Tuesday, March 25, 2008

1st Tahan Expedition, part 21....The DESCENT from Tahan

Day 5 of Actual Climb....Sat April 19th 1969

After breaking camp at our desolate Padang campsite, we gathered for one final group photo. Yes, all 10 of us were in it and who else but our dependable guide, Ahmad snapped the picture.

Everyone was smiling! We had much to be smiling about. Our objective had been achieved and we're homeward bound. But there was still a long distance to go on this return leg of the journey.

Taking a final "last" look at the beauty surrounding us at our campsite and especially at G Tahan, we bade farewell to that place and turned towards the south...taking up the trail towards Gedong. It was still before noon when we departed. We felt very much lighter as we resumed our climb up G Gedong and all the other peaks along Skeat's ridge. We had about 6-7 hours of daylight left to reach Kuala Teku. Having been the 1st group of Singaporeans to conquer this very tough mountain, collectively and individually, we felt very strong for this return leg. Our progress was very fast. We managed to reach Kuala Teku, with its fantastic roaring river of white water by late evening. We pitched our 2 tents and prepared dinner. It was an evening and night of total recuperation, of good rest and sleep, as the next day we would tackle the 7 river crossings and face the demons of the 27 Malang hills once again.

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