Love the morning Sun rays! It was also how my heart was fluttering at the thought of another hike. We attempted to hike Gunung Belumut last Saturday, our first 1000m mountain 🙂
Before this, our highest peak is Gunung Panti.
The numbers for Belumut.
4hours up, 3hours down.
15km to and fro, with the peak at 1100m.
To make it more challenging, rain fell 3 times!
We left home at 0445 and reach our breakfast venue at Kluang Rail coffee (GPS 2.033543, 103.317584). It is a real train station famous for coffee and toast (Opens at 0700).
Nasi lemak (and Mee siam) only cost RM0.90 sen each! And there is only chili and white rice but the chili is solid! We suspect train passengers will buy these fantastic food for their meals.
A half an hour drive away, we reach the base of Gunung Belumut (GPS 02.06715 103.52507).
From a distance, we can see Kluang is surrounded by mountains. Mist constantly floats down to cover the road, heightening our anticipation.
Make shift carpark among the palm oil plantation.
Hiking can be a good analogy for Parenting, or rather what I wish my kids to learn through Life.
Hiking can be dangerous, a single trip, slip or twist could mean fractures, sprains or even death. Like any sports, we need to exercise caution, take care of each other, anticipate dangers and be alert.
We need courage to step out of our comfort zone, and that’s when we learn more about ourselves.
I always tell them. Death comes to everyone and there is nothing to fear (or feel morbid). If our time is up, even crossing the road can be dangerous.
Life is really short (how many 20 years do we have), and our human body is so fragile. I only hope we will have minimum regrets at the very end 🙂
The “Before” photo, all eager to hike Gunung Belumut.
Starting bridge and pond, make us wish to dip inside the cooling water.
From the beginning, a lot of fallen trucks lay in our path and we need to go under or over. Taller guys will need to constantly bend down under the trunks, I lost count of how many times my backpack stuck the ‘tree trunk belly’.
The map call Gunung Belumut a “recreational” forest, but we were sweating buckets and we had to climb on all fours at times.
It is always refreshing to reach the next “flat” ground.
Catch up with our breathe and water parade in preparation for the next slope.
Besides the hike, we need to enjoy the surroundings too. Termites trail, and a huge leaf (to wrap Nasi Lemak haha)
Pear-shape tree, ferns and mushrooms. The root on the right looks like a hammock.
Checkpoint 1 (around 3.3km mark). It was uphill up 60 degree gradient for the next 600m!
Kids helping each other over the obstacles, or finding an easier path to climb. Sometimes, I purposely keep quiet and let them figure out the next step or ‘rope’.
Kids are always tougher than we give them credit for 🙂
Sense of achievement? Perhaps, but they do treasure the companionship and jokes along the way.
Checkpoint 2 (around 4.6km), some weird rock formation here. Looks like a walled fortress or a stage 🙂
(Checkpoint 1 to 2 is only 1.3km, but steep terrain means we need 50 minutes to reach CP2)
Face towel was useful to stop the perspiration and block some rain too.
Our guide say this was the 80 degrees wall, we had to climb up by navigating in a zigzag manner, left to right to left again. Make use of the roots.
It lead us to a rock face, and we need to skirt behind and up.
The rain started falling after checkpoint 2, and we were caught in 3 downpours! Besides the slippery and muddy slope, our pants and underwear were all soaked.
Checkpoint 3 is around 5.6km mark, I did not see the sign or landmark.
Hike higher, and you will see moss-covered branches and rocks. I was looking forward to some moss carpet, common in higher altitude.
A fake summit (around 8km mark), the real summit is 20 minutes more to the left 🙂
Finally the summit. But Gunung Belumut summit view is actually not spectacular and it was crowded.
We completed the hike in 4 hours plus. I was so excited that I forgot to sing Boon Kang a Birthday song haha. I had plan this hike as an advance Birthday gift for him 🙂 (We did sing a short rendition on the way down, see video below)
We u-turn to have our mini lunch at the barren “fake” summit.
Our hiking brunch and lunch include :
– x4 1.5l water
– x3 100plus
– x6 banana
– x4 bread, baked beans and tuna (do not bring pork up hills and mountain in case we offend some spirits)
– x6 butter biscuits
– x4 sandwich
It was a heavy load to bear for up to 5 hours! We start our descend at around 2pm.
There are a lot of “drains” to wade across. They become mini waterfalls when the rain fell. As we climb lower, it became darker and we were glad to exit at around 1730.
Although we were slightly behind time, it was crucial that we be extra vigilant and watch our steps. Kept reminding the kids that we might get careless when we are tired, and a slip would only make the situation worse.
Hiking is a good way to bond and see the kids’ characters. We must help each other, motivate and encourage the weaker ones.
I would rotate the “leaders” so that everyone has a chance to lead and identify the markers ahead.
Kids would volunteer to share the load around so that no one is overly stretched. Hiking is a team effort and we need to reach the summit together.
Most importantly, always remember to have Fun!
We hope Mommy and princess can join us soon 🙂
Video (link) : Photos cannot capture the kids’ persistence to conquer Hiking Gunung Belumut
Proceeded to checkin at our hotel for the night at Rail Hotel (GPS 2.023473, 103.311938 ). I was worried that legs will be too numbed to drive back to Singapore :p
King sized bed for RM150, including breakfast voucher of RM24. Recharge before driving home the next day. I knock off at 10am while the kids were still playing games.
From the map below, Gunung Belumut is between UK Farm and Koref.
Do your staircase training before attempting Gunung Belumut, my calves are still straining after two days.
If you are first time hiking, go for the 500m (or below) Johor mountains first (Panti, Arong, Pulai, Lambak). All are within 2 to 2.5 hours rive from Singapore, and a good start for children. In Singapore, Bukit Timah Hill (163m) and MacRitchie Tree Top walk would be a nice warm up. (Panti is 3 times harder than Bukit Timah, and I felt Belumut is easily 2 to 3 times harder than Panti)
Our hike was made possible with Facebook group “Freewill Hikers“. Guides and permit are needed for hiking Gunung Belumut (For our group of 45, we need to pay RM 40 per head).
We first hike up Gunung Panti (500m) with Free Hikers too, do join their group for future events.