Climbing Mount Ophir (Gunung Ledang)

Many years ago I went with a group of friends to Mount Ophir aka Gunung Ledang in Malaysia. We registered at the ranger post in the morning and hired a guide. The guide served as porter too. I was carrying a backpack that contained the camping equipment so it was rather heavy. I was the last in the group, moving very slowly. The guide, on the other hand, was moving very swiftly, going to the front to show the way and going to the back to ensure the people in the group were not lost. He did not seem as tired as I was, and I could only wonder how he managed to do that. I was glad when we reached the campsite as I could finally get the load off my back. We pitched tents at the campsite, left the stuff there, and proceeded to the summit carrying only food and water. We reached the summit in the afternoon (around 6.5 hours since we started). It was not a really breathtaking view but it was still a beautiful sight to behold. We then returned to the campsite to rest. It was so windy that night that I was worried the tents might be blown away. Then we made our way down the following day, with my body aching due to the climb and sleeping on the hard ground.

The whole journey was not easy. For most parts of it, it was uneven and steps were formed using the roots of the trees. For some parts, the slope was so steep that it was nearly vertical and I had to use my hands to grab the roots or branches or whatever I could grab (with the backpack weighing on my back for the first part of the climb). There were many times I thought of giving up. My friend was nice enough to slow down his pace to wait for me. But upon seeing my drained condition, he suggested that I return to the campsite to rest and wait for the group to return. I looked at the surroundings. I was in the middle of a forest. If I turned back to the campsite alone, I might get lost and that would be a terrible situation. I rejected his suggestion and soldiered on. I was glad when I eventually made it to the summit.

#malaysia #mountophir #gunungledang #mountainclimbing

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