10 Mac 2009

Gunung Chamah and Gunung Ulu Sepat

This mountain is remote and unknown to many people. It is located in Belum Forest. Any Malaysians will know that Hutan Belum is still virgin, untouched by the outside world. If you are lost in this Hutan Belum, the nearest civilisation is 40 to 50 kilometers away and that's about 3 days of trek if you walked straight. There are only a handful of people that has sumitted this mountain.

There's abundant supply of flora, high in medicinal value. Aboriginal tribes, called Orang Asli still use this forest as a base for primary living. The only contact to the outside world is a 3 hours boat ride through Temenggur Lake (Tasik Temenggur).

Tasik Temenggur is formed when the government decide to built a dam on a Temenggur River in 1970s. As a result, the forest submerged in water to form the lake. Even now, we can see most of the dead tree coming out of the water, still standing proud. This lake has been a main transport system for the Orang Asli, linking Grik to Pos Kemar.

Gunung Chamah lies in the north-western corner of Kelantan and is the fifth highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the Peninsula's G7 (mountains above 7,000ft/2,134m). Gunung in Malay literally means mountains with an elevation of 1,000 m and above. In Peninsular Malaysia, there are several of these mountains located along the main mountain ranges called the Titiwangsa Range.

The distance between the starting point of trek to the summit is about 45 map square kilometers. The expedition has to be planned carefully. Only experienced guide is able to guide this whole expedition.

Today, jungle trekking and mountaineering is one of the most popular outdoor sports/activities in Malaysia. Thanks to the peace agreement made some 20 years ago, more and more Malaysian youths are opting for this activities as it will be more fun and adventuring as more species of flora and fauna are being discovered in the forest. It is most evident during the holiday seasons that most of the mountain tops in the Peninsular are jammed with hikers and trekkers. Preparations, training and bookings for permits and transport have to be done months ahead.

Gunung Chamah is one of the harder mountains, because of getting there (to the start of the trek) as well as the trek itself. However, it is also one of the best treks , as the place is rather untouched and beautiful. Be careful, as tigers still roam around the treks there.

Height: 2181 m (Fifth highest in Peninsular Malaysia)

Location: Hutan Belum, Perak

Foot: Pos Kemar, Perak

Duration (Ulu Kinta-Korbu-Ulu Kinta): 8 days

Expedition type: Heavyweight backpacking

Coordinates : 5deg 13'43.34" N, 101deg 34'24.41" E

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