Monday, June 11, 2007

Trekking Up Gunung Irau

One Friday afternoon on 8th Dec 2006, thirty-two members of KPTM Trekkers from KL and Alor Star took the PLUS Highway to Cameron Highlands. We were later joined by other members from Ipoh before exiting through Simpang Pulai.

Upon arrival at Sungai Pauh base camp we set up our tents and cook something light for supper, or rather a very late dinner. 

All of us slept well that night, as the weather was a bit cold after the drizzling rain.

The next day, we woke up early to prepare for the hike. After Subuh prayers we had breakfast prepared by volunteers among group members. We packed some for lunch at the peak of Gunung Irau (2110 m ASL). After taking group photos at the base camp, we drove to Gunung Brinchang through Sungai Palas, which is about 10 km from our Sungai Pauh base camp. 

Along the way, our team leader, Cik Liza stopped by at Brinchang Police Station to drop a list of names and phone numbers of our group members. This is a requirement, a sort of safety measures just in case if any emergency happens. 

This is the main entrance n stairs to Irau ..  Met a Chinese family of about 12 people camping nearby. When we arrived, this place was quite windy and cool. After reciting our prayers, we started our hike around 0920 hrs.

From the starting pt, we trek down from Gunung Brinchang, then trek up again to Gunung Irau.

The ground was all mossy. Besides being wet and slippery, the trail was actually quite different from other trails we trekked before. We don't really feel thirsty, due to high humidity level and low temperatures.

Taking a breather .. ;)

Laluan basah n lembab dgn mosses n akar2 kayu .. All the way, we have to be very careful when stepping on the wet grounds. There are parts where some of us got their shoes stuck in the mud.

Showing off dirty muddy shoes !

Reached Baby Irau at 1230 hrs ! We noticed there are actually 2 peaks at Irau. The first one is meant for camping as it is less windy there. Most of us had tit-bits and chocolate bars to replenish our lost energy. Tapi ada jugak yg blasah nasi goreng, sbb perut dah lapar sgt .. ;)

After taking a short break at Baby Irau, we continued our trek to the real peak of Gunung Irau .. This is the time that actually challenges our mind. Some felt so tired that they just want to stop here n turn back. We don’t have much time to argue as we have to go down before dark. At the end, all of us decided to continue our trek to the peak.

Finally .. the Gunung Irau summit ! At 1330 hrs, we finally reach the peak of Gunung Irau standing at 2110m above sea level ! Wow, what a feeling. It was difficult to describe with words, especially after going through the grueling treks of muddy trails, full of slippery tree roots and mosses.

Many of us couldn't believe that we finally made it to the peak especially when some of us already lost their spirit to move on even at Baby Irau. Took lots of pictures and had some food we brought in the backpacks.

Compared with other mountains that we have climbed, the scenery from Irau's peak is nothing to shout about. Actually the scenery along the way up to the peak was more breathtaking n interesting, making this trek worthwhile.

Looking at the sky getting dark, we decided to descent early. After spending just about 20 minutes at the peak, the first group starts trekking down at 1400 hrs. The temperature was around 10-15 degree Celsius, and the sky was getting darker and the rain was starting to drizzle. Along the way down, we spent most of the time identifying the correct path as some parts of the treks can be really confusing.

The first group reached our campsite at 1700 hrs. The last group, though it was quite late, were still able to make it down safely at around 2300 hrs.

The next thing was to clean ourselves.

After having a cold shower and scrubbing off all those mud from our bodies, we felt alive again.

We had hot BBQ chicken with fried rice for dinner. Many thanks to Che Jan n Kak Rose, our Master Chefs n those who stayed back at the base camp and prepared such a great dinner for us trekkers. If not for them, we would have to cook our own dinner. Just imagine, with mud all over us and drained tired, who is interested to cook ?

Soon after dinner around 2000hrs most of us decided to call it a day. Many slept early that night.

Overall, trekking up Irau was a great experience. It was different from our previous Brinchang and Berembun expeditions. I highly recommend Irau to all hikers especially if you are for the mossy, highland cold weather.

Hiking tips: Always bring torch light and extra batteries for hiking. And batteries mean Energizer batteries, not the ones u buy from Tesco ! And make sure you start your hike early !

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