An excellent walk, all according to plan, with a wide variety of terrain: stream fordings along a valley with coffee plantation, steep climbs and descents, undulating ridge sections, cliff skirting ledges, head-high fern field ‘wading’, and finally even a bit of tarmac (with no vehicles).
Six hikers from three continents set out from Wat Kamphaeng Hin (alt. c.1,000m) at 8am under overcast skies, which kept the temperature down, and there was no rain or serious mud despite the previous night’s thunderstorm. Excellent hiking weather, but less so for photography. A relaxed pace kept all happy and left time for photo-taking and breath for chatting. We completed the 6 kms to reach the top (1,750) in about 3 hrs 30 mins, despite a break to change from wet to dry footwear after the 14 (15?) stream crossings, a couple of leech-removal stops, and a short detour to see the view from on top of the cliffs we’d just skirted the bottom of (see Hein’s panorama photo, showing Doi Lanka Noi on the left).
Lunch by the stupa at the peak was cool and misty but with glimpses of far-off peaks and ridges. The descent seemed easier than on previous occasions (surely we’re not getting fitter?) and we met a small group of Thai hikers, with guide and heavily-laden porters, coming up on a multi-day (often three night) trek over Doi Lanka Luang.
We were down to find the Ban Mae Dton Luang coffee shop closed just after 2pm, so went straight back along the 1252 to the cars. Coffee Corner on the 3001 road was open though, to slake our thirst and give time to plan more hikes. Total distance 10.7 kms. Total ascent 935m. Time 6hrs 20 mins, including lunch stop. We’ll do this one again sometime.
Filed under: Hike Reports