GUNUNG LEDANG

Gunung Ledang

source: www.jomjalan.com.my

Gunung Ledang or Mount Ophir is the highest mountain in Johor with the height of 1,276 m (4,186 ft) and ranked 6th most difficult mountains to climb in Malaysia. It is located in the Gunung Ledang National Park at Tangkak, Johor. Gunung Ledang National Park share boundary with Melaka and Negeri Sembilan with the total area of 8611.9 hectares. This area is very important for water retention purpose that supply water to Johor and Melaka.

The Gunung Ledang Trails

source: www.justrunlah.com

There are 3 nos of entrance for Gunung Ledang which is Taman Hutan Lagenda Sagil, Pos Empangan Sungai Belemang Sagil and Pos Asahan Sungai Gemas. Gunung Ledang is very popular among Malaysian and Singaporean.

The fee for hiking is RM 16 (Malaysian) and RM 26 (Non-Malaysian) and you must hire a guide with fee of RM140. There were a lot of cases of mishap before including fatalities and that is the main reason for the regulation to made hiring of guide mandatory.

Hiking Group

This hiking trip was organised by Silver Outdoor Sport (SOS) and this is the 3rd time I joined their activity. The first activity was hiking to Gunung Kerinci, Highest Volcano in Indonesia. This trip is quite big in term of participants which involved 40 nos of participants and come from different part of Malaysia. Most of us don’t know each other and this is a good time to make a new friend.

The hiking

Entrance of Taman Hutan Lagenda Gunung Ledang

Some of the participants reached Taman Hutan Lagenda at midnight particularly participants who come from Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur and they slept at the amenities provided at that area. The bottom line is we should gather at the Office of Taman Negara at 7.00 am as we need to declare our belongings to the ranger. This is very important as they want to ensure that there is no garbage left behind along the hiking route and at the peak.

The facilities at the Taman Hutan Lagenda.
At the Taman Negara Johor’s office.

Having mentioned that, due to several problems, our journey started quite late which is at 8.45 am. Before that, we had been given a briefing by the guide and ranger and we conducted a stretching session before we start our journey.

A short briefing from our team leader, En Faizal from Silver Outdoor Sport (SOS).
A briefing by the Guide of Gunung Ledang.

CP 1- Bukit Semput (260m)

The notorious stairs.

For journey to CP 1, you will go through 700 nos of steps that made from concrete. It was quite relax but you will started to feel exhausted upon reaching CP 1- Bukit Semput. ‘Semput’ in English is short of breath and it is very apt to the situation as many will be short of breath once reached there. The journey to CP 1 takes approximately around 20 – 25 minutes.

Slow and steady. It just a beginning.
We reached Bukit Semput after 20 minutes.
CP 1- Bukit Semput.

CP 2- Hentian Meranti (355m)

At CP 2 – Hentian Meranti.

The journey towards CP 2- Hentian Meranti took about 20 minutes with a mild gradient. It is named Hentian Meranti because there are a lot of big and beuatiful Pokok Meranti.

CP 3- Batu Orkid (540m)

Take a short rest at CP3- Batu Orkid

Then, we continue our journey to CP 3. The gradient starts to become steep and it took around 30 minutes to reach here. The guide informed us that if we reach CP 3 beyond 11 am, we are not able to proceed to the next CP and must take another route as we might reach the base quite late. Thank God, we manage to reach here early and able to proceed to CP5 which is Sungai Segi Tiga.

This is the junction to Sungai Segi Tiga and Kolam Gajah

We skipped CP 4 which is Kolam Gajah because it is quite a detour and it is actually a place for camping if you intend to camping there.

Simpang Pedita is the junction between the track to CP5 and the alternative track for hikers who are unable to reach CP3 by 11 am.

Then, we reached Simpang Pedita as this is the junction that lead to two routes which is CP 5 and other route to peak for hikers that reached CP 3 beyond 11 am.

Be Careful.

CP 5- Sungai Segi Tiga (630m)

We reached CP5- Sungai Segi Tiga.

After about 50 minutes, we reached CP 5- Sungai Segi Tiga. This is the 2nd area for camping and place for water sources. We stop here quite long. The journey after this is more challenging as we going to KFC route which is very steep.

Take quite a long rest at CP5.

CP 6- Gua Kambing (925m)

CP 6 – Gua Kambing.

The KFC route is one of the limelight of this trip as it is contradicting to Fingers Licking Good by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). This Killer For Climbers or some called Killing Fitness Centre will make you more hungry. haha. It is very steep.

The climbing is getting tougher at KFC.
The pace is quite slow at this point as it is quite steep and everyone must be extra vigilant.

The elevation gain is 300m from CP 5 to CP 6 for a short distance. About 40 minutes later, we reached Gua Kambing. Previously, hikers will enter the Gua Kambing to proceed to the next CP but it had been closed due to several incidents occured before.

CP 7-Bukit Botak (1130m)

The journey to CP 7, Bukit Botak is far more challenging than KFC as you will go through track that is steeper especially at Batu Hampar. You will climb through 24 nos of steel ladder. Having said that, for me, the ladder help the hikers a lot compared to the track as it ease the ascend but for people with fear of heights or Acrophobia, they would feel intimidated.

You can see the ladders arranged back to back.
More ladders.
And ladders again.

After quite some time, we reached Batu Hampar. The gradient of Batu Hampar is about 70 degree. At this Batu Hampar, you will rely on the ropes for the ascend and surely would be a nightmare to the hikers with Acrophobia.

The Batu Hampar.
This part is quite dangerous and everyone must be extra vigilant.

Our guide advice us to have a sufficient rest before proceed to Batu Hampar as after we reached at the peak of Batu Hampar, many people will succumb to cramp as the peak is quite cold and windy.

Taman Bonsai is located at the peak of Batu Hampar.

After we reached the peak of Batu Hampar which is at Taman Bonsai, as expected many of us got cramp. Having mentioned that, Taman Bonsai is very beautiful with strong wind and quite cold.

The view at Taman Bonsai is breathtaking.

A lot of hikers will take photo here but please be careful as there was incident of fatality there as the hiker fell off the cliff.

At CP7- Bukit Botak.

After enjoying the beautiful view of Taman Bonsai, we finally reached Bukit Botak. Aptly with the name, the place is a vacant land with no trees at the middle of the track.

Peak of Gunung Ledang (1276m)

We were very lucky as the weather was good and we able to see the clear view of surrounding.

Next is the summit attack !!! The challenge is not over yet as we need to climb 11 nos. of steel ladder and some of the position is almost 80 degree.

A lot of ladders.

For people with acrophobia, it is truly a nightmare. After passing the final ladder, we finally reached the peak.

It is a must to take a photo here.

The peak is also known as Puncak Mahligai. The feeling is indescribable. We can see as far as Muar and Melaka town. We were so lucky as the sky was clear and not cloudy. The 5 hours of hiking is worth with the view and all the pain is suddenly disappear.

At the height of 1276 meter from above sea level.
The view was awesome.
You can see the shadow of the clouds.
Breathtaking !
At the peak.
The proper stairs to the peak.

We spend about 30 minutes at the peak by having lunch and take abundance of photos.

The Descend

Kem Senget.

Then, we start to descend after having enough rest. The route to descend is different with ascend. This is the route use by hikers that reached CP3-Batu Orkid beyond 11am. This route is actually quite challenging as it is very steep. Everyone must be extra vigilant especially on the slippery wet big stone. After more than 1 hour, we reached Kem Senget. This is a place where you can perform the prayer for Muslim, pass motion, rest and replenish your water.

Makeshift shelter for prayer.

Then, we resume our journey. You will reach Simpang Pedita that brings you to the route that you take at the beginning. Then, you will reach CP3, CP2 and CP1 before reach the base at Pejabat Taman Hutan. The descend take about 3 hours 30 minutes.

Encapsulation

I felt very happy managed to hike this mountain as this is the background of my kampung as I always look at it fondly from afar and one of the mountains that I really keen to hike. Surely I will hike it again but not from Sagil Entrance but from Asahan Entrance. Yay !

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