Final Prep: Maxwell Hill Hike

In an attempt to squeeze in one final training before the Big K hike, the bunch planned to hike up Maxwell Hill.

This hike is supposed to simulate our hike from the foot of Mount Kinabalu to the first stop for the night at Laban Rata. Anyway I did some calculations and something seems to be wrong!

Foot of hill = 609m
Tea Garden = 656m
Bukit Larut (Maxwell) Rest House = 1,034m
Gunung Hijau (Speedy) Rest House = 1,113m
Telekom Station = 1,250m
Gunung Hijau Peak = 1,449m

From the foot of the hill of Maxwell to the top (Telekom station) is 641m whereas for Mount K, at the Timpohon Gate (1866m) to Laban Rata (3270m) is 1,404m! To make matters worse, we are hiking from the Mersilau route which will is about 2km further than the distance from Timpohon.


Note that figures are in height, not distance. Geez. Either the figures are wrong or erm, we will have a pretty rude shock on Kinabalu.

Made my way up to Penang from KL purposely for this hike (and also to collect some last minute additions for the trip). By the time I was ready for bed the night before, it was already 2am. My phone alarm buzzed at 5:15am the er, same day and I crawled out of bed, did my business and changed. Met up with the other kakis around 6:15am at Subaidah for breakfast.

Fuel of the day: roti kosong; telur separuh masak x2; washed down with a cup of kopi O kurang manis :p

The drive towards Taiping took us about an hour I think with TY being disciplined behind the wheels at 110-120 kmph. I had my backpack stuffed with 4x600ml water bottles, a clean pair of shirt, some snacks and my Powerpuff Bubbles towel. Oh ya, before leaving Penang I also tabao-ed a char siew pau and tau sa pau :D

Three cars from Penang with TY at the forefront; Ruo-Wen, YingQi and I; Evan's: Elaine, Soon Jiun; Zi Xiang's: Chin Teng, Min Fey & Pei En. Rendezvous at the foot of Maxwell with Mun Pung and beau, Shun Yuan. Lucky number for a hike.

This crazy fler actually carried up a 5 litre water bottle in a marketing shopping bag rofl.... Kiasu habis air this one.

Not to left out of the kiasu list are also Evan who dashed to the front of the group (and other groups) followed closely by K#2 Soon Jiun and his extra stick.

More proof.

The hike, I would describe as moderately in toughness. Roads are accessible as they are tarred and used by land rovers transporting visitors and baggage up and down the hill. There are also occasional optional jungle trails you can choose to hike from. These are steeper and feels more fun because you get to do actual hiking rather than the tame tar roads for sissies :p

One of the jungle trails we took. Use whatever roots within hand's reach to drag our asses up.

Oh, one more thing I love about hiking on Maxwell is the cool weather you enjoy on your way up. A light breeze gets the sweat evaporated, but still feels sticky nonetheless -_-

4 minute break after an hour hike. I think I am slightly worried hiking with this group is that some can go really fast, and some really slow. For sure our group will be split into God knows how many sub sections. I've been getting advice from other regular hikers up Mount K and they all say the same thing, take your time up and enjoy the view, don't let the guide rush you up, slowly hike up to avoid AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness), etc. I am sure as hell to take my time to Laban Rata, since we are taking the more scenic route.

Evan trying to pole dance around SJ with SJ being annoyed and avoiding him.

Brings a whole new meaning to the 'green' toilet.

Unless I am very much mistaken, this is where the Tea Garden is. Though everything here still seems to be under construction and nothing interesting to photograph.

A refreshing fall around a bend.

I think at this point we were close (or already at) the Bukit Larut rest house. This is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes from the time we started at the foot where we were greeted by an abrupt change of plant life.

Syok, green everywhere. Wish I could bring a huge chunk back and let these grow beside my workstation.

Finally we take a break! My stomach was already growling at this point (although I already fed the stomach with a bar of Snickers).

The quaint little cafe where we topped up our water bottles.

Some serious male bonding. Recharged with half a char siew pau and another half of tau sa pau. Nothing better than greasy pork to lift up my energy bar after the looooong hike. And we still have some way more to go before we reach the Telekom station.

At this point Min Fey chucked his 5 litre water bottle after we distribute the contents amongst us. Lol.

We spent quite a while here, I think more than half an hour. Cleared our bladders and waited on the others to catch up (not-so-subtle hint that we were fast and leading).

Some great old memories that this building brings!




Speedy! Half visible and hidden in mist as usual... A few of us - Evan, Kenneth, Lye Siong, TY and I spent a night up here back in 2006. I still have the photos and might blog about it. lol.

Ok, had a look at the photos and I look darn funny hahahahha must blog about it. See la if I rajin.

Some renovations works are being done on the bungalow apparently for a horror documentary filming by Astro. They booked Speedy for 2 whole months!

Trudging on...... 3 hours 45 minutes since the foot of the hill, we finally reach the Telekom station.

The view ain't that great here because everything else is shrouded in mist. So I present this disturbing photo instead.

Signboards also loose and falling off d.

Hmm... 3 hours 45 minutes including the long stop at the Maxwell Rest House. Average hiking time from Timpohon to Laban Rata is 7 hours. If the calculations and figures on top of this post is correct, then we will make average time from Mersilau to LR.

My Timberland's third hike. Still impressed by them as usual... worth every ringgit I spent on it (albeit at half price...)

Recharged again with some granola bars and Snickers.

Mun Pung and I were telling each other how heavenly it would be to have brought up a packet of nasi lemak that we can enjoy up here lol.

On any hike, reaching the summit is just a job half way complete, then there's the journey towards the pull of gravity.

The mist is gone: clear shot of Speedy.

Looks like a good setting for a horror movie. A bunch of hormone-filled teenagers on a road trip rendezvous. Anyways Astro (or whoever lah) have repainted the building. It used to be a bluish-green hue.

My wish turned reality: Sambal nasi lemak mmm... The rest house sells them, and they are not really expensive too! Normally any shops at this height would escalate even the simplest goods sky-high.

Sambal was just spicy enough. Had all the condiments I love. Sambal ikan bilis, peanuts, hard-boiled egg and a couple slices of cucumber.

Finally, a photo of the guys herping; and Evan's disappointed look when one of his cicaks ran off!

With all these hikes I sure hope as hell that I can make it all the way up Mount Kinabalu. Was supposed to go on a final hike up Apek San today but my sore throat from yesterday evolved into cough and flu today :(

Next post: the sumptuous meal we had after the hike :p

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