First of all, Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrated it and to those who didn't, Happy Holidays!
I bet your CNY holidays was spent getting stuck in traffic jams on the way home, eating and drinking, having reunion dinners, taking family portraits, house-visiting to collect Ang Pows and wearing red a lot.
As for me, my parents did go back to Taiping to visit my grandparents with my relatives....and left my sister and I behind. As we have a mind-boggling number of cats and dogs, we stayed back to babysit them and the house during the festive seasons. Not that we mind as we took advantage of a very-jam-free-KL.
|Bootcamp Tabur hikers (L-R): Sunil, Alex, Cherrie & Norizan.|
|New New Balance trail shoes.|
Our group of six got to the foot of Bukit Tabur at 730am and already, there were quite a lot of cars parked along the side of the road. Apparently the regulars come to the hill at 6am for a good workout.Still it wasn't as crowded as Gasing Hill but that could be due to it being a public holiday.
|Entrance near the Klang Gates Dam.|
Bukit Tabur is a limestone ridge located in Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur and is part of the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge. Standing at less than 1000m, the hill consists of a few peaks and the most frequented entrance, Tabur West starts near the Klang Gates Dam. For detailed instructions and GPS coordinates, click here.
|photo credit: All about Tabur.|
|'I am never leaving this tree' - Norizan|
We had to conquer seven peaks that morning and each got a little harder and more challenging to get to as we went along. Tall trees disappeared, replaced by limestone rocks and formations as well as shrubs and mosses. Photo opportunities were at an abundance due to yours truly being a 'capture-the-moment' person and truly every peak and climb had me snapping away.
|Yasmin - No sweat!|
Of course, Bukit Tabur wasn't as tame as Gasing Hill or Broga. On both sides of the ridge pathway was sudden drops and huge boulders created obstacles to scale around. The hill demanded respect from its visitors and you better give it just that as there has been reports of deaths and accidents on Tabur. People have gotten lost, injured or died due to their over zealousness and for underestimating Bukit Tabur.
|Love at first hike.|
Midway though, we came across two paths to take around a boulder, one harder than the other. The harder (and scarier) route involved climbing rungs drilled into the rocks while the other requires us to climb down a short but vertical slope using a knotted rope with little foothold space. As some of us were rookies, our unofficial Tabur guide, Sunil opted for the rope and gave us precise instructions on scaling down. It was scary at first as beyond the tiny ledge was another sudden drop and all you had to cling on for dear life was the rope and your own arm strength. But when I actually did it (without making a fool of myself), there was a deep sense of adventure and satisfaction. Must be the adrenaline rush.
|A marker flag|
That also have me a good burst of energy that carried me through the next few peaks. I decided there and then, I was in love with Bukit Tabur. The greenery at the higher peaks were incredibly picturesque and we were fortunate to have a cool breeze cut through every once in a while.
Past the last peak and the turning point to go back, Shaun showed us a path that continued a little further on and ended in a sudden drop. He got lost here the last time and scaled midway down before the danger of it dawned on him, making him return to the original trail. As beautiful as Bukit Tabur was, its dangers should not be undermined.
Up, now DownAs the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. There were two trails that we could use to return to our cars. Go back the way we came or head down a dirt trail along the side of the hill. Majority headed for the latter although Superman Sunil opted to go through the rocky peaks again.
|Time to head down.|
|Are we there yet?|
It was about 1030am by the time we reached the car to unload our backpacks and unwind (and to stare at chicks...and hens) while waiting for Sunil. He joined us 15 minutes later, delayed only because he stopped to help a group of girls stuck on the rung trail. Apparently their uncle led them there before heading ahead and leaving them behind. Tsk tsk. Bad uncle.
Due to the lack of human traffic on the hill, we completed Bukit Tabur in three hours with plenty of breaks and photo sessions in between. I really
Thank you, Sunil for planning this trip and guiding us through Tabur with the patience of a saint.
Thank you, Alex for (not ffk-ing) driving us there and leading us noobs down safely.
Thank you, Norizan for the laughter and jokes up there and for the most rewarding brownies ever.
Thank you, Yasmin for giving up your Sunday to join us and make new friends I hope.
Thank you, Shaun for looking out for my sister and also for helping us along.
Thank you, sis for allowing me to drag you along.
Thank you, adventurous random stranger who followed us all the way down.
And thank you, Bukit Tabur for reviving my adrenaline junkie and interest in hiking once more.
|Tabur CNY hikers!|
10 Tips for Noobs
1. Invest in a pair of proper hiking/trail shoes, preferably lightweight.
2. Wear gloves for the rock climbing parts.
3. Go with an experienced friend and stick together.
4. Bring two bottles of water or isotonic drink.
5. Use a backpack to free up your hands.
6. Leave your ego at home. Better to be teased than dead.
7. Bring a camera.
8. Always let faster hikers through. But don't be afraid to ask for help if needed.
9. Don't look down! Seriously, watch where you're stepping at all times. Your next step could be a flimsy rock and your last....
10. If it rains, postpone the hike. Slippery trails are not your best friend.
It helps to read up more on other people's experience and on Bukit Tabur itself. I recommend All about Tabur and Vertical Adventure. Have fun and be safe!