Height: 2161m, the 7th tallest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia
Location: Pos Kemar accessed by boat ride via Temenggor Dam, Grik, Perak; or by 4WD ride via Lasah
The trek turns gradual upwards in the shady jungle for an hour and there are 3 river crossings. It was warm when we trekked in until there was a section with open air to breathe fresh air and cool down. At that time we have trekked for 2 hours.
The next trek became steep until 3rd hour.
The next one hour is less steep now, and when you see open space area you will see few Orang Asli houses. It takes 7 minutes walk on zero-gradient and small downhill to the big river and actual campsite. After you crossed a small river by a super-mini bridge, keep diagonal left at its fork.
1 Porter RM100 x 3days = RM300,
1 Guide = RM100 (after negotiation, my subgroup given discount RM100 out of RM200),
Food ration = RM90,
Petrol & toll Butterworth-Grik and Grik-Kuala Lumpur = RM130
ADNS Train ticket KL-Butterworth RM40x3 pax = RM120,
Return trip boat & 4WD RM900 shared by 7 pax = RM390 (3 pax).
Guide: Ah Ming from Ipoh
Why I choose Ulu Sepat: Past hikers commented that Ulu Sepat has lots of sandflies, thus the name Kem Agas at the 1st campsite. I hesitated to do Ulu Sepat due to unfavourable comments until I had such trip for New Year 2012 hike. So I gave a try as the other choice is Batu Putih that I have done, and found out from website that Ulu Sepat is located in Belum Forest Reserve.
9.30am Met the group at Grik Polis Station
10.00 Departed for Temenggor Dam jetty
11.00 Arrived at jetty, prepare to load backpacks to boat
12.00 Arrived at 4WD pickup
01.00 Arrived at Kg Lelar the last OA village @ 500m
02.00 Started trek
06.00 Arrived at 5 star hotel @ 1130m
06.30 Showered and collected 5 bottles of water from waterfalls
07.30 Cook & Dinner
09.30 Supper: fried fish
7.30am Breakfast, collected another 3 bottles of water.
08.40 Started trek daypack, trek up 300m every 1 hour
10.30 Collected water at LWP at 1600m asl
11.00 Continued to trek
01.00 Arrived at Summit @ 2161m
02.00 My group descended. 2-3 Singaporean veteran hikers arrived at summit. Ah Ming the guide stayed with them.
05.30 Arrived at the waterfalls. Trail gets muddier due to heavy rain.
Wash up and collected 5 bottles of water.
06.30 Cook & Dinner
07.30 OA Rescue for remaining veteran hikers as it was now dark and raining heavy
09.30 Supper: ubi kayu, bamboo rice, marshmallow + choc filling, wine
08.30am Singaporeans group departed
09.30am My group last to depart. Hashers left 30mins ago.
12.30 My group arrived at Kg Lelar
01.00 Ah Ming the guide arrived, told us we could go swim at waterfalls. Asked OA kids take us there.
01.50 Back to Kg Lelar, the rest of hikers arrived. Tea+ biscuits and load backpacks to 4WD and depart.
04.00 Arrived at jetty where our cars were parked. Changes clothes.
05.30 Meals at Grik restaurant.
06.30 Left Grik for KL
11.00 Arrived home.
A day before the trip, Teun and I boarded on night train from Kuala Lumpur Sentral at 11pm and arrived at Butterworth the next morning 7am. Titan were on holiday with family in Penang few days ago, and he directly picked us from Butterworth temporary KTM station near the bus station at Penang Sentral. No wonder Titan had difficulty to trace its location on GPS! We then had dim sum breakfast opposite Pasar Awam Sri Bandar, the nearest market 10 minutes drive from Penang Sentral, located at off Heng Choon Thian Road and dashed to the market to buy Massimo bread, tit bits and pork sausages. Most food sold at the market were wet food and fruits, so there weren't much choice for walking lunch. We departed direct to the next meeting point: Grik police station and it took 1 hour 55 minutes.
We parked our cars outside the Police Station and registered our names. Most of the hikers were veteran- a group of Singaporeans and their Malaysian friends; and a group of four KL Hashers. Upon discovering that many participants were veterans, I wished that my dad was here to join the trip with me. We went to Petrol Station across the road for toilet break and shopping for walking lunch and bottled waters.
The day was hot when we rode an open motorboat crossing clear, wide Temenggor lake. As we were enjoying the breeze in moving boat, we were greeted by lines of bare trees standing tall on both sides! A bag of fresh fishs next to our boatman caught my eyes as I was wishing them for our dinner. After half an hour, we saw a land and one abandoned 4WD that was no longer in use. We got down from our boat with our heavy bags under the drizzle. One 4WD picked the Singaporean veterans first. The rest of us exchanged our chatter of excitement with new friends, figured out Michael's new GPS and posed with the live catch of fishs. The soil under us were sands, so we barely move until the next pickup 4WD arrived. We took an hour on 4WD to Kg Lerlar, the last village there. Smiling aboriginal children spotting handmade hats were watching us. Aboriginal people is translated in Malay language as an Orang Asli (or short form "OA").
Th trails were clear and clean. I was indeed surprised! Even at junctions, non-hikers trail had been blocked for us, so we made our way ahead of our guide and porters who started trek an hour later. I lost sight of Teun who slipped off with the Singaporeans ahead of KL Hashers, Titan and I. As I reached a dense forest, I managed to chase Teun who was resting gleefully on a wood. The Singaporean veterans were now far behind us. Most hikers loathed hiking there as there was no peak view and prefer to hike from Mt. Chamah to Mt. Ulu Sepat that take 6days 5nights for relax hike. OA porters told me their friends took two days to go from Mt. Ulu Sepat to Mt. Chamah.
On second day, the hike was all gradual upwards with daypack and a porter. After 30 to 45 minutes trek from campsite, Titan who was in front of me, shrieked and bolted forward. I followed suit in puzzle and within seconds, "Ouch!" I screamed. I got stung at below my right eye! Some of the KL Hashers also were stung and they shouted to run fast from the chasing black and small bees, that seemingly looked like big flies. Luckily the bees were not the giant ones because I did not bring my bee sting cream along as I rushed to pack light in the morning.
We continued our trek after removing the sting thorn and applying my ointment oil on the sting area. Along the trekking trail, we saw one after another giant trees, its diameter as wide as four men's arms! It was breathtaking view because I had never seen so many giant trees in close proximity. After taking many photos with two Mr Tree, we came upon the wriggling plant that formed a circle. Usually this kind of wriggling plant would form a Tarzan or hammock swing instead.
As it was humid in the close jungle, we took a stop at an open air section of trail for fresh air. As we were resting there, we saw bonsai trees, orchids, pitchers, mosses and even Kacip Fatimah plant. One hour before the summit, the trail turned soft and muddy till it covers your foot. Good Lord, everywhere even at the mossy forest!
We reached at the summit between 4 hours and 4.5 hours. It was less muddy than before, yet the soil was soft. We found our dry spot at the other side of peak and took our lunch there. We descended at 2pm and bumped the Singaporeans team on way up. We asked our OA porter to lead us when nearing the bee nest area, so we avoid them for second time. At 5pm, we washed up in joy at the waterfall after long day hike in the mud.
At night I prepared chicken fajita with vegetables. For supper, ubi kayu, lemang, red wine brought by Singaporeans, and my BBQ marshmallow.
What a wonderful way to celebrate New Year eve!