Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mount Kinabalu Sabah Borneo East Malaysia - Mountain Climb Part 1 爬上京那巴鲁山,沙巴,马来西亚

Located in East Malaysia, near Kota Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu (马来西亚沙巴神山) stands at 4,095M.  It is by no means a very tall mountain, but still a mountain. Never underestimate a mountain.  Climbing up Mt Kinabalu, South East Asia's highest peak, was one of the most intense physical experience I have ever undergone.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu does not require any special training or climbing gear.  However, the climber ought to be physically fit, otherwise it would be an extremely painful experience.   The climb would be done over 2 days.

On the first day, the objective is to reach Laban Rata Rest Hut, where we will rest for the evening, before setting off again on early Day 2 morning to try to reach the summit to catch the sunrise.

If you want to go straight to Day 2 - click here.

Timings (briefly):

Day 1
9:30am -  Set off from Timpohon Gate
2:30pm - Reached Laban Rata Guest House, rest for the evening

Day 2- Early Next Morning
1:30am - Wake up!
1:45am - Breakfast
2:30am - Set off into the darkness
4:15am - Passed Sayat Sayat Checkpoint
7am - Reached Summit (Low's Peak)
7:20am - Began descent from Summit
9:45am - Reached Laban Rata, have a quick breakfast, pack up our stuff
10:30am - Set off for Timpohon
4pm - Reached Timpohon

WE DID IT!!  (mega Ouch, like seriously)

This is Day 1.  This was taken from the coach, as we approached Kinabalu National Park.

They had annual races.  The timings are quite incredible.  We were told they get faster every year.  Notice the champions for the Men's Open are all from Europe.  My guess is Mt Kinabalu may be a piece of cake for the climbers of European mountains.

8.72km sounds manageable, however, it would be continuously uphill.

This was the Trail.  We start at Timpohon Gate. The target was Laban Rata Rest House on the first day. The end point was Low's Peak.  Of course, we must come back down.

This was the lunch pack prepared by the tour company.  The lunch was meant to be consumed on the go. The chocolates were mine.  Tip for future climbers - bring more high energy dry food like chocolates, and keep eating every hour or so.
旅游公司准备的午餐边走边午餐提供了自己的巧克力提示未来的登山者 - 带来更多的高能量的食物,如巧克力每隔一小时左右必须吃否则,你将没有精力很危险的。

Pondok Timpohon.  The checkpoint before we head off.

Our guide giving a short brief.

The start of the trail.  It would be many, many steps.

This is the early part of the trail.  Steps have been carved into the ground, making it easier.

There were Pondoks like these every 500M or so.  The pondoks have toilets. The blue tank behind had mountain water, which I did not dare to consume.  I brought my own bottled water. 

Our group.  Walking sticks are very useful, for the downward journey.

Climb in shorts or track pants (the thin atheletic type).  It would have been very uncomfortable to wear thick pants.

The long journey had just started.

Just keep going.

Another shelter.

The terrain becomes substantially more difficult after the half way mark.  Slippery too.  It rained almost every day.

This is why walking sticks are useful.

Look at those steps.

If we thought going up was hard, wait till we tried going down.

We were now at 2,960M above sea level.

You will find these sign posts along the way, every 0.5km.

The vegetation started to look very different.

By now, the air was much cooler.

A long way more to go.

Yups, a long, long way.

The air was getting thinner.  This caused the heart to beat much faster.

We have reached the pondok just before the Laban Rata Rest House.  See the stretcher.   Apparently, the mountain guides will carry casualties down the mountain.

Time for a short break.  However, breaks shouldn't be longer than 5 minutes, otherwise the body would cool down.

  The going can get quite tough.  But just keep going.

This was the pondok just before Laban Rata.  Only 550M to go!


Finally, Laban Rata!!  3,272M.

I set off at 0930Hrs.  I managed to reach this point at 1400Hrs.  Some members of the group only reached at 1730Hrs.

The Resthouse was a welcome respite.  Food and drink for sale.  Prices are high, but then again, we are on a mountain!

This was the a-la carte menu.

A glass of warm Milo.  I needed this badly.

Some other climbers.  I heard that they got here by 1300hrs.

It sure looks like a cosy cafe!  Everything in this rest house has to be carried up by porters.  

I talked to some of the staff.  They said that they only go home once in 2 months.

The menu again.  This place was run by Sutera, a Malaysian company.

Some pictures mounted on the wall.

The dinner was buffet style.

The staff look like they enjoy their work!

A closer look at the sign.

Dinner.  Honestly, we weren't very hungry after all the climbing.  But eat, we must.

My second round of dinner.  Must make myself eat!

Signs on the wall.

This was our accommodation.  Our group was quite big and we stayed at different parts of the Rest House.

We had a 4-bed bunk.  Most other bunks were 15 or 20 beds.  There were also 2-bed VIP bunks with their own hot shower, which obviously cost more.

After an early dinner, it was time for some rest.  We were told to wake up at 0130hrs for breakfast!!

Onward to Part 2 of the climb......

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