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Trip report 17/12/03_Doi Lanka Noi 3 peaks

After departing from Doi Saket at approx. 08:10, sorting out which vehicles would stay at the hike end point in Ban Mae Ton Luang and then shuttling hikers hikers to the start, we set off on foot at around 09:15, starting at an elevation of ± 1530m.

That it took an hour for the 24 hikers from a wide variety of nationalities to cover the ± 1300m to the summit of Hill 1787 attests to the steep nature of the “brute” that is the first of three ascents on this short but relatively technical hike.

By 10:52, we were at Hill 1697 (1708 on Peter’s GPS), atop which a life-sized seated Buddha image resides. The Village headman later said that when they cleared the firebreak they would also fix the metal roof sheets sheltering the image, which had all blown off except for one.

Then came the most technical part of the hike, which is a very steep descent with occasional rock steps often concealed by thick grasses. By skill and good fortune, all made it down to the bottom safely (± 1570m), only to be faced with the second stiff upward climb to the ridge and the main trail from Ban Mae Tong Luang to Doi Langka Noi at ± 1685m, a distance of ± 600m from Hill 1697.

Three hikers at the tail end of the group wisely chose to stay at this spot, enjoy the fine view and some lunch, and await the group’s return by the main route down to the village.

By this time, leading hikers were already approaching the top of the final peak, Doi Langka Noi (Hill 1756) when the last member of the group to do the full longer hike was leaving the three hikers at the lower picnic spot.

By the time all had made it up Doi Langka Noi (about 13:00), many had already enjoyed lunch and were in the mood to continue by another, longer route down to the valley below rather than the main route back to Ban Mae Ton Luang (± 1190m) as originally planned.

Thanks to Peter and his skills as a hike leader, he stepped up to take the group down by the more interesting route following the ridge immediately to the west of the main route, while Oliver and three other hikers went back down by the originally planned route, meeting those who stayed in the picnic spot below and then descending by the original proposed route to Mae Ton Luang.

The longer descent led by Peter takes a pretty route beneath a rock overhang and then down into a valley, crossing a stream about 20 times.

This longer route involved a bit of a walk up the highway back to Mae Ton Luang, but by around 15:30, everyone was back in Mae Tong Luang, enjoying the coffee if not beer after an energetic day of sometimes stiff exercise and great views.

Fortunately, the leech that hike leader Oliver had been suckered by when reconnoitring the hike two days previously did not appear to have too many brethren that afflicted other members of the group.

The headman later told Oliver that the amount and relatively long duration of the rains this year meant that leeches were still around. He also said that the villagers clear the firebreak late January or early February, so perhaps it would be wise to leave this hike till later in the season in future.

Hike leader Oliver thanks all those who participated and in particular to Peter who stepped up to sweep and then lead the longer hike and then supplied GPS data for this review.

Finally, Oliver apologises to all hikers inconvenienced and especially to the (hopefully) lone hiker whose time was wasted when he turned up at the meet point on the erroneous date as it was originally posted for this hike.

Pictures kindly supplied by K. Goi

Hike Data:

Group 1 (Oliver’s)
Total distance: ± 8.7 kms
Elevation gain: 585m; loss ± 940m

Group 2 (Peter’s)
Total distance: ± 13.6 kms or less depending on pickup point on the road
Elevation gain: ± 660m; loss ± 1025m

 

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