Back to Basics
It has been a year since my last trip to Kiara trails. I remembered the last run led by Alwin, and the X-Country race (when Kash won first place!) and that was that. At the back of my mind, when circling FRIM almost every Saturday, I wanted to relinquish the elusive trails once more.
With the fear of missing my way and ending up in remote places, alone, I opted to join the Trail Runners but after many failed attempts to coordinate meeting time and dates, I missed their various meets to tag the trails. Luckily, some running friends are kind enough to join me to tag our own tracks, and that sounded like a good plan.
First time back to Kiara, armed with a generic map from FakawiTribe.com, Nik, Shanaz, Kash, Catman and myself headed left from the carpark, and soon followed the outer trail through the 'Flinstones Playground', into the 'Around the Mountain' trail. The trail is tough with steep inclines and sharp rocks, super slippery from the heavy rains the night before. Regardless, the cool weather did not hamper our spirit, more so running with the 'Queen of Kiara' who's in KL for a short weekend.
The trail is a little deserted, perhaps not advisable to run alone, but possible if you have to. Along the way, there are a lot of plastic-filled latex from the rubber trees - a sure sign of the morning-people tending the trees. Mobile coverage was superb, so a (less expensive, albeit secondary) handphone is handy.
Beyond the water tank, the trails started to branch out in multiple directions, and the map is no longer traceable. We have lost our bearing, and everytime we stop at junctions, it was a guessing game when we either decide to climb up, or sprint down. More so, we maintained on the obvious trails over the conspicuous smaller trails. At many points, we bumped into weekend trekkers, mostly jolly in pre-Chinese New Year mood, and we were off again. The trails are generally well maintained, and sometimes we follow the paper trails only to get confused at multiple junctions. Sometimes we hit the single tracks, switchbacks, and platforms. For instance the Simpang Lima that has 6-7 branches at the same place.
Regardless, we branched out from the trail onto the tarmac, and headed down, and back into the carpark.
The second week into Kiara, we came armed with a pair of scissors and a roll of fuschia-coloured ribbon, courtesy of Shanaz. We were on a mission!
I was joined by Daniel, Nik, Shanaz and new daddy-Meor on another slow-and-steady Kiara trails. We hit the tarmac first to get ahead of ourselves tackling easier '2K' and '4K' trails, hopefully bump into the new 'Magic Carpet' trail. Again we lost our bearing as the map does not match the trails. However, we tagged some trees along the way, what we thought a full '2K' loop. None of Karen's green and blue ribbons were spotted.
As we came back into the tarmac, some one hour later, we came around the crossroad again, and went into the 'Snake & Ladders', 'Dirty Devils' into the 'Twin Peaks' (yeahoo!), 'Around the Mountain', along the water tank, and back into the 'Flinstone's Playground'. If I was right, the total distance was around 10k. Overall it was a good day out running.
I would assume that the shorter '2K' and '4K' trails, and the new 'Magic Carpet' trail is achievable if you want to run some alone time, but the other longer trails may need more familiarising to do, and more guts.
I wonder - if anything happens in the trails, who'd we call for help?
Touch wood - but it is amazing when we runners are so fragile in the woods since we do not have the speed of a bike. Even running in packs, runners would still easily be vulnerable.
In the mean time, Kiara exploration shall continue.