Missed out on a guided trek of this trail some weeks back and a friend who has been voluntered to lead.
Started from Kuala Lumpur at 7.00 am after breakfast. The road to Fraser's Hill in itself an attraction, especially the stretch after the town of Kuala Kubu Bharu - it winds round a big lake created by the new (well, fairly new) dam. There are picnic spots and a visitor's center too to soak in the lake and the dam.
Coming back to the Pine Tree trail. The trail starts just before the High Pines and Admiralty Bungalows. There is limited space to park your car but you will find one. There is a signboard at the start of the trail telling you about the trail and how it came about.
We are fairly fit and have been doing quite a bit of walking and yet, this trail was pleasently challenging for a day trip. You start by walking through fairly falt terrain, then it goes downwards (at this point, you start to imagine what you have to do to get back!), then up, then down again, then up...and it goes on.
Unlike other hill treks where you do the uphill and return doing the downhill most of the way, this trail goes up and down and this is one of the attractions. We saw the signboard which gives an indication that Pine Tree Hill is about 5,000 feet. We took a reading just before we started to see how high up we already were, but don't be fooled because the trail goes up and down.
Be prepared to walk non stop for 7-8 hours for a round trip. Leecehes, there are plenty but we took the correct precautions and none of us got bitten this time. Got to have a good knee as you will need squat-walk through some fallen trees, etc.
There are plenty of birds and lovely vegetation unlike that of the lowland forests.
Things to look out for: A stone marker which marks the boundary between Pahang and Selangor; Little stone markers with the words "PAH" on one side and "SEL" on the other side, presumably indicating which side belongs to Selangor/Pahang; lovely flowers; There is this tree where the moss covered earth around it has been pushed up by another tree, creating a little 'cave'; try finding the lone pine tree which is supposed to be the top of the hill; etc.
After about 3 hours of walking, you will reach a clearing with some rattan huts where you can rest. From around here, you can hear the sound of the water source nearby. After another hour (give and take) you will reach the bottom of the final climb - an almost 75% incline. There are fixed ropes here and there and you will have to hold on to tree roots, rocks and the rope interchangeably to get up to the top. This again is yet another feature which adds variety to this trek/climb.
The top is marked with a stone which is on a boulder/clearing. I wouldn't say the view is fantastic (but good enough) but you will see surrounding hills, endless hills. But then again, it is not solely the view you'd come here for.
we stayed at the top for about 20 minutes (quick lunch) and down we came because of the looming dark clouds.
Bring: at least 2-3 litres of water; energy food; good footwear - don't even think that you can wear those open trek sandals - chances are you will whack your toes against hidden jagged branches, etc; trekking poles to ease the strain on your knees going downhill - but it is also quite cumbersome especially with thick vegetation; camera.
Remember: to time your trek because it gets dark in there faster than you think; and because you will have to time your return trip down from Fraser's Hill i.e. the gate at the top opens to downhill traffic at 4pm, 6 pm and 8 pm for 40 minutes at a time.
Final analysis: there is a bit of everything in this trail. Never monotonous (unless of course you are dead tired and dying to get back)
This is a must walk place for those who are active and seek to get a feel of what the forest is like but at the same time want cool weather.
I'd do it again.
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