Tuesday, 31 January 2012

My birthday presents

28 of January 2012 - I received a birthday presents I shall never forget. My 30th birthday, I am requested  to plot a race route for YAM TUAN ANTAH Challenge 2012. It consist of map reading and the usage of GPS. An adventure race that require a runner to run through a mountainous course. The route itself hold many stories. About a founder of Negeri Sembilan in his quest to open new land. I will write on the stories on my next post. Using my skill in topography, the work is done in 4 stages. And the final stage happen on my birthday. Datuk Khalid Yunus from Persatuan Kembara Negara(former Timbalan Menteri Penerangan) has made an appearance to witness the final stage of the route setup. He wishes me birthday and sign in my map projection book. He wrote "Only those who can endure difficulties and obstacles can be successful in life"
The way I see it. There is no easy life for people like me. That is why, people like me will be the best of the best in the future. 
Thank you Datuk... For more info on what I am doing, click MAP PROJECTION

And for my second present......


Happy 30th birthday to me

Monday, 30 January 2012

Map projection

True shape of an Earth

Topography, geoids, spheroid, datum and coordinate system is a complex subject to comprehend.


From my understanding, the earth is not flat. It is round. However, the true shape of the earth is not a perfect sphere. When we view it 2D, we can define it as ellipsoid (not a perfect one I might add). When the Earth is rotating in x, y, z axis, it can be define as spheroid. Because the shape of the spheroid is so irregular, a reference ‘shell’ is applied to the original spheroid. This ‘shell’ enclosed the system and known as geoids. Geoid is the mean sea level and the true shape of the earth. Most of the calculation is used based on the geoid. The elevation of certain of all surface topography is also relative to the geoid.

Gunung Besar Hantu

Simple trigonometry can be use if the distance between two points is small. When involving a huge distance, the so called flat plane is becoming curve. It’s hard to imagine without a proper diagram. If you take a flat piece of paper and let it ‘touch’ a single point on a sphere. On the sphere, mark point A and B. The piece of paper is aligned 900 with the normal line, N. After that you imagine a light emit in the center of the sphere. The A and B will ‘projected’ on the piece of paper. You will immediately realize that the distance between the two points is different. Its kindda rectified. The distance becoming big. Because of the properties, the mapping of a certain area of an Earth has to sacrifice in term of distance, area and terrain feature (depending on usage). This is where aerial surveillance and satellite imagery comes to play.
To understand the nature of map projection, I am trying to further my knowledge in vector calculus, trigonometry, 3D Translation, rotational and physic. I hope one day, I will contribute something in the area of topography.

Note – For Malaysia, we used Rectified Skew Orthomorphic Map projection.
The method of projection is oblique cylindrical projection. The line of constant scales skewed at an angle to the meridian.
For the map datum, we use Kertau.
What is it used for - Everything regarding to the surface of the earth. In my case, I used it for my Herping activity. I still try to analyse the mathematics involved.  

Transformation from UTM to WGS84

This post will be amend from time to time.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Abseiling and Prussic

During herping, I usually go to a place where it’s difficult to access using normal route. Some of the method I use is abseiling.

Abseiling is the controlled descent down a rock face using a rope. Static or dynamic rope is used. A special climbing rope, which does not stretch like a dynamic climbing rope. A static rope (usually 11 mm in diameter) is usually used as a fixed rope (attached to anchors and left in place) for climbing the rope itself with ascenders or rappelling. Static ropes are stronger and last longer than dynamic ropes, but they are not to be used for actual climbing. It’s because of the ‘fixed’ properties of the rope, it will have a tremendous impulse force during fall.

Typical specifications
Dynamic Ropes
Typical Impact Force*
Typical Weight
8.1mm (~5/16")
6 kN (1350 lb)
42g/m (0.45oz/ft)
9.8mm (~3/8")
8 kN (1800 lb)
63g/m (0.67oz/ft)
11mm (~7/16")
9 kN (2000 lb)
78g/m (0.84oz/ft)
*Dynamic ropes are rated for a certain number of falls (usually 5-10) at a given impact force.
Static Ropes
Typical Breaking Strength
Typical Weight
9mm (~11/32")
21 kN (4700 lb)
51g/m (0.55oz/ft)
10mm (~3/8")
27 kN (6000 lb)
66g/m (0.71oz/ft)
10.5mm (~13/32")
30 kN (6750 lb)
69g/m (0.74oz/ft)
11mm (~7/16")
34 kN (7650 lb)
75g/m (0.81oz/ft)

1N = (9.8 m/s2 X 1) kg = 9.8 kg

There are several basic equipments used in this activity:-
1.     Harness
2.     Belay device (Figure of 8 + Carabineer)
3.     Gloves
4.     Halmet
5.     Prussik rope

I will explain in detail about the equipments on my next blog post. Some of the additional equipments will also be introduce. 

There are several styles that can be used to abseil depending on the situations. The normal style and the Australian style or the spider style. The applications is endless. 

During Hulu Langat Adventure Race 2011


Normal style descending is used to abseil normally. Its the easiest method and give a  view on the wall or rock face. I used it during herping

The Australian

Australian abseiling (also known as Australian rappelling, Rap Jumping or deepelling) is the process of descending a fixed rope in a standing position while facing the ground.
The technique is used as a military 'assault' technique whereby a soldier is belayed, allowing them to face down the descent and fire a weapon.
In Australia, the technique is not commonly known as "Australian", or even "rappelling"; instead the term "abseiling" is more commonly used and the technique is referred to as "Geneva" style.I always train this technique as a preparation in the future. For me, its perfect for room recon without being detected.

Ascending using prussic. This technique is used to climb after descending. Usually for rescue mission and in my case, Herping

This post will be amend from time to time

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Cameron Highland Solo Trailblazer

This is one of my solo trailblazing on Cameron Highland. This story happened 3 years ago. After that there were so many more follow up journey into different set of trail. I will share it with you from time to time. This writing is in experience mode. Next writing will be in the form of article. I hope this is beneficial

My idea of peace is chaos… Everything is set in motion… overwhelming with strength of the world… on my shoulder I put forth the courage to face down my demon… to amend my mistake as I played devil’s advocate… bad trade as I recalled…
The journey begins…..
I wake up thinking about how stupid I am to plan such a trip. without any guide to start with. This is not the issue… I have to consent, I trust myself…. I have to return the favor…
I arrived at Pudu Raya at 9.00 am. Unfortunately; I couldn’t get a direct bus to Cameron highland… its Chinese New Year eve. A bad timing indeed. I need to go to Ipoh first and from there, get a bus to the highland… I had a few insight discussions and reference on the map…
12.30pm - I reached Ipoh and it was unusually hot. It was a busy town I must tell you. Peoples were walking back and forth doing errands. Maybe it’s because of the festive season is around the corner
1.30pm - departed from Ipoh
The bus will be entering from the northern part of Cameron using the new Simpang Pulai – Gua Musang Highway. I didn’t anticipate that, so the plan has to be change (my arrangement is to enter Cameron from South. This is actually benefiting me to the later. I can take on Mount Swettenham on my first day
4.00pm - I reached Kampung Raja…
I have to walk 10km to Pos Penangau in order to enter Swettenham. 30 minutes walk and I stumbled upon Kumar (4WD driver) who happened to be going on the same direction. He drives me to the starting point…
4.45pm – arrived at Pos Penangau and met with a group of hiker…
They were going for V2.
5.00pm – start hiking
7.00pm – It’s getting dark…
After many attempts, route after route, scouting, scouring and running, we were still getting nowhere. It’s settled then, I have were to camp on the Jalan Balak, period
10.00pm – Raining
I can’t even describe how boring the mood was. Maybe this why people hike in a group; to cope with the stress of being alone. But sometimes I think, we need to be alone. We will have the perfect moment to be collective.

January 25, 2009… It’s still raining… its raining all night… I know because I did not sleep… Heaven is crying for me… crying for all the pain I endure… Pain is the essence of human soul… some says “You get to make the beast out of yourself to get rid the pain of being a man”… agreed….
1.30pm – The sky is still crying…
This isn’t happening… we wait long enough for the rain to stop… like it or not, we have to move on…
2.00pm – Exiting Pos Penangau….
I decided to walk to Tanah Rata…I felt a bit groggy… lack of sleep from last night watch… I have to walk for another 27km… it doesn’t matter… Rain…
3.00pm – Long stride towards Tanah Rata…
I was basically climbing towards Tanah Rata (15km walk with 600 average inclinations) …The rain made it easier… I was thankful for that… cars and buses pass by… The choice to walk proves fruitful… It’s heavily congested starting at Tringkap (Chinese New Year)… I manage to reach Brinchang faster than the last bus ride… It felt good…
The cardinal rule during the festive seasons especially on Cameron; walk if you can
8.30pm – Kem Sg Pauh…
11.00pm – light off…
I still couldn’t sleep… It’s a habit I developed during camping… stay alert… when I sleep; I dream… it was a good dream… no more death….

January 26, 2009… Waking up to a colorful morning… no more sorrow in the sky… my journey is still long… our next destination… Gunung Cantik and Centuk, Ringlet, Southern part of Cameron Highland… 15km from where I stand… No fear…
9.00am – Depart from Tanah Rata towards Ringlet…
9.30am – Reaching the junction and stop for breakfast…
From the junction, I have 6km to walk to reach the Boh factory… the entrance route is directly at the back of the factory…
11.00am – Boh Factory….
All gear in check and we going in…. Trailblazing the Tea plantation… a sight to be reckoned with… beautiful…
12.00pm – Peak of mount Cantik and Centuk…
I take a short break and observed what makes this mountain so special… The peak offer nothing much… what is unique about these mountains is getting there and getting down… breath taking as we traverse the tea plantation… you have to see it for yourself… From afar, I can see the Mount Beluat
1.30pm – Getting down…
3.30pm – Reaching the junction…
It was agonizing…It felt so long and the sky lit up on me… hot and thirsty… I  still have 10km to go… block the pain and move on… I still got the stamina and strength…
4.00pm – On the hilly road towards Tanah Rata…
It was bad…. The road never ends… infinite turns and curves… I endure it and my feet suffer… My skin burn and turn red… I endure it…. Bear with it… I felt woozy… The journey must go on
5.30pm – Tanah Rata at last….
I wanted more… I want to go to Mount Jasar and Mount Perdah and Ruil…
5.45pm – Start Jasar…
6.00pm – Jasar…
Fast stride en route for Perdah… have to reach Ruil before nightfall…… not enough time for sightseeing…
6.20pm – Perdah…
The sky is clear on the northern horizon… perfect for sunrise… suddenly I changed my mind… I said; Ruil is tomorrow… Maybe I had enough… I never manage to stay long… pity… I miss the best sunrise that day after a whole day of rain yesterday…. cold and hungry (I ate only nasi lemak that day)… never mind… I’ll cook my heart out tonight…
7.00pm – Kem Sungai Pauh…
10.00pm – sleep…
Ruil for tomorrow…

January 27, 2009… I planned to wake up late… to savior our last day with ease… but the UMP just won’t shut up… easily agitated and excited about things I don’t even understand… Cut me some slack will ya…
9.00am – Wake up and ready for Ruil…
No breakfast…
10.00am – Walking yet again to Ruil…
11.20am – Puncak Ruil…
12.00pm – Exit Ruil….
1.00pm – Kem Sg Pauh…

Gunung Swettenham + Pos Penangau + Ladang Blue Valley + Kg. Raja + Kg. Kuala Terla + Tringkap + Kea Farm + Brinchang + Tanah Rata + Habu + Ladang Boh + Gunung Cantik + Gunung Centuk + Bharat Tea + Gunung Jasar + Gunung Perdah + Gunung Ruil = 50km++
Finishing my long solo walk like a boss. 6 mountain climb. With load over 20kg. Odometer 56km. Hungary and cold.

Suunto Compass A20
JUPEM Map 74

This writing will be amend from time to time

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A report on "Misi dan Expedisi UiTM 11/11/11 Menawan 30 buah Gunung" - Gunung Gerah

This is a follow up report I wrote to the KOR SUKSIS UiTM Shah Alam regarding to the mission. My task is to guide the KOR to Gunung Gerah summit. It was a challenging task considering the rough terrain ahead. Route planning and safety issues is my main objectives. Their objective is to reach the summit on 11/11/11. The report is in Bahasa Melayu.

Senarai checkpoint

Kampung Lelar(permualaan)

Jambatan CUSG

Simpang Gerah

Bukit Bongok

Kem Agik/Kem Nasi Goreng

Kampung Agik


Kem Kunyit

Kem Perodua

.    10
Kem Sarsi

Kem Kury

.    12
Gunung Gerah

CP ke CP

1 – 2
Jalan hampir rata dan sedikit menaik
2 – 3
Jalan rata pada permulaan tetapi menaik sedikit sebelum sampai ke checkpoint
3 – 4
Jalan menaik kerana mendaki bukit
4 – 5
Melalui sedikit permatang dan menurun ke arah kampong
5 – 6
Merentasi sungai
6 – 7
Jalan sedikit rata
7 – 8
Jalan sedikit rata
8 – 9
Jalan sedikit rata
9 – 10
Mendaki kearah permatang dan merentasinya
10 – 11
11 – 12

Rabu (9.11.2011)
Hari Pertama
Memulakan perjalanan dari kebun berdekatan Perkampungan Orang Asli Lelar pada ~1500. Perjalanan adalah menujuk kea rah Kem Y untuk bermalam

Khamis (10.11.2011)
Perjalanan dimulakan seawal 0800. Merentasi sungai pertama dan dari Kem Y dan sungai kedua lebih kurang 200m di hadapan. Jalan mula mendaki untuk sampai ke Simpang Gerah dan Gunung Ulu Sepat. Mengambil jalan ke kanan dan mula melakukan pendakian untuk ke CP seterusnya iaitu ke Puncak Bukit Bongok. Dari puncak, perjalanan adalah diatas permatang untuk ke puncak kedua, ketiga dan seterusnya ke menurun ke Kem Agik untuk berhenti dan makan tengahari.
Untuk ke Kampung Agik, satu sungai besar direntasi dan melalui satu kawasan kebun. Kebun tersebut terdiri dari pokok getah, ubi dan beberapa sayuran lain. Kumpulan seterusnya merentasi satu lagi sungai untuk sampai ke satu lagi penempatan di Kampung Agik tersebut. Anggaran keluarga yang tinggal adalah 4 – 5 keluarga. Sepanjang perjalanan, Kumpulan dapat melihat satu kawasan yang dilapangkan untuk kebun. Kumpulan sampai di CP Pondok. Dari CP Pondok, peserta akan melalui satu kawasan hutan yang agak rata sebelum sampai untuk bermalam di CP Kunyit. Trail adalah bersebelahan dengan Sungai sepanjang masa. Kumpulan akan merentasi satu lagi sungai.  Sampai dan bermalam di Kunyit

Jumaat (11.11.2011)
Masa untuk memulakan misi pendakian. Kumpulan memulakan perjalaanan pada 0800.  Kumpulan akan menjumpai dan merentasi sungai dan berjalan menerusi trail yang agak landai. Kumpulan akan merentasi sungai lagi sebelum sampai ke Kem Perodua. Kumpulan mula melakukan pendakian untuk sampai ke permatang. Kumpulan akan terjumpa satu simpang. Bekalan air akan terputus disini sehingga ke kem Sarsi. Dari permatang, Kumpulan berhenti di satu kawasan pondok. Perjalanan pada tahap ini adalah beralun tetapi tiada pendakian atau penurunan yang terlalu tajam. Ada satu kawasan pokok-pokok tumbang ~2km sebelum sampai ke CP Sarsi. Hujan turun dengan lebatnya. Ada beberapa tempat di atas trail terdapat najis dan tapak binatang. Ia dipercayai dari Tapir. Kumpulan akan melalui 2 puncak utama sebelum sampai.  Sampai di CP Sarsi dan mengambil air untuk pendakian terakhir ke Puncak Gerah. CP Sarsi terdapat punca air terakhir. Perjalanan diteruskan dan kumpulan akan melalui satu kawasan hutan yang telah diliputi lumut. Keadaan adalah sejuk kerana hujan dan suhu dicatatkan berada pada ~140 C. Ini membuatkan perjalanan menjadi agak perlahan. Kumpulan sampai ke Kem Kury dan terus melakukan perjalanan.
Kumpulan berjaya sampai ke Puncak Gerah dengan jayanya pada jam 1700. Ini secara tak langsung mencapai objektif utama iaitu sampai ke puncak pada 11.11.11 bersama dengan kumpulan pendakian dari Kampus UITM lain. Selepas rekod bergambar, perserta turun

Sabtu (12.11.2011)
Kumpulan sampai ke Kem Kunyit dan meneruskan perjalanan ke Kem Y selepas berehat seketika. Sampai ke Kem Y dan bermalam

Ahad (13.11.2011)
Bersedia bergerak pulang 


Total distance is 70km with 40-85 degree slope. 24 hours of none stop journey on the 3rd day. This post will be amend from time to time