People often ask why they should climb Mount Ophir. There are definitely many reasons to do so.
The mountain does not boast any snow peaks and it looks ordinary. But for those who have been up to Mount Ophir (or Gunung Ledang) know that the experience was awesome.
So I thought I should ask one of the mountain guides themselves.
This guide, which we call Abang Moi from Moi Adventures is an old friend who I last climbed with in 2006. That was before I joined Outward Bound Singapore.
(Actually, I must count myself lucky cos shortly after my 14th climb an accident happened there. An NIE trainee teacher was killed when a tree branch fell on his tent at Kolam Gajah Campsite.)
Back to Abang Moi, I thought he will give a keynote speech. But he gave 3 simple reasons:
1. It is the highest in Southern Malaysian Peninsula
Mount Ophir stands at 1,267m high and is the highest in South Malaysia. Gunung Ledang offers an optimum height and adventure for all types of climbers. Not too hard, not too easy. Just right. For some, just climbing at that height could give a life-changing experience.
(You can also view a simple walkthough of the mountain here)
2. It has the unique Puteri Gunung Ledang legend
I wouldn’t go so far as to analyse the truth behind this legend. But it does feel mystical up there, especially when the clouds descend, you will feel like you are walking in the clouds.
3. It has special and different landscape (rivers, waterfalls, boulders, bonsai trees)
This is my favourite reason and I can’t agree more. For such a short height, you meet and cross rivers and streams, you might have time to go to a waterfall, climb up boulders and ladders. You will also get to see different vegetation from thick primary forest to bonsai garden and many other flora and fauna.
If you plan for a slower-paced climb, you will get to see moss, pitcher plants, cicadas and tongkat ali. I wrote a bit about the need for outdoor education to promote connectedness to nature.
Thanks to Abang Moi for being kind enough to be interviewed.