Took a 4 hour drive up to Tangkak in Johor yesterday for a day hike up Mt Ophir. At 1276m (4186ft), we thought it to be a challenge sure, but nothing impossible. We had, after all, taken Roys Peak at 1578m (5177ft). Boy did we underestimate this fella. Ranked as Malaysia's 6th hardest climb, it got our heart rates soaring, legs burning and lungs gasping for air at midway, before meeting the notorious KFC section. "Ah dis one bukan kentucky fried chicken eh," our guide quipped. "Ini Killing Fitness Centre." And it almost did me in. 1-2 hours of non stop, steep, rocky terrain got us clambering on all fours and at the end my legs gave up. Both quads cramped up and refused to dissipate. It hurt, and at that point I realised my 3l water bag was down to 500ml. The heat was getting to me and I hadn't paced my hydration. Grace emptied her 1l bottle too and was down to her 600l nalgene.
Our guide graciously offered his soft drink, to get some sugar in me, massaged my legs and strapped my leg up. Fucking lifesaver. 2 other guys on the trail had leg issues too and we were nowhere near the top. They decided to quit. I (with false bravado) decided to limp on. No, not limp, duck walk maybe, because both legs continued to seize up every 5 minutes.
We hit the summit after a laborious push and thought the ordeal over, only to realise the descent was quite possibly the worst I'd experienced. Down climbing, slipping, sliding, tumbling down another 4 hours. My right knee locked up, and I began to get dizzy. Dehydration. Thankfully, we hit a water point with filtered stream water. Cold, refreshing, revitalising. We roughed it out towards the end. Silent, just biting down and roughing it out.
Total time taken, 10 hours - hitting base just before sunset. There were others still up on the mountain. Possibly had to be pulled out by rescue vehicle.
Bruised, but not beaten. We were thankful for the opportunity to see through another adventure together. No, we didn't conquer the mountain. We conquered ourselves. That, and Ophir herself had graciously allowed us to pass relatively unscathed. Peace out Gunung Ledang. Onward to Kinabalu next month.