Pine Tree Hill Trail is the longest trail in Fraser's Hill and also the most challenging.
The trail was started during the British era to gain access to a mountain peak that commanded a majestic view of Fraser's Hill and the surrounding summits.
It trail derived its name from 5 old stag-headed endemic conifers of the dacrydium comosum species. Only one of these trees (which are only found in Malaysia) still remains at the summit of Pine Tree Hill.
The Trail's highest point is 1505m above sea level. Although this is only 300 metres higher than the starting altitude of around 1200m, the path undulates considerably and the actual height climbed is probably closer to 1500m.
The trail is 5.5km long and most people take 7 to 8 hours to trek to the summit and back again.
I would point out at this stage that I have not actually climbed this peak. I have not yet managed to persuade my sons to accompany me on this energy-sapping trek and I don't think it would be wise to attempt this alone.
I have visited the start of the trail and this is what is written on the notice boards at the trail head:
The Mossy Trail (5570m) 7 Hours Walking
This trail offers seasoned hikers a healthy challenge to test their endurance and also rewards them in terms of the variety of flora and fauna of the lower montane forest. It is also the start of what is called the 'mossy forest'.
Trying to complete the trail is not recommended for the unfit and inexperienced. Be prepared to spend a full day on this trail if you are a nature buff and for the inexperienced trekker, please use an experienced guide to hike the distance.
'Mossy Forest' is where the trees are stunted and seldom exceed 20m in height and moss dominates and blankets trees and dead logs along the pathway.
Botanically this zone is categorized as lower montane, generally between 1200m - 1600m. Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1-10cm tall, though some species are much larger. Mosses commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp and shady locations.
There are 10,000 species of moss worldwide. They do not have flowers or seeds. They produce spore capsules which are borne aloft on thin stalks.
Climbers are advised to:
The entrance is next to the Telecom Malaysia bungalow (TM Resort - Sri Intan) on High Pines Road, just past Seri Pahang bungalow. The location of Pine Tree Hill Trail head can be found on this map:
Some people drive up from KL before dawn, do the trek and drive back the same evening. But this makes a very long and exhausting day and involves driving on the windy Gap Road in the dark which is not ideal.
I think if I finally summon up the enthusiasm to take on Pine Tree Hill Trail, I would prefer to stay overnight at Fraser's Hill and enjoy a hearty breakfast before commencing the climb.