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Mount Irau (Cameron Highlands)

Cameron Highlands Index

Pauh Campsite - Mount Jasar - Mount Berembun

Mount Brinchang - Mount Irau

Mount Irau


The renowned Mount Irau is the highest mountain in Cameron Highlands, and with an elevation of 2110m makes it just slightly higher than Mount Brinchang. It is the 15th highest mountain in Malaysia and lies on the border between the states of Perak and Pahang.

Before we go on, please jot down the numbers that are listed below. If you do see any suspicious behaviour when out hiking, encounter things like traps and snares, or even see protected animals or their parts that are sold as either collectibles, pets, or for (so-called) medicine, then please do not hesitate to contact the wildlife crime hotline. Be sure to try and document it as best you can with photos or video without putting yourself in danger, and take note of the details: descriptions of those who are involved, as well as when and where it took place.

"The Wildlife Crime Hotline, managed by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), provides YOU an avenue to report offences involving endangered wildlife in Malaysia. We protect the identity of all informants, only key info of the reports are forwarded to the authorities."

Wildlife Crime Hotline019 356 4194
Emergency Numbers
Wildlife Crime Hotline 019-356 4194

Wildlife Department 1800 885 151

Cameron Highlands Forestry Department 09–3551 060

Cameron Highlands Hospital 05-4911 966

Cameron Highlands Bomba 09-4911 003

Tanah Rata Police Station 05-4915 443

Ringlet Police Station 05-4956 222

Kg. Raja Police Station 05-4981 222

JKR Cameron Highlands 05-4911 105



Difficulty Rating : 3.4 / 10.0 (Class 4 - Fairly Straightforward)


*Cick here to learn more about the difficulty rating.

The group set off in the morning from the Pauh Campsite after breakfast and after purchasing some food for lunch since the trek was expected to take about 6 hours. To get to the start of the trail, we had to make our way up the road that lead up to the peak of Mount Brinchang. The road is fairly long at approximately 5km in length, and the fact that the road is also very narrow (there is barely enough space for two cars to pass abreast), filled with pot-holes and is is made up of a large number of sharp turns as it winds it's way up the mountain, can render the journey somewhat precarious if you aren't paying attention to the road and other vehicles that may be coming around the bends. The scenery is gorgeous however as you will end up passing the lush rows of the bright green flushes of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) that cover the rolling hills. After being harvested, these tea leaves will then undergo different types of processing to make the various types of true teas that are made commercially available. Other so-called teas that are not derived from the tea plant (such as mint tea for instance) aren't actually considered 'true teas'. Anyway I digress (and for good reason).

News

Posted in: Hiking
April 1, 20161 year ago

Notice: Irau Hiking Trail Reopened

The renowned Mount Irau is the highest mountain in Cameron Highlands, and with an elevation of 2110m makes it just slightly higher than Mount Brinchang. It is the 15th highest mountain in Malaysia and lies on the border between the states of Perak and Pahang. The mountain has had its access sealed off for rehabilitation purposes since the 1st of October 2015, and as of the 1st of April 2016, is finally open to the public once again. Read more

The road itself begins at a left turning as you make your way North from Brinchang and can be found by following the signs that show the way to the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation. The maps below shows the road from the junction of the C7 road till the clearing that marks the beginning of the trail that leads up to Mount Irau.

Getting There

Brinchang Trail


Road that leads to the start of the trail (4.524369, 101.381840)


Mount Irau Trail


The trail begins just behind a gazebo with a raised wooden walkway that immediately ascends up the mountain. The ascent is brief however as the trail undulates up and down for roughly 38 minutes after only covering a distance of 0.64km. The trail begins to descend from this point as it makes it's way down Mount Brinchang and towards the point (just less than 1km away) where you start to climb up Mount Irau. You should get to this point after about an hour and a half of trekking.

Irau Trail Start

Irau Mud!

The wooden walkway only covers a distance of 200m or so and gives way fairly quickly to a soft, pulpous terrain that is heavily moisture-laden. We learnt fairly early on to watch where we were stepping as the slightest misstep could leave you floundering to free your feet from the clutches of the unyielding mud. The tree roots that criss-crossed the path proved a boon however as their presence would not only ensure a certain firmness to the immediate terrain, but would also act as both handholds and steps of sorts which helped significantly on sections that had steep inclines. 

The epiphytic moss proved to be ubiquitous (as was expected) and seemed to coat the trees almost like a softer second skin. I always seem to find cloud forests to be somewhat intriguing as the combination of the soft, pleasant textures and the low temperatures are unlike the tropical forests that one would expect to find at lower altitudes. They are also much more pleasant to trek as the usual stifling heat and humidity is absent. I also noticed an abundance of Pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.), from the Nepenthaceae family, as opposed to the Sarraceniaceae Pitcher plants found on the trek to Mount Ulu Semangkok - along the trail as we made our way on the saddle between the two mountains. 

Irau Moss

I had heard stories of the devious so-called 'Makhluk Halus' (paranormal beings) of Mount Irau that went out of their way to confuse and mislead trekkers from the right path which struck me as ridiculous as those who get lost often do so out of incompetence or sheer negligence. Nevertheless, I still entertained the absurd notion of encountering one of these beings, basically a figment of someone's overactive imagination, as I made my way up the mountain.

Next : Mount Irau (Part 2)


Mount Irau False Peak


We reached the false peak, often referred to as 'Mini Irau' or 'Anak Irau' after a solid 2 hours of trekking. Just before reaching the peak however, there was an inclination of roughly 400m or so (took about 30 minutes) as we made our way up Mount Irau after having left the saddle between the two mountains. Mini Irau itself was a clearing that was wide enough to accommodate a fairly large group of campers, although not necessarily a group with hammocks as there was a conspicuous solitary tree in the middle of the clearing with a demarcation consisting almost entirely of non-hammock friendly shrubbery.  There was a yellow sign that marked an altitude of 6666 feet which was shamefully absent of a metric equivalent, the imperial system of units being another nonsensical and archaic remnant of the British colonial empire. 

The path that lead onwards to the peak of Mount Irau lay just to the left of the path that lead to Mini Irau and could easily have been missed had it not been for the trail markers that were visible. From that point there was a slight descent, followed by an immediate ascent of 128m that stretched over 1.1km. The trail had a few gaps in the foliage on the left where one could glimpse the rolling hills that lay to the South with the dark shadows cast by the clouds above moving almost lethargically across them.

The View from Irau

D7K_6910


The Mossy Forest


Approximately 5 minutes before reaching the peak of Mount Irau, we found ourselves in a grove of sorts that was encompassed by long, spindly branches that stretched towards the sky. The most remarkable thing about these branches was the sheer thickness and abundance of the epiphytic moss that ended up casting an eerie yet somehow tranquil vibe to the area. I found it somewhat bizarre and a little hard to describe so hopefully the 360 panorama that I have embedded below will do it more justice.

Irau's mossy Forest

Next : Mount Irau (Part 3)


Mount Irau Peak


It took a few minutes to reach the peak of Mount Irau from the grove and it had taken us about an hour from Mini Irau. The trek had been an easy, relaxing trek that probably seemed more so because of the myriad of photogenic moss and fungi that festooned the trail, a trail that had taken us about 3 hours to get to the peak from the start (and about 2 hours and 30 minutes to get back). We relaxed for a while as we ate our packed lunch before (feeling very content) making our way back home. That's one more for the list!

At Irau Peak

360 Panorama

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

3e

3h

The information from the Suunto Ambit for the trek up can be found on my Movescount Page here.

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device and would like to use the move as a route, please click on the following link : 

Check the route in

Mountains of Malaysia
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