Bruneians conquer Indian peak

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THREE Bruneians hiked for an average of seven hours a day before conquering the Markha Valley Trek at Ladakh, Himalayan region in India, with the highest peak reaching 5,230m above sea level.

The three Bruneians who recently completed the trek were Javon Leong Weng Wah, 27, Nurulain Mohammed Idrus, 28, and Hjh Nurul Yusra Bazilah Hj Yussof, 26.

Javon said during a phone interview yesterday that the trio started their journey from July 5 and arrived at the highest peak, Kongmaru La on July 10.

The group, accompanied by two porters, a guide and a photographer had spent an average of about seven hours a day hiking with the longest going up to 11 hours.

“It was a very challenging trek because the peak was steep and the altitude makes breathing very difficult.

“However, it was an amazing experience because the scenery around us was beyond (what) words can describe,” said Javon, a senior training executive at TelBru.

He said the guides and photographers had told the group that they were the first Bruneian group to have completed the expedition.

“When the guide and agents asked where Brunei was, we mentioned it was close to Singapore and Malaysia. They then told us that we were the first group of Bruneians who did the trek. That made us really proud, which is why we brought the flag with us,” said Javon.

He added that the idea of becoming the first group from Brunei to complete the trek motivated him to climb the mountain solely by foot even though the guides had brought along horses.

“Being the first group, it was important that I did it on foot and not use a horse, so Nurulain and I were the first male and female from Brunei to finish the whole trek on foot.

However, he said Hjh Nurul Yusra Bazilah had to use a horse during the fourth and fifth day as it was “very very tough”.

“The guide himself said it was the toughest (part of the journey).

“We are very proud of ourselves as it was our first time and the trek is known to be tough,” he said.

In an email, Nurulain said the group had intensive training prior to the hike.

“Javon goes spinning a lot and started body weight training. He works out more than five times a week.

“I work out two to three times a week, including body weight training, running and hiking,” added Nurulain, who is an executive in product development at TelBru.

Javon went on to say that the cold wind made it even more challenging, with temperatures dropping to negative four degrees celsius on the fifth day.

“Having everyone together pushing each other was important as we started together and wanted to end the trek together. So quitting half way wasn’t an option,” he added.

The Brunei Times