Gunung Rajah, Mid-term Trek
SMUX TREKKING TEAM WEEK 8 EXPEDITION 2012
“Is Rajah similar to Suku?”
That was a common question I got from most trekkers who were at the info session. “How cold will it be? As cold as Suku?” It seemed like Suku was super cold and many trekkers have learnt their lessons from it and they packed in quite a few jackets to combat the 12 degrees coldness that Shalan (the suku guide) told us.
Day ZERO,25th February, 2012- The Departure
The awesome trekking team met at 6pm and departed from Kranji at 645pm after dumping all the unnecessary stuff that we brought along, as to lighten our load. We handled over our extra goretex, pillow, jackets and what not to our mummy, Kengwei before heading off to the custom.
When crossing the custom, Qingyu realized that she brought her boyfriend’s passport instead (LOL) and Mingyong accompanied her back to take her passport before meeting us at City Square at a later timing. Swee Chen was another FUNNY person who took the bus that went to Victoria Street instead of Woodlands Checkpoint and she claimed that Zephan(BIG TREKKING BOSS) was pissed off with her for that. The rest of the team proceeded first to City Square to have our awesome dinner. We split into three different groups to have dinner till 915pm (NANDOS, KIM GARY, SHABU SHABU) before the other four came. They have their own candlelight dinner (Zephan and sweechen at MacDonald’s & Mingyong and Qingyu at Shabu Shabu! SO SWEET.)
After having a SUPER FULL dinner, some even went off to Secret Recipe to get cakes (YUMS) and our water supply. At around 950pm, we head off for our bus. We started our trekking process from there according to some people (MDM TAN, the bus contact just told me to keep walking straight till I saw the petrol station) as it was quite a long walk from City Square. Not long after, the bus came to pick us up and YAY our journey to the starting point of Gunung Rajah (BENTONG, PAHANG) begins. Everyone was pretty active on the bus. The year 4s(Wallace, Nick, Esther Ong, Qingyu) + Mingyong were happily playing card games( Monopoly Deal if I’m not wrong) and Zephan, Debbie, Jonathan, Swee Chen, Siew Hwee were happily singing while our dear Mei Lin was in her own LALALAND.
Day ONE, 26th February, 2012- The Beginning
We started off with breakfast at this Malay store around the corner to have our (self-service) Beehoon, rice, teh tarik and what not. After which, the bus took us all the way into the base camp. (Everyone on the bus looks like they were all preparing for war.) The guide (Kay) gave us a short briefing and after proper warm-up, OFF WE GO FOR RAJAH! J
The starting was tough I must say, it was steep inclination for 20 minutes. (Super tiring… Qingyu felt uncomfortable after the climb, but thankfully she recovered after awhile!) According to the guide, after we finish 20 mins of tough climbing, the rest will be easy. True enough, the path was so wide and there wasn’t much inclination. It feels like a walk in the park. Jonathan (supposedly serious) was cracking jokes along the way and the people behind seemed to be very entertained and I could hear laughter from afar. (Guess that’s the best part of trekking, when you have fun along this trekking journey)
After walking for 1 hr or so, the guide told me that we will be resting for 5 mins at Jungle Gate which is the starting point of Gunung Rajah. (Just when we thought that we were already in Gunung Rajah, we are not; it’s merely the starting HAHA!) Some people (Wallace etc) were joking and said that we have reached the peak and YAY we can head down already (I WISH). We took a short break and off we go, the start of jungle trekking. Thankfully, the weather for the first day was good all the way until the night. The trek route was still relatively flat and everyone moved at quite a comfortable pace. The only thing was the overhead which we often hit into. Everyone went smoothly, we took short breaks here and there and after trekking for close to 4 hours, we reached our awesome lunch place. (The river was so awesome). The only dangerous part was the going down part (it was relatively high and its 90 degrees steep). However, with the help of the guide as well as some macho guys, we managed to get most down while some took a different route and they got half their bodies wet. (I guess they had a different kind of fun hor Mei Lin hahahaha) The water was so chilly for the legs after a long trek. I could really tell that many people had fun with the water or chilling their drinks in the water (Jon). We took our 1 hour break there, enjoying our lunch (biscuits, cereals, chocolates and WANTON MEE) and taking a short nap.
After the rest, we felt invigorated and off to head off to our first campsite (where we would be staying for the first day!) Abit more ups and downs (rather challenging) for about 1 ½ hours before we reach this super pretty waterfall where we took tones of photos! SUPER SUPER PRETTY. We stopped by there for awhile (abit longer than originally planned). Everyone had so much fun playing with the water there. Jon had so much fun that his specs actually flew into the waterfall. But well, it was nice seeing so many people helping to make sure that his specs will not swiped down by the current and also helped him find his specs (MINGYONG eventually found it for him! Jon must take care of your belongings in future okay!) After a mini discussion with my TM (Zephan) as well as Kay, we felt that it was possible to make it to the second campsite before sunset (roughly around 630pm) . Hence, we decided to bring the team to the second campsite instead. This will indefinitely shorten the plan for the second day. Since, it was all the way up to the peak, it might be too tiring for some of us, and hence, we decided to give it a last PUSH. We trekked at a faster pace so that we won’t have to night-trek. The route wasn’t simple, a lot of up slopes but oh wells.. we made it to the next campsite at 545pm! (THE GUIDE JUST TURNED AROUND AND TOLD ME I GIVE YOU BONUS, WE REACHED ALREADY!) That was one of the happiest lie I ever heard (hehehe everyone was so happy after a long day trekking in the jungleJ)
The best part about the campsite was that it was super spacious. We had so much space for tents and cooking areas (something to be thankful about in trek) and the water source was near! (makes bathing and washing so convenient woohooooo)
All three teams started cooking their sumptuous dinner (went round to look, the food for this trek is amazingly good hahahahaha.) We managed to finish cooking before the thunder and rain came pouring down. After the signal from the thunder, all groups went to pitch their tupes to prepare for the rain except Group 2 (Eugene etc) The rain was rather heavy, so everyone cuddled together in the tupes (SO CUTE) and started HTHT-ing. After HTHT-ing, everyone went off to sleep (rather early at around 9 plus HAHA)
Day TWO, 27th February, 2012
Day 2 was supposedly the toughest day of the three days due to its constant up slope. (However some told me that it was easier than Day 1 which was a good thing. People all became so ZAI: D and I guess it’s a lot easier to trek w/o the heavy, big, bulky trek bags) According to Kay (the zai guide), it takes around 5 hours to reach the peak of Gunung Rajah. Off we head for the peak!
Time check: 8:30am. It was supposed to take us 2 hours to reach the water point.We ended up having our early lunch there. We were pretty on time and didn’t have to stop for breaks (HOW AWESOME!) After the 2 hours mark was down, we were only leave with our final challenge (the SUMMIT). The trek to the summit wasn’t easy for many as there was a rock climbing element involved. Many just stood there with their jaws dropping (many were like HUH? Do we seriously have to climb this 85 degrees steep wall?) I guess there wasn’t any choice for us other than to trust the ropes and guide. The guide passed through the first hurdle effortlessly. After much encouragement and assurance from the other trekkers + support from Zephan (who was so noble to sacrifice his leg for people to step on WOW. But it’s damn dangerous, be careful next time), everyone managed to get up safely (SO PROUD OF EVERYONE! It was really not easy plus there were a few people who were generally scared of heights, hope you all conquered all your fears after the rock climbing at Rajah.
The tough part was done and off we trek towards our endpoint, THE SUMMIT. Everyone was very excited as the guide said the peak is 360 degrees which means you can see the whole of Rajah from the peak. (Excited hehehe) So, everyone trekked at a reasonable speed. Just when we thought that there’s another 30 mins more to the peak, the guide stopped us, warning us to off our mobile phones to prevent lightning from attacking us. The every next minute, he just turned to us and said CONGRATS THIS IS THE PEAK. (so unbelievable to be smoked by the guide twice. But still it’s a happy thing)
The only saddening part will be the fact that it was so cloudy that we could not see any scenery that was shown in Google. But I’m sure everyone was so happy that we reached the peak (LIKE FINALLY!) GOOD JOB Time check: 12:50pm
Hanged around the peak for awhile for photos J
GROUP SHOT J
Group – 2
The Organising Committee for the RAJAH Trek
The two awesome guides (KAY AND MALAS)
Time check: 1:30pm! Off we descend, down to the first water point. It was rather steep, muddy and slippery due to the heavy rain the night before. But thankfully, it stopped so we didn’t have to trek in the rain at all (WOOHOO how lucky can we get? J) Overall, the climb down was rather smooth, just that everyone was holding onto the branches and trunks for support and making sure that they are safe (HAHA rule of thumb: safety always come first) Before reaching the water point, there was a last tough hurdle which was going down the 85 degrees- steep wall. The guides asked 4 strong guys (Nick, Wallace, Zephan and Jon, the rest of the guys also strong k hahahaha) to go down first to help support the rest. Each of them was stationed at each of the crucial point (going down is definitely way scarier than going up). Oh wells, after much encouragement, everyone managed to trust the ropes and the helpers and came down safely. The whole journey went smoothly without much stopping except the last part where we were supposed to cross the river (with a current that was rather strong) before we could reach the first campsite where we would be resting for the day. We got there safely even though a few people slipped and fell into the water (good bath?) The campsite was as big as usual. Enough to pitch 4 tents ( cos one of our tent poles spoilt..) but well it was still comfy! We reached there at around 6pm, before sunset J (NO NIGHT TREK FTW!)
One good thing about the campsite was that it is super duper near the water source. Washing and bathing was just like a few steps away. After dinner that day, a few of them went to play with the lanterns we even had a special event “TODAY WITH ZEPHAN” whereby our dear TM made his speech and found out more about the trekkers that were on the trip and their feelings for this trek. (Awesome chat by the waterfall, if only there’s some light) After an approximately one hour talk with our TM, we went off to sleep. (Another early day, slept at around 10 plus in preparation for the final push on the 3rd day)
Thanks Mingyong for the LANTERN
Day THREE, 28th February, 2012
FINAL DAY FOR THE TREK (supposedly short, should be able to complete it in 4 hours according to the guide). Got to say that everyone was extremely early that day, almost everyone was ready by 815am (way earlier than the guides). It looked like everyone was ready for the final battle. We set off at 840am. We crossed the river and then marched down to the next stopping point which is 1 hour away. After a short break, we continued our journey and this time, we will be heading back to the Jungle Gate J “Seems like the end is NEAR!!!” HAHAHA. YAY the route to Jungle Gate was also constant flatness. HOW AWESOME can it get? We didn’t even stop for a minute in the 2 hours journey to the Jungle Gate.
s Nick, Jon and Wallace helping the rest cross the river
Nick, Wallace and Jon helping the rest with the river crossing
AWESOME JUMPSHOTS NEAR JUNGLE GATE J
After walking at a relatively speed, we finally reached the JUNGLE GATE (: We rested for close to 7 minutes under the shades of the trees, to have a bite of food and have a sip of water before we dash down the wide flat road ( a walk in the park). I could really tell that everyone was happily walking down as people started chit-chatting, singing etc. It was really a nice road down. Time check: 12:32PM. Now we are left with the final stretch down the really super undefined route down-slope. We marched down under the guidance of Malas(the other guide). Its hard to comprehend how they could walk down so fast. I guess we all just need to trek more so get used to such routes (Everyone go for RINJANI summer trek HAHA). We eventually reached the ending point at 12:55PM! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY finally. Super proud of those who trekked for the very first time (Han Xu and Esther Ong) , those who trekked with us for the first time (Xuan Zhong and Michael) and to the rest GOOD JOB! We did it eventually. I would like to applaud Qingyu for pushing herself to her limits and always trying to keep to my pace. I hope all of you had fun J
Time was given for wash-up and till at 2pm, we boarded the coach. Everyone literally slept the whole way till the coach stopped for our lunch break! LUNCH-TIME: KFC The food never tasted so good LOL. We reached JB close to 9 plus so we got to abort our plan of having seafood at Taman Sentosa L but still we had awesome dinner at Kim Gary./ShiLin. After dinner, we headed straight to the Malaysian custom and then back to Singapore! HOME SWEET HOME
This marks the success of the GUNUNG RAJAH TREK :> Thanks all for making it such a success: D It wouldn’t have been the same w/o you all! Awwwwww.
Ps. Take care of the sandfly bites all my lovely people. DO NOT SCRATCH IT OR IT WILL START GROWING EGGS (TRUE STORY)
Okay, last but not least, photos of the scenery