Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Challenging Wet Hike at Gunung Liang

Standing at 1,933m, Gunung Liang is a tough mountain to hike: it is tougher than hiking up to Gunung Nuang peak (1,459m). While the elevation gain of Nuang peak is 1,260m (from Ulu Langat), Liang peak is 1,730m – about 500 meters more. 

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of ChongYF.

Special thanks to Vince Khor for being the Team Lead; Hooi Miin for contributing a few of her photos.

Click on any photo for actual display size (and zoom in); do scroll down the page for GPS coordinate to trailhead carpark.
A group photo at the trailhead carpark ... (back, L-R) KC Leong, Adrian Foo, SC Yong, Bruno, Serena, Teh, Soo, Low, Uncle Lim; (middle, L-R) Vince Khor, Lana, Yoke Leng, Ann Lim, Hooi Miin; (front) Ivy Wong, Shu-Ling.

We took 6 hours to arrive at the Liang peak in moderate pace with a terrain that has hardly any level ground to rest. With one hour of rest at the peak, the returning journey was not very much faster due to continuous rain and slippery ground. Total time taken was about 13 hours. 

Yeah! We made it to the peak of Gunung Liang

Mossy Forest – Other than arriving at the peak, the other highlight was that Liang West with the unique mossy forest, a better landscape compares to Gunung Irau of Cameron Highlands. Within a 5-minute walk, the scenery was totally different. You need to be there to see or experience the distinction in landscape. Liang East is a tropical landscape with a collapsed metal pyramid on a clearing, whereas Liang West is of temperate feel with the mossy forest.
At Gunung Liang West ... photo courtesy of Hooi Miin (using iPhone 7)

(a) Gradually going up until Lubuk campsite/final river crossing;
(b) Steeper slope until 7E campsite (similar to Kem Lolo of G. Nuang going up to Kem Pacat);
(c) Steep slope till peak, and many areas require both hands to pull oneself up (similar to Kem Pacat going up to False Peak).
The mossy forest of Gunung Liang West


Wet Weather – The hike at Gunung Liang (Tanjung Malim, Perak) on Sat 7 Oct 2017 started with wet weather in the wee hours of the morning. Unperturbed by the heavy rain while travelling in five cars to Behrang toll exit via PLUS Highway, the group continued the journey from Kuala Lumpur. Even at the brief stop of Behrang toll exit, it was still drizzling. We pressed on, and we would made a final decision at the trailhead. We were happy that the rain stopped – the hike was On! Otherwise, we might consider a food trip at Ipoh as Plan B.

2:00 a.m. – drizzle in Kuala Lumpur
5:00 a.m. – heavy rain in Kuala Lumpur
6:00 a.m. – drizzle at Behrang toll exit
6:30 a.m. – rain stopped when we arrived at trailhead carpark
10:30 a.m. – rain
3:00 p.m. – rain
Risky river crossing at Lubuk campsite amid swelling river and swift current

With the continuous rain, the river swelled. For the descent journey, the leading group was stuck at Lubuk campsite for two hours not able to cross the river since 4:45 p.m. When nightfall was drawing near at 6:30p.m., risking our life, we crossed the river amid swift current with the help of campers.

Getting There – travelling time from Kuala Lumpur to Behrang Inbound Toll Plaza is about one hour; travelling to the trailhead is another 30 minutes. 

GPS coordinates:
Exit at Behrang Inbound Toll Plaza: 3.739872, 101.459412
Trailhead carpark: 3.797754, 101.522888

Preparation – It is important that one must have good physical fitness before trying Gunung Liang. This mountain is definitely not for the beginners. For endurance training, it is best carried out at Gunung Nuang first via Pangsoon, Ulu Langat. Because of the long duration in the hike, having a bright headlamp (with new batteries), proper rain gear, sufficient food and drinking water are mandatory requirements.

Post-event joke: On Sunday (a day after the Liang hike), my relatives came to my house in the afternoon. Then in the evening, I went to pasar malam to buy fruits. Walking with my sandals (bought from Giant hypermarket), I felt that they were a little small. I guessed that must be mistakenly exchanged by my relatives when they left. At night just before I slept, I looked at my feet. They were swollen due to intense hiking the day before, and partly caused by leeches bite. On Monday morning (the following day), the feet went back to their original size, and the sandals fit again.

Posted by KC Leong