I really like the Yong Belar trip, where the weather is nice, the path requires less crawling with a good amount of up and down and the scenery is just nice (not to mentioned a good campsite and close proximity last water point).
This is like a redemption trip as well, where I was totally out of form during the Liang trip few weeks ago. I had been going on jogging as frequent as I could (jogging just on weekend does not work, as I would be usually occupied with something else) just to keep up the stamina so that I could have a more enjoyable hiking trip. I am really glad that it work out very well, and the trip is just marvelous. I think I should keep up the habit of jogging :)
Yong Belar started near a Blue Valley farm in Cameron (same starting point as Charlie), reached only by 4WD. This time Wen Pin leads the front, followed by the ever energetic Tang and Iron Lady Michelle. In between we have Tiger Alvin, Jason the Noise Maker, Muscleman Chim and Mrs. Chim (Li Chan). At the back, we have the usual me, Mei Ru, and surprisingly Tai Kor Siong Har and Fong the Chef. Siong Har and Fong kind of slow down their pace this time and it’s the first time we manage to catch up with them and keep pace. Probably is because Siong Har’s leg is aching due to an old injury. Nevertheless, they are never too far behind (good discipline and stamina).
We track through the high steps, crossing a river into 1 hour plus of logging path and ended up sticking our foot in some really muddy path. We hike up a stone hill into the forest, and begin our pleasant journey. Highland mountain is usually like a dragon, with a lot of up and town. The good thing is it isn’t too taxing while going up and the bad things is going down requires equally long hours as well (but at least it doesn’t hurt the knee too much). After a few hours of tracking through vast forest and mountains area, we reach Kem Tudung Periuk, the 1st water point. From there, it takes about 2 hours to reach Kem Kasut, the last water point. We clean ourselves up with icy cool water (syiok!), and carry 2 extra bottles each person for cooking and cleaning. I path up is about an hour of steep path, but it’s okay. The peak had a small piece of really flat campsite, the best I had seen for far. The mountain views are majestic, and it’s covered by heavy mist most of the time. It’s cold (Chim detected 15C during midnight, but it could have gotten lower) and not so windy (that’s God). Since we are not the very late arrival this time, I get to help out to setup the tents and alike, while the girls help Chef Fong with the cooking. Once thing about Siong Har and Fong’s combo, you could always expect being well taken care off and really good food. We are not talking about camping food like can or magi mee or bread, but Chinese cooking with 4 dishes and a soup, plus dessert after meal. You should be saying WTF now, haha. Fong’s cooking is delicious as usual, and many thanks to her and Siong Har of such good hospitality :)
I bought along a loaned GPS unit (Garmin eTrex Vista HCx) from Mei Ru’s friend, but the Yong Belar summit coordinates which I got from the Internet is wrong (almost 1km plus off), thus always the wrong estimate. The GPS unit works pretty well, except it fails to detect if we are moving or stopping most of the time, probably due to the dense forest. But it manages to track the full path pretty well.
It’s a good and memorable adventure, and I do feel good about it :)
Photo Links: Mei Ru's, Tang's, Michelle's 1 & 2