RAUB: Fraser’s Hill centennial celebration was marked by more than 100 hikers trekking up its longest trail named the Pine Tree.
The 100 Tahun Bukit Fraser 100 Pendaki (Fraser’s Hill 100 Years, 100 Hikers) programme was organised by the Pahang Media Club.
The teams of hikers comprising Fire and Rescue Academy Eastern Region, Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Putrajaya, Pahang Fire and Rescue Department, Hospital Sultan Ahmad Shah in Temerloh, Forestry Department, Jerangau Barat Exploration Club (Kelek JB) and a few journalists and photographers from Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, completed their mission of reaching the peak at 1,505m safe and sound.
A total of 116 hikers took part in the programme to show their support for the celebration of Fraser’s Hill’s 100th anniversary.
The Pine Tree Trail is the longest and most challenging trail in Fraser’s Hill, compared with seven other trails namely Bishop Trail (1,500m), Kinderley Trail (750m), Maxwell Trail (750m), Abu Suradi Trail (500m), Mager Trail (1,500m), Rompin Trail (1,500m) and Hemmant Trail (1,000m).
Group leader Ahmad Fazli Ahmad said the most important objective was completing the mission of reaching the peak.
He said the club had previously organised a hiking trip at the same trail but not all of the 40 participants, which included secondary school students, managed to reach the peak due to insufficient rest.
Ahmad Fazli said seeing Fraser’s Hill still intact after 100 years was a source of pride.
“This is because there is great effort by the authorities in taking care of the historical hill. Without good management, we may not get to see the historic event.
“It is also our show of support for the conservation of nature by the authorities since Fraser’s Hill was officially opened in 1919. If this hill had not been well maintained, all this would have been destroyed,” he said.
Fire department operations division director Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin said hiking in the hilly forested area was a way for the firefighters to gain experience for emergencies involving such terrain.
Pahang Fire and Rescue Department chief Nor Hisham Mohammad said teamwork was evident during the climb.
Fire and Rescue Academy Eastern Region commandant Mohd Ali Ismail said he assigned his men to be sweepers or the last persons in the group and ensure all participants were safe.
“The hike to the peak was not to see who arrived first or who was the fastest to complete the 12km distance. It was more of a training session and to instil responsibility in the participants.
“The most important element and value during this kind of trip is patience, mainly when dealing with the slow pace of hikers, the elderly or injured,” Mohd Ali said.
Pine Tree Trail is also a popular site for birdwatching as numerous species of birds can be spotted along the route.
It is swarmed by birdwatchers mainly during the International Bird Race event held in June every year, when many migratory species make a stop here.
Fraser’s Hill is one of six major highland rainforests, also known locally as hill stations, in the peninsula.