Adventurous Hike at Bukit TaburPosted on Aug 17 in Jungle, Mountain and Waterfall, Malaysia Exploration, Slideby ShelynPrint
This is the fifth time I visited Bukit Tabur, the longest and oldest quartz ridge in the world. If you have not read my previous post of Bukit Tabur, click here to read an introductory guide of Bukit Tabur hike.
My colleague sent me a few links about the news of Bukit Tabur published in The Star website:
~ Oct 2009 ~
Two weeks ago, a 51-year-old man slipped and tumbled down some 30m. Thanks to bushes that cushioned his fall, he got away with just light injuries. In March, two medical specialists, both experienced trekkers, plunged to their death from about 200m high.
In October 2008, a college student plummeted from about 100m but cheated death because the trees broke her fall. She suffered a deep gash on her forehead, cracked ribs and a punctured lung.
There were two fatalities in 2000 and 2004 and there have been countless accidents, mostly unreported, in the past nine years.
The articles triggered my adrenaline rush so I decided to visit it again during the weekend. It wasn’t that I hunger for risky adventures or addicted to accident prone activities. Apart from missing outdoor activities, I felt that I was obligated to video record all the risky trails in Bukit Tabur to provide an overview of the hiking in this fatal hill to the first time trekkers.
I have taken quite a lot of photos during my past visits to Bukit Tabur that were supposed to show some accident-prone trails but the photos turned out to show only different shapes of rocks without displaying how one can actually tumble with just a minor slip. Video recording would be the best way to show the readers how exactly the trekking like in Bukit Tabur.
Early (based on my standard) Saturday morning, we woke up at 9a.m. and reached Bukit Tabur at 10a.m., when the foothill of Bukit Tabur was packed by the vicitors’ cars and some of the hikers have already started driving off from Bukit Tabur. We were shocked to find that for the whole 1km stretch of road was fully parked by the vehicles. In comparison to 1 year ago, the most were only 10 cars encountered. I guess it’s either the health consciousness has been increased tremendously or the photographers have run out of places for photography.
On our way up to the hill, we were surprised to see a family brought along their little kids for hiking. One of the kids being too small that the dad actually carried her all the way. Bukit Tabur is definitely not a place to bring along little kids. Unless you just wanted to hike for like 5 minutes to get to the first vista of the Kuala Lumpur’s skyline. If you would really love to train your kids for jungle trekking or hiking, Broga Hill would be the ideal place. Except my friend Lee actually thinks that Broga Hill is too tough for him and hiking there actually risked his life -_-”
Longest and oldest quartz ridge of the world – the sky was quite gloomy for the photos
About 10 minutes hiked, we bumped into a group of photographers seized the whole look out point for their photography session. The first 10 minutes hike was actually very safe and ideal for the photographers who hike with the heavy equipments and would like to capture the uniqueness of the longest quartz ridge of the world. We had a short chat with the photographers and were told that they had been there since 7:30 in the morning and they were still there discussing about what mode to use when we reached there at almost 10:30a.m.! Made me feel guilty about my enthusiasm for my Lumix GF1.
Lake view from Bukit Tabur
It’s a bad demonstration to climb up to the rock at the edge of the hill
The hike wasn’t that tough until you reach the first rope section. The rope was tied at a big rock oversees the bottom of the hill. So you need to have upper body and arms strength to hold tight to the rope and to slowly move yourself down to the other end of the rock in order to reach the trail that connects to the other side. It has been recorded in the video so you can watch it later. I didn’t do the first rope section as I didn’t wanna risk my life. I don’t have upper body strength. So I chose the other route where I could actually clawed my way down slowly by holding tight to the razor-shaped rock. This wasn’t too tough if you were not doing the rope.
After the first rope section, we were very close to the ridge of the hill. The ridge was quite long that we need to move ourselves from one ridge to the other ridge. The ridges were like pencil-slim, with the width of one butt. I sit on the ridge with my 2 legs hung on the air like riding the horse. My feet couldn’t reach any land at all unless I jump down and break my neck. Don was very brave, with such narrow ridges, he just crossed from one rock to another rock by walking. I had no guts at all, I crossed ridges with my butt. I sat on the ridge and slowly moved my butt from one rock to another rock. I don’t wanna risk my Lumix GF1, I can’t afford to drop it together with my body!
We then bumped into a group of Malay hikers trekked down to where we hiked up. So I asked them why didn’t they trek back using different route. They then said they wanted to hike up and trek down using the same route. We then realized that we were at this second rope section which was the toughest part of the whole route to me. The rope was tied on the rock that was almost vertical and that was the only way to get to the next ridge. Otherwise we gonna reverse and go back using the same path that we hiked up.
It was very strange that I couldn’t remember this section at all despite having been to Bukit Tabur for several times. There might be different route to get to the next hill. Anyway, if you’re good in rock climbing, it was actually quite simple. You just need to conquer your fear of tumbling since the rock was completely vertical and it was at the edge that your feet won’t be able to reach any ground. I didn’t really trust my arms strength that I could actually hoist myself up. So I relied more on the rock instead, just like rock climbing. I groped for the gaps on the rock where I could land my feet stably while grasping the rock tightly. The rope was used as an insurance just in case I fall I would still catch the rope. I then climbed slowly by groping for the gaps. It’s not easy to find the gaps as I am too short, I can only reach the nearby gaps and there weren’t many deep gaps that I could secure my feet. Unlike Don he can easily land his feet on most of the gaps that were found.
Too bad I don’t have video to show you on this rope section, because my camera battery died off when the challenging routes were about to begin!! I think I gonna go back again to do the second part video recording. Anyway, I have recorded the first half of the hike with my camera of which the quality was quite good, except my narration skill kinda sucks :p
What distinguish Bukit Tabur from other popular trails in the Klang Valley like Broga Hill and Gunung Nuang is its rugged terrain. There are stretches of the trails covered by rocks where you need to climb vertically. Here is the video taken of the vertical climb of the rocks. The quality is crappy as it was taken with my stupid Blackberry.
Here is the 7 minutes video of the first half of the hike. I was gasping for breath while narrating. So you can actually hear that my narrations were like keep breaking. I haven’t even finished shooting Don climbing with the rope and the battery died flat -_-” always happen at the critical time… Anyway, enjoy the video clip!
Just stumbled upon this in youtube. Their dialogues damn funny, only if you understand Cantonese. Better view of the rope climbing section.
To sum it all, the hike was challenging and interesting, it was an ideal activity to spend our weekends. We started hiking at 10 a.m. and finished at 3 p.m.! Oh, and remember to cut your toe nails whenever going for hiking. My toe nails were too long that they pressed against my shoes when trekked down causing huge pain on my toes! One of my toe nails turned to dark purple the next day. Can see that it almost falls off from my toe!