It was in 2005 that I read a post in one of the Malsingmaps forums about an unknown waterfall near Tanjung Malim. GPS-tracks and the coordinates of this Strata waterfall were given.
Here is the track (in red) and the waterfall, superimposed on a topo map of the region. Click on the map to enlarge it.
Notice that the track is broken, it is not very accurate. Starting point is the Diamond Creek resort, which did not yet exist when the topo map was printed. I have indicated (in white) the location of the roads in this (rundown) resort. I have also marked (in blue) two rivers, to guide the eye. The Strata fall is located in the Sg Sekiah, the Gerehang river has also a waterfall, which I hope to revisit soon
Of course I was interested to visit this fall, so in the following months I went several times to Diamond Creek, and finally found the waterfall. I have written two reports about these trips. The first report, The Strata Fall, Prologue & First Acts , describes the first attempts where we followed a trail high up the left bank of the river and found the Upper Strata Fall. In the second report, Strata Fall, the Grand Finale, we decided to river trek and finally found the main Strata fall.
The map shows the two routes, the yellow one leading to the upper fall, the brown one following the river to the main fall. The reason that the original (red) track is so scanty, especially in the last part, is that the river flows in a deep ravine where GPS reception is not easy. Even with my Garmin GPSMap 64s, there was a lot of scatter, which I have smoothed out.
That was more than ten year ago! Recently one of my friends wanted to visit this fall and I gave them my GPS-data. They did a recce, but did not reach the main fall.
My friend Edwin had told me that he had visited Strata beginning of this year, crossing the river to the right bank and following a rather clear trail to the fall without river trekking. That sounded interesting! He was willing to go again and be our guide. Here is our group. From left to right Paul, Fahmi, Edwin, Jan, Chin and Tan. Picture taken by Aric
We started walking from the Diamond Creek resort, with a 4WD we could have gone much further in. Sometimes it was a bit confusing which road to choose..:-)
Passing through the plantation and entering the forest, we came closer to the stream and the point where we had to cross the river. The sign Hutan Simpan Kekal says that this is a Permanent Forest Reserve. So we were shocked when we saw that less than 100 meter further, a new logging bridge had been constructed over de river.
This was all still unspoiled forest when Edwin came here earlier this year. Shameful. And a problem for us. Of course the building of the logging roads had also destroyed the existing trails. So how to proceed? With some scrambling we managed to climb up to the logging road (marked with a red X).
We decided to cross the stream on this logging bridge and then try to find the trail on the other side. We chose what looked like a kind of trail
But it was not a real trail and soon it petered out in a chaos of tree trunks and branches. Pictures taken by Chin, our selfie-man. Edwin suggested to do a recce, because he was confident that it should not be far to the old trail.
We waited for him (picture by Aric)
When he came back after about ten minutes, he said that he had seen the trail down the slope, to reach it might not be easy, but should be possible. So we continued and indeed, after scrambling not more than 100 meter, we reached the trail. Kudos for Edwin!
The trail was remarkably clear, not overgrown, apparently also used by other hikers.It was only about 500 meter to the fall, which took us less than half an hour. And a beautiful waterfall it is!
We arrived at the fall at 11am and stayed one hour, because we were expecting rain in the afternoon. Enough time to enjoy the view, and take a bath. And pictures of course, or selfies…:-)
Of course I also wanted to refresh myself. Because I sweat easily, which attracts wasps and bees, I often take a plunge with all my clothes on and often also my shoes. As you can see in the left gallery picture, the pool is not deep. Except to the right of the fall and that was where I aiming at. When I touched the rocks, I could feel already that there was a strong current to the left. I tried to swim back but did not make much progress. Edwin noticed that and rescued me! I was not (yet) panicking, but appreciated his help.
On our way back, we found, as we actually expected, that there was a better way to cross the river than using the logging bridge. We found even a marker, proof that more people come here.
Here is the map of our hike. Click to enlarge. Part of the logging road is indicated in brown. The scrambling part is the dashed-green line. The river crossing and the location of the marker are given.
Here is a short video of the Strata Fall
It was an interesting and rewarding trip. I have described the hike in detail, it might help others to find the way. Sad that they have started clearing the forest. Here is one more picture of the damage already done