March 17, 2012
The usual call time was 5:15am at Woodlands MRT Causeway, Mcdonald’s . Upon boarding the bus, the organizer gave us three weirdly-combined items namely, medicated oil, gloves and a packet of Oreos. For a beginner like me, I thought it was kind of weird especially because during the first trip, also organized by her, she didn’t really give away these things.
Upon departure, she explained to us that the medicated oil was for the leeches, just incase you’re lucky enough to get “kissed” by one or more. According to her, you shouldn’t forcefully detach or peel it off your skin. She said just drop a little bit of medicated oil on it, and it would automatically fall off. The gloves were for us to be able to hold on to anything while climbing. Lastly, the packet of Oreos was for hmmm..let me think……..munching.=)
Trail was combination of various trekking conditions and indeed, we needed to use our hands to ascend. (I didn’t use my gloves though) It was combination of leg and arm work. We passed by multiple fallen trees.
From here, ascent became even more challenging. At this point of the climb I began asking myself, “What am I doing here? Why am I making things difficult for myself?” And I started smiling, I knew why..=)
After few more minutes, we arrived at what they call “false summit”. It was where climbers usually camp. It was 30 minutes away to the real summit. We took a short break here. While waiting for others to arrive, we chit-chat a little bit, breathe and of course, eat our appetizers.
As soon as everyone arrived, we all walked up to the most awaited- real summit. At the summit, we had to climb up this huge boulder of rock formation. According to the organizer, we couldn’t really brag that we’ve climbed up the “summit” of G. Belumut, if we wouldn’t be going up to the top of that rock formation. Hence, we all took turns to climb it. Up there, view was magnificent.
View of terrains, mountains and some lakes (I think) opposite G.Belumut was amazing, all 360 degrees of it. I JUST LOVED IT! I wished we could stay there longer, sit on top for a few minutes, and just breathe and feel the breeze!
Unfortunately, since we needed to take turns at the ‘real summit’ I didn’t really have the chance to do those usual things I do when I’m in a new place. We just had a quick lunch and then began our descent. We used the same trail going down.
Descending, nature gave us a taste of how it feels like to be in a real ‘rainforest’ Yes. It rained. I came ready with a raincoat and an umbrella but I decided to use just my umbrella since it was the more accessible rain gear from my backpack when it suddenly started to rain.
Upon reaching the base, they all showered. I showered too…..with cologne. Haha We had a sumptuous dinner at one local restaurant there and headed our way back to Singapore.
Gunung Belumut description online:
“Gunung Belumut is situated about 30km North-east of Keluang town in the state of Johor. It is the 2nd highest mountain in the state of Johor, rising at a height of 1010m.” – http://www.meetup.com/Singapore-Adventurous-Group/events/46914492/
“Mount Belumut (Gunung Belumut), standing at 1,010 metres (3,314 ft), is located in the state of Johor, Malaysia. The trek can be completed in one day, while the average climber would take two days one night. For the average climber, the climb to the summit takes 5 to 6 hours and the return to the foot (by the same route) takes 3 to 4 hours.
Before reaching the summit of Gunung Belumut, climbers will first pass by a ‘false summit’, where overnight camping is possible in fair weather conditions. From the ‘false summit’, it’s about half-an-hour’s trek to the summit. A huge boulder, named the Crown Rock, sits on the summit. The boulder got its name because it looks like a giant crown.
Due to its popularity, some parts of the trail have been badly eroded. The campsite is also dirtied by inconsiderate climbers who leave their rubbish behind.
To get to Gunung Belumut, one has to get to Kluang, and take a cab from the bus terminal to Belumut (or Gunung Lumut as it is known locally).” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Belumut