Monday, May 4, 2009

Conquering Strata Falls: Part 2

Aurelius called me up on Saturday, telling me about his plans to explore Strata falls area on the following day, he asked if I was interested to join him and Chris for this trip. He is limiting the number this time to 4 heads so that the group could explore the whole trail efficiently. At that time I couldn't find any reason not to go, so I agreed to come along.
We left for Tanjung Malim town at 6.30am to have our breakfast and stock up on food supplies, we had the best fried chicken of our lives and packed half a roast duck up for lunch at the waterfall later.

Do you see a trail?

It's 9.10am, we were at the starting point hiking and chatting to a local there. Chris kept asking about the wildlife that can be found there for some reason while Aurelius asked about the trail to Strata Falls. As usual the native gave us a very vague answer "Terus jalan saja", that means we are better off finding the way on our own.
Eventually we found ourselves on the path heading towards Strata Falls, I cannot be sure if this is the right path or is it the wrong path but the GPS indicates that we were getting closer and closer to our objective.
It didn't take us long to realized that we got to clear the trail to move on, the trail was so overgrown that my machete was out of it's sheath most of the time. at one point we stopped and check the maps and our coordinates and realized that we are actually using an old trail that leads all the way to the top of Strata falls. To me it was fine, we could always find our way down from the top.

A small waterfall at a tributary

Cleaning up on the top of Strata Falls

at 11.50am we finally arrived at the end of the trail, where we found ourselves standing gloriously on the top of Strata Falls, we took a break to check our body for leeches, at that point I already had a few coming that got really close to "Private John". A quick check, some rest and a dozen of photographs later, we moved on to our next destination - the bottom pool.

Strata Falls

It was a long way down from the top, and there isn't any proper trail that leads down. At some point it was really dangerous, the cliff that we were walking on was like maybe 4 or 5 stories high, one slip could send a person down and most likely to end one's life. We had to make our own trail and sometimes follow the wild boars' path. It wasn't easy but I was confident with my partners and myself, still it was important to keep checking on each other as this is a way to boost morale and provide the necessary support to each other.
By 1pm, we arrived at the bottom of the falls, feeling the gusting wind produced by the falling water, awe at the beautiful and majestic Strata Falls.
To attempt this waterfall 3 times failing on the first 2 attempts and finally getting here, It was all worth it.

Last picture as we head back using the new trail

Have A Great Day

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Conquering Strata Falls: Part 1

On 17th May 2008, a group consists of Seng Keong, Aurelius, Josen, Henry, Eu Jin, Linus and I made an attempt on Strata Falls. It is an elusive waterfall that is located near Tanjung Malim, and if you read my post a year ago you will know that I did not make it up to the falls and I had an accident which caused me to faint, reason why I didn't continue on to the falls while most of the group was because a friend of mine was too tired to move on, I didn't want to leave him there on his own. If you've actually experienced being left alone in the wild before you'll understand what I mean, that feeling of being left absolutely sucks.

We left from our meeting point at almost 7am, and had our breakfast at Tanjung Malim, not far away from our starting point. We arrive at our starting point at 9am, took us a while to prepare and start trekking. Aurelius was our Navigator this trip, he already put on the effort to understand the map and hook up the coordinates on his GPS for this trip. Aurelius had me in as Group Lead and Scout, giving me the duty of finding possible trail when none can be found and to make sure the group is motivated and sticks together. Ah Ping was our Trail Sweeper who makes sure no one is left behind and Aaron was our group photographer, one who is responsible for snapping the nice pictures.

We hiked on in the oil palm estate, till we reach the open field where we made on crucial mistake, we took the wrong trail that leads us to a river where we started water trekking too soon. We spent 1 and a half hours trekking in the water, sometimes got out to dry land seeking for possible trail; we were indeed getting nearer to Strata Falls however our progress was very slow.

Aurelius and I think that it’ll be wise to head back as it will be too late and too risky to continue on to the falls, so we decided to stop where we were and enjoy the water right there. It wasn’t a tough choice to make at that point; we had too many people at the time and bringing everyone up will consume time and energy, even if we could make it up there I’m sure it’ll be really late when we get back, it was not worth risking it since most of us do not carry a flash light.

As we head back, the voice in my head keeps on nagging to me, telling me that I had to come back again and finish this off once and for all.

Have A Great Day,