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12/07/16 Trip Report Huay Tung Thao Ridge Loop

Under a cloudy sky and humid conditions eleven optimists gathered at the Golden Buddha statue for the hike and at a little after 0800, still undeterred by the possibility of rain, the group set off.  The first kilometer or so was easy going over flat terrain but did involve crossing a small drainage channel which caused some problems and resulted in one of the group getting wet feet.  We also came across a crab which was quite a long way from water.

sun2The flat terrain soon gave way to the more familiar hilly terrain and so began our ascent, first alongside a stream and then on to a dirt road and a steeper ascent for a few kilometres.   We turned off on to another, narrower dirt road which has a much gentler gradient and leads out of the forest into farmland.  The weather was still being kind to us and we managed to get some good views in the clearings along the way, although no one took any photos to prove it.

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sun3Before embarking on our second, and final steep ascent we stopped for a snack break and were treated to some delicious Baklava courtesy of W&W who have just returned from their travels.  Snacks and Baklava over it was back on the trail and up through the lychee orchards (no lychees though) and light forest to the highest point of the hike.  Just before our summit we came upon a recently cleared area so stopped and had our packed lunches.   Refueled, and with the sun occasionally shining, it was back on the trail once again and just a short distance to our summit and the start of the descent.

 

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At the “summit”

 

Like the ascent, the descent was in two steepish sections on good trails through the forest which, on the upper section, were slippery and overgrown in places resulting in a few slips.  We came to the helipad and had a lovely view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding area, and sunshine too, so took a short break to absorb the moment and then it was on to the second steep section.  This was quite rocky and two of the group became separated from the rest of us but the trail they took was a shorter route so they ended up at the bottom before the main party.

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The trail brought us out at the SW end of the lake and a short hike along the road back to the statue.  After that we drove around the lake to the restaurant and well earned refreshments.

The stats. for this week are 13kms in 5hrs 45mins and a total ascent of 730mtrs.

Thanks to all who came along for a great day out, to R and J for the photos, to W&W for the Baklava and the WG for not raining

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