Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hiking Trip to Ranting Waterfall

Date : 26th July ( Monday ) , 8.30am
Venue : Indian Temple near Taiping Treatment Plant ( Meeting Point: Dewan Perbandaran Taiping )
Entry Fee : Free for Taiping Heritage Run participantsDrinking Water will be provided .Guide will be provided.

Thank You for your participation @ Taiping Heritage Run 2010 .
In conjunction with the event , Larut Matang 4H is organizing a hiking trip to Ranting Waterfall:

Estimation hiking time from start point to Ranting Waterfall ~ 1.5hrs .For those interested, please submit your name in advance, final confirmation during bib and t-shirt collection. Pleases read below article written by Dr.Chan Ah Lak , which was published on Star paper 29th April 2006.

Ranting Waterfall, Another majestic waterfall lies hidden in a nearby ravine, but at a higher elevation and only visible from Taman Lake View residential area.Merely marked Air Terjun on the topographical map, this nameless waterfall (which we'll refer to as Ranting Waterfall) is formed by Sungei Ranting running over a 60-80 degree granite rock face.For a long time the Ranting Waterfall was not explored due to the difficult terrain. Some years back, members of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) found a route to this place, but they were not sure whether it was the same waterfall that could be seen from Taman Lake View.

An ingenious plan was hatched to confirm its location. A second trip was made by these trail blazers, who armed themselves with mobile phones and fire-starting materials. Start a fire? Wasn't that rather irresponsible on their part?Actually, it was not a problem because there was no fear that an uncontrollable forest fire would be inadvertently started because it rains almost everyday in Taiping and its surrounding hills! Moreover, the fire was built on bare granite rock.So, a bonfire was made and the abundant damp leaves there made it easy to create a huge plume of smoke that rose high into the sky. This was gleefully pointed out by their lookout friends at Taman Lake View, several kilometres away.A view of Ranting waterfall from Taman Lake View. Excited phone calls ensued confirming that the Ranting Waterfall is indeed the one visible from Taman Lakeview.Other than the HHH who has organised trips to the Ranting Waterfall on an irregular basis, a few non-members had the opportunity to visit this place too. Koh Eng Tong, one of the trail-setters, a ‘Hare' in HHH terms, led a small group of hikers up this waterfall recently.The trail started in the jungle behind the water treatment plant and, for about half an hour, it was easygoing as we trekked in a north direction.Then an abrupt 90-degree turn to the east led us into thick virgin jungle and steep slopes. From thence, the harsh reality of this very difficult track immediately set in. It wasn't easy to climb 60-80 degree gradient slippery slopes.

Our calf muscles were stretched to the maximum just to stand up! The hungry tiger leeches and thorny rattan plants waited patiently in tandem to waylay the unwary hiker.This waterfall is a popular haven among tourists. Just before our leg muscles started to cramp up, the trail eased off to a slow descent into a shallow valley marked by a dried-up stream. Immediately after crossing the stream bed, a three-metre wide rock face covered with moss stood guard on the right-hand side. From then on, the trail was less distinct because of the luxuriant growth enhanced by the fact that this is wettest spot in Malaysia.A couple of trees had fallen across the trail and a detour was in order. Soon we reached the edge of the ravine of Sungei Ranting. The sound of its rushing waters was comforting knowledge that we were on the right route.We trekked carefully along the side of the ravine, following the river upstream. At 350 metres above sea level, the jungle suddenly opened up to reveal a spectacular waterfall of at least 12 storeys high.The volume of the cascades was small as it had not rained for a few days, but even then it created a cloud of fine cooling spray that enveloped us as we rested at the base of the waterfall.The Ranting Waterfall is truly pristine, almost mint condition. There was not a single piece of garbage around.

The water was cold and crystal clear. Members of the expedition were barred from bathing or washing here as the water flows further down into another intake pipe of the water treatment plant and the Taiping Reservoir.All in all, it took slightly less than two hours of trekking to reach the waterfall and much less on the descent leg.This was indeed an invigorating weekend trip for the mind and the body. And to actually reach the Ranting Waterfall, a hitherto inaccessible spot ? what a wonderful discovery and achievement it was. Well done, HHH Taiping!

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