Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hike No 2: Klang Gates Reservoir

Since today is the His Royal Highness birthday (and I don’t mean myself), what better way to spend the day then conquer another hill? To be precise, a limestone hill near the Klang Gates Reservoir. And not as I previously thought, Bukit Melawati.

We were supposed to meet at the Gombak LRT station at nine. Most of them were already there, with the exception of Simon and Kelvin. There were ten of us this time.

The sky wasn’t looking too good. It was cloudy and it looked as it was going to rain any time. Sigh, why does it always have to rain every time we go hiking? I was hoping we could go up and come down before it started to rain. Wishful thinking, obviously.

Fortunately, the place wasn’t that far from the station, unlike the previous hike, which was a good 45 minutes drive. We were at the entrance of the reservoir in ten minutes.

We saw people coming from the hill; they looked like they just had a good climb. There were also a group of youngsters having a chat at the picnic table.

Before the climb, I was actually having second thoughts about going. Someone who has climbed this very same hill more than twenty times sent this email:

You gotta ask the folks who are coming along, these questions :

1. Can your arms support your body weight ? Coz you`ll need to do some basic rope climbing downwards.

2. Are you afraid of heights ? Coz there`ll be open areas when you`ll just be on a narrow ledge without any support on the left or right . If u r dizzy then, you might slip & fall to your death. I`m not kidding.

3. Do insects / bees scare you ?

4. Are you sun sensitive ? It`s quite a warm climb.

And someone else replied:

I agree with what you have listed down especially item No 2. I was so fear about it and took me very long time to cross that section. I still worry how am I going to make it this time (this will be my 3rd time)

If that didn’t freak you out, I don’t know what would. When I was reading that, my first thought was the opening scene in Mission Impossible 2, where Tom Cruise was hanging on a cliff with his bare hands. That image sent shivers down my spine.

Anyway, I was hoping for courage in big numbers. After all, there were ten of us and we could look out for each other. Also, I persuaded (Ok, more like dragged) Vincent, my best friend, to come along.

Now back to the hike. It felt tougher, because immediately, the trail ascended instead of descended like in the previous hike. The sight of sharp jagged rocks didn’t help either, as they gave the subliminal message of danger and if you fall, you will die.

The sky has not cleared. But it hasn’t gotten any more threatening either.

We climbed using only our legs in the first twenty minutes, and then we had to use our other appendages. The rocks were quite sharp, but they did provide good grip.

So the ten merry men climbed up the hill. It was a smooth climb, with no deaths or broken limbs or cliffhanger moments. There was the usual friendly banter and the overused, “I like the view from behind.” I am pretty sure you can imagine that – sweaty guys climbing up and you have to wait a while before it is your turn.

Oh wait, there was a highlight. Of all people, I didn’t expect Kelvin to be an exhibitionist. He would pass his camera to another, take off his shirt and pose for a shoot. Obviously, we demanded that he remove more than just one item of clothing.

When we near the summit, it started to drizzle. It got heavier as we reached the summit. But it seemed that the nature favoured us and had mercy. The rain stopped, the sun came out a little, the mist cleared and we got a clear view of the surrounding area. We could see KLCC and KL Tower on one side. On the other, we could see the reservoir. It was a beautiful sight indeed.

On the hike up, I have been thinking of how to get down. With some parts of the trail quite steep and requiring the use of hands too, it would be more difficult going down. That, or the fastest way to the bottom – and to hell.

Still, we managed to reach the foot of the hill without any untoward accident. It was half past twelve. We spend some time at the lake as some of them wanted to clean up and soak in the water.

Overall, this hike was relatively easier compared to Bunga Buah. It wasn’t as high and less strenuous. Though undeniably, it was more dangerous and challenging at some parts.

After that, we went for Ampang Yong Tau Foo. Traffic was terrible as usual. It took us more than half an hour to reach.

By the time I reached home, it was after four. I didn’t feel as tired and my legs weren’t wobbling. But still, I was pooped and I slept for two hours. Whereas I was wide awake and only slept at my usual time after the Bukit Buah hike.

Totally inexplicable.

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