Chamah Expedition write-ups, the write-ups listed below will be coming soon.
1 – The Journey <--
2 – G10: Conquer only the Challenges not the Mountain
3 – 我们是何等的微妙
4 - 竹虚
5 – 水的力量
What: OX’s Gunung Chamah Expedition via Gua Musang
When: 29/4/2006 (Saturday) – 1/5/2006 (Monday)
Who: Kam Meng the Captain, Wan Lin the Tiger, Leong, Chong Wah, Geok Wah, Tong, Yan Yin and I.
Result: Mission accomplished, reached Chamah Summit at 30th April 2006, Sunday, 1.21pm
Gunung Chamah (查玛峰) (2171m) is the 5th highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia located at Kelantan. Traditional way via Perak is tough, it takes at least 4 days to reach at summit, hence, it is known as ‘The Hardest Summit’ (艰苦第一峰). Alternative way is via Gua Musang, which is easier than the traditional route, it takes at least 3 days to reach at summit.
To attack Chamah Summit via Gua Musang, the starting point is at Kg. Bertis, then take a 4WD to Kg. Simpoi. The climbers have to hike for about 3 hours at the logging trail from Kg. Simpoi to Kg. Rekom, hiring an Orang Asli as the guide is optional but is advised to have one. The first 2 hours path is almost 90% uphill, the trail is wide and exposed to the sun. The last one hour is hiking in the shaded jungle, the trek is evenly up and down.
Entrance to Chamah Summit is located at Kg. Rekom. It takes about 6 hours to arrive in summit, 2171m above the sea level. The path isn’t easy but most paths are clear and wide like a highway. The climbers definitely need certain level of stamina and fitness in order to reach at summit successfully in time. It takes about 5 hours to descend back to the village.
Flora that you may see along the journey are Rafflesia, different species of pitch plant sized from 1cm to 20cm, wild orchid, and other common plants you can find in the rain forest.
..: 4 hours drove from KL – Gua Musang at 3am
Day 1 - We began our journey on 29/4/06 (Saturday) 2am started from my house and picked up passengers. 8 teammates in 2 cars met at Karak Highway Gombak toll at 3.20am, then drove to Gua Musang, Kelantan via Raub. I was wondering can a plane do drafting? Nearly 4.30am, Kam Meng the captain performed his drifting skill ‘飘移’ at a 90 degree cornering on a car at Raub, the car was really ‘得意的飘’ and all of us awoke by this ‘飘一飘’. Wah! Shocked and woke up la…
..: 2 hours rode on a 4WD from Kuala Bertis – Kg. Simpoi
We reached at Gua Musang nearly 7am. When we got down from the cars, only I realized Tong is my ‘si heng’ (师兄) at the past in Karate-do. We supposed to meet the 4WD driver at 8am, but we kept waiting and didn’t see even his shadow. We called theirs mobile phones until our phones almost blast still no one picked the call! While Kam Meng and Tiger were discussing about the Plan B, the guy suddenly turned up on 9+am! See, the lifestyle in Kelantan is so relax!
The 4WD driver, Mail led us to Kuala Bertis drop-off point, then started the 2 hours quaking journey on the 4WD heading towards Kg. Simpoi at 10.10am. Pity those at the back exposed to the sun like BBQ pork (I’m one of them :P).
When we reached Kg. Simpoi at about 12.15pm, the whole kampong’s men were gathering outside and discussed about the guide with Kam Meng. He decided to hire a guide here to lead us to Kg. Rekom and to Chamah summit as well.
Like a typical Orang Asli village, the houses are made of atap. The fantastic part is they are using solar plate as the source of electricity which sponsored by NGO.
..: 3 hours hiked to Kg. Rekom
After having quick lunch, we put on out climbing gears and start hiking at the open, wide logging trail which expose to the sun directly for 2 hours. Damn! I should have brought my cap. In these 2 hours, the journey was silent as the path was mainly uphill and everyone seemed very tired and exhausted except Tong was pretty fit following the guide very closely. Although it was just a 2-hour hike, but all of us were hoping to reach the destination as soon as possible because the path was hot, hard and boring.
The last 1 hour was hiking in the shaded jungle. Nearly 4pm, we heard Tiger and Chong Wah shouting with happiness at in front when they first reached Kg. Rekom, seeing the village like seeing the sunlight of hope, so glad that we finished our first day’s hike.
..: 10 hours slept at a Bungalow in Kg. Rekom
There are about 7-8 atap houses in Kg. Rekom. The children, the dogs, the cat and the chicken were running around freely. The village is surrounded by mountain and there are plenty of ubi kayu planting wild.
We rent one of the empty bungalows, there were 2 ‘beds’ in the bungalow, ‘bathroom’ was just beside and ‘toilet’ was at the back. We cleaned the dusty beds, the bigger one for sleeping and the smaller one for putting our backpacks. The gentlemen let ladies had a bath first, so Yan Yin and I went to the stream and had a quick shower. Wow… the water was so cold and it was so refreshing. Unlike the water point at Gunung Batu Putih and Liang which is sheltered and closed, here is open.
We had about 2 hours before the sky turned dark. A villager claimed that a kid was having stomachache and requested for some medicine. Kam Meng went to see the little girl like a doctor and assisted by Yan Yin. The little girl actually been suffering for about a week, it wasn’t normal diarrhea case. Even Kam Meng suggested to bring the girl to see doctor, but the mother wasn’t agree. Well, it takes 3 hours hiking from here to Kg. Simpoi and followed by 2 hours riding on 4WD just for a single journey to see the doctor at town.
Since every dish (canned food) just need to reheat, so I started to prepare dinner at 6.30pm and the mushroom soup was carried out by Yan Yin and Geok Wah. After half an hour, all enjoyed the ‘delicious’ dinner with BBQ ubi kayu, good experience indeed! (eh… no rice meh?)
The toughest path of the journey was awaiting us at the next day morning, we all went into sleep at 8.30pm as everybody was really sleepy and tired especially the drivers Kam Meng and Tiger.
..: 6 hours climbed to Chamah summit
Day 2 - Morning call at 6am, getting ready at 7.30am and departed Kg. Rekom at 7.40am led by another Orang Asli hired at Kg. Rekom. The sky was still dark at 6am, and I saw the most beautiful starry night that I ever met during my past climbing trips. I was ordered by ‘The Emperor’ to stay at the back together with Leong as the sweeper. The Emperor estimated to arrive in summit at 1.30pm and also the cut-off time as 1.30pm.
It took 2 hours to reach at the last water point where they found tiger footprint during the 1st attempt. The path before the LWP was evenly up and down, the great power of waterfall was at our left.
After the LWP, the path getting harder, climbing a hill followed by another non-stop. Nobody knows exactly how long was the journey supposed to take and we just tried hard to keep moving in fast pace, simply because ‘We can’t fail’.
30th April 2006, 1.21pm, we heard the shout of victory by Tiger and Chong Wah. We successfully overcame all obstacles, now stood on the 2171m summit and came to the 5th highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia with a will, a vision, and a stack of determinations.
We did the typical must-do activity after reaching summit which is to take group photo with Jalur Gemilang. We saw nothing at the summit as it was covered by a thick layer of mist. We stayed for about 20 minutes and forced to rush to descend because the rain had come.
..: 5 hours descent to back to village
We arrived in Kg. Rekom at 6.40 pm, the greatest achievement for the climb was all of us reached to summit and returned to village safe and sound with injury free. Ladies went to take shower first while gentlemen were suffering bitten by sandflies. Geok Wah found almost 50 kisses of sandfly at his both legs.
Dinner was pretty much the same as last night, dishes with ubi kayu plus chicken soup. Then followed by massage and bed time at 9.30pm after a 11-hours climbing hard today.
..: 2.5 hours to return to Kg. Simpoi
Day 3 - The last day of the trip, captain cleared the debt to the Orang Asli, at the same time contributed some foods, medicines, bags, rain coat and t-shirts to the villagers. Distributed the raisins and cereal bars to the kids, no matter how much we could contribute, we cannot guarantee their balance nutrition.
We have to leave the lovely place with fresh air and clean water but not the pain, the pain of the restrictions of the villagers, the pain of the little girl, and the pain at our legs… Geok Wah’s counter of sandfly bites increased to 100, Tiger also kena a lot, whole team only Kam Meng is immune to the insect bites.
We took-off at 9.40am, a sunny day ahead, meaning that the risk of getting sun burnt was getting higher. Went through the same path as we came, 1 hour in the jungle and the remaining 1.5 hours at the open, hot and boring logging trail, luckily now mainly was downhill.
Not many climbers have chance to see the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia, we saw a blossom Rafflesia near an Orang Asli campsite. Unfortunately it was cut and drying. The petals ware taken off and no smell at all. Tears kept dropping from our heart and paid silent tribute to it.
..: 2.5 hours to return to Kuala Bertis by 4WD
We were late for about 40 minutes as we promised Mail to be back at 12pm. So fair enough, we took turn for kept waiting for each other. No bathing at Kg. Simpoi because rain was coming soon. Jump into the 4WD and left.
Mail was thinking to bring us to Gua Cha to take shower, but we didn’t because the water was damn dirty and the stream was so small, so wasted 20 minutes there. No syiok no bath!
..: 6 hours drove to return to KL
After reaching at the town, first, filled in petrol; second, change clothes; third, makan. Then departed from Gua Musang at about 5+pm. Took 1 hour dinner break at Bentong, then entered into the congested Karak highway. We decided to follow Janda Baik and Genting Sempah to avoid the jam.
The journey without Boon Keat, due to his body condition, he sacrificed his dream to help his teammates to achieve their dream. There is no ‘at your own risk’ in climbing trip but ‘your risk is our risk’. Felt his pain in his heart, it is not easy to let go your dream when your spirit is high and you saw the vision.
For me, this is my first 7-summits, yet the toughest climbing experience I ever had. I came, I saw, I observed, I thought, therefore I am (我思故我在).