MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi-- After a 32-hour ascent, 12 climbers of the Terengganu De Latimojong expedition succeeded in conquering the Rante Mario peak, Mount Latimojong, at a height of 3,479 metres from sea level, here, at noon on Oct. 4.

The two-day expedition comprised personnel from Terengganu Civil Defence Force (APM), media representatives in the state, namely Bernama, Kosmo!, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Harian Metro, RTM, Terengganu State Communications Unit (UKOM), Astro Awani, Menteri Besar Office and Terengganu Exploration Club.

The expedition chief coordinator, Mohd Rafi Kori, 38, said the challenges started from the first post in Desa Karangan at 9am on Oct 3 where climbers faced very narrow path to pass through the hillside.

There were times when climbers were forced to withstand the erratic mountain weather including heavy rain, cold temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius and strong winds, in our efforts to capture Indonesia's fifth highest peak, he told Bernama here today.

However, from the fifth post at a latitude of 2,500 metres until they reached the peak, he said the climbers were enjoying the breathtaking view of the moss forest as well as the bird-eye view of Desa Karangan.

Thank God, all climbers safely arrived at the peak at noon on Oct 4 and to celebrate the occasion, all of us don batik sarongs and 'terendak' (conical traditional hat made from nipah leaves) to represent the Malay Archipelago heritage.

It was even sweeter when Indonesian climbers joined in the excitement by raising both Malaysian and Indonesian flags to mark the close relations and integration of both countries, he said.

Meanwhile, the expedition's chef de mission Lt Col (PA) Che Adam A Rahman, who is also Terengganu APM director, said the climb was even more meaningful when his team contributed financial assistance and daily necessities to the residents of Desa Karangan.

Hopefully, with our small assistance, it will add some joy and cheer to the people there, he added.


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