Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mount Fuji Trekking - Final Briefing

The next posting shall resume in two weeks' time on Sunday, 8 August 2010.
Mount Fuji Japan agar-agar cake by courtesy of Weng

The group gathered for a pre-mission final briefing on Saturday, 24 July 2010 in a cosy corney of Green View Restaurant in Petaling Jaya amid good company and sumptuous dinner.
Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Weng.

Yee Choi, the Team Lead, showing the tactical move in order to arrive at the peak of Mt Fuji subject to weather condition

One of the yummy dishes: Yee Mee with King Prawn, a signature dish of this restaurant

Frong (L-R): Jayne Aw, Yee Choi, Pei Ling, Alexis
Back: KC, Gary Chin, Weng, Chiew Hong, ChooTS, WongFK
Not in photo: PK Chan and Sharon Tan.

Good team spirit for the Mount Fuji Japan trekking team

Attaching flags at the peak of Mt Fuji with name of each member of the team written behind the Malaysian flags ... Alexis

Yeah! One for all, and all for one!

Please click here for a previous posting.
Click here for all postings on Mount Fuji trekking (scroll down the pages; click Older Posts).
Posted by KC

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mount Fuji Japan Trekking – Prelude

Let me share with you what it takes to trek up Mount Fuji Japan. After months of training at the hills/gunung around Kuala Lumpur, the 12-member team click here is ready and shall depart for Japan on Monday 26 July 2010.

Climbing Mount Fuji, most Japanese would take a bus to Station 5 and then trek up to Station 8. Have dinner, sleep early and start trekking up to the peak to see sunrise at 4:45 a.m. The temparature would be around 5 degrees Celsius in the cold morning.

Spectacular sunrise over Mount Fuji

As for the Malaysian team where yours truly (KC) is one of the team members, we are like hero and gung ho up from ground zero to Station 5. Not only that, we carry our main backpacks (as heavy as 10 plus kilograms) as we shall descend to the other side of Mount Fuji.

According to the Team Lead, Yee Choi, we shall start the journey (from a hotel heading to Mount Fuji by bus) at 7:30 a.m. sharp. The team shall wait at the hotel lobby at 6:50 a.m.; breakfast is served at 7:00 a.m. and we have 20 minutes only to complete eating our breakfast before the public bus comes – such is the military precision in carrying out the tasks. Once we are at Mount Fuji, it should be a whole day of intense trekking activities.

100 Yen or RM 3.70 for a visit to toilet at Station 5 or higher

According to brochures, the climbing time to Station 5 is 5-6 hours and from Station 5 to the peak is another 5-6 hours.

At those lodges at Station 5 to 8, I see photos that to go to toilet has to pay 100 Japanese Yen (RM 37 to 1,000 Yen; so 100 Yen is RM 3.70). Drinking water is about 500 Yen (about RM 19) for a 1-litre bottle!!

Tori Gate and Climbers on Mount Fuji

Photos and texts below are extracted from a blogger's site: Andy Gray … click here1 or here2
For now, the important thing to understand is that many people think climbing up Mount Fuji is a drag. I believe 2 percent of Japanese people climb Mount Fuji during the lifetimes. That means that 98 percent of the Japanese people you invite to go with you will decline with reasons like:

a) Hahahaha (nervous laughter, most common),
b) Followed by, "It's too hard" (if you press them), or
c) "I'm not going" (if you continue to press).

Most want to know if I intend to carry oxygen (available in aerosol cans at the place where you start).

Tori Gate and Climbers on Mount Fuji
I'm including this picture to show the crowds climbing up Mount Fuji. This is the very top of the climb, but what you see is a representative section of trail. From about the 8th Station to the top the trail was packed with climbers, exactly as you can see here. Imagine a line 4 or 5 people wide slowly filing into a movie theater (that happens to be at the top of a mountain) and you have a picture of the final two hours before the summit.

On cloud 9 with a spectacular view

As I said, the trail became quite crowded after the 8th Station. We had three hours before sunrise and a short distance remaining, but I started to wonder if we'd make it. Our progress was literally stop and go. In fact, after an hour I concluded that the chances of being on top for sunrise were slim at best. Creeping along I resisted the temptation to "widen" the trail. That is, it's always possible to walk so far to the side of the trail that you can simply pass everyone. The biggest reason not to try this is because if you slip on a rock and start it rolling downhill you might kill someone coming up from below. No kidding.

Click here for the original website and a bigger trail map

The Japanese's saying that a wise person climbs FujiSan once; a fool climbs it twice ... Okay, in a few days' time (26 July 2010), I am going to be a wiser person (not when I organize it for a second try) ... :-) Nevetheless, for trekkers, it is always fun to return with a different group of friends.
Click here for all posting on Mount Fuji trekking (scroll down the pages; click Older Posts).

Posted by KC

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mt Fuji Japan - Final Countdown

Final Countdown to Mt Fuji – Perfect 10 !!

Written by Jayne Aw

Sumimasen! I am not talking about Bo Derek. I am talking about my backpack that has grown in weight from 6 kg to a perfect 10 kg over last couple of weeks.
Of late, a lady with a loaded backpack walking around Bukit Kiara has become a familiar sight to those who frequent there in the morning. Some curious joggers would ask me where I am going; while others would give a pathetic look. A couple of kind souls would offer me some encouraging words.

Although trekking at Mt Fuji only takes 2 days but someone has done some calculation and reckoned that it may not be as easy as we thought so, mainly because we have to climb an elevation of about 2200m from the starting point to Station 8 in one day. When we did the EBC trekking last year, we ascended an elevation of approximately 2500m over 7 days. So we really have to watch out for our pace and potential mountain sickness.
As for the training, I have tested 6kg load at Ledang and subsequently 8 kg load at Apek. So I thought of trying out 10 kg load at Nuang via Janda Baik on 3 July. After a night of Bollywood at my company’s annual dinner, I was feeling a bit groggy the next day due to inadequate sleep. Carrying my 10 kg backpack, I already felt the load. After stuffing a box of “kuih” and a big banana given by some trekkers, my backpack became an over-weight piglet at 11.5 kg! No choice but to lug the backpack with me. So my Bollywood saga continued to Janda Baik, with me rolling down the slopes a couple of times, thanks to the over-weight piglet. To add salt into injury, there were numerous occasions when I have to squeeze through the fallen bamboo trunks. How low could I go with the piglet on my back …

Alas, after assessing my pace, Captain Fuji-san shook his head and said it is unlikely for me to cover Station 1 to Station 8 in 10 hours with my 10 kg backpack. So taking a bus right up to Station 5 and start climbing from there would be a better option. A wise person as I always was, I gladly accepted Option 2. Soon the other “ji mui” joined in, and followed by Fat Wong too.

What Option 2 means to us is that we only need half of the time to reach Station 8 (about 4-5 hours); and we do not need to carry extra water as there are numerous huts selling water along the trail from Station 5 to Station 8. We just need to carry more Yen (no sweat!). Upon reaching Station 8 by noon, we could sit back and relax over a cup of UCC kohi (coffee) and chizu keki (cheese cake) while waiting for the gung ho ultramen panting their way up to Station 8.

Besides weight training with my piglet, I would spend some time every night brushing up my Japanese “ka ki ku ke ko”, just in case I get lost in the train stations of Japan. But it was not as simple as I thought. By the end of the day, I was confused by “ma mi mu me mo”. So I finally gave up and thought I should join the guys to squeeze in the common train compartment (in Japan, there’s separate compartment for the ladies, just in case……..). Otherwise Captain Fuji-san will wave his hand and say “sayonara”, and “ka ki ku ka ki”……… the Teow Chew music.

Jayne Aw

Please click here for previous posting and the team members in this Mount Fuji Japan trekking trip. The team shall depart for Japan on 26 July 2010.

Here are a few of the photos extracted by yours truly (KC) from the internet. Thanks to the photographers who took these excellent photos.

Flowers in full bloom with Mout Fuji in the background

With a bullet train speeding by

It is indeed challenging to trek up to the brim of the volcano by our team
(this coming 26 July 2010)

Wow! Looks quite steep to arrive at the top !!

The Rising Sun

The moment that these trekkers have been waiting for -- witnessing the spectacular sunrise (hope we can also see this beautiful view too).
Posted by KC

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Japan Super GT 2010 Malaysia (4)

Event: Japan Super GT 2010
Date: 19 to 20 June 2010
Venue: Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia

Wei Liam at the starting grid for the Start Procedures

(hold down Ctrl key and) Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Shukri

(hold down Ctrl key and) Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Wei Liam with his brand new 70-200mm VR pro-grade lens.

Background: grand stand of Sepang F1 Circuit

Please click here to view other postings of Japan GT 2010.

Wei Liam was at the Pit Walkabouts and Starting Procedures whereas most of us were looking from the grandstand.

This photo courtesy of Shukri

This photo courtesy of Shukri

From Wei Liam's album

Photographers and F1 Supporters: (L-R) yours truly (KC), Shukri, Melvin, Lam, Wei Liam, Jason Lee

Posted by KC

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gunung Kutu (2)

Good pose ... look like holding up the huge tree trunk

Date: Saturday 10 July 2010

Trekkers: By most of the Mount Fuji Japan team in preparation for the Mount Fuji trekking on 26 July 2010.

Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Gary Chin (one of the Mt Fuji team members) using a Sony water-resistant compact camera. The results look good with photos in vibrant colour.
Everything looks huge here

(hold down Ctrl key and) ...

Please click here for Part 1.

Please click here for all Gunung Kutu trekking; scroll down the pages.

Front: Pei Ling, PK Chan, Yee Choi, ChooTS, Gary Chin
Back: Chiew Hong, Bary, Weng and Alexis

Lost world in G. Kutu

Mini rock hill within G.Kutu

Happy feeling having been trekked up thus far
Trekking in heavy rain

Gary Chin taking a dip in the stream

Posted by KC


Friday, July 16, 2010

Mountain and Water

Chinese paintings by courtesy of Jayne Aw - Part 3

Wondered where on earth is this place? It looks This was sent by someone with a nice name of "The Purple Romance". When I first saw it, I couldn't take my eyes off it and got immersed in the misty purple dawn. So there I was, holding on to my brush and starting to splash ink and colors layer after layer onto the paper. And the outcome is....

Please click here to view 12 beautiful paintings drawn by Jayne Aw. (remember to click Slideshow and hit F11 key for full screen effect)

Click here for Jayne Aw's previous printings.
茫茫白雾迷,淡淡 紫花香。

... my Chinese brush painted version of "The Purple Romance", completed with a pond and purple blooms. My fellow painting mate asked me why I did not add a couple to the painting since this is about romance. I smiled and said "they are already in it...." In Chinese brush painting, one does not attempt to paint all before one's eyes but leave it to the viewer's imagination.
九寨沟 的春天
最近去了一趟九寨沟, 就让沟里面美丽的景色给迷住了。 手中握着的毛笔,随心写意而挥,不知不觉 挥出了九寨沟 里灿烂的美景。。。远方是白的发亮 的雪山, 半坡上堆积着开始溶化的雪, 还有湖中清澈见底的水 和岸上盛开着的梅花,告诉大家春天已经悄悄来临了。。。
Spring in Jiuzhaigou
I went to Jiuzhaigou recently and was enthralled by its beauty. It was an early spring but I got to see a glimpse of winter season as snow was still aplenty. Brought home with me was a myriad of awe-inspiring sceneries of Jiuzhaigou. So even when I did my painting, somehow or another, it would lead to a part of Jiuzhaigou.Standing afar was a distant mountain covered with blinding white snow, with melting ice making its way down the gullies. The lake reflects a multiple hues of emerald green, cobalt blue and turquoise, with full blooms of plum blossoms at the bank that signaled the arrival of spring……
Autumn scene in Jiuzhaigou is even more breathtaking with rich colours of yellow, orange, red to purple dotting the mountain slopes, the reflection of which over the lake, resembles a grand ballroom full of graceful dancers.
群山环抱, 唯我独尊。

喜欢看山喜欢看水,所以我选择爬山。慕名黄山的景色已久, 就是还没有机会到那儿一游。所以就自我掏醉在画中。还在等侯一班舍命陪君子的同好。和我到黄山一齐共观云海。


I like mountains and waters, so most of my paintings ended up with mountains and waters. In Chinese these are referred to as “Shan-Shui”.

Chinese artist does not learn painting by stripping off a woman (or a man for that matter…..) to draw her anatomy. He will escape to the mountains to observe the myriad forms of nature, the trees, rocks, clouds and waterfall in order to paint them. The retreat to the mountains is a search for calm and harmony which are often depicted in most of the Chinese Shan-Shui paintings.
I enjoy my moment of solitude while painting. That is when I could free my thought. Huang Shan has been a great source of inspirations since time immemorial to poets, painters, nature lovers and even the recent movie of Avatar….
This is an abstract style of "Shan-Shui" painting, with the forest behind and a cluster of rocks in front. In between, a stream cuts through and ends at a fall. However on second look, the stream looks more like mountain clouds entwining the rocks and encircling the forest. Erm....actually I wasn't sure what I was drawing. But that doesn't matter, what matters most is the freedom of strokes and the expression of calm and harmony.


If you can’t change the mountain, change the road;

If you can’t change the road, change the person;

If you can’t change the person, change your thought.

This is a traditional style of Chinese Shan-Shui painting as contrasting to the earlier two which are more of abstract painting. At times I wondered if I was learning Chinese brush painting or modern art painting.



Lotus is like a noble gentleman, grows out of muddy water but is not contaminated by it. Chinese artists and poets love it for its beauty and purity. It is viewed most during its full blooms in the summer by sitting next to the pond enjoying a cup of good Chinese tea.


Pine Tree Trail in Fraser’s Hill is one of my favourite trails with its cool and refreshing climate. This photo was taken during my first trekking in 2008. It was an early morning at 7.30am and the forest was enveloped in dense mist. It must have rained the previous night. My first feeling when stepping into the forest was “Narnia….ish”. But then the evil White Witch has long gone, so I have added some colours to the forest……



Peony is regarded as the “king of flowers”. With its rich colours and petal, it is the symbol of rich and happy man. It is one that most Chinese family would like to have as a symbol of prosperity. I will certainly keep this one for myself.

Christmas in Chinese Brush Painting

East meets west. Someone did ask me before if some of my paintings are of oil paintings. Like what Forest Gump’s mum told him, ”Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get.”; painting too, is like a box of chocolates, full of surprises…….
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Click here for all previous postings on Jayne Aw's paintings.
.Jayne Aw can be contacted at

By Jayne Aw

Posted by KC