Sunday, June 09, 2013

Gunung Datuk Trekking

The team lead for Mount Semeru_Bromo_ijen trekking trip, Joseph Yong, suggested that the team should meet before the event, and so Gunung Datuk, Seremban was chosen for trekking on Saturday, 8 June 2013. 

Browsing through my blogsite for Gunung Datuk, I read that I last set foot there four years ago. Quite interestingly, this is one mountain that I did not pay much attention.

Do click here to view photos courtesy of yours truly. Stay tuned for more photos from Joseph Yong.

 Registration both - gate fee is RM 5 per pax

A few of the trekkers who are in the Mt Semeru team are also in the Mount Everest Base Camp team in 2009 (Fiona, Joseph Yong, WongFK and yours truly). We last came here before heading to Nepal; this time, before heading to Indonesia.

Located in Indonesia, these mountains (Semeru, Bromo and Ijen) are popular with trekkers; actual trekking date is 20 July 2013 for 10D9N. The team is still looking for one more trekker.

In this trekking, other than Mt Semeru team, a few of the trekkers are my bank colleagues and their friends. One of them, Su, is conditioning her fitness level before participating in the special selection exercise at Gunung Nuang on Saturday, 15 June 2013.

 Back: SK, Japanese friend, Sachi, Su, Lana, WongFK, Marie, Jesslyn
Front: Wendy Chiam, Sharon Tan, Fiona, See Kun, George, KC Leong (Joseph Yong not in the photo)

Yours truly with bank colleagues and their friends ... (left) KC, Su, Wendy Chiam, Sachi, Lana, Japanese friend

The first part of the track at Gunung Datuk consists of many rocks and boulders that are being hold together by the roots. The gradient is quite steep; certain part is wet and slippery that makes ascent difficult. As such, this part requires extra effort to go up the mountain, and also during the descent journey.

The second part is mostly earth-based terrain and the gradient is gradual, most comfortable for trekking. The final part is to climb up the boulders; one must be able to overcome the fear of height in order to arrive at the peak for a panoramic view of the surrounding - the best mountain view so far among the local mountains.

 Lana taking a breather at the earth-based peak

 Fantastic view that extend to the distant horizon

Gate Fees and Facilities

Four years ago, the gate fee per person was RM 3; today, RM 5. Other than replacing and installing those light aluminium ladders for climbing up the boulders at the peak, the facilities are quite run down. After paying RM 5, we do not even get to have a decent and comfortable bath with proper shower and lighting in the toilet. A new toilet is being built behind the old toilet. With such a new toilet, however, only one compartment for taking bath is working, the rest – about 6 others – are not working !!

 Lana and Su ... good friend

Overall, it was a satisfying outing with a group of fun and jovial trekkers. The weather was pleasant and fine. There was no untoward incidence. While we were at the peak for photo shoots, the hot sun was blocked by the cloudy sky, superb for longer stay up there to admire the panoramic surroundings.

 Sachi and Wendy ... also good friend

Marie, Jesslyn, Sharon Tan

 A group photo at the peak of Gunung Datuk ... yours truly in red; thanks to Joseph Yong for taking this group photo

 Sharon Tan ... notice the new aluminium ladder

 Lana enjoying and admiring the superb view

 Descending the boulders

 Looks like plum to me (tropical variant)

 Good for a dip in the cold water 

Hired Guide for Climbing Gunung Datuk?

I heard that we need to hire a guide when trekking up Gunung Datuk. This may not be true or the ruling has been abolished. The person-in-charge, after collecting gate fees, came (out of the Registration Booth) to the car park to advise us the correct way of parking our cars without having been blocked by other cars. He did not mention anything about the need to hire mountain guide.

Lightning Strike

Returning to Kuala Lumpur after trekking, we stopped at Pedas town for a simple late lunch. While waiting for the food to be served, we could hear the loud thunder. I quipped that it was comforting that we were sitting in a restaurant and not hurriedly walking in the mountain. Then right before our eyes, a strong bolt of lightning struck at one oil palm tree across the road that set the tree into flame. It was something strange as that tree was not the tallest one. We shifted the excitement and attention when the delicious food that we ordered started to appear. 

Do click here to view other photos from previous postings of Gunung Datuk by yours truly.

Posted by KC Leong

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