Gunung Nuang


If you google ‘Gunung Nuang’, chances are you will not see many photos being taken. I believe it’s because after hours of hiking and climbing, one would be greatly disinclined to snap many photos! Personally, on this climb, I snapped the least number of photos. I’d like to share them with you here.

But first let me tell you how I almost gassed some one to death high up on Gunung Nuang!

“How?”, you ask.

On that fateful, we were given instruction to wait at the Kemayan Square in Seremban at 4.20 am. Yours truly was there before that and since there was no one else (except for 2 other climbers), I decided to take an early breakfast at the Al-Azhar restaurant nearby. At the time, the Chelsea-Liverpool was being telecast live (Chelsea won, btw, in case you want to know, by 3-2).

The restaurant was packed but I got my food real fast. One roti canai with dhal and a cup of hot milo.

Bad choice.

Because by the time I passed Kem Pacat on the way up Gunung Nuang, I felt the first tremors of stomach cramps. “Food Poisoning!!!”, that was my immediate thought. “Oh God, this is not the time to get food poisoning”, was my next thought. Later I found out that a few others who also ate the same mamak restaurant had similar complaints. I didn’t fancy making any organic deposits up in the mountain! I mean, people might chance upon me, with my pants down, doing my business and before you know it, the video would be on youtube!

Another hour into the climb, I felt the urgent urge to release some biogas. Unfortunately, by then, the climb was pretty steep and you know-la, when it’s that steep, the guy behind you (an unfortunate Malay chap from another group) practically have his face in your, well, rear end.

“PooooOOOOOOTTTT!!!!” ,out came the first gust of biogas. I mumbled a quick apology to the slightly-blue-in-the-face guy behind me whose nostrils were just inches from my, you know, there….! Instinctively, I put my Kegel muscle into hypercontraction but it was useless.

The first gust was followed by a few very loud, very prolonged, very disgusting “poot, poot, pooooots!!!” followed by the final short decrescendo of small short “poots”!!! Gosh! I was so mortified at the uncivilised behaviour of my unruly bowel! I turned around and this guy behind me was in a much darker shade of sickly green. I thought he was going to keel over and fall off the steep incline! I almost killed him by gassing!

I mumbled a few more ‘maafs’ (sorry in Malay) and finally stepped aside and asked him to pass me, which he gladly did, and in a hurry too.

Now, back to the climb. One word:

GRUELING!!!!!

Anyway, here are the pictures…

Briefing by Peter Lai before the climb. We were delayed by almost an hour because some couldn’t wake up in time that morning. As a result, the climb started late. There was a small drizzle when we started but it did not turn into a downpour. Thank God.

Picture before the climb. I think it’s time to change my much abused camera, lately the pictures are a bit blurry. Youngest in the group: two 15 year olds; the oldest is 54 years old.

The initial 2 hours or so of the climb consists of these gravel+mud road with a gentle upward gradient. These few guys were the first to summit the mountain. I never saw them again until I met them high up there when they were descending and I was still struggling to go up! Youth sure has its advantages! :(

The first part of the climb, you will see a forest of wild bamboos. Perfect for ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’ or ‘House of Flying Daggers’ fight scenes!

An Orang Asli house along the way. Yeah, it’s blur. I know. It’s the camera.

The river at Kem Lolo. It takes an average of 2 hours hike to reach this place from base.

The first river we had to cross. Altogether we had to cross 5 rivers (or was it 4?), some like this one is easy as you can just hop from rock to rock. Others are deeper and may require footwear to be removed unless you fancy hiking/climbing in wet soggy socks and shoes.

The non-functional dam which we had to cross. It’s about 100 meters from Kem Lolo.

Removal of footwear is recommended here as the water is deep and the current swift. One of the students dropped his precious water bottle containing 700 ml of clean water here!

Another river we had to cross. Here another student dropped her socks into the water, and effectively contaminated the water supply of half the population of the Klang Valley. Heh heh! Just kidding.

After that the gravel road gave way to this trail which gets steeper and more slippery by the minute. This kind of trail goes on forever and ever. It gets on your nerves after a while.

I saw some wild flowers on the way.

And some fungi on old rotting tree bark.

And lots of ferns naturally.

Some parts are rocky, like this one. Just about now, my left knee began to hurt. It was an injury I picked up while climbing Gunung Angsi last month which I thought has healed. Apparently not!

Kem Pacat. “Pacat” is the Malay word for leeches! Indeed, along the way, I saw many of these slimy creatures on the ground, tree barks and leaves, waiting for the right opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting climbers and sucking the blood out of them! One student was bitten by 4 of them! Another was bitten on her right inner arm. EeeeWWWWW!!!

The sign says “Beauty is the eye of the beholder”. I thought the correct phrase should be “Beauty is IN the eyes of the beholder”. Anyway, by then, I wasn’t much in the mood for beholding any beauty as I felt the first tummy cramp of food poisoning, which led to the near-death-by-biogassing- incident I mentioned earlier.

By now, the pain in my left knee was a bit more intense. To get to Kem Pacat from Kem Lolo would take an average of 2 hours climb (I am referring to the time taken by mere mortals and not super-fit people!)

I decided not to stop at Kem Pacat. One of the reason was because the place was full of honey bees! At any one time, there would be about a dozen bees just buzzing or sticking onto your clothes! I found it especially annoying to have these awful insects just buzzing within earshot while I was climbing. I wished I had a full can of ‘Shieldtox’ at the time!

After Kem Pacat, the trail gets even more steep with tree roots forming the main leg hold for the ascend.

My injured knee didn’t give me much problem then as it only hurts when I flex the hamstrings which was not really active during a climb (the quadriceps are active during the ascend). I knew that going down would be torture.

The mist rolled in at noon and the peak was nowhere in sight.

Right about then, I spotted this sign up ahead and thought I had reached some sort of rest place (or the peak ~ I hoped) but it turned out to be just a sign that does not help at all! I wonder why they bother to put up sign boards like these. I would prefer sign boards that say “40 minutes to the peak” or “Starbucks available at the peak”.

Next to that sign board was this dark upward trail. Not very inviting. In the jungle, the light dims pretty quickly even though it was just past noon at the time.

At one self-imposed stop, I took pictures of these leaves with these unique swellings on them.

On the flip side, these swellings has these pink pointy protruberances! Reminded me of one of Madonna’s costume! Heh heh!!! :)

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And then, suddenly I could see the sky clearly. I thought the peak must be near! It was almost 1 pm by then.

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I hobbled up (yup, by now the pain in the knee was much worst and I had my knee guard on, and I popped 2 tablets of Ponstan to help ease the pain a little), only to be greeted by this sign. Apparently this was the ‘false peak’ that I overheard some people talking about while on the way up. This peak is known as ‘Puncak Pengasih’ (Lover’s Peak?) but I didn’t feel any loving vibes then. I was too tired and too disappointed to feel any love! :)

From Puncak Pengasih, I had to descend down a steep slope which took about 20 minutes during which time my knee began to hurt very badly. I met a number of my fellow climbers along the way (they were on their way back to base) and they told me the peak is still a long way off; “maybe 45 minutes” they said. Gosh!!!

I seriously considered turing around at the time because the ‘turn-back-time’ was supposed to be 1 pm. The order was that no matter where or how high on the mountain one is, one MUST turn back at 1 pm, in order to make it back to base before dusk.

Then I met the leader who was on his way down and he said I can probably stretch it to but not beyond 2 pm.

Decision, decision, decision…..

I decided to press on. I wanted to reach the peak so badly. (Pride la, what to do. But now in hindsight, I think it was a foolish decision. I could have hurt myself badly).

Two paractamol tablets, a few sprays from an ethanol can, lots of pain bearing jaw crunch and 40 minutes later from Puncak Pengasih, I finally stepped onto the peak!

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Gunung Nuang’s peak, at 4898 feet above sea level!!!! Woooo hooooooo!!!!!

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By then , it was so misty I could not see anything! I am told, on a clear day, one could even see Genting Highlands at a distance.

I was the last one from my team to arrive at the peak. There were a few groups of people up there. I got one of them to take my pictures next to the sign board there (no one to jubilate with! Sigh!), changed into a fresh set of clothes, gobbled down my packed lunch, ate an apple, drank a fair amount of water and bid a hasty descend starting at 2 pm. I knew the descend would be very tough as my knee hurt with every step down.

My stomach still had the cramps and I felt the first urging of solids waiting to be evacuated! Gulp!!!

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Lichen on a tree. I still remember what I learnt in Botany class as a Science undergraduate in UKM! This was the 2nd last picture I took.

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Strange fruits on a tree. On closer look, they were swarming with ants! “Must be sweet stuff”, I thought to myself.

And that was the last picture I took because after that all I did was to concentrate on getting down as quickly as possible, as painlessly as possible and drinking as little water as possible. I wanted to reach Kem Lolo before sundown because it would be dangerous to descend in the dark. It’s safer to walk on the gravel road in the dark than to be trapped up in the mountain. No time to linger and snap photos!

Along the way, lots of people passed me by, each either enquiring whether I was on my way up (!!!) or those who actually noticed me walking funny and in pain, whether I am okay and what’s wrong with my knee.

One by one they passed me by.

And then, I was all alone…..

The last guy descending from the peak, in pain, with only the jungle noise for company and the lights quickly fading. I was scrambling down as fast as my painful knee would allow.

Thank God, I reached Kem Lolo at 6.30 pm while there was still some light. By then I had managed to catch up with a couple from my group (they were going down slowly ~ wanted to enjoy the walk it seems, holding hands and all!), another couple (because the girl sprained her ankle) and another older Chinese chap (who incidentally, will be joining me in the PD Half Marathon sometime this month!).

Together the 5 of us made the slow painful journey back to base.

Meanwhile, my people back at the base had waited for more than 2 hours, and getting worried. They sent Good Samaritans (but ride like demons) on motorcycles to come get us.

I managed the last part of the descend, hanging precariously for dear life, with 2 other guys on a motorcycle going down at break neck speed; fervently praying that my life would not be extinguished by a crash or a quick descend into the deep ravine just next to the road shoulder! I didn’t know whether to be grateful for the lift or to curse the guy for trying to take my life away.

Miraculously, the 3 of us reached base in safely!

It was so good to see my fellow-climbers and the relief on their faces! They all heard I hurt my knee.

It was one fantastic climb. Very challenging indeed. Extremely grueling.

I don’t think I will ever go for it again.

No, thanks….

Sun, 040508 @ 0700 (the knee is much better now)

Related link:
1. Nuang Conquered

2. YY’s hilarious account of the climb

3. KK’s account of the climb

4. Nuang Pictures by Chee Koon

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43 comments on “Gunung Nuang

  1. [...] another torturous mountain I had climbed a few years ago because of the similarity of both trails, Gunung Nuang, which I swore I would never ever climb [...]

  2. denon says:

    i will go gunung nuang maybe in nxt ntx week, may i ask is that possible to climb gunung nuang is one day? i meant up and down in 1 day,without camping or staying there.Thx

    P/S: email to me

    • Jimbo says:

      Yes you can, you have to start climbing by 7 am and turn around by 2 pm latest (if not you will be left stranded on the mountain in total darkness). If you keep to this time, you should be out of the mountain by 7 or 8 pm latest.

  3. [...] And there’s also the suspicious problem of a recurring knee pain (sustained from climbing Gunung Nuang, a nightmare forever etched into my [...]

  4. guest says:

    from the base to lolo camp, is there any hard climb during the short journey???? i mean steep climb or something…

  5. mylo says:

    AWESOME post! This is the BEST pictorial guide about Gunung Nuang by far. I intend to ‘conquer’ Gunung Nuang soon. Thank you for sharing!

    Cheers!
    mylo

  6. Shark says:

    do we need a renjer to guide us?

  7. Shikin says:

    Hi Jimbo..I’ve been to Gunung Nuang last month (but not to the peak, only at lolo). For me the trail is not that difficult (compared to your Gunung Datuk I think?) the terrain isn’t that steep. Its like climbing endless staircase then gradually going downhill and after that staircase again. But I can managed that at that time. Now I seriously have doubt whether I can survive this Gunung Datuk..heheheh..I’m going there next weekend btw..It was no fun climbing Gunung Nuang as I’m an amateur climber..so if I can make it to Gunung Datuk it will really boost my spirit and energy when I try to conquer Mount KK..Any important tips that I should know before my trip to KK next month?? Thanx alot Jimbo..

    • Jimbo says:

      Gunung Datuk is easy peasy. Trust me. If you can do Nuang, KK is not a problem. You can also read about my KK experience here on my blog.

  8. [...] to do a ‘big’ one while at the peak. A similar episode has happened to her during the Nuang climb. In that climb, Jimbo was also producing ‘bio gas’ by the ton, so he could understand [...]

  9. Jimbo says:

    fatini, thanks for sharing your tale! I can imagine the pain you must be in! It will heal in time. I will NEVER ever climb Nuang again! :) Am going to Ledang soon.

  10. fatini says:

    thanks for sharing it with us.. i conquered nuang last saturday. It was a 10 hour torturing experience that i do not want to trade with anything else. It was very mental for me. I underestimate the distance. The climb was very technical and the descending part was really suffering for me. I have same knee problem. I can totally imagine how hard it had been for you. I guess it was double the suffer as you descended alone! I can totally imagine!!

    Right now (while writing this comment) I am still recuperating at home enjoying the rest and the pain of my muscle sore. I look like nenek tua trying to go down the stairs. Infact, i descend stairs backwards!!!

    congratulations!!!

  11. Jimbo says:

    Wong, thanks for dropping by my blog! :) I see you have been up a number of mountains too.

  12. Wong says:

    Hi Jimbo,

    It is nice that you are sharing with us all the good places with pictures. I am one of the nature lovers also and have my blog at http://www.walknature.blogspot.com.

    I also share with people for the places that I went. Welcome to visit my blog and give me your comment so that I can improve it. I have much more to learn from all those people who have time to travel and share their experiences with us.

    Cheers !

  13. [...] To read more about Nuang, please click here: Gunung Nuang. [...]

  14. [...] stick is advised. Do not use a metal one as it may attract lightning. Such a case happened at Gunung Nuang a few months ago, I was told.) I am told the new route down would be quite [...]

  15. Jimbo says:

    No sarah, you do not need a guide but it’s probably better to go with some one who has been there before. And ya, there are 2 peaks, the first one is a false one. Happy Climbing!! :)

  16. sarah says:

    hello..i’ve been reading the comments on G. Nuang. My friends and I are planning a trip sometime this month. Last weekend we did Bukit Tabur upto the point of the ropes but had to turn back as we had run out of water and were very tired. Do we need a guide for Nuang?

  17. [...] High Sierra Mountain climbing bag which cost me a bomb. I tried it out during the Nuang climb and found it quite good except the metal beam tends to hurt my lower back. Only after the climb did [...]

  18. [...] hurt that knee on the last Angsi climb, aggravated it some more during the Nuang climb and made it worst some more when I ran in the PD half marathon 2 weeks ago. Over the last 2 weeks I [...]

  19. Jimbo says:

    Hi Christine,
    Welcome to my blog. :) Glad you enjoyed reading the mundane stuff I write here (to keep my sanity intact).
    Seriously you do not want to reconsider your decision regarding the KK climb? While I do not quite agree that anyone can climb no matter at what age a person is, I think the KK climb is worth a try, even if it’s just up to Laban Rata. I’m not aiming high either. Am praying that my knee will heal in time for the climb. Sigh…

    • baby.ernie@yahoo.com says:

      hi…im new here…gunung nuang some of interesting place..i want go there but i cant reach the contact to go there..can u give me some info?

  20. Chee Koon says:

    This was my first contact with Nuang, and it’s going to be the last. Too tiring, though the satisfaction was great.

  21. christine says:

    Hey Jimbo
    You should have climbed Nuang first before Lawrence Chong climbed Mt KK and came back with mortifying reports of sprained ankle, being carried down by porters/guides and being much lighter, pocket-wise. You almost convinced me that anyone of ANY AGE could climb every mountain, scale any heights, if there is determination and, like Eunice said, a ‘Gung-ho’ spirit within. That said, I am still very much adamant in not joining you all for the July climb.
    By the way, I really enjoy reading yr blog…you tell it as it is, no frills but sprinkled with hilarious polka-dots of incidences here and there….pooooo oo ots….oops, sorry

  22. yu ying says:

    haha… LOL 10x…. JImbo the POOt…good determination.. maybe biogas serves as an extra force to push you forward…u know la.. the newton law of force…

  23. Jimbo says:

    Yup, to bare all on account of merely 3 leeches would be quite unbecoming behaviour for a pre-doctor. LOL!!!

  24. aiesha says:

    haiyyo.. typo error lor. didn’t mean to ‘bare’ it all.haha. ;)

  25. LM says:

    Congrats on making the climb to the top! I can understand the feeling, and great adrenaline rush when you are alone, you need to get down the mountain quickly before the sun goes down (or the tigers may keep you company)

    Those are not lichens on the tree trunk, these are mosses.

    I love the pictures of the flora and surroundings.

    IHMO, the challenges with Nuang should set you on the path towards conquest of Tahan; which is basically tropical mountains. Mount KK terrain esp at the upper reaches is quite different.

  26. Jimbo says:

    Wow aiesha, I can imagine a family of leeches feasting on your arm! Papa leech, Mama leech and Baby leech!!!
    Btw, you probably should use the word ‘bear’ instead of ‘bare’ in relation to your food poisoning. The former word gives the impression that you wish to expose something!!! LOL!!!

  27. Jimbo says:

    Ya Eunice, I was sorely disappointed as well at having not met any bootylicious Amazon Babes in Nuang. Apparently these divine beings only reside in the mountains of Negeri Sembilan. Less leeches in NS I guess. :)

  28. Eunice says:

    After reading your out-of-the-ordinary story on Gunung Datuk – Jan 19, I thought your Nuang climb would have been more interesting. I was half expecting the 4 Amazon Babes to appear in Nuang too, bringing along their other friends to meet you. :) You disappoint me lah.

    Congrats to you for conquering Nuang.. You’ve made it to the peak despite of your injured knee and food poisoning. After Nuang, Mt K should be a stroll in a park for you. Keep up your “gung ho-ness” and see you at the top of Mt K. (Sigh.. I must train harder..)

  29. KK says:

    oh ya, remember to B.O. in the morning before the big race (or climb). heheh

  30. KK says:

    LOL, biogas! normally 1 or 2 days prior to running a marathon or a mountain climb, i eat “clean” food. meaning no spicy food (KFC, mamak, curry, oily, starchy food, etc a big no-no) and plenty of water. i find Melilea’s Greenfield Organic powder helps a lot, but doesn’t come cheap! otherwise, papaya is good (eat in bijik, not slices)! the papaine in papaya helps in absorption of other nutrients too (creatine monohydrate, for eg.)! :)

  31. aiesha says:

    what I really meant was that I did not released any biological bomb to anyone…. hihi ;)

  32. aiesha says:

    The climb was superFUN but mentally challenging. The trails appeared the same so it felt like infinity to reach the peak. (I felt the same way while descending as well!~~) The leeches were extremely violent!~ There were 3 of them on my right inner arm. On my way down to Kem Pacat, I fell a few times, as a result, I ended up with huge bruise on my left thigh. To add to the misery, I suffered from food poisoning and have to bare with it throughout the 11 hours climb. Blame it on rojak campur that was eaten at mamak stall prior to the climbing! But believe me, I DID NOT released any biological bomb, unlike our friend, Jimbo!~~ HAHAHAHA.. ;)

  33. Jimbo says:

    justme, note that not once I did mention that the climb was ‘not fun’. Actually I found it quite fun. And on the contrary, my spirit for climbing was not crushed but rather my resolution was much strengthened by this climb, because I now know I am much fitter than I used to be and I have better confidence in scaling Mount KK in July. The patients will always be there, they should not overwhelm us and give us no space for some life enjoyment. :)

  34. Jimbo says:

    Azman, not true ya. I purposely avoided the piles of rubbish when snapping my pictures. By the way, at the peak, I overheard a person telling off another person from another group to carry his rubbish down the mountain, because the latter wanted to fling his red plastic bag containing the used-Maggi-mee container he just ate for lunch. Ironically the person who wanted to throw the rubbish was wearing a T-shirt that says “kelab pencinta alam”!!!

  35. just me says:

    Told ya it was not fun at all. Told ya that once been there, the spirit of climbing will be crushed… Gosh… Really thank God you are alright. Still a lot of patients are waiting for u in the hospital… Pls take care!!

  36. Azman says:

    Congratulations Doc!

    The place is a LOT cleaner now. I’m pleased to see that.

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