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Fredders

Giant Nepenthes Tour - Borneo, Part 5a, Mt Trusmadi - N. lowii

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Hi Guys

Here's part 5 from Mt Trusmadi, the second highest mountain after Mt Kinabaulu in Borneo.

After visiting Poring we said goodbye to John Yates who was heading back to KK for some R&R and Darren O'Brian who was heading home. The rest of us then headed off on a couple of hours drive where we stopped at Keningau. After having some western dinner for a change (Pizza Hut) we jumped into a couple of 4WD's and headed off on another few hours drive to the base of Mt Trusmadi.

A new road is currently being built to get to Mt Trusmadi and in the pouring rain that night it was incredibly slipper as the clay base turned to mud.

We finally arrived at our guides house at 9.50pm that night and were all thoroughly exhausted. But at least we had the luxury of not putting our tents up.

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The new road to Mt Trusmadi.

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Mt Trusmadi in the distance.

Our group was heading up the old trail of Mt Trusmadi which is a lot longer (12km) than the new trail (4.6km) which is closed to let the path and vegetation recover and regenerate.

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Our group getting ready to head off from our guide Dennis's house.

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Alastair and Jeremiah all set and ready to go on our 12-13km trek up the old trail.

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There was a few river crossings on the old trial, one knee deep one right at the start, then a second a few hundred metres later. Pictured is John van der Werf crossing the ankle deep 2nd river.

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A native slater. Back in Australia these insects are only about 1cm in size. But not in Borneo, everything seems to be giant!

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Alastair (far left) and our porters resting at a small stream after about 4km of trekking. Everyone was pretty exhausted by the time we reached this spot, except for Jeremiah (far right). I don't think that I ever saw him tired.

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Shortly after the stream we had a extremely steep embankment to climb, but were rewarded shortly afterwards with finding some N. reinwardtiana plants. (Pictured are a couple of nice upper pitchers.

After about 8km we finally came to an open area which looked like it was a perfect habitat for Nepenthes. And sure enough after a little searching we found a few N. fusca plants.

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A N. fusca upper pitcher.

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A male N. fusca plant flowering.

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After the open area we entered the mossy forest. A unique almost mystical soft and spongy environment all draped in moss.

By early afternoon we came out of the mossy forest to a clearing where we had finally reached our campsite after trekking 9km from Dennis's house. And once we'd set up our tents we had some free time to explore the surrounding area and happily we found a few Nepenthes.

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Our campsite where we spent 2 nights.

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The summit could be seen 4km off in the distance from our campsite.

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The view down from a lookout next to our campsite where the clouds rolled by.

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A small N. fusca seedling growing in the gravel at our campsite.

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A N. fusca plant producing lower pitchers.

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A N. fusca lower pitcher.

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A N. fusca upper pitcher.

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A couple of small N. lowii plants producing lower and intermediate pitchers.

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A rarely seen N. lowii x N. fusca natural hybrid that John found.

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The habitat where the plants were found growing. N. tentaculata was also found around the campsite but too far away to get a good photo.

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The next morning most of the guys got up at 3am to do the sunrise thing again at the summit. But I knew as I was slower than them I wouldn't make it in time so instead got to sleep in for another couple of hours.

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Sunrise from the lookout next to our campsite.

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Only a couple of hundred meters into the trail from our campsite, the mossy forest began again. It was very wet and muddy along this trail and in this photo we had to crawl through a hole in the base of a tree to continue along the trail.

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A Helmut Orchid – Corybas pictus

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My guide Jimmy next to the sign telling us that we only had 2,500m left to go until we reached the summit!

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After struggling through the mossy forest, I finally started to find my reward. N. lowii plants started to appear.

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Me holding a stunning N. lowii upper pitcher.

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Me with a N. lowii plant.

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The white exude on the inside of the lid.

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Side views of a N. lowii upper pitchers.

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A new pitcher just opening.

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The pitcher fluid.

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N. lowii lower pitchers.

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A N. lowii intermediate pitcher.

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Custers of upper pitchers.

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A small plant growing on a log.

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Huge plants next to the trail on the summit.

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Jeremiah next to a huge N. lowii plant.

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The N. lowii habitat.

To be continued:

Giant Nepenthes Tour, P5b Mt Trusmadi - N. macrophylla and N. tentaculata up next.

Cheers

Steve

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Guest Andreas Eils

Steve,

again a fantastic photo show! :clapping:

One of the jungle toilets (N. lowii) is blocked up, eh? ;-) (Looks like some sh** is swimming on the water surface...)

I have to disagree Daniel! Your photos do even increase the appetite to travel there myself! :tu:

Thank you!

Andreas

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Thanks guys

Quite a lot of the old pitchers were full debris. Some pitchers even had living mosquito larvae in them.

See photos below.

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Mosquito larvae in N. lowii pitcher. You should just be able to make them out.

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Leaf debris collected in pitchers.

I highly recommend going if you get the chance. It was an amazing experience to see them in the wild.

Cheers

steve

Edited by Fredders

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