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   INTRODUCTION  

Mountain climbing is a wonderful way to discover the diversity and uniqueness of Malaysia’s natural landscape ranging from the dense tropical rainforest in the lowlands to the mountain vegetation in the upper elevations.

From easy walks in the cool comfort of the Main Range of Peninsular Malaysia to the more challenging mountains of Sabah and Sarawak, there are mountains to tempt every level of climber.

   MOUNTAINS IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA  

Beginners can start with the well-marked trails and less demanding conditions of popular sites such as Gunung Jerai in Kedah, Gunung Angsi in Negeri Sembilan or Gunung Ledang in Johor where outings take several hours to a day to complete. These sites are easily accessible and guides are not compulsory. Gunung Berembun and Gunung Brinchang in the Cameron Highlands provide breathtaking views of tea and vegetable plantations and are ideal for those who prefer light trekking. The latter at 2032 meters is the highest point that can be reached by road in Peninsular Malaysia.

For those wanting more than a weekend adventure, choose a summit that requires a journey through the wilderness first. One can ascend Gunung Gagau in Taman Negara in a day’s climb, but to reach the base of the mountain you need to travel by river for two days.

For a more challenging climb, head to Gunung Tahan, the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia. The 130 Kilometre return journey takes up to 9 days and traverses over rainforests, rivers and mountain ridges. An experienced guide is required.

   MOUNTAIN CLIMBING SITES  

  Gunung Jerai
1217m
  Kedah
  Bukit Bendera(Penang Hill)
821m
  Penang
  Gunung Korubu
2183m
  Perak
  Gunung Bubu
1568m
  Perak
  Gunung Angsi
825m
  Negeri Sembilan
  Gunung Ledang
1276m
  Johor
  Gunung Belumut
1010m
  Johor
  Gunung Tahan
2187m
  Taman Negara, Pahang
  Gunung Gagau
1376m
  Taman Negara, Pahang
  Gunung Brinchang
2032m
  Cameron Highlands, Pahang
  Gunung Berembun
2075m
  Cameron Highlands, Pahang
  Gunung Jasar
1696m
  Cameron Highlands, Pahang
  Gunung Perdah
1529m
  Cameron Highlands, Pahang
  Gunung Stong
1422m
  Kelantan
  Gunung Chamah
2171m
  Kelantan
  Gunung Silam
883m
  Lahad Datu, Sabah
  Gunung Lotong
1667m
  Maliau Basin, Sabah
  Gunung Kinabalu
4093m
  Kinabalu Park, Sabah
  Gunung Tambuyukon
2580m
  Kinabalu Park, Sabah
  Gunung Trusmadi
2643m
  Sabah
  Tama Abu
2113m
  Kelabit Highlands, Sarawak
  Bukit Batu Buli
2082m
  Kelabit Highlands, Sarawak
  Bukit Batu Lawi
2046m
  Kelabit Highlands, Sarawak
  Bukit Batu
2092m
  Sarawak
  Gunung Penrissen
1329m
  Sarawak
  Gunung Santubong
810m
  Sarawak
  Bukit Batu Iran
2018m
  Sarawak
  Gunung Mulu
2376m
  Mulu National Park, Sarawak

  MOUNTAINS IN SABAH AND SARAWAK 

Gunung Kinabalu, one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia at 4093m is located in Kinabalu Park, Sabah. It is accessible to all trekkers. The Summit Trail leading to Low’s Peak is equipped with clear paths and ropes to climb steep rocky sections. Exotic plant life such as the Necklace Orchid can be seen on the climb.

Gunung Trusmadi is reached by a difficult week long climb through mossy forest, steep hills and rain swollen rivers. Upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with one of the best views of Gunung Kinabalu and a chance to see the remarkably large and rare pitcher plants only found on the ridges of Trusmadi.

Other mountains can be climbed in two days as long as you are fit enough to tackle the steep terrain. Gunung Santubong is one of the most popular mountains in Sarawak with its spectacular view of Kuching.

Guides will be needed on the tough trek to Sarawak’s Gunung Penrissen. The 1329 meter vertical scramble to the top can be completed in a day or two.

The long uphill walk to the sandstone summit of Gunung Mulu takes four days and passes through primary jungle, swampy patches and clumps of colourful rhododendrons before the white clouds disperse to reveal the massive limestone outcropping of Gunung Api just across the valley.

   MOUNTAIN CLIMBING TIPS  

Although many mountains, especially those located in the national parks, have overnight camping facilities and provide some equipment for rental, it is always wise to plan ahead and make a few enquiries for bookings, weather conditions and other current information. Some of the more remote sites may even require special permits from the authorities.

Unless the trail is well marked, hire a guide to show the way. Besides guiding you to the best campsites and rest spots along the trail, local guides know the natural history and folklore of the area and are invaluable when plans change and alternative routes need to be taken.

The exertion of carrying a heavy pack is compounded by the altitude, so it is always best to choose to climb mountains within your ability. Do not overload yourself with camping equipment. As a rough guide, the weight of your pack should not be more than a quarter of your body weight and the lighter the better for expeditions of more than ten days.

   CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT  

  • Comfortable long – sleeved shirts and pants for protection from leech bites, abrasions and the elements.

  • A hat with a wide brim.

  • A pair of gloves and a balaclava will help protect you from cold summit winds.

  • A poncho or rain cape.

  • Wear lightweight jungle boots with good ankle supports and a deep – ridged sole and wear two pairs of socks to prevent blisters.

  • A comfortable rucksack with padded shoulder straps, hip belt and internal frame is a must.

  • A compass will be handy for navigating jungle trails.

  • A whistle is a useful tool for attracting attention and signaling others.

  • A basic first aid kit for the treatment of abrasions, insect bites and small wounds.

  • Extra batteries for your torchlight, candles and matches.

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