A few weeks ago, I added another feather to my mountain-climbing-hat. Together with 20 others, I climbed Gunung Hantu Besar (literally translated as Big Ghost Mountain). Located near the sleepy town of Jelebu in Negeri Sembilan and standing at 1462 meters above sea level, GHB is the tallest mountain in Negeri Sembilan and is the 92nd tallest mountain in Malaysia according to Malaysia Mountains.
We started our trip early in the morning on 14 July 2012 at 4.00 am making the 1.5 hours trip to the base of the mountain. I’m not gonna write a lot about this mountain because my fellow blogger and obsessive chronicler had already done a great job on her blog!
Here were my personal statistics on that climb:
Ascent time to peak: 4 hours 20 min (1 hour to reach Sg. Kering (or ‘Dry River’), which isn’t actually dry; another hour to reach Kem Orked, which despite its name was a barren area almost devoid of any orchids; and the final 2 hour and 20 minutes to reach the peak)
Descend time (from peak via another route to the Lata Kijang Waterfall): 3 hours 15 min.
Food consumed: 1 Fillet-O-Fish and 1 Mac Chicken sans the cheese; 2 wafers, loads of honey roasted almonds ( I was offering everybody “my nuts”), an apple and a pear.
Fluid consumed: 3.5 liters (inclusive of 1000 ml of isotonic fluid)
I’d like to share some of the pictures here:
Frankly speaking, I found the climb a bit of a bore, especially the first 2 hours which consisted mainly of merely a leisurely hike up a long trail with a barely perceptible incline. The last part of the climb (after Kem Orked) was more challenging as the incline suddenly became quite steep with many exposed tree roots. Still it wasn’t difficult by any stretch of imagination. The flora was fascinating enough and leeches were a plenty every where! There was an area between Sungai Kering and Kem Orked where one could actually see these disgusting blood suckers literally all over the trail, waiting to latch onto the next bare skin that passes over them! The initial trail between Ken Orked and the peak has to be the most unpleasant one as we had to walk single file on a narrow trail flanked on both sides by very dead, very hard and very prickly ferns. These dead ferns produced painful cuts on all of our exposed legs, arms, neck and face. Not pleasant at all.
I climbed this mountain simply because I have never climbed it before and now that I had, I don’t think I will do it again. The trip there and back is too long and tedious. The climb was not exciting. The view from the peak was an anti-climax. The cost per climber was pretty steep (RM 57 per person which included guide fees and transfer via 4-wheel-drive). The only saving grace was the spectacular Lata Kijang Waterfall which was an awesome sight to behold!
I hear the local authorities are planning to build a highway near the place and eventually commercialize the place. It would make access easier but it might also mean what is preserved now may not be pristine for much longer.