weeks' time. As you can see, the meeting of trekkers would discuss trekking activities while runners would talk about marathons. Depending on the audience, these are very uninteresting topics for non-trekkers and non-runners.

The gorgeous EBC ladies

From the photos taken by Leng, it was indeed a splendid dinner with good food and hearty laughter amid good fellowship.

The EBC team shall have Part 2 in Kathmandu celebrating the achievement of the mission in the cool autumn evening in Nepal. We were told that Khukri Rum, the oldest rum in Nepal, distilled by using only the freshest water from Mount Everest, when mixed with Coke, make an excellent drink for celebration ... Cheers!

White Dragon – Joseph’s nickname is called White Dragon as his signature trekking pants are white. He must have possessed sifu skill as his pants are still in immaculate white as before even after a trekking trip with muddy trails. Nevertheless, there was competition in maintaining spotlessly clean and white with White Phoenix (Fiona … EBC team member) who was wearing white skirts or shorts for local trekking too. Well, even in this dinner, they were wearing white tops. And the winner is obvious.

Click here to view photos by courtesy of Leng.

Written by KC

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

EBC Medication Sponsor by Dr Shara

I am pleased to inform you that I went to Dr Shara's clinic in Shah Alam on Sunday 13 September. He is most kind to sponsor the common medication necessary for the EBC trekking (Mount Everest Base Camp) starting 4 October 2009.
On behalf of the EBC team, we would like to thank you for your kind gesture.
Dr Shara will be trekking twin peaks (EBC, 5550m and Island Peak, 6200m) from 27 October to 18 November 2009. We would like to wish him a smooth and successful journey too.

Please scroll down the email for the types of medication sponsored by him.
Dr. Shara checking the summary list of medication. On the table are part of the medication sponsored by him.
Yours truly (KC) and Dr Shara
Dr Shara (left), KC ... at the Adidas KOTR run on 2 August 2009

Problem -- Drug Name
Abdominal Colic -- T. Buscopan
Nausea/Wind -- T. Domperidone
Diarhoea -- T. Immodium
Body ache/Joint pains -- T.Diclofenac
Severe joint pains -- T. Meloxicam (brand name=Mobic)
Running Nose/ Allergies/ Itch -- T. Loratadine
Severe Allergies/Swellings -- T. Prednisoione
Dehydration -- ORS salt
Fever -- T. Paracetamol
Sprains -- Voren Plus Gel
Snow Blindness -- CMC eye oint
Oral Ulcer -- Triamcinolone oint
Muscle Relaxant -- T. Orphenadrine (can cause drowsy)
Vomitting -- T. Maxalon
Sprains -- Elastic Crepe Bandages
Arm Sling -- Triangular Bandages

Clinic Address:

Klinik Damai,
30 Jalan Kristal J7/J,
Section 7,
Shah Alam

Posted by KC

EBC Team Leader (4 October 2009)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Training at Batu Caves (2)

I was awoken by the sound of thunder and continual flashes of lightning this morning at 4:45 a.m., a little earlier than my usual time to wake up. I was thinking: not raining again as last Sunday (6 Sept), it was also raining heavily for hours just before we went for the Bukit Tabur trek. I hope the rain did not deter other trekkers from going for the training at Batu Caves this morning, Sunday 13 September.

This morning, all those that have indicated to participate in the training actually came. I got to meet Irene Ng and her team of trekkers; Su, AB Tan and Rose Chin.

After the morning rain, the air was clean and the environment was calm with many pigeons flying around enjoying the fresh air too.

Most of us did 10 loops while AB Tan is doing 20 loops.

This time, the topics of discussion focus more on the EBC treks: the journey and the trekking gear. Jayne Aw showed us her newly bought hat, down jacket and the compressible plastic bag (called Smart Bag).

Enjoying the fresh coconut juice after 10 rounds of going and down the 272 steps of Batu Caves.
L-R: Jayne, Alexis, Sharon, Ikhwan, Siti, Rocky Dan, KC, Su.
. L-R: Siti, Rocky Dan, KC, Su, Sharon, Jayne, Alexis, Ikhwan.
Jayne is demonstrating the new hat for the coming trekking at EBC (on 4 October) posing for camera behind her new Mercedes Benz E200 Kompressor (tai sei ngan ... with big and small head lamps)

The Arabian Morning - Sharon, Rocky Dan, Alexis, Jayne, Siti and Ikhwan. Ikhwan is showing a compressed down jacket of Jayne in a Smart Bag.

Jayne is showing her nice looking, new down jacket (complete with fur)

Click here for previous training at Batu Caves (scroll down the pages)

Posted by KC


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

High Altitude Sickness

Countdown to the great trekking trip to Himalayan: 18 Days.
The EBC team has been training together at local hills every weekend since May 2009 in preparation for the trekking trip to the Base Camp of Mount Everest (EBC) on 4 October 2009. This time, instead of talking about fitness level, the 13-member team is now focusing on trekking gear, high altitude sickness and what to do while on the treks in Himalayan, Nepal.
To overcome the problem of high altitude sickness, the most popular medication is the Diamox. Diamox is a very popular brand name for Acetazolamide, just like Panadol for Paracetamol.
Here are the interesting exchange of emails from team members on high altitude sickness, the method of prevention and the medication:


Response from PK Chan

I have just checked with a Pharmacy which supplies to our company clinic. Price indication is RM 0.60 per tablet. Guess what: Viagra is also an effective remedy in case of an AMS (acute mountain sickness) attack. AMS as I first heard from one of our trekkers who went to Kalapathar last year; this was prescribed to him by his physician.
I spoke to my pharmacist who confirmed the many other uses of Viagra which is also deployed for treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases including children who suffer heart malfunction etc. The inventor has since won the Noble prize for that discovery. The question is can we afford to buy some stock: RM 40 per tablet!

Response from Yours Truly (KC)

Thanks to PK for the insights. High altitude sickness is partly caused by insufficient flow of blood to our head (my understanding). But then the Viagra would pump the blood to other parts of our body, thereby depleting the much needed blood to the head. We may have a situation where a trekker could not walk due to two problems instead of the original problem. While the head is unmotivated to move, the lower part is highly excited (and cause movement even difficult) ... :-)
40 tablets of Diamox = RM 24 whereas one tablet of Viagra is RM 40; we need to cut the Viagra pill into 80 pieces to have the same equivalent.

Response from SC Yong

I think it is a good idea to take along some Diamox as nobody knows what will actually happen once we hit the highlands. Another side effect of taking Diamox from my two friends (who went with me to Tibet) is numbness of the hands for a number of hours. Nevertheless, everyone who takes Diamox feels better after an initial attack of AMS.

Yours truly (KC) and PK Chan

Trial Course of Diamox
(Extracted from Internet)

Since Diamox is a sulfonamide drug, people who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Diamox. Diamox has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions to people with no previous history of Diamox or sulfa allergies. Frank Hubbell of SOLO recommends a trial course of the drug before going to a remote location where a severe allergic reaction could prove difficult to treat.
Fiona, Pei Ling, Huei Ling, Alexis

Response from Alexis:

Hmmm… I don’t know what views to give as I am an inexperience trekker in high mountains. Anyway, I don’t mind trying in Kuala Lumpur first – of course, I mean the Diamox.
Response from Jayne:
I tried one tablet during Sikkim trekking at above 4,000m last year. No feeling then because I was frozen to numbness. So I didn't continue with that and was OK later without encountering AMS. I can try two tablets in Kuala Lumpur while my sense of feel is still normal, and don't mind hallucinating at home.

Response from Yours Truly (KC)

Hallucination... we sound like the hippies in the early 70's taking drug and hallucination. Maybe the effect would give us better inspiration in thinking for new ideas. So on Sunday 13 September while training at Batu Caves, I packed two tablets in each small plastic bag and distributed to the team members. One member said if one mixs Diamox with Viagra, the effect would be fantastic and unimaginable. With the numbness from Diamox, one can just go on, and on, and on ....
L-R: Fiona, Jayne Aw, Amanda, Sharon, Kelly

Response from Fiona

I just spoke to a friend who specializes in Internal Medicine. He cautions me about Diamox. His advice was to avoid taking it if possible. He warns some human bodies may react too quickly and cause a plunge in blood pressure or something...

I am now going to drown myself with 2 Ginkgo tablets (food supplement type) everyday as prevention measures.

Test report from Sharon Tan

Don't try Diamox unless it's necessary! I took only one tablet last Sunday afternoon (13 Sept) and the effect lasted until Monday afternoon (about 24 hours). My fingers went numb with pricking sensation (maybe others parts of my body also went dumb). My heart beat faster than normal; I became very weak and sleepy. How to trek if taking Diamox in EBC?

Posted by KC


Monday, September 14, 2009

Sky Trex Adventure

I am pleased to inform that the EBC trekking team will be going for an outdoor chellenge at Sky Trex Adventure, Taman Pertanian, Shah Alam on Saturday 7 November 2009.

This event will be organized by Leng. She has been to this adventure land numerous times already.

However, due to its popularity, advanced booking is required. So if you are interested to join the team, please contact Leng before 23 September 2009. She can be contacted at

Here are the photos by courtesy of Leng.

Click here for Extreme Challenge

Click here for Big Thrill

Click here for Little Adventure.

Extreme Challenge -- for runners and trekkers
Big Thrill - for those not too keng chow (active) enthusiasts
Little Adventure - for kids

Sasa - taking the Extreme Challenge

Leng - the organizer
Posted by KC

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Melawati Hill

It was indeed a cool morning after hours of morning rain. Instead of the planned venue of trekking at Bukit Tabur on Sunday morning, 6 September, we decided to walk up a hill nearby – Melawati Hill - lead by Rocky Dan. The reason being after the rain, the trail at Bukit Tabur could be slippery which makes trekking up the hill difficult.

While standing at the peak of Bukit Tabur, Melawati Hill is clearly visible and is a much smaller hill. The tar road leading to the top of Melawai Hill is newly paved with another layer of tarmac. With the gradual slope, it is most ideal for training to run up and down the hill.

L-R: KC, Agnes Tan, Francis Chiong, Alexis, Rocky Dan, Siti, Ikhwan

When we were walking up and down the Melawati Hill, almost all of the Chinese morning walkers know Rocky Dan. Rocky Dan was pleased to introduce that "These are my Mount Everest Base Camp" trekking friends.
As I can see, he is quite famous there. Rocky Dan, Siti and Ikhwan (all three are EBC members) made an early exit while the rest of the team continued with another loop. We then went to the nearby mamak coffee shop for a drink.

Bukit Tabur is being decorated by a layer of white mist/clouds after the morning rain. Background is Genting Highlands.

Top of Melawai Hill -- the flat land is most ideal for group outdoor activities

Posted by KC

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Looping in Circuit

"You won't get dizzy meh?" a trekker friend asked me after I told her that I run round the 400 meters track at MPSJ, Subang Jaya for two hours for my training. While she was amused with my answer, I too, was amused with her question.

Another runner friend commented that it would be too boring or monotonous running round for two hours and she was amaze with my focus to continue for that long duration.

If we were to spin round for two minutes, most likely, we would get dizziness. But the 400 meters track is quite a long distance, depending how one looks at it.

MPSJ statium in Subang Jaya (photos are taken during past 10km Subang Jaya Run)

For the past few months, it has become a repeatable process for my exercising and training regime: Friday evening playing badminton; Saturday morning going trekking (training for Mount Everest Base Camp, EBC) and Sunday morning going for runs at MPSJ stadium.
The advantage of running at MPSJ stadium is that it is very near my house – 700 meters only. So there isn’t much preparation; unlike running at Bukit Aman car park, I have to wake up early and drive all the way there.
As to how to complete the 2-hour run, the first one hour is usually run in darkness (before the sun comes out). Since it is dark, there is not much different whether I am looping or running on a highway – cant’ see much anyway. The second half is done in daylight.
I realize that when I run at the MPSJ stadium, I would tend to run faster compared to my training at Bukit Aman car park. It is interesting to find out what motivates me to run faster.
This is how I make the run more interesting with the 400m circuit: I identified one runner who run quite fast and pace with him. While he is running in the inner loop, I am running at the outer loop. So I need to run much faster than him in order to maintain the pace. When I get tired a bit, I slow down and look for the next runner to challenge.

From the angle of VIP seats

As to the running gear, I could not wear the high-cut running shorts and vest – too exposed. Most walkers there wear T-shirts and track bottoms. So I have to respect the general dress code by wearing a slightly longer type of shorts, and vest which covers more on the shoulder part. Most people there are just walking and they must be wondering why this runner wants to run here for hours.

There are many walkers exercising on Sunday morning at the MPSJ stadium. At 8am, there is the aerobic session. I see many men are also happily doing the aerobic exercise also. I believe this is the in thing, only the focused runner continues with his run.

Written by KC

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pro at Work

Photos are extracted from internet emails. Captions are created by yours truly, KC. Looking at these photographers, at times, I could imagine that I also go that extra mile to capture that precious moment with a choiced angle that yield a spetacular effect.

AHHHH … who stepped on my toes?!

Dare to be different ... to the photographer who is not in the lorry. What a well-designed lorry to overcome the problem of vision being blocked by another photographer. Could it be the lorry is transporting portion of the bench (from stadium) and they just conveniently sit on it?

For those photographers who take photos of GT Queens at Japan GT at Sepang F1 Circuit, all are standing on flat ground. The photographers in front would block the view behind.
The designer of this multiple launching pad could be getting the idea from the Patriot Missile Launcher. However, he needs a master controller for managing the five cameras. Otherwise, it is like cooking Claypot Chicken rice that the photographer has to inspect each camera, one at a time.

Aisey... even the lenses were neatly arranged in a straight line. Take note of how the photographer stores the spare lens at the left most of the picture. How they could hold the heavy lenses with ease? Each lens is mounted on to a mono-pole instead of the normal tripod.
How could the girl photographer still be smiling? She could be carrying about 40 kg of cameras. My photography friend, Shukri, could tell me by looking at the size of lenses: the larger lens is 600 mm (in focal length), one 500 mm, one 300 and another one is 200 mm lenses. The cameras are Canon brand with the famous white barrel body lenses.
I read in one report that there is a lady photographer who went to a poor village in Africa to take photos. When she was surrounded by the locals wanted to rob her, she point her bazooka lens at them. The fled the hell outa there thinking that it was a huge gun. With the well informed robbers here, the first thing they take away is the huge and expansive lens.
Posted by KC