July 14, 2009

Another peak conquered

Many are familiar with the Klang Gate Ridge. As you drive along Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) passing Melawati, you can see the whole stretch of the ridge. It looks like a back bone of a large fossilised creature. From Google Earth, you can see the whole ridge from a bird eye’s view. One side of the range is facing the hustle bustle side of KL and the other side is facing the serene Klang Gate Dam. What a contrast! One cannot trek from one end on the top of the ridge to the other end because it is split up by deep ravines and valleys. If you look at the whole Klang Gate Ridge, basically you can split it up into 3 sections. On the left is the very popular section (aka Bukit Tabur) where you find a lot of trekkers during weekends. This is the same section where the 2 doctors fell to their death not too long ago.

Then there is what I call the mid section where trekkers access it via the main water pipes that run out from Klang Gate Dam and there is a small river running across. This section is not as popular as the left section but still you find some adventurous trekkers on this part of the ridge.

And lastly, the extreme right section (almost near the National Zoo side), which is the highest of the whole range.

After trekking both the left section and the mid section of the Klang Gate Ridge numerous times, a small group of us decided to tackle the extreme right section. We do not know of anyone who have trekked this section so we did our own recce and found a way to access this section.

So on the morning of July 11, 2009, four of us, myself (EM Shiek), CK Lim, ML Lim and newcomer Edry Wong packed our trekking gears to conquer this highest point of the Klang Gate Ridge. To get there we have to go to the Rapid KL bus depot in Melawati. Beside the bus depot, there is a small road that leads into a new housing development. Currently the land is being cleared. Across this open land there is a private gravel road that leads into an orchard. This private gravel road is about 1.5km long. We can’t drive into this private orchard so we parked our car aside and walked into the orchard.

View of the highest peak of the Klang Gate Ridge from the clearing of a housing development. The gravel road on the right leads to the orchard.

The gravel road that leads to the orchard.

View of the peak from inside of the orchard

We walked into the orchard and met two Indonesian men who were employed by the orchard owner to look after the private 30 acres of land. We brought a carton of eggs for them as a token to allow us to allow to go through the orchard.

We walked pass the orchard and headed into the small forest at the base of the ridge that we intend to trek. Initially we saw a good visible trail most probably left by people working in the orchard. After about 500m, the trail ended. From here we started to cut and clear a new trail to trek up this ridge. It was tough trekking up this ridge. We can’t go straight up. First we have to go thru a valley to the other side of the ridge facing the lake. From there we then move to the right along the side of the ridge slowly ascending as we move. We walked all the way heading towards the National Zoo side. Of course we dropped papers as we trek up so that we can follow the same trail out when we descend.

ML Lim (front) and CK Lim slowly cutting out a trail amongst the thick vegetation

On all fours carefully trekking up the rough terrain
For 3 long hours, we were faced with tough slippery terrain, stubborn bushes, thorny plants, swarms of mosquitoes, troops of ants and various tricky obstacles as we trek our way up the ridge. Finally we managed to cut and clear a trail all the way up to the highest peak of the Klang Gate Ridge. On the very top, the shrubs, bushes and tree branches were quite low. As we move along the top of the ridge, we have to stoop down and walk carefully. View of KL city and the lake were blocked by the overgrown bushes and plants. Only in a few areas on the top of the ridge, one can have a clear view of KL city and the serene lake.

Newcomer Edry Wong making his way like a seasoned trekker

In some areas, we have to use ropes to help us negotiate our way while ascending and descending
Even though we were bruised (by the stubborn bushes and thorns) and bitten (by mosquitoes and insects), we were very happy to make it to the peak. The sense of achievement was absolutely wonderful. Looking at the overgrown vegetation at the top of this section of the ridge, we can say that people have not trek up this peak for a very long time. We were glad to place our footprints on it again.

CK Lim, Edry Wong and ML Lim at the peak

View of the lake from the peak

ML Lim, myself & CK Lim at the peak. The other sections of the ridge are at the back.
We spent about an hour at the peak to savour our achievement and then our stomachs were telling us it is time to descend to look for a good meal. The descent was a lot more dangerous, tricky and tiring as we were all left with very little energy. At a few points of the trail, the terrain was quite steep and slippery. I slipped and suffered a deep gash on my leg. Though a bit painful, I was still able walk without assistance. We followed the paper trail that we created while coming in and finally lo and behold, we made it out safely.

Descended safe and sound albeit tired with bruises and scratches

Edry Wong having a cool fresh shower. The cool water is from a nearby stream.

Absolutely tired and with painful toes, we walked to the hut where the two orchard caretakers stay. They were kind enough to let us shower with the cool fresh water they collected from a nearby stream. After a good cool shower we were like renewed immediately and fully charged again. We rested for a while and then make our way out of the orchard. The two caretakers even asked us to help ourselves to the rambutans that were growing in abundance on the orchard. So, like little school children again, we were running around the rambutan trees in no time. Had a feast and after that we headed out of the orchard looking for food.

We help ourselves to the rambutans in the orchard (with permission of course)
Somehow someone suggested McDonald’s Value Meal and without any hesitation we headed straight to the nearest McDonald in Melawati. It was really a value for money meal as we all took full advantage of the free re-fill of the soft drink. A Big Mac, large fries and a few re-fills of soft drink for just over RM8 (including tax) … what a bargain!

After that we headed home with a full stomach and a good trekking story to tell our friends.

Remember the gash I suffered? Maybe I did not take good care of the wound properly. A day later it was infected and swelled up. Quite painful and I could hardly walk. So, it was time to pay a visit to Dr Lee (my good family’s doctor). An injection and a course of antibiotics solved the problem. I am already up and hopping while writing this with a good feeling knowing that we have trekked the highest peak of the whole Klang Gate Ridge.