2013 was supposed to kick off with Gunung Lambak early Jan, but I had to pass on the hike courtesy of the puncture wound I sustained in Phuket during my X’Mas getaway (Worst. Trip. Ever.). Hence, I looked at the next hike organised by YMCA… Gunung Datuk. As it was somewhere I haven’t been before, I decided to go give it a shot, and roped J in on the pretext of Mt Fuji training. LOL
tbh, based on what I read, Lambak would have been better for a first-timer vs Datuk. Despite YMCA claiming on their Meetup page that Datuk is suitable for beginners, further googling on it is telling me otherwise. The summit for Datuk is 2,900ft. It might be a faction of Mt Fuji’s 12,389ft but I’ve learnt from my little hiking experience that the height of a mountain is not equivalent to its difficulty. It might just be me, but I felt that the 13,435ft Mount Kinabalu was easier than the 4,186ft Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir). And if anyone were to say that the 3,314ft Gunung Belumut is good for beginners, just tell them to gtfo. Belumut was the second mountain I ever been to (Kinabalu was my third actually) and it was a physically exhausting experience for me. Well… I’ve returned to Belumut again post Kinabalu, and no, the darn hike did not get any easier T_T
Call me weak if you must. I can picture the experienced hikers rolling their eyes already. Meh. I never claimed to be an outdoorsy person anyway. Much as I enjoy the hikes & simply adore the views from the summit, trust me, I’m more comfortable being home and fused to my PC… be it on a video game or watching some drama. Hence you can guess my level of fitness to begin with >_<” but yes, the above mentioned mountains CAN be done by folks with little or no experience.
Speaking of hiking in Malaysia, I’ve come to know about the Grand 7 (G7) Mountains. Well… it’s basically the 7 mountains >7,000ft above sea level in Penisula Malaysia (West Malaysia): Korbu, Yong Belar, Gayong, Chamah, Ulu Sepat & the highest of them all… Tahan (“tahan” meaning “endure” in Malay – imagine how this mountain is like). Many view summiting the G7 as a target: it is a huge achievement as the trails are challenging… and for someone like me, it’s likely to be brutal haha. If that isn’t enough, there is the G12 which comprises of the G7 + 5 other peaks in East Malaysia: Kinabalu, Trusmadi, Tambayukon, Murud & Mulu.
Dare I attempt them all? A part of me says, “yeah go ahead”… but the logical part of me is saying “no, that is way out of my league”. I know it does sound a little weird to say that, considering that with the exception of Kinabalu, the others are lower than Mt Fuji even. So why the confidence to summit Fuji instead of these lower peaks? This is where I might be wrong. I’m somehow of the impression that Japan mountains are ‘tamer’ compared to Malaysia mountains… don’t ask why, I can’t explain this either… and no, this is NO WAY an insult to either of the countries, so don’t even go there (._.)
One thing that is quite a pity is though… that though these mountains are like fauna and flora rich, I never really gotten the chance to appreciate all that. Mainly cos it’s taking all I have to continue plodding on and on and on. I barely have the time (cos I’m trying to keep up with everyone else… duh) nor energy to stop & look around for flowers or other plants. Haha, so yeah I’d say that hiking would be much more rewarding for those physically conditioned to do so – generally fit with regular exercise, that is. Pretty sure “special training” is only required for the larger mountains (i.e. Mount Everest, Killimanjaro).
Anyway, my Gunung Datuk hike is tomorrow. Wish me luck!!