Mount Nuang (Gunung Nuang) – Hiking Adventure #5

Every hiking experience is different and each tells a unique story. This time, it is no ordinary hike. To train prior to our Mount Kinabalu hike, our next hiking destination was Mount Nuang. Mount Nuang is one of Selangor’s highest mountains with the height of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). Its peak marks the meeting point of three Malaysian states; Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Selangor. The mountain itself is the highest point in Selangor and part of the Titiwangsa Mountains. It is a good training place for trekkers and also one of the difficult mountains to trek.

We woke up early and had a hearty breakfast of massala thosai at Estana Curry House just next to our condo. We left our place at about 7 a.m. and reached the base of Mount Nuang at 7.45 a.m. To get there just follow the sign to Cheras and exit at Hulu Langat and head towards Pangsun. The drive to the base of the mountain is very lovely – the sights of small huts for picnickers scattered along the beautiful stream.

Once you reach the base, you need to register yourself at the ranger’s office before you can embark on this hike. It cost RM1 per person.

At the base of the mountain – looking for sticks to hike

We started our hike at 8.15 a.m. and reached Lolo campsite at 10 a.m. ,where we relaxed by the waterfall for a minute or two. We proceeded to the second camp and reached Pacat camp at about 11.45 a.m. Pacat camp is situated at an altitude of 1,067 meters (3,500 ft). We took an hour of lunch break there – sat back, relaxed and breathed in the fresh mountain air around us and the mist that floated by – absolutely amazing – and we were accompanied by honey bees!

Pacat campsite

Normally, people will camp near Lolo or Pacat campsite before proceeding to the summit. Since we were not planning to camp overnight, we decided to use the remaining bits of our energy to descend to the base. We started our descend from Pacat camp at about 12.45 p.m. and reached the base of the mountain at about 3.45 p.m. (approx. 3 hours to descend from Pacat camp to the base). All in all, it took us less than 7 hours to hike from the base to Pacat camp and return.

Details of the hike:
The journey up the mountain can be described as going through 2 phases of hiking:
First leg: A long walk of about 5 km (with a gentle upward gradient) to Lolo campsite and waterfall.
Second leg: Walking up a continuous and fairly steep slope for about 2.5 km heading towards Pacat camp. The trail becomes increasingly more arduous from this point onwards. Pacat camp is situated at 1,067 meters (3,500 ft).

Ascending to Pacat camp

1st part of the hike:

It was no easy stroll in the jungle. The hike was about a 70-80% uphill and about 20- 30% downhill hike from the beginning. It led from a yellow dust road used by trucks and motorcycles to move up and down the mountain to gather forest fruits such as durians and banana trees.

We were flanked by pine forest along both sides of the trails at the beginning of our walk. The start of the trail is termed as the ‘Never Ending Road’. I didn’t feel the distance that much when we started our uphill journey – I was gung-ho and enthusiastic to reach Pacat camp as quick as we could. It was the return journey that was excruciating – the walk back seemed never-ending. The boring walk was actually an unmaintained and badly damaged road that stretched for 5 kms – it’s a gravel+mud road with a gentle upward gradient.

The Never-Ending trail

Leaving the pine trees at the lower level, the track soon returns to lush tropical jungle interspersed with beautiful wild bamboo groves – absolutely gorgeous. At the end of the ‘Never Ending Road’, we were so elated to come across a stream – it was therapeutic just to hear the flow of water gushing down the stream. We had to cross the stream (I purposely got my shoes wet so that I could feel the refreshing cold water – and boy, it was fun!) and head towards Lolo campsite.

Crossing the first stream

2nd part of the hike:
With each step, the trail gets harder. Here, the trees and scrubs get thicker and denser, and the trail is narrower. It gets rather tough when you are about to reach the Lolo campsite – dealing with moderate to high steepness in some areas. For most parts though, the trail is surrounded by thick jungle; and on the way to the Lolo campsite, you will also need to cross several streams. Be on the lookout for leeches! We were lucky not to have any of the thirsty bloodsuckers on us.

Crossing the second stream heading towards Lolo camp

When you reach Lolo campsite, you will come across a waterfall. It is a nice respite after a muddy walk. (Some of the streams that we had to cross had strong currents – it must be because of rainfall the day before – we had to be careful as not to fall while stepping on the slippery rocks as we crossed the stream). We reached Lolo campsite at about 10 a.m.

At the waterfall near Lolo camp (this is a bigger waterfall stream which we had to cross)

The trail from Lolo to Pacat camp increases in difficulty and gets more “vertically challenging”. Using a hiking stick may help, but it all depends on the weather too. Since it rained the day before, the path was muddy and slippery – which made it more challenging. I actually fell and slid down when we were descending – it was darn slippery and muddy. And there were many big fallen trees during the journey that we had to climb over and underneath. It is indeed a total body workout – and it is excitingly adventurous!

The trail towards Pacat camp
At Pacat camp – finally

Overall experience:

Overall, this would be a challenging hike for beginners. For us, it was one fantastic climb albeit being a challenging one. We enjoyed the refreshing break at the waterfall, the river crossing, and the weaving through the “obstacle course” of fallen trees and muddy terrain, while being entertained by the sound of baboons ‘performing’ a ‘concert’ of some sorts and colorful butterflies greeting us along the hike and the sound of the buzzing bees. Such is the vibrant ecosystem that stretches throughout the trek that exposes Mother Nature at her most natural form.

That is the reason I fell in love with hiking – it is so therapeutic to just take one step at at time persevering and maintaining focus and at the same time taking in the beauty of nature. It also challenges my endurance level – both physically and mentally. And it feels good to be completely drenched in sweat. The best part is the descending – and finally getting into the car, feeling overwhelmed with satisfaction – the feeling is priceless – termed as the hiker’s ‘high’. And the next couple of days, the aches here and there serves as a sweet reminder of the adventure we had.

Mount Nuang – this is “that” climb around KL for city folks to experience endurances and gauge their readiness for Mount Kinabalu hike.
Length of hike – about 9km
Level of Difficulty – 5th toughest mountain to climb in West Malaysia

Contact
Pejabat Hutan Daerah Selangor Tengah,
Pangsoon, ulu Langat
43200 Cheras,
Selangor, Malaysia

Phone no.: 03-90752885

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2 Responses to Mount Nuang (Gunung Nuang) – Hiking Adventure #5

  1. Small Hiker says:

    glad to read that you enjoy your experience of climbing Mount Nuang. Not everyone can say the same thing about this mountain. And good luck to your Mount K.

  2. Shubana says:

    geets, i will be scaling Mount KK soon. Thanks for the tips!

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