Monday, September 11, 2006

XPDC Gunung Challi / Charlie

May it be Challi or Charlie, this is definitely a very tiring mountain to trek (or had my stamina deteorated) and very bad for people who are tall or big sized. The climb start somewhere near the Blue Valley at Cameron Highland, and it’s a 7 hours trek.

Team Charlie

The 1st few hours seems pretty normal and easy, just going through some trees and bushes. The scenery kinda changed after the 3rd hours, where you get some mystic forest feel ala mini Lord of the Ring. It feels kinda cold and misty, and lots of algae and green stuff hanging from the trees, and the land seems softer. The scenery and feel is kinda amazing, and it seems kinda like the little forest for the hobbits.

Misty Forest

Then things get kinda tricky when it started to rain, and we have to put on our poncho. The problem is not just the rain, but the path and bushes. The path is pretty narrow, and short as well. You gonna get lots of branches on both side scratches your arm and tearing your poncho, and to mentioned a lot of big branches on top which make you duck or crawl. Like I said, the path is narrow and short, and full with obstacles. My backpack keeps getting stuck at the branches, and I have to crawl most of the time, which is quite irritating. Not to mentioned the small branches and torn on both side keep scratching me and hang on to me. And the rain does helps at all.

Don't we look good together?

Generally, there are a few types of trekkers I saw:
  • The slow mover, people who really take their own sweat time and move really slow (or they really couldn’t keep up)
  • The enjoyer, people who keep an average pace while enjoying the journey and scenery
  • The rusher, those who aimed to rush to the destination as fast as possible
  • The helper, those who always help others
I guess I am the Enjoyer, since walking too slow tired me out easily, and I am not capable of rushing or helping others too much. I believed there is more than reaching the destination in mountain trekking, but I shouldn’t be too slow either.

Ah Fong the cook came along this time as well, and she is a very serious cook as usual (only when cooking). I dare not come near or help her when she is cooking, since I know I can’t meet her level of expectation. But she is generally a nice person, just need to know what to do and what not to do with her. Muscleman Chim joined us as well, and he can survived the cold without any cloth at the top (no sign of catching a cold either), and he is helpful and felt very enthusiastic about mountain trekking (perhaps his 2nd hobby after fishing).

It's is wet and COLD!

Somehow, when there is too big of a team (around 26 persons), the trekking just doesn’t seems fun. Perhaps there is less bonding, or perhaps lack of someone to glue us together. For a moment, I felt quite uncomfortable with the atmosphere up there, but luckily it didn’t last long. I still prefer the Rajah group, though it consists of pretty much the same group here, but something is different or missing.

The girls get to sleep in the camp, and guys have to sleep under the fly ship, and it is raining. Luckily the rain stop and it isn’t too windy. My sleeping bag is wet, so I am uncovered in the opened. Advice: Always cover your sleeping bag and cloths. Anyway, I never quite like sleeping in the camp, I enjoyed the openness (perhaps this is what I enjoyed most from a camping trip). BTW, Muscleman Chim snore like a train with different tune, and it’s a miracle that I still managed to catch some sleep.

The Reward up there

The top of Charlie is covered by bushes around it, thus it might not be a good spot to enjoy the mountain scenery. It got a misty feel, but lack of openness. Thus the top isn’t too satisfying.

The path down took almost 7 hours as well, and it ain’t pretty. The Charlie track is a dragon mountain, the same amount of going uphill and downhill on either way. So it ain’t a relaxing trip down. Wynn got sick slightly due to lack of sleep, but she managed to survive. The trip down is quite painful for me, thus I need lots of fresh fruit and pit stop.

We have a lot of nice people in this group. Perhaps that’s what mountain trekking is all about, nature and good people. And perhaps to just focus on one thing and forget about our busy city life for a moment.

Photo Link: Mich's Multiply, Tang's Multiply, Mei Ru's Multiply, Wynn's Mutiply


meiru said...

i also like the rajah trip better, though i feel rajah is tougher (for me), but mayb at rajah we get to enjoy the waterfall instead of jst trekking all the way. somemore we had great time camping, eating n singing on both nights we spent there, with nicer scenery at the hill top. More rewards, perhaps.

Mich said...

i do agree with u .Rajah trip is more memorable but i think Charlie is tougher because the path is narrow and we need to crawl and climb with our heavy back pack.

Anyway i'm the type of trekkers that do not like to rush and love to climb at my own pace. If there is nobody walking behind me, i do not think i'll reach the time estimated.

d_luaz said...

Rajah is nicer, and Charlie is tougher for me (talk about those mini path and tunnels). Perhaps Rajah had more variety as well, probably due to the water streams.

Everyone need a little bit of push, else we all will take our own sweet time.

meiru said...

ehh.. wynn's multiply also have some photos ar.

Anonymous said...

Hi,i'm chew, we have a group of ppl here plan to hike Gunung Charlie next week, is it a straight forward track? any chance to get lost?thx