Monday, March 06, 2006

Trekking up G. Ansi Sat 4 March 06

After meeting our friends (Lok & his neighbout Uncle Aw, the eldest at 64, three young men, friends of Lok, Tan, Lim and his wife, Wan who runs the W&W Adventure company and his assitance Har Chow who brought along her daughter) at the Nilai R&R for breakfast and to pack our lunch we headed for Kuala Pilah. Our party of 14 reached the Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendol, midway along the winding road to Kuala Pilah, which was our starting base for the hike up to G. Ansi. You cannot miss this recreation area as it is well developed with shops, eateries and a big sign-board fronting the main road, plenty of parking space. On weekends the crowds will be there enjoying the cool mountain streams and small lake. Many families will be picnicking under the cool shade of dense foliage.

We started off at 10.10am. Stanley and Mok, MNS Pathfinders SIG veterans, were our guides, Stanley leading and Mok as "sweeper".

The beginning of the trail, parallel to the stream, was an easy walk along a gentle gradient, unlike the steep climb which we did at the base of G. Datuk. It was only after about 35mins trekking that we begun to encounter steeper gradient. I found the trail to be undulating, up and level off, down a bit and up again. There were a couple of steep climbs, made more difficult that these gradients stretched on quite a fair distance. The less fit among us had to stop a few times to get their breaths. When we were nearly at the summit, less than 25 mins. away, we encountered the most difficult part of the trail. These were 2 short stretches of gully, bare of vegetation due to erosion, of soft earth. We managed to scale up the first with the nylon rope already in place. However, the jute rope at the second gully was worn out and snapped. Our leader, Stanley, was the first up and he had to lend his hand to pull me up. We then took our turns to pull up the rest.

We finally reached the summit at 12.45pm so it took us 2hr. 35mins., a good fast pace. The last of our party, Uncle Aw was accompanied by Har Chow, came about 20mins. later and all of us made it to the top.

We took in the view, on one side was the mountain range as far as the eye can see, on the other, Seremban town with many areas stripped bare for development. We had rather a long lunch break with Stanley boiling water to make Chinese tea. So at 2.05pm we (except Wan, Har Chow & daughter who opted to go back by the same trail) begun the descend by a different trail which would lead us to the old logging path and then down to the paved road, a long distance away from where we parked our cars. The beginning of the descend was quite easy, becoming steeper as we approached the logging path. When we (Stanley, Lok, Tan, Lim & missus & me) were nearly at the bottom we stopped for about 20 mins. to wait for our friends, and then another 10mins. for them to rest when they arrived. We reached the K.Pilah road at 4.35pm and then it was a 2.5km walk along the paved road under the hot sun before we reached our cars at 5.10pm.

We headed for Seremban town where Stanley suggested to have dinner at the restaurant famous for its fish head noodles. It is situated after the Istana and the road which passed by the Armed Forces cantonment. The Chinese restaurant deserved its reputation because the fish head noodles and fish-balls was one of a kind, the soup was simply delicious. We complained that the bowl wasn't large enough even though we ordered large. The next time we should ask for "super-large". The rest of the dishes, deep friend chicken with stuffed fish and vegetables were nothing very special.

It was a wonderful dinner among friends, with much merriment and laughter (and though only uncle Aw complained about his painful toes & blisters from wearing a new pair of shoes - novice trekkers should be advised never to do that- I too felt the ache in my knees.)

I enjoyed the trek and found that the trail was indeed more difficult than climbing G. Datuk even though G. Ansi 826m (2710ft) was slightly lower than G. Datuk at 884m (2900ft.) This trail deserves a return visit, this time we do the reverse - start at the trail by the side of the paved road, opposite the drinks stall, and descend down to the stream at the Lipur Hutan recreation area.

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