The hike to Mount Gerah (elevation : 2103m), the 13th or 17th highest mountain in Malaysia (based on prominence or sheer elevation respectively), almost always covers its sibling-peaks as well: Mount Bilah (elevation : 2077m) and Mount Bieh (elevation : 2073m); and is always referred to as 'GBB'. While the GBB hike normally begins and ends at the Temiar settlement of Pos Kemar just south of Temengor Lake, our plan was to begin from the south of the GBB range at Pos Balar instead. From there, we planned to continue north along the Titiwangsa Range, past the GBB peaks, and through the section of Mount Ulu Sepat (elevation : 2161m) and Mount Chamah (elevation : 2171m). We would then exit the range at Pos Gob via Mount Shoid (elevation : 1947m) in the north--a hike known as the 'The North Titiwangsa' (TNT). Things did not quite go according to plan however, and we were forced to exit the range after the half way point. Despite this, we still managed to cover three out of the six peaks, and completed the GBB hike, albeit rather unconventionally.This hike--which I will refer to as the GBB-CUS Connection since it connects with the Chamah-Ulu Sepat hike--and the entire TNT hike both cover an incredibly wide variety of terrain. A lot of the trail is almost completely overgrown, and includes tricky bamboo sections, multiple ascents and descents up very muddy slopes, as well as a huge number of river crossings. The area is extremely remote with no mobile phone reception, and requires a day or two of hiking just to access the range. As such, I would recommend that you employ the services of a reputable guide if you plan to attempt this hike. We went with Kay Ahmad from Silver Outdoor Sports (+605-491 1384), an extremely knowledgeable and experienced guide with whom I have hired before and trust.Nevertheless, here is a quick disclaimer:
This hike is one of four entries on this website (out of more than a hundred) that required the use of a guide. I personally am a big advocate of independent travel and self-guided hiking that does not require guides or porters. My reasoning is as follows (in no particular order):Less costly: Aside from the cost of permits, self-guided hiking has no guide expenses that need to be covered, and hikers also have full control over the cost of their meals. Guide expenses tend to normally be shared out amongst the group, which means that the larger the group, the less each hiker will have to pay.Less environmental impact: Without the burden of guide expenses, group sizes can be kept much lower. Small groups tend to be far more mobile and significantly reduce their impact to trails and campsites. Large groups also have a profound impact on other groups that are sharing the trail. I personally feel that groups of more than 4 or 5 people tend to be too large. Read up on Leave No Trace (LNT) principles for more info.More independence: Self-guided hiking requires hikers to be knowledgeable in multiple skills--navigation and route-finding, survival techniques, and wilderness medical skills just to name a few. It requires a level of fitness that allows hikers to be fully independent and to be able to carry all the gear that they will need without requiring the services of porters. Hikers that are unprepared should simply not be allowed on the trails. The trails are currently overloaded with hikers who should not be there in the first place.High customisability: One of the best things about independent travel is researching the location prior to the trip. This inevitably means that you will know far more about the area that is traveled through compared to someone who just goes in blindly expecting the guide to handle everything. You get full control over the planning of the route as well as developing contingency plans in situations such as inclement weather or medical emergencies. You also get to determine your own pace and can choose to stop if you need a moment of peaceful reflection. Who wouldn't want to enjoy nature on their own terms?
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
Wildlife Crime Hotline 019-356 4194 Wildlife Department 1800 885 151 Gua Musang District Police HQ 09-9121222
"Ramon is a hiker, climber, and diver who loves to get off the beaten path. His website is a combination of his drive to explore and his passion to capture and share what he sees. Ramon is a bit of a minimalist and is currently torn between his yearning to travel the world and his need to decrease his carbon footprint. Read more here." View all posts by Ramon Fadli