250m | 4.0 km | 3 hours
I first heard about Bukit Tabur in 1994 from my boss, who climbed the hill as a scout during his school days (presumably in the 70s). Until then, I had never heard of this place, but I wasn't from Kuala Lumpur, so maybe that's why. Anyhow, I filed the name away and did not think about it until now. We were looking for places for our Sunday Trekking Gang to hike on short getaways and I remembered the name from years ago. Some research and reconnaissance led to many wonderful discoveries and my boss was right, it is an incredible place well deserving of our repeated visits there!
There is Tabur West, the more popular trek, and Tabur East (and Tabur Far East and Tabur Extreme even further east). After having trekked Tabur West a number of times, we wanted to see how far we could go westwards and whether we could reach the part of the ridge that overlooks the Karak Highway.
The initial part of the trek is through normal jungle. But the trees quickly make way for a rocky terrain with short shrubs and moss. We made our way to the first peak as quickly as we can as we wanted to get to the tricky rock climbing portions before the throng of crowds reach there. Tabur West is very popular, no doubt due to the amazing views that it affords, and on weekends can attract hundreds of trekkers. And this can cause a long tailback on stretches of the hike which require single file climbing or the use of ropes.
We cleared the first few peaks without fuss and reached the difficult vertical climb between peaks 9 and 10. It took us a couple of minutes to clear that hurdle. We then reached the next difficult part, the vertical drop just after peak 10. Because of the lack of toeholds it's a difficult stretch to get pass, and we struggled for some while before making it through.
From some peaks, there are several paths to the next one - don't be lazy, if you have to climb down and ascend again, do so. Some attempt to edge across on ledges or even jump across. If you are not a mountain goat, don't be a fool. Always look for the safest way across and do not continue if you are not comfortable. Don't let peer pressure force you beyond your comfort zone. Despite the short distance and modest heights of the hill, it is NOT A WALK IN THE PARK.