It’s terribly humiliating challenging climbing a mountain together with people who are younger than you. While they may claim to be as tired as you are, they seem to run on nuclear energy compared to yours truly, who is still on diesel power.
Which was what happened last Thursday (20 Mac 2008) when we summited Gunung Datuk. It was the 2nd time for me. There was a guy in our group who was climbing it for the 10th time! I bet he could do it blind folded! But for many in the group, it was their first experience.
There were 21 of us. The youngest is 10 years old while the oldest is 64! There were 3 children below 12. There were 8 IMU students with me as well. All 7 students (one was actually lagging behind, but I am told it’s due to him being online surfing the net the whole night prior to the climb) summited first, disappearing way ahead of us (I was a bit worried they would get lost ~ one of them even quipped that if they do get lost, they can have their own ‘LOST Season 1′)!
Let’s dispense with the statistics first. Time taken (for me) to reach the summit was 1 hour and 45 minutes (previously I reached15 minutes earlier; this time the delay was mainly because I stopped to wait for some of the slower climbers to catch up). Time taken to descend was 55 minutes (which was better than my previous record of 1 hour and 10 min). Water intake was about 1 litre (I brought 1.5 litres up but 400 ml was consumed by 2 children who were with me and didn’t have water on them. Their poor mum was carrying their backpacks way way way far behind!!!). Food consumed were 2 luncheon meat+egg sandwiches, 1 apple and a thermos of wonderful hot coffee!!!
As expected, I sweat like crazy, completely soaking my headband, a hand towel, my shirt and inner wear. Thankfully, the dri-fit shirt I wore kept me light and mobile. This time round, I wore my mountain climbing shoes which gave me a good grip even though the ground was wet from the heavy rain the night before (well worth the price I paid for it!). I also brought along my trekking pole which helped a lot in relieving the stress off my knees.
A few of the students told their stories of the climb in their blogs. For instance there was romance high up in the mountain!
Love is in the air!! (Dysmennorhoea + PCM search + high mountain = good love story plot)
You can read about it in YY’s blog!
Chee Koon took some really nice pics and CK wrote a good summary of the climb complete with pictures.
No one can deny that the last part of the climb was terrifying, especially to those who have a fear of height! Suffice to say all 7 male students wet their pants! Here are the evidences!
Students who wet their pants: (guess the wetters wearers)
I am told the wetness was due to profuse sweating (and not some organic waste product excreted due to fear) but we will never know, will we? I heard that at least one of them had a ‘minyak cap kapak leak’ contributing to the big damp patch and a very hot ‘southern region’. Ouch!!!! That’s the new meaning to the phrase ‘Fire in the loins’! LOL!!
Strangely, I wasn’t afraid of the last bit of the climb this time round! The 1st time, I was petrified! I think I’ve conquered my fear of height, at least on this mountain!
Just before we climbed the last part, we had a rest and had this picture taken. Let it be recorded for posterity that the 64 year old grandma who climbed with us made it to this plateau! Well done, auntie!!! And let it be recorded that all 3 children below 12 went on to reach the 2nd plateau just before the peak! Good job, kids!!
Somehow the sun got in my face again.
The view from the top was just as I remembered it, even though the it was a little misty.
No, wait! Wait! I don’t recall seeing this the last time:!!!!
The offending thing was revealed by the zoom function of my Canon Ixus 40 (ya, I know, it’s obsolete already but what to do, no money to buy new one) to be:
A tired looking ‘BN Flag’, probably hung there by some crazy over enthusiastic political party helper in the recently concluded general election! I mean, who are they trying to attract to vote for them? Monkeys? And who is going to take down this eye sore?
Anyway, victory was sweet as all 8 of my students made it to the top! I’m very proud of them. YY’s blog contains some reflections on this event as he drew parallels between the difficult task of summiting the mountain and life’s challenges. Very insightful indeed, you gotta read it!
Me and my students. Hmmm…the sun got in my face again…
I had another bout of visual hallucinations this time, much like the last time. I was deeply disappointed that I did not encounter those Bootylicious Amazon Babes again but my eyes sure saw some weird stuff on the way down as I breathed heavily, specs fogged by vapour, sweat pouring down my face and everywhere else, contributing to rapid dehydration and hence the optical illusions! These were some of the weird stuff that I thought I saw:
Genital warts on a tree branch??!!! *Gasps!!!*
Are those….nipples?! By George! They are! Nipples! Nipples! Loads of them! Bunches of them! Jimbo was in the Land of Merry Mammaries!
Nipples protruding out of tree trunks everywhere! Fui-yoh!!! The Amazon Babes must be near! Jimbo’s hands shook deliriously as he took this picture.
Thankfully before I went hysterically nuts, a bit of rapid rehydration back at the foothill (2 cans of cold 100 PLUS ~ the cold coconut water stall was closed! Darn!) saved me from any permanent psychiatric disorders!
Look out for the next climb (April 12th)!. Join us?
Sat, 220308 @ 0700
Gunung Datuk, Rembau
Gunung Datuk – Part 2
Gunung Datuk – Part 3
Gunung Datuk – The last 10 meters Up
Gunung Datuk – A Summary
Gunung Datuk by Jet
TFTD’s take on Gunung Datuk