I went climbing up Gunung Santubong yesterday with 3 other highscool ex-classmates. It was an impromptu plan and it was a suicidal! Without any preparation physically neither mentally, we just went off to the legendary mountain of Sarawak, in the cold mist of early morning of good Sunday.
Early Birds. We were the first 4 climbers checking in
Our plan was to start trekking early and reach the top by 11am, and have our simple brunch before off back to the entrance by afternoon. But, we were wrong! very wrong and totally underestimated the track and overestimated our capability.
Sepul's first round agony
I had my last mountain climbing back in 1998, when i was still an undergrad student. While Din never climb any mountain before but he his a gymgoer. Sepul & Asseng, let just say the last time they had intensive exercised was like err.. when Siti Nurhaliza not even popular yet! And to have a mountain climbing without well preparation, its like a disaster in the making.
Climbing down the first slope
We started climbing up at 8am, and just right after 45 minutes of treking from the first check point, Sepul vomitted and he justified it because of the heavy breakfast he had and the redbull drink that I gave him before that. and Asseng, he started to have difficulty in breathing and we kept stopping for every few hundred metres we walked but he did fine after that.
The view halfway of the mountain. Santubong River and Kuching City from afar
We reached the waterfall at checkpoint 5 and that was after 2 1/2 hours of trekking which supposed to be under 2 hours by normal trekking and the stiff part is yet to come. It is a small waterfall with a wood bridge cross it from the other side of the trek. One beautiful waterfall and we decided to hang out there on the way down after reach the top. The plan will be the spirit boost for us, supposedly.
We proceed with our trekking till we reached the checkpoint 9, when the nightmare started. The trek is full of 90 degrees slopes forgodsake! with the rope ladder we managed to go till checkpoint 13 except for Sepul. We had to leave him alone at checkpoint 11 due to his groin and old injury of his knee.
Going down after lunch with 90 degrees slope. And there are alot of it all the way to checkpoint 9
So we had our lunch up there and it was already 1pm. Thinking about Sepul who was still sitting alone in pain at checkpoint 11, we decided to go down and just forget about the the summit, which just 30 minutes away from the last checkpoint we reached.
Sepul's second agony
We went down, picked Sepul up then slowly declining the mountain while enjoying the spectacular view of the surrounding area and Kuching City from afar. Breathtaking view I can say with the fresh gust and different type of flora and fauna, It was one of the best feeling ever. Escape from the daily busy routine and breakaway from the hectic life, with fresh air and the green nature, it was one hell of the feeling! but it comes with cost. I have problem with my knee from my old injury from playing football and harmstring, and it was killing me!
Din took a power nap at the waterfall. Awesome.
We managed to reach the waterfall at 3pm and spent like 30 minutes there, enjoying the cold water and clean our selves up a bit. With the sound of flowing water, the chirping birds, jungle sound really can make you calm and placid. I took 10 minutes nap on the bridge before we off again to the starting point.
The waterfall. It used to be bigger. Well, what do you expect, its a global warming era =))
We reached our car by 515pm with a supergreat relief, sore body, limping and stink shirt. We promised to be back, and this time we will conquer the top with whatever cost it will take. Im so proud of everybody, with no preparation we managed to reach checkpoint 13 which is the second summit.
It was fun but we wont do it again without a proper preparation and never again underestimate the challenge of Mount Santubong. With sore legs and ache shoulders, its gonna be a long day in the office today. Longgg dayyy...