Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bukit Batu Tabur UPDATED

UPDATED 29th March 2009.
It was bound to happen I guess. Bukit Batu Tambur IS dangerous. I've been going there for the past 7 years. I've been amazed that there have been no untoward incidents. Well things have changed now.

Those of you who've followed me know that one wrong step and some poor sod would have to scrape you ass of the rocks at least 100 meters below.

I went there about a month ago and sure enough - 1 death and 2 more accidents (punctured lung I think) all in the space of maybe the past 6 - 8 months. More gruesome is the recent deaths of the two doctors who fell nearby (go HERE for more).

I've never liked going there especially with large groups. More importantly there were groups who are not wood crafty or understand the outdoors. BBT IS DANGEROUS. Many of the rocks are coming loose. The soil is soft and unstable especially after the rains. There are too many people there who don't respect the terrain. How many times have we seem groups climbing up vertically right behind each other. One clown falls and he takes the whole circus tumbling down 200 meters of limestone. I also see people just grabbing at branches and rocks without testing the strength and stability.

There are many warning signs now but I still see too many people taking it as a fun day out. The main rope climb down now has an alternative route where you scramble down the brush with the aid of more ropes so its not so bad. Now the challenge is negotiating on coming traffic (normally the more experienced climbers or regulars who sometimes tend to bully people off the path - some not all. The majority are cool).

Anyway, it's still a beautiful place. It just needs the respect it deserves.

Original Post - 10.31pm, 10th October 2007

So the weekend came and I shrugged off the Saturday night's booze from 21 at Changkat Bkt. Bintang and woke up at a godawful hour to head out to Bukit Batu Tabur near the Klang Gates Dam in Ampang. The I'll Get Up In 5 Minutes curse hit me so Bart August and I started the climb up the hill at about 8.30am, a bit late as the sun gets hot at the top around 10am on wards. It took us about 2 and half hours as we were stuck behind this group with a whiney, moaning human being.

Its been two years since my last trip and I was relieved as it was just the two of us. All the previous trips was stressful as I would be leading herds of 10 and above where I would be waiting to hear some clown fall of the edge.

Bukit Batu Tabur is supposedly the largest quartz outcrop in the country. It acts as a barrier for the Klang Gates Dam. In the distance on a clear day, Genting is easily visible for all to see.

I'm a shit photog but I knew with the sun against me from the East, any pics of the dam wouldn't be sexy so instead I ended up taking more shots of the climb and some KL skyline shots.

Kayel in the distance and the apartments below where we would eventually finish our climb.

There were a lot more groups today compared to in the past. There were at least 8 people ahead of us and 3 behind. About 10 passed us coming from the opposite direction from the orchard entrance. (we took the entrance from the dam gate).

This is not a climb for dick heads so leave the macho bullshit at home. Caution would be the word for the day. There are 3 rope climbs and then the exit to the orchard on your left. If you find yourself at the 4th rope descent DO NOT climb down. Its almost a dead end and you'd have to scramble down in thick brush and mud and dirt and thorns and you get to do your best Swamp Thing impression at the bottom. AND dont' head right towards the Karak Highway - it doesn't head back to Ampang. Its tough and very, very steep and unless you've got Gurkha blood running through your veins you're not going to make it up again if you want to backtrack. And the path towards the Highway and the Islamic Unversity is leech infested and ends abruptly in the jungle. So you'll have to trash your way through thick lalang grass. A few years ago i found this out the hard way when I was in full on dumbass mode - imagine 7 clowns bloodied from burst overfed leeches trying to flag down a cab on the Karak Highway!

The Serani feller discovers religion.

Bart On Top O' The World.

Uuhhh...Bart slightly more On Top Of the World.

This is steepest free style climb. Looks tough but manageable.

My Sensitivity Shot for the day...

The shot of the rocky terrain we had to scramble along.

Moss shot.

Part of Ampang in the background.

Some cover from the blazing sun.

All in all this is the best complete workout for the body. You're climbing, you're working on your flexibility, you're using your legs while working on your balance. You get a great view of the Klang Valley on one side and the Karak Highway and its respective developments on the other and of course the calm lake waters of the dam. The air is cool when you under the brush and trees. Bring along some sandwiches and crack open a bottle of ice cold sugar cane water and enjoy one of the best views in town.


ah lim said...

Wah... from the pictures it looks like hardcore climbing!
But the scenery seems worth it.
Fren, i want to go lar.

Nex said...

Wah, this brings back memories man! This place was where I had my 'virgin climb', and was what got me into serious mountain trekking. If memory serves I went with MNS (Malaysia Nature Society)...

I was totally unprepared, wearing long cargo pants and a cheap pair of bata shoes. The bottom of my shoe came off on the way down...ha ha ha

Good thing I was quite fit back then and managed without much difficulty.

Haih, when will I get to do some serious training and get back in shape for hardcore trekking again...sure miss those leeches...

Chindiana said...

Set Ah Lim! You're on. Its not that hard because our pace is stuck in prepetual Pensioners Mode.

Nex, we'll do this when you're in KL next but you and Winnie Chan can keep the leeches man.

ah lim said...

Wah... bottom sole came off ar. I may need to get a new pair of sport shoes since the lousy Nike running shoes i have is also having its sole coming off. I'm still disgusted by the lack of quality on these branded shoes.

Nex said...

Ah Lim, I used to have a pair of shoe for almost every purpose, and all branded one (influenced by Chindiana...)

None of them last very long. Now I give up on branded, purpoe made shoes already. Either get them custom made or buy cheap ones so I don't feel sakit hati when it fall apart.

There's only one brand I would vouch for: Camel; the 'body' at least. My Camel boot is almost 10 years old, and although I've replaced the sole a few times, the body structure is still just as sturdy. And because its so well seasoned, its like wearing a pillow on each foot. I can walk for eternity in them!

Chindiana said...

Ya la wei...blame me for everything...: (

Eh how? My Daddy's Little Princes Merajuk action feature convincing ah?

Anonymous said...

Hi, today was my first 'Virgin' climb as well and the same thing happened to my bata shoe!