Bukit Batu Chondong, Ampang
Bukit Batu Chondong, Jalan Taman Zooview, Kampung Kemensah, Ampang Jaya. To get to the trailhead search for Bukit Batu Chondong (entrance) on Google Maps
FOLLOWING the closure of Tabur East/West to hikers, a lesser-known peak along the Tabur ridge, named Bukit Batu Chondong (BBC), is now being discovered by hikers. Access is via Kemensah, heading towards the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) area after Zoo Negara.
The trailhead is just beside the road, near the mountain bike (MTB) centre. As it is a narrow, windy road, we were careful to park at a spot that would not obstruct traffic.
Our adventure to this obscure Tabur cousin starts with an uphill climb following a chain link fence on the left. Heads low, we ducked our way through a dense bamboo grove.
A signpost pointed the way to the peak (straight ahead) or to the Batu Asah waterfall on the left.
We stayed on target and soon encountered our first obstacle, a narrow climb between two boulders, along the edge of the drop. The path turned inwards as we scrambled up more rocky surfaces. Rounding a final corner, we were confronted by a 5m rock wall.
On the far right, a tree with thick trailing roots appeared to be our ticket to the peak. Using the ropes and roots, we climbed up, squeezing into the tiny space between the tree and rock, before hoisting ourselves up over the rock onto the narrow ledge. It took 10 minutes for all five of us to get past this portion.
A dense bamboo grove with overhanging trunks
At the top, we saw an extended peak on a nearby outcrop. Getting there required scrambling up and down more rocks to reach the 260m viewpoint. The skeletal trees on this small, uneven, rocky mound made a stark contrast against the green backdrop of forest and prominent quartz ridge.
Heading back down, we found an alternative and faster route. Securing ourselves with the rope, we descended the vertical drop by lowering ourselves, bracing our feet on the side of the rock and it barely took a minute.
Tall bamboo trees make for a shady walk
Spotting another peak along the ridge on the opposite side, we made another five-minute detour and were rewarded with yet another view of the Titiwangsa range.
The return journey was quick, with everyone clearing the rocky portions easily. Back at the signpost, we headed down the waterfall route. Lined with tall bamboo trees, the dirt trail got wider, marked with deep ruts due to ATV activity. While the undulating terrain was not strenuous, we turned back after 15 minutes due to time constraints.
BBC is a short but interesting hike with challenging obstacles. A hike to the summit takes 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside at least one hour for a round trip to explore all the peaks along the ridge.
The ridge at Bukit Batu Chondong.