Nov 14, 2008

Recognise what mountain this is?

Came across this on STOMP:
STOMPer Albert took these photos from his home in Clementi Avenue 3, which show a mountain in the background.

He says:

"These photos were taken from my house at Clementi Ave 3, facing Clementi MRT station.

"The mountain can be seen on clear days or just after a heavy shower."

Do you recognise what mountain this is?

Singapore's No. 1 citizen journalism website with 12 million monthly page views issued this challenge arousing my interest. This heritage hobbyist with growing interest in the natural geography just couldn't resist taking up the challenge.

My initial impression of the first photo was of incredulity. With a mountain range towering behind the tall buildings, you thought when did Singapore have her own Mount Kilimanjaro? I have not had the luxury to admire the scenery from a tall building in Clementi, but I know Bukit Timah/Gombak/Batok lie nearby. This mountain, however, lies much further away. Does such a mountain exist? What can be more shocking than if you wake up one day and suddenly find a mountain on the horizon? Either you are dreaming or Uncle Yu moved the mountain (寓公移山).

But you will not find such a view in Clementi. The first photo is zoomed, so the mountain looks smaller in reality. From Albert's home in Clementi Avenue 3, you should see something like in the second photo. In the second photo, we see two mountains. The one on the left - our Kilimanjaro - is still shrouded in mystery. The one on the right looks easy with her proximity to Clementi. We'll find out in a moment.

The right one is easy, I suppose most STOMP comments got the right one right or near. By right, the challenge is with the left one, not right. So by answering the right one, how can they be right? I guess some people gave up left right and came up with Fuji, Kinabalu, Ice Mountain and yes, there's even Brokeback. They are joking, am I right?

A Brokeback Mountain in Singapore? Not anytime soon.

Do you want to find out its real name? I sure do, so we need to enlist the help of our friend again. Previously she helped me confirm the mysterious mountain of the 1960s which turned out to be Bukit Gombak.

Get ready to be excited. Firing up the client, you can't wait for the globe to rotate to Singapore. You know where you should stop from the position of Clementi MRT Station in the photo. You pan to the location, descend to the approximate elevation and look straight at the horizon, expecting to see the mountain on the left. If you don't, then perhaps the mountain was built out of a mole-hill before Google could update the map.

I did find my Kilimanjaro on the horizon after some adjustment. I almost missed it as the mountain disappears at low elevation.

Clementi Google Earth
Google Earth view of the photo. The two mountains can be seen clearly.

I was off to the mountain - flying like Superman to the destination - the moment "Kilimanjaro" appeared in sight. Even Superman takes time to fly, so in the meantime let's take a look at the mountain on the right which we have neglected. Look carefully, there are actually two of them, two hills to be exact.

View Larger Map
Line of sight to the two hills. It is easy to find Albert's place from the MRT station in the photo. This will be our origin point. From there, extrapolate the line of sight to the hills in the general direction.

Sorry to disappoint the Bukit Timah supporters. You are mistaken if you think the Tin Hill is one of them.

Ok, Superman should have reached his destination now. Ooh, and with the realization he is in Malaysian airspace. Superman boleh! Needless to say, our superhero does not need a passport.

Gunung Pulai from Clementi
Top: The mountain at close range, from Google Earth.
Bottom: The mountain in the background of the photo.

So where is this mountain? I give you a clue - it is pretty near a resort with golf course. In fact I was at this resort quite recently.

View Larger Map
Line of sight to Bukit Gombak and the mountain.


Adelin said...

as usual, *applauds* I really love the way how you show the maps by google alongside with real photos. So the one on the left is in MY ! :D

Lam Chun See said...

You are trully amazing. I wonder how many people in Spore able to do what you just did.

Icemoon said...

Hope you guys and ladies like it. Quite surprised to see a Gunung from Clementi. Usually we see bukits in Singapore and for Malaysian gunungs, near the coastal areas.

oceanskies79 said...

This was an interesting read for me. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

In Pulai Springs?

Icemoon said...

Have Peter conquered their 18 holes? Haha.

Yup, you are right. It is Gunung Pulai.

Anonymous said...

i like other ASEAN countries' golf courses. The landscape very beautiful and "natural" unlike Singapore; man-made features. There is one in Langkawi - I think Datai Bay. Bali also good to see sunset. Phuket see plenty of rolling hills and valleys. Subic Bay in Philippines - see Mt Pinatubo like Mt Fuji. Penang - a challenge after the 18th hole when you see Hotel Equatorial (good sushi bar) on your left - reminds of good meal after hard day's work. Even Hawaii on Kalakua has landscape from lava and ocean waves smashing into cliffs. Or Gold Coast when you experience trees and streams.

I am a sucker of anything natural, especially when there are lady caddies to go with the setting. hahaha....I( not so cheko ko pek).

Icemoon said...

Gosh, what you described I can only experience in those PGA computer games!

Victor said...

That was how they tried to wrestle Horsburg lighthouse from us - the zoom technique.

Icemoon said...

Ooh, thanks for the compliment Gregory Williams.