Gunung Datuk

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in 2012. Information may be out of date!

Gunung Datuk a.k.a. Gunung Datok

Location: Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
Start point: 2.54344N, 102.169E 100m a.s.l.
End point: 2.550878N, 102.18251E 714m a.s.l.
Difficulty: For a person with regular exercise, fairly easy. No special skills needed, however, good as a first proper climb after attempting something like Gasing/Saga/Broga Hill. Trail is very clear from start to end.

Date climbed: Tue 24 July 2012

I climbed Gunung Datuk with 5 other friends. It took us just under 2 hours to drive from PJ to the start point. There is proper parking and facilities available at the start point. Climbing fees are said to be RM5/person but the people in charge of registration were not there on the day of our climb. Instead, a phone number was left at the registration booth (013-236-4443) which we called to inform them that we were climbing.

The start of the trail is to the right of the signpost.

Gunung Datuk entrance. Photo by MC.

We walked down the concrete paved path (downhill) and crossed the bridge, and started our ascent where the arrow is shown at ~10am. On this particular day, the stream was pretty small due to lack of rain.

Bridge & stream crossing. Photo by LYK

However, as shown in the next photo, the water levels can be much higher in rainy seasons, resulting in a miniature “waterfall” (if you can call it so!).

Tiny waterfall. Photo taken on 2nd trip – 2012.11.12

The first 30 minutes of the climb is quite steep, and can be tiring. Along the way, we passed by the famous tree with huge buttresses.

Tree with huge buttresses. Photo taken on 2nd trip – 2012.11.12

I imagine that anyone not used to climbing may find themselves exhausted, but the steepness only carried on as far as the first (broken) rest hut, after which the slopes became more gradual.

First (proper) rest stop – a broken hut

Eventually, we reached a few big boulders and a campsite. At the campsite, we climbed 3 sets of ladders to get up to the top of the boulders, which marked the end of our climb.

First set of ladders. Photo by MC.
Second ladder. Photo by MC.
Third & final set of ladders. Photo by MC.

The top is not actually the peak of Gunung Datuk, which is said to be 884m a.s.l., but is the best viewing point. Elevation is ~714m. The top is a great place to eat your lunch with a nice breeze, although it can be really hot if the sun is out (bring a cap or hat!). On this particular day, however, the sky was very grey and hazy, meaning that we couldn’t see that far. Because of that, here’s a panorama I took during my 2nd trip to Gunung Datuk in November 2012, which gave us much better views.

Sitting on the edge. Photo by LYK.

Descending took about an hour, and we were back in PJ before 4.30pm. All in all, a good half day climb and a good way to get out of the city and get some fresh mountain air.

GPS Details (from start to summit)

(These details are from my 2nd climb in November 2012)

Download GPXKMZ (Google Earth)
View on EveryTrail (interactive map)

Duration: 2 hours 11 minutes
Length: 2.8km
Average Speed: 1.3km/h
Max elevation: 714m
Min elevation: 99m
Vertical Up: 709m
Vertical Down: 96m

Preparation

Ascent time ~2hrs (First 30 mins of the climb are challenging as it’s pretty steep. After that, it gets easier.)
Descent time ~1hr+

Notes

  • RM5 entrance fee if there’s someone there
  • There are toilet facilities at the base
  • Poor/decent phone coverage (there’s reception at the summit and at some points along the trail)
  • In case of bad weather, injuries, etc., always be prepared for potential delays.
  • CHECK your shoes before so you don’t end up with broken shoes on the climb, which can be miserable
  • There are some leeches at Datuk, especially if the ground is wet

Essential Items

  • 2 Liters water (isotonic recommended)
  • snacks/lunch
  • hiking shoes (good grip)
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Plastic/waterproof bags for electronics in case of rain
  • Whistle (& small flashlight highly recommended)

Recommended Items

  • Cap/Hat (if sunny, summit is completely exposed)
  • Tissue paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hiking stick
  • Extra T-shirt
  • Salt (for isotonic drinks / leeches / etc.)
  • Wristwatch
  • Small hand towel
  • Emergency Gear: Knife, flashlight/headlamp, 1st aid kit, rope/cord, etc.

To leave in car

  • Extra drinking water (1L suggested)
  • Change of clothes/towel
  • TWO (2) large plastic bags, one for dirty shoes, one for dirty clothes
  • If required, something to sit on in the car (plastic bag, newspaper, etc.)
  • Clean slippers/sandals

(See my personal packing list here)

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