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2019/01/06_Trip Report_Pha Nok Kok Ridge

The weather for the first Sunday hike of 2019 could not have been better. Blue skies, a clement temperature and clear air enticed 16 humans and 4 K9’s to meet up at the 700 Year stadium.

The first problem of 2019 turned out to be parking in the village. Sunday was Hmong New Year and we were treated to the spectacle of flocks of village kids milling round in their finery. Unfortunately this also meant insufficient room to park up our vehicles. The locals were amazingly friendly and accommodating, however, and garaged some cars and moved others such that eventually we were all able to fit in.

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It quickly became apparent that there was a wide disparity between our fastest and slowest members, so when we got on to the ridge the group was split into two and a fast group of 9 shot off along the trail, while a slow group of 7 ambled along behind. 3 K9’s joined the faster group while their master and mistress followed behind in the slower group, which had repercussions for the return journey.

The views over Doi Inthanon from the first viewpoint were amazing, crystal clear and with a couple of small clouds floating near the summit. The ridge was its normal exuberant self with beautiful bird calls from every side.

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About 2/3 way along, 5 of the slow group decided to return while 2 others raced ahead for the view from the tower. The fast group had also split, such that 3 separate groups totalling 11 hikers reached the tower. As hymns rolled up from the village below we ate our sandwiches and marvelled at the spectacular 360 degree panorama.

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As the tower group straggled back along the ridge, we realised that our former complement of 3 K9’s had reduced to one. Calling was to no avail. We therefore assumed (correctly as it turned out) that the other two had rushed ahead to find Dad and Mum and continued on our way home, taking a short-cut to the village that saved a kilometer or so. Meanwhile the two K9’s reached the village under their own steam and the family was reunited. All’s well that ends well.

Official statistics (rounded) distance 15 km, total “up” 850 m, time taken just over 4 1/2 hours.

To wrap it all up, some views inside and outside of our post-hike watering hole.

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Thanks to Peter GB for taking over the fast group (and for doubling as official statistician) and to Peter D for sweeping up at the rear. Also thanks to Maurice, Matt, Tom, Nina and Nadda for the photos.

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2 Responses

  1. As I was reading I was worried you were going to tell me the Hmong eat dog, especially at the New Year!

  2. All present and correct. No body parts missing.

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