Mount Kinabalu Blog

Mount Kinabalu Blog
Mount Kinabalu Blog

Mount Kinabalu Blog

It was a great experience to climb up to one of Sabahan’s proudest places, which is Mount Kinabalu. I have climbed it four times and never get tired of it. If you love to explore some adventure activities in Sabah, you should climb the mountain and have one of your bucket lists checked! 

Well, getting there is not difficult, anytime is always good. It is one of the accessible peaks in Sabah. But the best time, I would recommend climbing between the months of March to September as it is considered as the non- monsoon season where there is less rain and lower chances to get disappointed when the summit gate close due to the bad weather. 

A tip, please book in advance if you wish to climb the mountain. There is a lot of documentation needed and chances to get slots on peak season is quite low and a hassle. So, please book in advance and make sure you have the information correctly and submit it to your tour operator. 

Fitness wise, everyone can climb up provided you are healthy and average fitness is enough. However, to make sure you reach the summit, it is recommended that you do some walking up to a hill or staircase for at least 4 weeks before your actual climb. Well, I did a full 7 weeks of preparation hiking up some small hills in town. Just to make sure that my body is used to climbing up the stairs. I said it is an accessible peak, but not an easy journey. 

To prepare for the hike, these are some of my essential items; 2 pairs of clothes, a small bag pack, windbreaker, head torch, walking stick, and a warm jacket. Remember, pack light. If you have extra money to spend, you can always hire a porter to carry the bag. Back then, our bags were about 13kg together so times RM13 about RM169. You only pay the fee after they weight your beg. It’s quite relaxing if you do not have heavy bags to carry up to Laban Rata. Porters are available everyday. You can ask the Sabah Park counter if you are looking for a porter. 

Touching down Kota Kinabalu, I would recommend all the climbers to stay overnight at the Kundasang area for acclimatisation. However, it is not a big issue. I myself did not stay overnight at the area before climbing. But you have to make sure you wake up super early on the day you climb as you will be picked up from your hotel as early as 05.50am in the morning and straight to Kinabalu Park.

As soon as you reach Kinabalu Park, you will go straight to do some registration. Once you have your guide, then you will proceed to the Timpohon Gate and your journey begins! You can take your final toilet break here at the Timpohon before climbing. Your mountain guide will explain the journey here at Timpohon Gate and good luck! 

Going up the trail, it was a priceless experience to be able to observe the rainforest type of flora and fauna along the trail.There are seven shelters with toilets in every KM of the trail. First to second kilometre were fine at first, but after that, to put it bluntly, a brutal trail. Oxygen level is getting lower, my legs are crying, tired and I was sweating all over even though the weather up there was cold. 

However, because I always wear my earphones, I put it on louder so I can continue to climb. Listening to music can make me more energetic so I hope these tips can help you too. Make sure your earphones are sweat- proof too! 

After battling with my tiredness and mental, I finally reached Panalaban Base Camp first. A sigh of relief. Some of the climbers cheered me up and said “ you made it halfway! Good job!” I made a lot of friends up there while waiting for my partner to arrive. The staff up there are so friendly. Just ask anything about the mountain, they will be sure to give you the stories and information you need. 

Early dinner is served at 4.30pm for every climber. Can you imagine that we are enjoying our meal at the highest restaurant in south east Asia? What a wonderful experience, I must say! 

After dinner, we were asked to sleep early as we have to get up super early for the summit climb. Even so, you would not want to miss the best sunset you can have, 3272 metre above sea level, provided it is not raining. 

After getting the barely-needed rest, it was time to get up at 2 am and start preparing yourself before the summit climb. Supper is served and I chose to eat a light meal as I have a super weak stomach especially after the first meal. 

If you are fit enough, the mountain guide may ask you to start a bit later and if your fitness is somewhere around average, they will ask you to climb at 0230am. This summit trail was a bit different from yesterday’s climb. The trail was again brutally tough with elevation of around 50 degrees! Add up to freezing temperature, strong winds, it is totally a mental game. It was hard, and I started to feel slightly dizzy due to the thin layer of oxygen. Nonetheless, the night sky was amazing. Only at the summit trail, you can see such a clear and full of stars. It is truly a priceless experience. During this climb, the trail had ropes along the ways for you to grab and climb up. Most of the area, you will have to move faster if you saw a signage telling you to move quickly. 

Moreover, you have to reach one of the check points called Sayat Sayat Hut before 0530am or else you are not able to climb up to the summit. My partner and I managed to reach the hut at 0355am. It was one of my fastest times compared to the previous climb. Unbelievable! 

Once you reach the checkpoint, you can have your time slowly up to the summit. We were informed not to go up so fast as the wind werestill strong and you might feel freezing cold up there. So we took our time slowly and watched the night sky slowly becoming a blue tone, indicating that the sun is about to rise. 

After 3 hours of climbing, I can see the peak! I was so blessed that our mountain guide was here with us at all times and motivated us to reach the summit. We reached! Just at the right time the sun is rising up! I was at the ninth cloud as I managed to climb and reach the peak for the fourth time! Proud of my partner too as he managed to reach at his second attempt (the first did not go well as he was attacked by slight Altitude Mountain Sickness). Another achievement, another yearly bucket list checked! We have conquered Mount Kinabalu, known as Low’s Peak which is about 4095metre high! We sat there for about 20 minutes, indulging our chocolate drinks and snacks and enjoying the breath- taking view with a soufflé of cloud floating around.

Time to descend down to Laban Rata for breakfast. Bid our goodbye to the staff and friends and continue to descend down to Timpohon Gate. Knees ache and thankfully we have the walking stick with us. We only took our rest at Lowi Shelter for 10 minutes and then straight down to the gate. All of the craving runs through our mind while going down. Yes, it took us 3 hours and half to reach. Bid goodbye to our mountain guide and till next time, Mount Kinabalu! 

Mount Kinabalu Blog

Mount Kinabalu Blog

Mount Kinabalu Blog It was a great experience to climb up to one of Sabahan’s…




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