28 May – 1 June 2018: When I passed by this sign board 8 years ago, I thought I would want to do this climb one day… And managed to complete it . I would rate it advanced among the highest mountains in Malaysia.
It was a long flat walk for first 5km, passing by several waterfalls (Paku Waterfall) and did a few times of river crossing. We were careful not to wet our shoes and bags. Passed camp 1, it was up, up, and up! Generally 60 to 70 degrees steep, we hold on to tree roots and focused on where we should step next. We passed by camp 2, it was just a flat area for camping and no mountain hut or facilities. Till 12th km to reach camp 3.
River crossing before reaching Camp 1
Basic accommodation with squat toilet and kitchen, we were quickly settled in with dinner prepared by guide and porter. A girl from another group which was on the way down, fell off the platform of the hut and hurt her back. Her guide was calling the HQ to request for her to be rescued by the choppers the next morning. She was eventually flew out for treatment.
Camp 3: Basic hut that is equipped with kitchen and toilet
Squad toilet at Camp 4
Kitchen facility at Camp 3. You need to bring your own gas which can be purchased at Park HQ.
Day 2: journey through a thousand peaks. It was up and down for literally 1 thousand times (maybe I over exaggerate ) all the way to camp 4 (18.5km). Camp 4 is a bit with a balcony for cooking and a small room that fits about 10 people.
Photo taken at montane forest between Camp 3 and Camp 4
Pretty acorn found among the lush green carpet moss, it feels really soft to the touch!
Accommodation at Camp 4
Kitchen at Camp 4
Day 3: almost 80% vertical climb to the peak for the last 4km. Some areas are only equipped with ropes and no safety harness. You will need to maneuver on your own to find secure spots to step and strong roots to hold on to. We had a clear viewing at the helipad just behind camp 4 when we first started the trek, alas when we arrived at the Gunung Mulu Summit at around 11am, it was covered with midst and it started raining too. The grueling descend only started as we rush back to camp 4 for a quick lunch and then camp 3 for the night. We stomped through the muddy trek in the rain and arrived after dark. I was telling myself after each turn that the hut would be visible, till I gave up counting the number of hills that I had to climb up, then down again. I never felt happier at the sight of a humble mountain hut appearing just passed 7.30pm in the dark.
At Mount Mulu Summit
Vertical climb towards the summit of Mount Mulu
Not much view at the summit due to clouds and rainy weather
Day 4: we started as early as we could . My knees had no chance to rest and I was limping and ouch-ing all the way down to Camp 1. Did i mentioned the leeches? By the way the leeches were there since day 1. The trek was 100% muddy from start till end. It was more comfortable stepping into the mud compare to the roots which was always slippery and uneven. Once out of the jungle and onto civilized paved walkway of Mulu HQ, I put on my Y-Sandal, toss my hiking boots into the bag and started slowly jogging towards the HQ. Anticipating the end of a 4 day torturous yet back-to-basics life experience of this climb, I was so relieved, I sat down at the park cafe and ordered some proper food, a meal which I was missing for the passed 4 days.
Will I do it again? Maybe not, unless I have a good reason to. I would recommend hiring a private porter, only carry one long sleeves and long pants, socks and a light jacket, a light sleeping bag. You wear the same smelly set of trekking clothes every day. Not forgetting that it was raining half the time and you can forget about dry comfortable shoes and be prepared to soak your feet wet for 4 whole days. Green Trekkers Sdn Bhd will come out with a package very soon. Stay tune. Together with us in this trip is Ngu Soon Hui, read his blog here: https://kindlemalaysia.com/learn-conquered-mulu-summit/