Monday, February 6, 2017

Hike this: Pine Tree & Twin Peak

Date: 04 February 2017
Place: Fraser Hill, Pahang
Mount: Pine Tree & Twin Peak
Heights: Pine Tree (1448 meters), Twin Peak (1505 meters)
Facts: "Pine Tree Hill is a 1,500 meter high mountain that sits in Bukit Fraser. The trail head can be accessed near the end of the High Pines road, just before the bungalow after Seri Intan. The trail is about 5.5 km long, and it remains the most challenging and toughest trekking path in Fraser's Hill. The name is inspired by the coniferous plants that used to dot the peak. Of special note were five endemic conifer species of dacrydiums, which have all but disappeared from the peak today.The trail winds up and down across several tops and ridges before hitting the peak. The view from the peak is a panoramic vista of the surrounding landscape of forests and mountains on clear days. -- excerpt from Fraser Hill info website

I have never been to Fraser Hill before, so I was a bit excited to spend my whole weekend here. The hiking trip to Pine Tree and Twin Peak was planned almost three or four months ago. The original group was only twenty people, in the end it ended up with about forty people in our group. I was a bit skeptical at first with the huge number in a group but I am willing to give the organiser the benefit of a doubt because they are the expert and they know what to do. 

I have to physically and mentally prepared myself for the trip because I know what I can do and what I cannot do. I do a lot of research and do a bit of planning and preparation before the big day.

What I was not prepared for was the travel to Fraser Hill it self. I never ever thought that the road to the hill is going to be that challenging. I was so thankful that I did not vomit or light headed in the car.

We assembled at Masjid Bukit Frasier around 7:30 am. To gather forty people in one place was not an easy task. We arrived at Pine Tree Hill Trail around 8:30 am and we do have to wait for everybody to arrive at the starting point. In the end we started the journey around 9:00 am with lots of excitement and anticipation. From what I have heard and learned Pine Tree is one of the longest trail here.

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak
In front of the Pine Tree trail starting point. 

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak
The four of us - me, my husband, my brother and his wife. We planed to start the journey together and end together.

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak
With the ladies of NRE Hiker

Pine Tree and Twin Peak
The whole NRE Hikers gang

Pine Tree and Twin Peak
We arrived at the peak of Pine Tree around 12:30 pm. We stop for lunch at Pine Tree. I can't believe how hungry I was after about 4 hours of hiking. 

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak
The most thrilling part of this trail was climbing this steep hill especially for the one with acrophobia like me.

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak
Next peak is Twin Peak - about 40 minutes walk from Pine Tree. We have to walk in the rain. It was almost 2:30 pm. The trail to Twin Peak can be consider challenging for me especially when it was raining heavily. 

Pine Tree and Twin Peak Pine Tree and Twin Peak

After spending a few minutes at the Twin Peak , we heading back to Pine Tree Peak again. Oh boy! I fell down a few times because the trail is getting slippery. 

Pine Tree and Twin Peak
After taking a few minutes rest at the base camp site, we went up to Pine Tree peak to take a few more photos after the rain. Around 4 pm we decided to head down the trail to hike back to the starting point. I was so nervous to face this challenge again. The experience of climbing down for a person who is afraid of heights is not an easy thing to conquered. I decided to be among the first to go down while some of us were busy cleaning up ( so I thought ). 

Pine Tree and Twin Peak

Pine Tree and Twin Peak
Alhamdulillah I was able to mange my fear of heights with the help of my husband while climbing down even though I was so scared. I just have to make sure I did not feel like I am on higher ground.
Pine Tree and Twin Peak
The hike back to the starting point was more challenging then ever because it was raining the whole time. I was physically and mentally drained. I kept telling myself that I can do this. I kept walking and stopping when I was out of breath. Luckily I was not separated from my mini group (about 9 of us) on the way back. 

Alhamdulillah we did not face any hard challenges on the way back. Nobody was injured and nobody was mentally drained. I did get to experience walking at night in the forest. The feeling and experience was totally different. Luckily we have head lamps to help with our vision. We safely arrived at the starting point around 7:41pm. I have never felt so glad and happy to see a regular road! No more roots, muds, logs, leaves, trees.

 Pine Tree and Twin Peak
And this is what happened to my beautiful shoes at the end of the trail


Little did I know that the rest of hikers in our group has been divided into many small groups and the last group to leave the Pine Tree Peak between 5:00 - 6:00 pm. And some of the team member arrived at the starting point around 2:30am. ( That is totally a different story and experience all together)

My thoughts and advice
- Never ever attempt this trail if you have a bad knee, never hike any mountain before and have problem to carry your own weight.
- You have to prepare yourself physically like running for 30 minutes, do lots of lunges and squats to strengthen your legs.
- Wear hiking shoes is a must
- You really have to know how to get your heart rate back to normal when it gets too high. I am the kind of person who is moving way too fast especially when climbing and my heart rates gets higher faster. So it's a good idea to have a tracker to monitor my heart rate so that you can slow down and recover. Breathing oxygen is very important to prevent light headed and dizziness
- Since this trail is the longest trail here, it's a good idea to bring your own water, snacks, dates and any edible stuffs to keep your energy up. Filling up your body with calories is very important since you lost a lot of calories from walking and climbing
- Always walked in a group, never alone
- Have a basic hiking kit with you especially first aid kit, knife, head lamp, whistle, salt
- One day before the big day, rest and do lots of stretching. This really helps your recovery time. By the second day I can run, dance and do Plyo Fix Extreme without any problem.

I burned about 4,609 calories, 536 minutes of exercise, 16 hours 5 min active minutes, 30,378steps and 16.42km distance.
I am not sure if I will ever repeat this trail again but definitely not in a near future. One thing I notice was there's no pine tree .... hemmmm....

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