Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pine Tree Hill (1448m) & Twin Peak Combo : 8-9 June 2013

A quick search in Google will show that PTH-TP is more popular for a day-pack hiking than an overnight trip. But this time my trekker buddies and i decided to do a 2D1N trip instead, so that the mode is more relax and we would have more time to enjoy and appreciate the nature and atmosphere around us .. more time to take pictures and smell the roses so to speak.

So last Friday after Isyak prayers, the 14 of us left KL for Frasers Hill through the DUKE - PLUS highway and took the UPSI exit towards Kuala Kubu Baru trunk road (take the right turn at the traffic light after the toll) .. Reached Frasers Hill just after midnight and since the weather is not very cold we decided to put up a night at the corridors of Masjid Bukit Fraser .. all wrapped up in our sleeping bags .. some of us slept in their respective cars parked at the Masjid parking lot area ..

THE BIG BREAKFAST .. the next morning we woke up very early for the Subuh prayers .. After cleaning up ourselves, we headed straight to the cafe just next to the Masjid for breakfast ..

The 7-ladies team line-up (L-R) : Anis, Shila, Posh, Hana, Shida, CRos n Asmah ..

Some of us ordered Nasi Lemak Special for breakfast .. But i went for Double Roti Canai instead, with double bulls-eye and teh tarik .. nyum nyum .. hopefully can provide me enough fuel for the whole day of climbing n hiking .. ;)

The 7-men's team line-up (L-R) : Alias, Shah, Hj.S, Sham Castello, Hj.Y, SirMart n Akmal .. ;)

Group photo (partial) at the parking lot of Masjid Frasers Hill ..


After breakfast we did some re-packing up of ration and other camping necessities .. My checklist : at least 1 set of clean dry clothes (sarong is a must), personal needs like medication n toiletries, sleeping bag and mat, tent, ground and fly sheets, headlamp, ropes and small parang / machete, food ration and water supply (at least 1.5 liter), cooking utensils ..

Fair and square .. everyone will carry an equal portion of the 'public food ration' ..

After registering our names at the local Police Station, we headed straight to the PTH trail head .. look for TM rest house signage for direction .. ;)

We parked our cars at the roadside just in front of Pine Tree Trail entrance (trail head) .. Landmark - TM rest house, Pertahanan rest house and a Private Property ..

All geared up and ready to go ..

One for the album .. at the PTH-TP trail head entrance ..

Briefings and doa for safety before the hike .. Bismillah !

The first Pondok (rest hut) is just about 30 meters after the trail head .. Hiking sticks were provided for free, but make sure you return it upon exit so that other hikers can re-use it ..


At about 900m mark after the trail head you will see this second Hut 'still standing' to provide shade for hikers to take a short break .. 

.. unlike the other two consecutive huts (like this pic above) were already rotten and fallen to the ground .. I really hope the local authorities will do something to upgrade these facilities ..

Taking a breather again .. while waiting for the others at the back to catch up .. ;) This is quite a normal thing to happen when you go hiking in a big group .. there'll definitely be a split as everyone will trek at their own speed and pace .. taking breaks now and then, while taking pictures etc .. that's why it is crucial to have someone capable and responsible as the Last Man (or Sweeper) at the back to ensure everyone reach the final destination safe and sound .. ;)

Gotta maneuver lots of tree roots along the trail ..

Good exercise .. Flat terrain for the calf muscles, uphills good for thigh muscles ..

The PTH-TP trail is a combination of various terrain .. soft ground covered with fallen leaves and branches, man-made stairs (esp at the beginning part), wet and slippery rocks (as above) .. But one thing for sure, be prepared for lots of uphill and downhill climbing .. :-)

Sometimes you have to walk above .. and sometimes under the fallen tree trunks (as in pic below) ..

The 'Cave' ..

The foggy jungle ..

Taking another breather while enjoying and appreciating the free fresh mountain breeze full of uncontaminated oxygen .. SUBHANALLAH !


After hiking (on relax mode) for about 2 hours we reached the campsite (which has two levels) and LWP which is situated at km 3.9 from the trail head .. Has a small but nice camping site suitable for 10-15 people (can accommodate about 5 tents / fly sheet) ..

The top level campsite .. accommodates 2 tents and 1 large fly and ground-sheet ..

Lower level campsite .. accommodates 2 tents ..

To get to the water source you need to climb down the steep ravine about 30 meters .. Even though the water source is pretty small but it provides enough clean, fresh and cold with original sweetness taste of mountain water .. gushing out in between the boulder rocks .. Please take extra caution though, as the path to this water point could be muddy and very slippery after rain ..


The final assault : After spending about an hour at the campsite we headed to the PTH summit with just a day-pack .. and leaving my 35+10 liters backpack at the campsite .. After about 40 minutes of uphill and downhill hike we reached this 80 degrees steep wall climbing rope section which is located at km 5.4 from the trail head entrance .. personally i think this is the most exhilarating experience and awesome part of all the trails to the summit .. you won't find this anywhere else !

Akmal 'The Rambo Man' in action ..

The 5.4 km mark .. we are almost there !

Finally .. the Pine Tree summit .. just about 15 meters more to the left ..


Everyone was smiling even though drenched to the shoes after being caught in the heavy rain the moment we reached the PTH summit ..

After spending about 30 minutes at PTH summit taking photos etc we pushed ourselves to Twin Peak just 'next door' .. Roughly 40 minutes later we reached the TP summit .. the day was pretty cloudy but the cool mountain breeze makes it all worth it .. Subhanallah ..

Masyaallah tabarakallah .. what a wonderful sight .. the weather gets better after the clouds moved away .. but came back again in a short while .. ;)

A slice of 'victory pear' for everyone .. at the Twin Peak summit ! It took me 40 minutes to hike from Pine Tree peak to Twin Peak .. I must say that Twin Peak has a much better panoramic view than PTH .. and it is 360 degrees !

Misty summit view from Twin Peak .. simply gorgeous  and breathtaking ! Alhamdulillah tabarakallah ..

The marker stone at Twin Peak summit that splits between Selangor and Pahang (on the opposite side) ..

Back at the base camp, a full body massage service was provided for free by our very own and in-house masseuse from Kelate State of Che Siti Wan Kembang - Akmal The Rambo Man .. ;)


My personal observations about PTH-TP trails :

The overall trail is generally 'easy' and of moderate difficulty level .. but you need to be physically fit to reach both summits in one climb .. The trail is shady with cool temperature the whole way .. Total distance to and fro from entrance till Twin Peak is about 11km, completed within 9 hiking hours (excluding the over night camping time at km 3.9) ..

NOTE: The above screenshot picture was gotten from a blog named Grace Abundant, to show you the trail map from main entrance to PTH, excluding Twin Peak. TQ Grace Abundant .. ;)

The whole trail comprises of multiple ascends and descends (about four 'small' ups and downs from what i can recall) .. As you can see from the graph (to be read from right to left), the trail head (starting point) is located a bit higher than the PTH-TP summit itself .. meaning that you need to 'climb down' first before hiking up and down, up and down and up again .. ;)

1) Just like Bukit Kutu, Pine Tree Hill is called a hill (bukit) .. but standing at 1448 m (4750 ft) ASL i feel that it qualifies as a mountain (gunung) ..
2) Phone coverage is relatively poor here ..
3) I don't see any pine tree anywhere along the trails .. ;)
4) Leeches here are much smaller and darker in color from other leeches i have encountered before ..
5) Some locations (early stage of the trail) have man-made steps (yukks .. i hate steps, esp the cemented man-made type) .. they were taxing on my knees and legs as compared to the original and natural ground trails ..

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