Gunung Ulu Sepat

Height: 2161m

Date: 27 April 2001

Clearing path

The trek is so remote that local Orang Asli guides have to be engaged to lead and clear the path (30 Apr 2001).

Ulu Sepat, standing at 2161m, is 7th highest mountain in Peninsula Malaysia. As it is located in the Titiwangsa range, it also receives a significant volume of rainfall annually. Consequently, rain is expected everyday of the trek. According to our guide, Forest Gan, the route that we are taking for this trip is a new route. It certainly seems to be the case as the trek is really interesting but challenging.

The starting point for the trek is near Gua Musang. From there, it is a 4hrs ride by 4-wheel drive to the starting point, which is an Orang Asli village located deep in the mountains. Most part of the ride in the mountains is on logging trails which are quite well-maintained at the initial part of the mountain trail as logging are still carrying out in the region. However, once the vehicle enters the trails which are no longer in use, the road condition is pretty bad. In fact, the vehicles are stuck in the mud on one occasion and we need to help push it free.

Once we reached the starting point, which is in an Orang Asli village, we can see that they seldom have visitors as the children look at us with great interest. It is also at this village where Forest Gan engaged two Orang Aslis as guides to bring us to the mountain.

The trek is certainly challenging and also full of surprises. About 2 hours into the trek, we have to cross a wide river where the water level reaches our waist level. For one-third of the trek, we are walking on old logging trail. Sometimes, the logging trail has been abandoned for so long that erosion has caused deep gullies to form. However, the trek is very tiring. As we trek deeper into the mountains, the Orang Asli likes to cut across ridges where there are rivers and streams at the bottom of the ridge. But, that also means there are a lot of ascent and descent. As this is a new trail, there are really no trails to follow at all towards the last third of the journey in the forest. The Orang Asli guides have to use parangs to hack their way through the thick vegetations. But, they can still be moving at a faster pace than us. In fact, on the way down the mountain, we lose sight of them and have to rely on following the trail of chopped plants to lead us to the campsite.

Deep gullies

Soil erosions are so serious that gullies up to 2m deeps are formed in part of the old logging trails(29 Apr 2001).

Probably due to the high rainfall, the vegetation at the summit of Ulu Sepat is very thick and reaches up to head level. Thus that basically means that we did not get to see much views from up here. Moreover, there is a complete whiteout and a light drizzle and that translates into seeing nothing at all at the summit. The interesting thing here is that there are strong evidences of heavy elephant traffics nearer to the summit of this mountain. Elephant dung are everywhere along the trail and some looks quite fresh. However, there are many parts of the trail near to the summit where the trail is very muddy, probably elephant dung mix with water.

Summit view

The vegetation at the summit is so thick and high that it blocks out almost all the view (30 Apr 2001).

Ulu Sepat, like many other mountains found in Titiwangsa range is not meant for the novice to Peninsula Malaysia mountains. Good fitness level and mental strength is required to tackle the mountain as not only are we required to carry heavy loads and make long, tiring treks, the daily rain and sandflies at the campsites would make life quite miserable. However, there are certainly some personal satisfactions and valuable experience gained from such a trek. One thing for sure, trekking through virgin forest, making new path and experiencing the isolation of the region are something that very few treks can offer.

Guide
Forest Gan

Address : 14, Jalan Dedap, Setapak, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone no. : 03-4023419-2
Email address : forest_gan@email.com
Guide fee : RM150 per person for the whole trip


Getting There

Johor Bahru to Gua Musang
Train
Duration : approx 9hrs 30min
Cost : RM47 (Sleeper)

4WD from Gua Musang to Orang Asli village

Duration : approx 4hrs

Trekking Log
Time(hrs) Duration(mins) Description Remarks
1405 00 Steep descend from Orang Asli village
1415 10 Logging trail Turn right
1430 15 River crossing followed by gentle ascend on logging trail
1600 90 Y-Junction Turn right into unused logging trail
1740 100 Campsite
Open space along logging trail
Water is collected from potholes along the trail.Sandflies
DAY 2
0900 00 Set off
0925 25 Turn right into vegetation
0940 15 Stream Cross stream
Cross 3 very small stream
1020 40 2 small streams Cross streams
1040 20 Small stream Cross stream
1110 30 2 small streams Cross streams
1125 10 Small stream Cross stream
1130 5 Small stream Cross stream
1210 40 T-Junction Turn left onto unused logging trail
1250 40 Near the end of logging trail Turn left into vegetation
1530 2hrs 40min Small stream Cross stream
1550 20 Stream Cross stream
1700 70 Bamboo bridge over stream to campsite Campsite is made on the spot.Sandflies
DAY 3
0810 00 Set off
0820 10 Small stream Cross stream
0825 5 Small stream Cross stream
0840 15 Small stream Cross stream
1030 1hr 50min [include 20 min rest] Stream Cross stream
1150 1hr 20min Small stream Cross stream
1230 40 Summit
The descend
1300 00 Set off (Down same route)
1630 3hrs 30min Campsite
DAY 4
0730 00 Set off (Down same route)
1630 9hrs Orang Asli Village 4-Wheel Drive waiting

Timings

DAY 1 : 3hrs 35min
DAY 2 : 8hrs
Day 3 : 4hrs 20min to the summit
: 3hrs 25min back to campsite
Day 4 : 9hrs from campsite to Orang Asli village

NB.

For treks that last more than an hour, there is usually a 10 min break.

As a form of goodwill, the guide advises participants to bring some unwanted clothes or a few kg of rice for the Orang Asli. Please do not give them money.

It is possible to hire an Asli porter for about RM100 plus RM30 for food.

Please read Disclaimer, terms and conditions prior to using the data/information on the website.

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