June 2016
  • Day1

    Mt. Kinabalu

    June 24, 2016 in Malaysia ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    This trip was all about hiking up this challenging mountain and trying to get a sense of achievement. It's peak known as Low's Peak, is the highest point in Southeast Asia at 4095m. Ironic that its called low when its actually the highest point.

    To start off you need to make a booking with a tour agency and pay a sum of money for your climb permit, insurance, meals, accomodation, mountain guide, etc. There are limited number of climbers allowed per day, especially after the earthquake last year, so be sure to book early.

    You need to get to Kinabalu National Park. This is where you will be briefed by your mountain guide. The climb begins from Timpohon Gate which is at an altitude of 1866m. Along the way, you will see some squirrels. Chubby creatures they are. I was amused by the various species of moss here. The largest species of moss, Dawsonia sp, is found here. It didn't even look like moss to me. More like a weed. (Picture 6 below)

    It takes about 4-5 hours for a fit climber to get to the resting point known as Laban Rata (3272m). This is where you put up for a few hours before the second part of the climb.

    I resumed my climb at 2.30am with my mountain guide. This was when I found out that my stamina is worse than that of old Japanese people. They were overtaking me effortlessly. There is one point where you got to pull urself up a steep incline using a rope. It was boot camp for me. Anyway, I managed to make it to the peak by 6am in hopes of viewing the sunrise. However, the fog was too thick so I only got to see the sun after it arose well above the clouds. Sunrise or no sunrise, the view took my breath away (or maybe that was the lack of oxygen).

    There are a few other peaks here - St. John's peak (Picture 3) and South peak (Picture 4). Majestic indeed.

    The climb down was a torture. I felt my legs getting weak after about an hour. To add to that, it started raining. It rains here unpredictably, so a raincoat would be a good investment. In the end, it took me about 8 hours to reach Timpohon Gate thanks to my jellyfied knees.

    A good climb nonetheless. No regrets.
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