Trek good for young and old
THE ‘End of the World to the Beginning of the World’ trek can be done by a person who is 17 or 75.
These were the ages of the youngest and oldest participants of a group of about 70 people who recently made the two-day trek to raise funds for the Penang Adventist Hospital’s (PAH) Gift of Life project.
The group comprised members of the Hashwalk Kuala Lumpur, Damansara Hash House Harriers (HHH) and The Association of Backpackers Malaysia. The event was co-ordinated by retired Royal Malaysian Airforce Brigadier-General Datuk Soon Lian Cheng.
Soon says the Taman Rimba to Penang Hill portion of the trek could be undertaken by “anyone who is not sick or injured.”
His advice is to “trek at your own pace - do not race”.
“Be mentally prepared. Rest now and then or when necessary. Carry sufficient water as there are no water points before reaching Penang Hill,” he says.
He cautions that the second day’s trail would require some preparation as it is more challenging and not as well marked.
Soon says when he first started mapping the route a few years ago, the trails from Taman Rimba to Penang Hill were not well marked.
“The Forestry Department staff at Taman Rimba were new and had yet to explore the trails at that point. I was assisted by the Penang Water Supply Corporation as it had charts marking the locations of their rain gauges in Penang.
“These were really helpful in helping me chart the route at the initial stages,” he says.
The first day of the trek, which the participants dubbed ‘Trek from Dam to Dam’ as it started at Taman Rimba near the Teluk Bahang Dam and ended at the Air Itam Dam, took about 10 hours to complete over a 17km distance.
The trek on the second day was divided into three sections - from Air Itam Dam to Bayee Pass (the Jalan Tun Sardon hilltop viewpoint rest area), from the Bayee Pass to the Bukit Genting hill, and from Bukit Genting to Gertak Sanggul.
The participants, including those from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Iraq, United States and Canada, took about 10 hours to cover the distance of about 24km on the second day.
Soon says the participants “enjoyed the trail very much and are already asking me to organise it again next year.”
Penang HHH (Chapter 4) committee member B.C. Lim, who was also a participant, says the most challenging part of the trail is from Teluk Bahang to Bukit Laksamana because of the altitude scale.
He says the route is very good and has the potential to become a popular tourism product if well promoted.