Kinta 01 90th anniversary gathering


01 Kinta 90th Anniversary Gathering photo is now published!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mount Kinabalu Climb 2000

Written by Chin Teck Kean

Mount Kinabalu is a prominent mountain in Southeast Asia. It is located in the east Malaysia state of Sabah, which is on the island of Borneo. Its summit (also known as Low’s Peak) height at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level. The mountain is the third tallest in Southeast Asia behind Hkakabo Razi of Myanmar (Burma) and Puncak Jaya of New Guinea (Indonesia) and is therefore also the tallest in Malaysia and on the island of Borneo.

Mount Kinabalu is essentially a huge granite dome that was pushed up from the earth’s crust as molten rock millions of years ago. The mountain and its surroundings feature a huge variety of flora, and is one of the world’s most important biological sites. The main peak of the mountain can be relatively easily climbed by a person with a good physical condition, and requires no mountaineering equipment. Other peaks along the massif, however, require rock climbing skills.

This trip was well planned six months ahead of time, seven of us sign up for the challenge. They are Loke King Cheong, Elvind Yip, Kee Lian Yuen, Hoh Soon Wen, Christi Toa, Selvin David A. and Chin Teck Kean. Much of the time we were training on our own & only once in a while we meet in Ipoh to train together to ensure we are all equally fit for the climb.
We started from Ipoh on January 2, Year 2000, arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in the evening. Take a taxi to Hotel and stayed overnight. There is nothing interesting in KK town except the Centre Point Shopping Complex. We spend our whole evening there looking for food & also searching for last minute hiking gears.

Next morning, adventure start, at 7am had breakfast nearby Chinese restaurant. Our tour agent arranged at about 8:15am with mini van to take us to Kinabalu Park. The journey from the hotel took us 2 hours overland (88 km) through paddy fields and Dusun villages over the ridges of the Crocker Range to the foothills of Mount Kinabalu at 5000 ft. before arriving at Kinabalu Park Headquarters for registration and to get our mountain rangers. We were then transferred to Timpohon Gate at 1,800 m around 10:30am to start the climb.

After a short briefing by our mountain guide, we were all ready and waiting in anticipation to begin our trip to the summit. In the beginning, it was not tough as it was on low ground. We stopped for a short break at the first Pondok Ubah, the shelter was equipped with toilet and water supply from the mountain. Nearly every hour of hiking, we will reach a shelter with the same facilities. We then pass through Pondok Lowi, and then rested again at Pondok Mempening. At this shelter, we saw few squirrels approaching us for food. The journey after this shelter is quite pleasant as the scenery is beautiful and we passed through the RTM radio station. After 4-6 hours trekking we finally reached Laban Rata Rest house (3,300 m) and stay overnight there. We reached the rest house at about 5:30pm.

Next morning we woke up at 1:00am, after breakfast, start ascent to summit at 2:00am, in the beginning, there were wooden steps, after a while, it is all rock all the way until the summit. As the surrounding is pitch dark, we had to follow the person in front of us very closely with our touch light and whenever we stop, we need to yell up our teammate to stop.
We finally reached the summit "Low's Peak 4,095.2 m" at 6.00am for sunrise. Took some magnificent photos. Total distance climbed = 8.7 km (from Timpohon to Laban Rata, from Laban Rata to Summit 2.7km). The last 800 m (2600 ft), from the Laban Rata hut at 3300 m to the summit at 4100 m, takes between 2 and 4 hours. The last part of the climb is on naked granite rock. Given the high altitude, some of us suffer from altitude sickness and did not make it to the summit. As breathing and any further movement becomes increasingly difficult.

We started to climb down from Laban Rata at 11:00am, a typical descent from the summit is quick but is often equally painful as the ascent: knee joints, ankle joints and toes tend to suffer as the climbers descend 3000 m (9850 ft) in five hours. We finally reached Kinabalu Park 2:40pm. We spend one night in Kinabalu Park, tired but all enjoyed this trip very much, we spend about RM 1,200.00 per person.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mount Tahan Expedition 1990

Written by: Selvin David A. PPT (1990)
Edited by: Chin Teck Kean (2007)

Preparation and planning for the Mount Tahan expedition started as early as June 1989. A working paper was prepared outlining the objectives, aims, preparations and budget. A lot of time and effort was put into the planning, training and preparations. Careful management of resources and good teamwork among the King Scouts helped make this expedition a great success.

Problems surfaced right from the start, many who signed up had to back out due to job offers, financial constrains and unforeseen accident. The following are the members of the Mount Tahan 1990 Expedition:

1. Selvin David A. (Coordinator & Expedition Leader)
2. Chin Teck Kean (Quartermaster & King Scout)
3. S. Sivalingam (First Aid/Life Saver & King Scout)
4. Wong Chee Seng (King Scout)
5. Chow Cheok Hong (Ex-Scout Troop Leader)
6. Kenji Kondo (KIEO University, Japan)
7. Atsushi Miyazaki (KIEO University, Japan)
8. Loke King Cheong (Exec. Yamaha Music Perak)
9. Chan Kian Teck (Teacher)
10. Lee Tuck Keen (Teacher)
11. Wong Kan Seng
12. Wong Kan Wai
13. Peter Tang

Throughout the expedition, we were blessed with good weather, smooth climb to the peak and back, good and qualified guide, friendship and hospitality extended by individuals in Pahang, safe journey and the well planned and coordination of the expedition. Many will live to testify the wonderful blessings received, the beautiful nature experienced, the beauty and nature of the national park, the endurance one had to bear in order to climb to the peak, and above all the satisfaction that comes from reaching the highest peak in West Peninsular Malaysia. The joy in reaching the peak and coming home safely makes us forget the pains one had to bear, the endurance and the discipline required in the jungle.
Having suffered, enduring the heat, humid conditions of the tropical forest and the cold of the mountains; one will never forget the Mount Tahan.

The Challenge of Mount Tahan

The difficulty of climbing Mount Tahan lies more in its remoteness from civilization than in the ascent itself. With all the ups and downs of a trail more than 50 kilometers long, climbing a total of about 3800 meters in order to scale a 2,187 meters mountain. En route we have to make several river crossings, sometimes hazardous and traverse long dry ridges requiring rationing of every last drop of water. On the Mount Tahan plateau, we experienced very cold weather conditions not found anywhere else on the peninsular outside a refrigerator. To content with on top of all this is the jungle’s intense humidity, its pestering insects, its torrential rains and the battle against leeches though this time around we did not experience any leeches.

Throughout preparations, proper equipments like haversack, shoes, mess tin, and water bottle; strong leadership, close teamwork and understanding, physical fitness and discipline and good management – all are important ingredients for the successful expedition to Mount Tahan.
The Mount Tahan region, of sandstone bedrock metamorphosed to quartzite around pure quartz intrusions, exhibits some of the most spectacular landforms in the Peninsular Malaysia. One can find undisturbed, such a diversity of habitats and plant communities. These range from the lowland dipterocarp forest and riverine vegetation, through the oaks and laurels of intermediate altitudes, up to the dwarf upper montane ericaceous vegetation with its several endemic species, in the summit region of Mount Tahan. Epiphytes, such as orchids and ferns, are numerous along Tahan river and the trail up to the Mount Tahan summit. Palm flora in the montane forest is extremely rich and includes the endemic palm LIVISTONIA TAHANENSIS.

The river water is tea color and is safe for drinking. But a water purifier is needed as a preventive step. The trail, of a footpath can be sometimes very dangerous if one is not careful with one’s steps.

Throughout this expedition, members have to forget about lunch in order to beat time. So most of the time it was a bar of chocolate, sweets and Nestea with glucose. Breakfast consist of either porridge or Nestum.

Here are some recommendations:

Rations – include ikan bilis, more rice, cili padi, onions, garlics, eggs and salted fist.
Equipments – have enough groundsheets and tents.

Teamwork – maximum of 4 in a ‘buddy system’ group.
If possible – avoid food at the Park HQ canteen (Extremely expensive).
Membership of the expedition – avoid outsiders, everyone should follow rules and the schedule as planned. No changes at the last minute.
More time give for photographs, relaxation, and enjoying of the nature.
Everyone must help in the equipments.
Training – include more climb up Keledang Hill to give more stamina.
Get more financial help.
Make expeditions a must for interested students especially those who want adventure.