Mount Ophir

malaysia

Mount Ophir: A Legendary Peak Overlooking Malacca

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
Gallery
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Quick Answers

Q:How do you climb Mount Ophir?
A:Mount Ophir is a 1,150m climb with 4 trail options available. This is one of Malaysia’s most popular, yet challenging hikes that can be done in a day. It’s best to begin your hike by at least 7:00am as the rangers will turn people back around 14:00 regardless of whether you have summited. A permit is necessary for this climb and can be obtained at the Park entrance. However, seeing as there’s a limit on how many permits are issued per day, it may be best to book in advance through a tour operator.
Q:What is the weather like on Mount Ophir?
A:Malaysia’s mean temperature throughout the year is 27°C. When climbing Mount Ophir (Gunung Ledang), it is best to avoid the rainy season between mid-October and March. The best time to climb is from April to September.

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Mountain Stats

Country
malaysia
Height
1,276m (4,186 ft)
Climbing Height
1,150m (3,773ft)
Numbers
  • #1 Most Surprisingly Fun Mountain in Malaysia
Other names
  • Gunung Ledang

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Ophir Malaysia - Natural history

Mount Ophir (a.k.a Gunung Ledang) belongs to a parent range named Titiwangsa, and is the highest point in its southern foothills. The Titiwangsa range is part of a suture zone that runs between Thailand and peninsular Malaysia. It was divided into two halves – the western half in peninsular Malaysia and the eastern half in Thailand – by the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. The western half is an amalgamation of continental terranes called Cimmeria which separated from Gondwana some 400 million years ago during the Devonian era and attached itself to Laurasia – the northeastern arm of Pangea some 200 million years ago. The eastern half on the other hand separated from Gondwana much later and the two portions collided in the Late Triassic, resulting in the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean and the formation of the modern Titiwangsa range.

Natural Mount Ophir Malaysia - Climbing history

Mount Ophir has a huge place in Malay cultural history and is the subject of a popular folklore about a King who wanted to marry a princess who lived in the mountain. It is also supposed to be the location of the fabled gold mines of King Solomon and finds a mention in the Torah. The name Ophir, which is supposed to have its origins in ancient Hebrew found a place in a British map that was published in 1801. The mountain was visited by Alfred Russel Wallace, a contemporary of Charles Darwin and a co-originator of the Theory of Evolution in 1854. The area surrounding the mountain was classified a National Park in 2005.

Natural Mount Ophir Malaysia - Current status

With its proximity to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Mount Ophir is a very popular trekking destination and probably among the most climbed mountains in Malaysia. It straddles the border between Malacca and Johor and is an easily accessible location. A board at the Park notes that it ranks #6 in terms of climbing difficulty among mountains in Malaysia. It offers a good mix of difficulty and doability, which explains its popularity among tourists. With an eye to protecting the mountains, the Park authorities have in recent times had to put a daily cap on the number of people who are issued permits for the climb and tourists often book their permits months in advance to ensure they are not turned away.

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Climbing Experience

Steep rock faces, gnarled tree roots, ladders and ropes are all part of the experience of climbing Mount Ophir on whichever of the available trails you choose. The trek can be completed in a day and does not require any special mountaineering skills, but still has its difficult moments and may not be one for complete novices.

Expect some grueling stretches and factor in plenty of time for rest both ways. Because of the steepness of the mountain, climbing down is every bit as exhausting as climbing up. Hence, climbers who are physically fit and have some exposure to trekking will find it easier.

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Trail options

Number of options
4
Summary

The Malaysian Government website on National Parks lists 4 different trails by which to summit Mount Ophir. However, most tourists opt for the first or the second.

Time to complete
1 day

The Lagenda Trail, starting off simply at the Park Office with a flight of stairs, has many distinct sections . This trail from the entrance of the Johor National Park (or the Gunung Ledang National Park) is the most frequented. It consists of some pretty steep slopes and near-vertical rock faces, but is clearly marked and divided into sections each with a different topography and climbing experience. There are rest stops all along the way and while many make a family trip of this, the climb can be an exhausting and physically challenging one.

Itinerary
Number of days
1
Day 1
07:00:

Arrive at the National Park and complete formalities that include securing your permit and hiring a guide. Thereafter you have to subject your backpack to a thorough search. In Mount Ophir the trash menace is tackled by use of a refundable deposit. The Park officials document every little thing you take with you including snack packets and bottles. If everything is still with you on return, you get your deposit back.

07:30:

Begin trek, pausing briefly at each of the first 4 CPs (Check Points) to catch your breath. The first stretch from Park Office to CP1 consists of about 500 steps, not too steep but can still leave you a bit winded. On this stretch you find yourself surrounded by tall trees till you reach a clearing with some logs laid down for you to rest your legs. From CP1 to CP2 is a fairly easy stretch with more or less flat ground until you reach another clearing for a quick rest. The topography from CP2 to CP3 remains the same as you navigate another fairly flat stretch of leaf strewn pathway, until you reach your third point of rest.

08:30:

After CP3, the nature of the path changes as it gets more uphill and you find yourself walking on a natural stairway of intertwined tree roots offering foot rests for the climb up. At CP4 the path bifurcates and you have the option of turning left to Triangle Lake or right to Kolam Gajah (Elephant’s pond). Guides normally turn right at this point.

09:45:

Reach CP 5 where you will have a slightly longer break for refreshments. There is a spring here if you need to refill your water bottles.

10:00:

Resume trek. The next 3 hours to the summit will be the most challenging part of the climb, but will also reward you with impressive views as you get higher. In this section from CP5 to CP7, you will encounter boulders and ladders that you need to clamber over. No one can fault the Malay sense of humor in naming this part the KFC – no, not a break for chicken but a ‘Killing Fitness Center’ meaning it will try to kill your fitness and you just have to soldier on!

12:00:

From CP7 onwards, the last section of the climb resumes. After more boulder climbing and ropes and ladders, you reach what is called the ‘false summit’. This area offers some spectacular views all around. The actual summit is another short but steep climb away over a further series of tall ladders.

13:00:

Reach summit. Take pictures and have lunch.

14:00:

Park rules stipulate that whatever point of the trek you are on, you need to turn around at 14:00.

18:30:

Reach the starting point, and begin your journey back home.

The Asahan Trail, starting at the Asahan Rangers Office at 300m on the Malacca side of the mountain. This is considered a shorter but considerably more difficult route than the more popular Lagenda Trail. It is also a more scenic route with lesser rock faces to contend with and more of waterfalls and camping sites if you are so inclined. It is thought that this might have been the trail that Alfred Russel Wallace took when he climbed the mountain.

The Ayer Panas Trail also known as the Sagil Trail, starting at the Mount Ophir Resort. This is a longer route as compared to the two above but is thought to be slightly easier on the legs and offers a far more spectacular view of the lush mountain vegetation, including pitcher plants. This trails merges with the Lagenda Trail after Check Point 5.

Though marked as a trail on the map of Gunung Ledang National Park on the Government website, this is a seldom used route and is easily the longest, taking a full two days to get to the summit.

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are required
Porters are not required

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk
Trail head - Toilets / Bathrooms
Trail - Rest stop shelters, such as huts, pavilions, etc.
Trail - "Groomed" trail, with built steps, raised or concrete paths, etc, where needed
Trail - Built-in hand-holds, guide-ropes, and hazard markings at technically difficult sections
Trail - Publicly displayed trail maps

Food & water

Trail head - Potable water
Trail - Portable water

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Safety & Accessibility

Weather

The mean temperature throughout the year is 27°C. What you really need to watch out for is the rain. It is best to avoid the rainy season between mid-October and March. The best time to climb is from April to September. It is ideal that you start the trek no longer than 07:30 as Park rules stipulate that whatever point of the trek you are on, you need to turn around at 14:00.

Climbing safety

Cuts, scrapes and bruises:  With all the clambering over rocks, you can expect some amount of bruising on the trek and it is advisable to have a basic first aid kit in your backpack. If you suffer more serious accidents or get a sprain, you may need to ask your guide to help you down the trail.

Insects:  While walking through the forests, it is advisable to use insect repellent. If there have been rains prior to your visit, also watch out for leeches.

Personal safety

Being one of the most popular trekking destinations in Malaysia, it is unlikely you will ever be too lonely on this mountain.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

A climbing permit is needed for the trek and can be obtained from the Park entrance. However, taking into consideration that there is a daily cap on the number of permits issued, it is safer to book your permit well in advance through a tour group.

Emergency contacts

Police and Ambulance: 999

Fire: 994

Getting there and away

The nearest airport is the Malacca International Airport. Many tourists also drive from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Malacca to Johor (where Mount Ophir is situated) is merely a one and a half hour drive. If you want to take the Lagenda route for a one-day trip, make it a point to start early from your hotel or spend the night in the neighbouring town of Tangkag, close to the Park.

Money Matters

Entrance to the Park will cost RM2 per car and RM1 per person. Climbing Mount Ophir costs RM3 for registration and RM13 per adult for locals and RM23 for foreigners.

Climbing Mount Ophir Malaysia - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

The Lagenda Trail has 9 different sections. Together, they call upon your physical endurance with sheer rock faces to climb, ladders and even ropes to be tackled and tree roots and boulders to be overcome.

Tips for advanced climbers

If a day trek does not offer much of a challenge, opt for a night in the mountains which offers many interesting camping sites for added excitement.

For a full experience of Mount Ophir, plan the ascend via the Asahan route and continue down the summit via the Ayer Panas/Sagil Trail. You get to experience not only the entire challenge of the mountain, but also enjoy every visual brilliance the mountain has to offer including scenic pools and waterfalls.

Tips for women

Mount Ophir is considered a safe trek for women, and many make this trek every day.

Tips for nature lovers

There are plenty of waterfalls to relax and hit refresh after your summit.

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