- 2 Months prior of weekly meetings to distribute roles and updates. 1-2 hours of meeting each time.
- Every Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays are physical training sessions for 2 hours.
- Once a month, to purchase logistics needed for trek. Takes up about half a day.
- 19th September – 23rd September
- 3 Days 2 Nights trek up Mount Stong.
- 2 Days of travelling 10 hours bus ride to and fro.
- First day trek up to base camp took 4 hours.
- Second day trek up to summit took 8 hours back and forth in total.
- Third day trek was descending Mount Stong, taking up 4 hours.
- Cleaning, washing and packing up of logistics took about 2 hours.
- Debrief and conclusion took 1 hour.
For physical recreation, I trekked up Mount Stong. Mount Stong or Gunong Stong stands at 1.442M above sea level and is located at Dabong, Kelantan, Malaysia. My team and I had meetings and we would discussed and planned months prior to the trek. There were 3 phases to the trek, Preparatory, Trek Process and Post Trek. The preparatory phase, was honestly the most challenging and toughest one among the 3. The whole preparatory phase took about 2 months.
There were many factors to consider if we are going to trek up a mountain as a team. Roles and responsibility were given out to individuals and they are safety, administrative procedures, logistics, meals and trainings. We had logistic days where we searched, researched, bought and packed logistics. Administrative and meals comes hand in hand. We researched on evacuation routes and plans, checked first aid logistics and available first aiders. We also researched on meals, what was appropriate and suitable for a 3 days trek, also it should be sustainable and on how to store or keep it. Trainings was in place as majority of us have not exercised in a long while and getting our body ready for the trek was very crucial to avoid any injuries and also to be able to make the trek process smoother. We have allocated days for trainings and our training consists of circuit training, trekking at various locations with backpack and jogging. It was a very good opportunity to keep fit and train ourselves.
During the trek itself, on the first day, we took a 10 hours ride on a chartered bus to Mount Stong. We did our final packing and soon headed for the mountain. The start of the trek was a little bit scary as there were multiple howlings heard and it was very loud. Our guide, Odie, told us that it was from the gibbons up high on the trees but they rarely come down as they are afraid of humans. Not long, we saw the long awaited waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful. It took us about 3 hours to reach the base camp, also known as Kem Baha. We quickly pitch up our tents and prepared for our dinner as it was getting dark and it would be difficult to get around especially if we had to get water from the water source. We ended the day with a meaningful feedback and debriefing session and soon slept in our A-frame tents.
Day two, we trekked up to the summit, but it was a much better and easier trek up is because we trekked without our big backpack, just only with a daypack. There were much more jokes and laughters throughout. The trek was really awesome, calm and peaceful, away from the buzzing city and advanced technology, really brings one back to basics and just being surrounded by nature itself. We took a group photo at the summit and rested awhile before making our way back down. We played in the waterfall as well before moving on to prepare our meal. We also had a really good debrief among the team before we slept.
On the last day, we woke up early for breakfast and started packing up all our logistics to get ready to descend the mountain. I was feeling kind of sad yet happy. Sad is because the whole trek is about to be over and in a blink of an eye, we came to Mount Stong, and we are leaving already. Happy because yes, we finally did it, we completed the trek successfully with everyone being safe and inspired. The trip back allowed me to reflect on the trek and I personally felt very enriched and it is as though my mind opened up to new perspectives. I also felt a greater sense of meaning to life. All in all, I am thankful that together with the rest of the NYAA Gold participants, although before and during the trek, many of us were fighting our drained out physical body and mentality, we still decided to pushed on positively and view circumstances in such constructive manner.