Gunung GAP & Ulu Semangkuk at Fraser's Hill

Updated: Sep 14

Fraser's hill, there are just so many hiking options here, you'll be spoilt for choice! So why not try to win them all and bag 3 peaks in one hike!! Gunung GAP, Gunung Trunam (false peak) and Gunung Ulu Semangkuk are about 2.5km apart on the Semangkuk mountain chain and you can bag them all in 4 hours return!


Gunung Ulu Semankuk 1394m

Starting point: If you are coming from KL, it is after the Chiling waterfalls area, parking on the right, & if you are coming from Fraser's it is about 15m away from the abandon GAP resthouse. The start elevation is about 860m.

Hike Duration: Allow around 3-4 hours from the entrance of the jungle, approximately 4km in and out, 1km to Gunung GAP peak 1183m, 1km to Gunung Ulu Semangkuk peak from Gap 1389m.

End Hike: It is a backtrack.

Hike Difficulty: 2/5

This would be good training for hiking newbies!

Scenery Rewards: 4/5 Sweeping views of the Titiwangsa Range


Note: Ulu Semangkok is NOT the same mountain as Semangkok. Semangkok is a much more demanding and arduous climb!


What to bring

1. Basic first aid utilities

2. Walking stick not really necessary as the ground is rather hollow

3. Raincoat and Pancho ( you will be able to find them at any convenience store or Daiso shops for about RM6.00)

4. Torch if you are starting early in the morning

5. At least 2l of water, pack lunch, snack

6. Change of clothes, especially if you want to refresh yourself by the waterfalls at the end of the hike.

7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary

8. Gloves as you will be pulling and grabbing on to roots!

9. Check the weather forecast

10. The weather can range between 18-22 degrees Celcius, bring a warm jacket in case it gets windy!


Start hike


The GAP trail adventure starts at the very beginning. The first hour heading to the GAP peak is basically a steep ascend. It traverses over 30-40 degree angle muddy trails in the bamboo forest and slowly progressing to root trails and more root trails and finally, straight up to the peak of Gunung Gap at 1183m.

Along the trail, you will be able to see border marker stones demarcating the boundary between Selangor and Pahang.

Start hike to Gunung Gap

A challenging beginning right at the start!
Fallen Bamboo and rather muddy trail at the beginning! Can get slippery when rain!

Trail is full of roots! Watch that your shoe don't get caught!

Approximately after 45-60 minutes and you will arrive at the vantage point of Gunung GAP!


Gunung Gap 1183m


The challenges of hiking peaks above 1000m are always the blankets of clouds and mist, passing drizzle, rain that changes ever so often. As we were hiking up Gunung Gap a thick mist shrouded the views of the surrounding mountains. However, we were lucky on the way down when it cleared up to reveal this magnificent view!

Gunung Gap 1183, only 1 km from start

There were some parts of this hike when the sun peered through the mist was truly enchanting!




Gunung Ulu Semangkuk 1394m


From GAP peak, head downhill and up again towards Ulu Tranum. The trail eases along the ridge as you approach the false peak of Gunung Ulu Semangkuk.


False Peak Gunung Ulu Tranum 1308m, 1.5km from Gunung Gap


From Ulu Tranum to Ulu Semangkuk


The 500m meter climb to Ulu Semangkuk is rather arduous. It ascends all the way for the next 20 minutes. Just at the very end, there is a steep slope down and an immediate sharp ascend again just to test your endurance before that sweet victory!

That final ascend will lead you to the breathtaking views of the Titiwangsa range...if it is not shrouded in mist!


Gunung Ulu Semangkuk 1394m


Picnic Area

Mossy Forest


At the left side of the lighting shelter, some steps down will lead you to this mini enchanting mossy forest. The one here is a smaller version compared to the one you'll find at Twin Peaks however, it is very intense! The area although small is a spongy maze full of moss and over-hangs. There are 10,000 species of moss worldwide. They do not have flowers or seeds. They produce spore capsules which are borne aloft on thin stalks. The many spider webs around the area also add to the drama!

It exudes an out of the world experience-like you have landed on fairy mossy land!


Note: Mossy Forest is where the trees are stunted and seldom exceed 20m in height and moss dominates and blankets trees and dead logs along the path





Habitats

We stumbled upon a strange parasite plant all along the tracks. Balanophora is a flowering plant that parasitizes the roots of trees.

Parasite Plant that feeds off the roots of trees

Parasite Plant





Reflections


Half the adventure hiking is on the journey to the trailhead itself. If you are travelling from Kuala Lumpur up to Fraser's Hill you will need to cover winding and steep, narrow and sharp corners through vergin jungle up to the mountain! Most part, you a flanked by tall and mighty trees that are susceptible to erosion due to the wet and rainy climate.

The road up to Fraser's Hill is indeed a landslide-prone area!

We were unlucky this time and had to almost call off the hike due to a fallen tree that blocked the road completely.


Fallen Tree towards Bukit Fraser's

Wrong Vehicle

The fire Bridget was quick to come only with the wrong vehicle. Thankfully the fallen tree did not crush anyone or any cars with it!

What we thought was an impossible task in the beginning, quickly turned around with the cohesion of brut power and some well equip truck drivers with axes and machetes. We had some ironman and even a little boy help with this mammoth task. We did not receive any assistance from the road authorities whatsoever. The power of people, when combined, can indeed move mountains.

This hike, with ascend and descend approx 7km can be a challenging one for novice hikers and good training for seasoned hikers who want to take on bigger mountains.

If you are unfamiliar with the trail it is always advisable to join a group and especially when a hiking permit is required, spares the hustle and bustle!


My Back 2 Nature organized this hike with their ever caring guides and sweeper Raymond, Kirby, Calvin, Supra and Teck Yuen to make sure "LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND"!!


GAP PEAK with My Back to Nature


We had a well earned early dinner at Kuala Kubu Bharu town at a classic Kopi-Tiam shop that serves scrumptious authentic home-cooked food!

Wong Ng Kee Chicken Chop







Date visited: 23rd August 2020








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