Apr 3, 2007

Gunung Chamah , Kelantan G7 Mountain Malaysia

10th March 2006 - 12th March 2006

We have scaled 4 G7 in 2005 (Gunung Tahan, Gunung Korbu/Gunung Gayung and Gunung Ulu Sepat). This year we planned to scale the others 3G (Gunung Chamah, Gunung Yong Yap and Gunung Yong Belar). We started with Gunung Chamah (7123') and it is the 5th highest mountain in the Peninsular Malaysia and always been noted the most challenging one. This G5 lies in the most western corner of Kelantan. On the 9th March we traveled by Karak via Kuala Lipis to Gua Musang and checked in a hotel in Gua Musang. We did some last minute shopping in the pasar malam (night market) and later had dinner with the other group members. Later back to the hotel to do final packing. Our guide Ah Meng will only arrive early next morning through the Simpang Pulai/Gua Musang highway. He has already booked two 4WD to ferried us to the intake.

Day 1. After breakfast at Gua Musang and met up with Ah Meng and later he went to submit a name list to the police station. It is a recommended procedure before any climb in Malaysia. We later followed the 4WD to Kampong Bethis which is 26KM away and parked our cars there. Here the orang asli charged a parking fee RM5 for each car. One of the member drove his 4WD following the two chartered 4WD to Pos Simpoh. It was a bone rattling ride for almost 3 hours in the exposed sun. Some of the member even complained it was tiring and energy drenching even though there is no walking. Being a lady, there is always extra advantage because I always get to sit in the front passenger seat. Stop over at Pos Simpoh orang asli settlement to have some rest and lunch while waiting for the other 4WD because they have to keep a distance to avoid orange (dirt track) dust. Drove for another hour till the logging trail become impassable even to the 4WD. We hiked up the hill in the hot sun (really hot) for two hours along the exposed eroded timber logging trail. One hiker even came prepared with an umbrella. One of our team member even have leg cramps for the first time and we later found out that he has been wearing a new knee guard for the first time. The trail descended and we were relieved to be hiking in the shady jungle at last. At last we can hear water gushing as we were approaching our campsite Camp Rokam. An orang asli settlement in a valley planted with maize, tapioca and millet. There are only a few huts and an open area where we pitched our tents. There is a small stream next to the orang asli settlement. We have our Tea 'O' and instant noodle to warm up our stomach before going for the cold bath. Dinner was always rice with 3 dishes. Later at night the orang asli play some music using hand made flute and unknown instruments, it sounded like some kind of spiritual thing.

Day 2. After breakfast, prepare 'Lui Char' (a special vegetarian meal) for lunch at the peak and make 'Min Fun' dough for dinner. We started our journey around 7.45am and we carried one backpack for our lunch and tea sets. Camp Rokam to Camp Tongkat Ali is a 3 hours trekking, the last water point is 3 hours to the peak. After the stream, the trail become very steep before we arrived at our first false peak. Normally when there are stunted Bonsai tree we thought it was the summit. A short descent into a valley lead us to another grueling climb up an 80 degree slope to the second false peak. 3 more false peak (just like stock market, up and down) and at last the G. Chamah peak. Small open area with small miniature oak trees for shade. Started preparing our lunch, boil water and mixed the 'lui Char' paste and the rest of ingredients such as peanut, long bean with bubble rice. Our 'lui char' paste was prepared by our Hakka friend. There is a light drizzle and strong cold winds. Our last member arrived and have his lunch and tea tarik followed by group photos. Our guide told us that we must make our decent not later than 2pm because the decent will take 5 hours or more. We reached our campsite at 7.15pm very exhausting and tiring because its a 7am to 7pm trekking. One of the member is too exhausted until he did not eat his dinner, he just took some buns and straight into his tent to sleep. For the four of us we have big feast ahead because tonight dinner is 'mee fun kuih'. It was a ikan bilis soup and hand made kneaded flour dough. After dinner the orang asli served us roasted tapioca and millet without sugar. We boiled sweet potatoes with old ginger for our supper. Very satisfying dinner and supper.


Day 3. Morning call, after breakfast we trekked out to the place where the 4WD left us earlier. Again bone rattling ride for 3 hours to out car park. There is a big river behind the orang asli huts. All of us went down to the river and have a good bath and swim. Later bought ice cream from the orang asli. We have our lunch at Gua Musang, the food there was expensive and a plate of noodle will cost us about RM4. This trip most of the member suffered serious diarrhea and one of them even was admitted into the hospital. Be careful when you camp near an orang asli settlement because they do their call of nature every where and so do their pets and livestocks. Our digestive system may not be able to handle such water borne bacteria. When rain comes it may just wash to the stream. Make sure you boil your drinking water. The members that suffer diarrhea usually occur after about a week and it takes a while for your body to recover.

Gunung Chamah is considered to be one of the toughest to "climb" because the tough 3 hour 4WD drive, the expose trail under the hot sun, the many false peaks where you have to climb up and down for about 4 times with each ascend and descend of about 1000-1500 ft. Its certainly satisfying and looking for the next mountain that is Gunung Yong Yap.

This posting by KC


Click on the above to view slide photos.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Fren,

Do you have Ah Meng's contact?
I'd like to contact him for tour guide service.
Thanks.

Rgds,
JH Lee

Flipper said...

Hi the contact no. is Chin Man hp 017-5738378 from Ipoh you enquire from him about Chamah and Ulu Sepat

Anonymous said...

last week i just came back from chamah..actually our plan was chamah-ulu sepat..but after finish chamah,our group can't cross the river at rekom..the water level very danger and may cause excident..we decide 2 turn back to pos simpoh..because even we can cross the river, we will face same problem at peres camp..another river.if anybody make a trip to ulu sepat,please contact me..019-5057809..
chamah was a tough mountain..with 6 peak before the chamah peak..we call it '6 puncak tipu'..haha

tq,
ash..uitm s.alam