Today’s Hike

1. It rained again. And again, undisciplined me could not force myself to continue, even though I’ve hiked in much worse conditions before. Instead I took a long break at North View Hut and then proceeded on with umbrella. Yes, I am ashamed of myself.

2. I saw the girl with the heavy pack, ankle weights, and two poles again. This time I asked what she was training for. “Everest” was the reply. Her current pack is 15kg. She definitely needs to increase it. She’s already going pretty slowly.

3. I weighed my pack again. It’s now up to 12kg, and that was after depleting my water supplies by approximately 1kg. Also, I’ve lost 2kg in the last six months. Didn’t expect that — I’ve definitely not been pushing myself to my limits during trainings.

4. I broke something in my Komperdell walking stick. The lowest section now can’t be retracted, nor can it be tightened so as to lock it in place. It still stays in the same place because of friction, so it’s still usable. Less portable though. I’ll use it to death for my trainings, use it for Tahan if it’s still usable by then, and turn to its partner when it dies.

5. I’ve noticed that there is a damn lot of deforestation in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. There are huge clearings where there used to be trees before. On the Dairy Farm slope the construction of the new stepped path seems to have opened the surroundings to invasion by ferns, which are known to be so aggressive that trees will not be able to colonise the area again without external intervention. The part of Catchment Path near the pipeline clearing seems to have lots of fallen trees, and looks like a war zone after storms. The nature reserve was probably doomed from the start due to its small size and the BKE cutting it off from the rest of the Central Catchment Area. But the increased foot traffic in the nature reserve must have speeded up the deforestation process. I think it’s great that more and more people are visiting the nature reserve. But our nature reserves are so small and isolated that I suspect these visits will result in their eventual demise. How long before they basically become parks with short stunted trees and cowgrass?

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