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Mount Nuang (Janda Baik)

Via Kuala Pangsoon - Via Janda Baik


Difficulty Rating : 4.2 / 10.0 (Class 5 - Moderate)


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Mount Nuang


The Janda Baik trail is an alternative trail that leads up to Mt. Nuang from the other side of the mountain, and was one that I had been contemplating ever since I hiked Nuang via Kuala Pangsoon. The plans for this hike were made last minute after a few of our plans for that public holiday had fallen through. So with the car packed full of daypacks and people, and the GPS route preloaded on my Suunto Ambit, we set off for the ride up to Janda Baik early, well before daybreak.

Getting There

The trailhead was very easy to locate as all one needed to do was to head towards Kampung Janda Baik and to continue along the road until the 'ILMU' building was reached. From there, one would continue straight for a while until a gated carpark with a green fence along its perimeter (3.303979, 101.887121) was seen. I found the parking costs here to be very high though (at MYR7) but the cars were watched over and there were bathrooms and showers, so I suppose one could justify the cost to a certain degree.


Start of the trail

We prepared our bags in the pre-dawn chill, tightened our shoelaces and adjusted our bag straps, before making our way across the road and onto the small gravel path. The path lead past a stream and then onwards into farmland. It was just after 07:00 and the sun had started to rise, its light illuminating dew drops on the leaves and fruit trees that lined the path. The morning chill gradually dissipated as we trudged onwards, with the warmth of the sun slowly creeping over us as time went on.

We came upon a gravel path within 10 minutes or so that lead straight to the gate of the 'Hutan simpan kekal'. The trail narrowed significantly from here, with tall reeds and grass lining the sides and the occasional burst of colour from a variety of flowers. The path lead on past an Orang Asli traditional house before skirting a dropoff on the left. After about half an hour, we reached the junction (1.42km mark) with the marker-lined Nuang path continuing up straight on (the left path descending and the right with pipes disappearing into the dense undergrowth).

The canopy above was considerably thicker here and the forest floor was moist underfoot with fresh litterfall and an abundance of leeches (Haemadipsa sp.). Sounds of chirping birds accompanied the sounds of water from the rushing river down to our left and the occasional cracked pipe that ran parallel to the trail. Bamboo (Gigantochloa sp.) shoots were ubiquitous here, with sections of the trail almost completely overgrown, reminding me of the beginning of the TNBYY hike.

Around 2.4km in, the trail branched off to the left. We continued following the trail markers until the trail began to descend for approximately 100 metres before reaching the Cemperoh waterfall. We decided to continue on, so hopped across the river before meeting the trail once again as it swung around to the left.

Cemperoh waterfall

Waterfalls of Malaysia

Next : Mount Nuang (Part 2)

comp2

We were well and truly in the jungle now, the canopy so dense that not much sunlight managed to find its way through. Macrofungi and series of termite (Nasutitermes sp.) mounds were occasionally spotted fringing the path, giving us a brief interlude from the incessant uphill hike and the perpetual and almost unchanging jungle that seemed to swallow us whole. I was aware at that point of the great disparity between the textures that surrounded me, a dichotomy of sorts between the hard—the armour of the Flat-backed Millipedes, the menacing thorns, and the enormous buttress roots; and the soft—the moss that fringed the bark of trees, the squishy mud underfoot, and the subdued sunlight that occasionally found its way to the forest floor.

Flat-backed Millipedes (Order: Polydesmida) mating

2016-09-01-20.52.55 ZS retouched

A Kukri Snake (Oligodon sp.)

We came upon a level patch at the 3.8km mark that could and probably had already been used as a campsite, large enough to accommodate up to three tents (there was also another much smaller clearing 500m further on). We pressed on, the trail descending for a short while before ascending once again. The ascent from here seemed a little gentler but the dropping temperatures and the sporadic drizzle occasionally sent a shudder through my body. The insects continued to buzz and the monkeys continued to howl off in the distance..

Circinate vernation of a fern (Class: Pteridopsida)

Next : Mount Nuang (Part 3)


A Blanket of Mist


The mist began to roll in just before we reached the Nuang/Repin crossroads (5.06km mark) at 10:30. The left branch continued up to Mt. Nuang whilst the right branch, that was at that time cordoned off by tape, made its way towards Mt. Repin (elevation : 1300m). This was also the point where the trail met the Pahang-Selangor border, and would follow it Eastwards, past border stones, all the way to the summit of Mt. Nuang.

comp1

We reached the large boulder that marks the final ascent up to the summit about half an hour later at the 5.52km mark. We skirted around the left side of the boulder and continued up to a shoulder that then began to descend down after about 30 metres or so to the next boulder. This boulder (5.77km mark) was accompanied by ropes that had been put in place to assist hikers up the sheer ascent. Almost immediately after, we came upon a ridge of sorts that we had to cross. Here the temperature plummeted as the wind rushed in, bringing with it heavy mist that ended up blanketing us. It began to drizzle once again as we made our way up and over to the Nuang Triangulation point (elevation : 1493m).

The first boulder marker

To my great annoyance, I found the summit to be absolutely packed with people. I descended slightly to find some space to start cooking my well-deserved meal before heading all the way back down again, the entire hike from start to finish taking a little over 8 hours.

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

4c

4f

The full page of the recorded trek can be found on my Movescount Page.

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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