Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leech Attack at FRIM

“There are many leeches here!” cried Cindy Lim. The word “leeches” jolted everyone from admiring or dreaming about the Crown Shyness Trees (or Kapur Trees. Hurriedly, we continued with our journey in single file meandering through the many curves of Dream Trail.
It was a wet morning on Saturday, 25 August 2012. The rain, however, did not dampen the high spirit of the group: the qiging (chi gong) members and my office colleagues proceed with the trekking as planned despite the rain that started at 6:15 a.m.
Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC).

The show must go on ... with a group of trail runners that started at similar time 

Led by yours truly (KC), we started from Dream Trail amid drizzles at 7:55 a.m.  Arriving at a signage area, the group stopped for group photos with and without the umbrellas in good laughter. We then proceeded to the location where we could view the Crown Shyness Trees (Kapur Trees). When the ‘distress call’ on leeches was signalled by Cindy Lim, everyone was busy looking on the ground and not at the sky anymore. To a few of the members, it was quite a dreadful sight seeing the 1.5-inch long creatures climbing on their shoes in full gusto.

 With Zhineng qigong members and my office colleagues ... yours truly at right.

When we connected to Rover Track, very quickly, we went to a pondok to inspect the degree of leeches attacked. From far, I could hear scream from one of the lady members upon seeing the leeches on her legs. I almost pull away 20 plus leeches from all the trekkers that need help – from very tiny ones to fairly big ones. This is the first time that I see such a short trail infested with leeches. When the inspection was completed, we continued with the journey on Rover Track but skipped the Canopy Walk Trail (as planned) for fear of more leeches attacked.

A group photo at Dream Trail 

We finally returned to FRIM Clubhouse, the place where we parked our cars. Another surprise was that the Clubhouse was still closed for celebrating Hari Raya since 19 August 2012 (Sunday), thus, no way to refresh oneself; and the eatery stalls at the far end of FRIM were closed also.

 Admiring the Crown Shyness Tress (or Kapur Trees)

Interesting quotes at the frantic moment for leeches’ inspection:
Seeing that I do not seem to have any leeches in my feet, one trekker asked: Do the leeches penetrate my Salomon Cross-max trail running shoes? If they don’t, she wants to buy one pair also.

I quipped that the person at the front of the pack would receive fewer attack as he would wake up the leeches ready to pound on the subsequent trekkers.
After this “massive leech attack” incident, a lady trekker said that many of the trekkers would not want to come again when I next hold the trekking trip.

The dreadful signal - many leeches here !! 

Big surprise on the weather:

It was reported in the TV news the night before that the weather forecast (for Saturday morning) would be a sunny morning!! Looking at the thick rain clouds in the sky, it was definitely a major blunder. The rain only stopped at around 9:30 a.m. – three hours later.

 Inspection of leeches attack

Arising from this drama/experience, it is good to spray insect repellent to ward off leeches attack. Spray Baygon (mosquito spray that can even kill crawling insects such as cockroaches) at the outside base of trekking shoes; Mosi-guard (that says proven effective against leeches by local FRIM studies) at the socks and leg area.

 Continuing the journey ... LimMF, Cheryl Tham, ChoiSN

Garmin trail map of FRIM Dream Trail and Rover Track: total distance is 8km; slow trekking takes about 2 hr 15 minutes.

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pine Resorts - Assessment of Venue and Trekking Trails

A few of the Zhineng Qigong organizing committee members went up to Fraser's Hill for an overnight stay at The Pines Resorts on Saturday, 18 August 2012. The purpose is to assess the venue and the facilities for staging a 3D2N retreat workshop on 23-25 November 2012.

When the assessment job was done, led by yours truly (KC), we went round Fraser's Hill to visit a few places of interest and trekking trail heads. Finally, the moment for trial trekking at one of the trails to take note of the terrain and timing that is meant for a group event of 100 people on actual day.

Do click here to view Picasa web photo album on the assessment of venue, facility and trekking trail (45 photos).

Do click here for the full photo album (90 photos).

 Reasonably spacious presentation hall - (L-R): Grace Lim, CheongMW, TanCH, LimBB, Brenda Lee

 Serious work in progress amid graceful smiles

 Measurement of spacing necessary for qigong practice

 The main hall and the spacious balcony ... CheongMW and Grace Lim

 A new day has dawned amid the tranquil, cool and misty sky ... excellent view looking out of the balcony

 The Pines Resorts, Fraser’s Hill nestling on the hill slope

 Lim BB practising chi gong ... with excellent chi field

 The Pines Resorts ... the terrace layout of each unit ensuring unobstructed view of nature

 (left) Yours truly (KC Leong), Brenda, TanCH, LimBB, CheongMW, Grace Lim

 At Ye Olde Smokehouse

 At Allan's Water - closed for Raya Holidays

 The famous Pine Tree Trail

 Trial trekking at the Hemmant Trail that runs alongside the golf course

 Yeah, emerging from the trail

  Passing by the town area

The signature landmark of Fraser's Hill

Trekking at Hemmant Trail is only 15 minutes; walking on the road is about 45 minutes. (from my Garmin FR610 GPS-enabled watch)

Do click here to other chi gong activities involving yours truly (KC). This posting is repeated, do scroll down the pages.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, August 12, 2012

FRIM Trail Running

Trail running at FRIM Kepong on 12 August 2012 (Sunday) with FRIM Trail Runners. Running route: start from Dream Trail, connect to Rover Track, Mountain Bike Track; then heading towards the Gate at Sungei Buloh end; Steroid Hill, Salem High Country; return via Mountain Bike Track to FRIM Clubhouse.

Do click here to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC).

Yours truly (KC) with FRIM Trail Runners ... Allan Lee is the Team Lead (front, left)
 Dream Trail ... a nice trail

 Quite a number of Crown Shyness Trees (Kapur Trees) along the Dream Trail ... notice the clear boundaries set by each tree without touching one another.
 Yvonne, ChongYF and Yin Yin ... admiring the Crown Shyness Trees

 Passing by the Orang Asli settlement ... this time, no more durians

 Yvonne taking photos at foothill of Salem High Country

 Descending Salem High Country ... ChongYF, Yvonne, KC

Return via Mountain Bike Track

Do click here for other postings and photos on FRIM Kepong by yours truly. Scroll down the pages; this posting is repeated.

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, August 06, 2012

Gunung Rajah Trail Running

It was a great day for trail running-cum-trekking by venturing into tougher mountains on Saturday, 4 August 2012. The weather was pleasant and it was overcast the whole day. The chemistry of the group was superb as those present were either avid trail runners or trekkers that we know one another. With the excitement of arriving at the peak of Gunung Rajah (Bentong) and enjoying a cool dip in the cold, pristine water; however, the mood was marred by the much delayed return of a lone trekker of the group.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 The trail runners group ... (Back): Eric, David Spence, Raymond, ChooTS, Shine Teh, Jeff Ooi, Paul Lee; Front: Ching Soo Min, Simon Cross, Tony Quay, Kenny Kwan, Michelle Looi, Lai Kuan, Annie Lim, KC Leong.

Not in the photo: Simon Goh, Lee Ye Ching, Agnes Yew; and the trekkers group.
Passing by Orang Asli settlement ... Choo TS

Even without venturing into the mountain, the Chamang waterfall of Bentong with proper facility (which is just located next to the huge car park) is a pleasant place to enjoy nature and waterfall.

From car park to Hijau Campsite, the ascent is gradual and not too difficult; the toughness starts beyond Hijau Campsite. A few commented that the initial journey along the stretch of earth-based road is not too challenging.

The waterfall and pool near Naning Campsite is pleasant for enjoying a cool dip in the water amid the pristine water and white-washed huge rocks. An interesting observation: we were always running/walking on the left side of the river, even after crossing the big stream.
 At the end of the earth-based road; the orange sign is the entry point to Gunung Rajah.

Here is the timing (moderate pace from car park; 244 meters of elevation) for attempting the peak of Gunung Rajah:

1. Arriving at the end of earth-based road (start of jungle trail) – 45 minutes
2. Arriving at big stream crossing (the big rock) – 1 hour
3. Arriving at Naning Campsite – 30 minutes
4. Arriving at Hijau Campsite – 1 hour (1,039m)
5. Arriving at Big Rocks area (require rope for ascent) – 1 hour
6. Final ascent to the peak – 30 minutes (1,685m)

Total time: about 4 hr 45 min

 At the peak of Gunung Rajah (Bentong) ... the famous thumbs-up and chest-up pose ... :-)
(this photo courtesy of Michelle Looi)

 Lee Ye Ching and Agnes Yew enjoying a cool dip near to Naning campsite (about 2.5 hours from car park)
 Yours truly (KC) also spending time enjoying with the nature

Care for the environment ... David Spence descending the mountain carrying 11 plastic bottles discarded by inconsiderate people; the other bottles are in his backpack. He is the fastest guy to reach the peak.

 Pleasant place for picnic

 Chamang Waterfall of Bentong – this is just next to the car park.

 With facility for camping ... also next to the car park

How to go to Chamang Waterfall in Bentong town: After paying toll at Bentong along Karak Highway, exit at the second Bentong sign. Go straight for about 10km; passing by Bentong Town (many roads are in one-way direction); follow Chamang Waterfall sign.

The group waited patiently amid hunger and tiredness at the car park area for the return of a lone trekker in the group since 5:30 p.m.

7:30 p.m. ... David Spence (middle) decided to run into the jungle again to look for the lone trekker in slight drizzle and cool evening.

As informed by other trail runners, they met the lone trekker at 2:06 p.m. while descending the peak; the lone trekker was seen still ascending to the peak that required another 15 more minutes where the cut-off time was 2:00 p.m.

The lone trekker finally returned at 8:00 p.m. but he did not meet David Spence as David went by the usual short-cut way while the lone trekker overshot the short-cut.

As told by David Spence when we finally have our sumptuous and hearty dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bentong town at 9:30 p.m.: he ran beyond the end of the earth-based road; while in the eerie pitch darkness of jungle only illuminated by his headlamp, he shouted at the top of his lung for about five times and there were no response; he decided to end the search and rescue operation.

Bravo to David Spence !!!

 Part of the group waited patiently from 5:30pm almost until 9pm

In a group trekking or trail running event, it is critical to adhere to the cut-off time to descend the mountain, wherever one’s location along the track.

The higher one ascent the mountain, the longer the time for descent.

It is interesting to know why a person must reach the peak defying the critical cut-off time and the considerate thought of his friends waiting patiently for him for non-return.

If we don’t make it this time, we can always regroup, better prepared and go again. The mountain will always be there long after we go.

Back at the restaurant in Benton town:
The lone trekker thanked David Spence for the effort in looking for him.

David said he need not thank him; instead, he should apologise to the whole group in showing concern for his safety and brotherhood by waiting for him.

This is the shocking response that I heard: the lone trekker asked, “WHY?” when responding to David’s request.

Trail map and elevation map charted from my Garmin FR 610 watch

Posted by KC Leong