Mount Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo

An outdoor adventure travel

Part 2

As the last activity of people settling down for a good night's sleep in the resthouse after a whole day of adventurous traveling and scrambling in the outdoors, the whole place was deathly quiet. Not a sound could be heard in the hallways and no night time cricket sound could be heard from the outside either except for the occasional pitter-patter of raindrops. I guess at this altitude, not many insects could flourish at this elevation. But the worst thing was though I was tired, I could not sleep! I knew I needed the rest, but my mind was abuzz with the anticipation of waking up early and on reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

The path around Laban Rata was rocky with petrified trees, steps are steep here and it was a real challenge walking up the path! Mount Kinabalu Sabah Borneo onward ho!

Wake up call 2 o'clock in the early morning! Groan! No chance of sleep. And so were many of the people in the resthouse! I overheard many of them complaint that they could not sleep at all! Even in our group, all of us could not sleep except Kenny. Perhaps because he had already decided not to attempt the summit climb and could sleep soundly while, the anticipation of climbing up the summit has caused the rest of us to lose sleep!

After having a light breakfast, Jimmy, our guide came and we were ready to go. Torches were readied, wearing double layer of warm clothing to keep us cozy as we made our ascent. Off we go!

The night's air was cold and it was dark, but with our handy miner torch strap to our head we made our way up the dark path. Thankfully the rain has stop but it did left the trail wet. We shuffled along pretty quickly and I soon felt too hot in my warm jacket and decided to take it off for now, just wearing only my t-shirt. I guess I overheat very easily from vigorous activities.

Soon we reached an almost vertical rock face, and we had to do a bit of rock climbing using the rope that was provided. This was the only dangerous part of the climb to the peak and the going slowed down as each person had to carefully pull themselves up the rock face. It was dark so nobody seemed to know how steep the rock face was until the descent later on when the sun was up and shining!

Huff and puff as we take it step by step up the steep incline to the summit of Mount Kinabalu!

After clearing that section, the rest of the way was just a steep incline all the way up to the next way station at the Sayat-Sayat hut. The incline was really steep, and it requires walking a few steps and standing still for awhile to rest and then continue again in the same manner. Phew! Going against gravity is a real killer.

By 6 am we were finally reaching the summit, and we could see the sky was changing from black to a dark blue as the sun rays began to light up the sky. The summit consisted of a few jagged peaks and Low's Peak is the highest of them all. We could see the peak as we slowly pulled ourselves onward to the summit. It was not until 6.30 am that we finally reached the plateau. At this point, Jimmy our guide as a witness could confirm that we all had reached the summit and was now eligible to receive our certificate of achievement when we return to the park head office for our feat to climb Mount Kinabalu.

We all made it to the Mount Kinabalu summit!

As for the beautiful sunrise? Nope, no chance this time around as it was quite cloudy probably due to the rain in the middle of the night. Still we had a beautiful commanding view and we were above the clouds! And with a breezy wind it was rather chilly up there too!

Well the only thing left to make the trip complete was to scale Low's Peak. Only Lian Wan and I decided to do the final push, while Lena and Lindy rested at the plateau with our guide and having some snack and enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of the area.

Scaling the Low's Peak was not so easy, as we had to clamber across boulders and rock carefully assisted only with a rope placed there as a guide. Still many people attempted it; after all, we have come all the way here, may as well go all the way up to the tip of Mount Kinabalu. It was great to do this climb and after taking the customary photo of "I was here" picture and some landscape photo and scenery shots, it was time to come down.

Lian Wan and I made it all the way up to Mount Kinabalu Low's Peak

Yep, all is not over yet. What goes up must come down, though it was much easier than climbing up, but I did twisted my ankle accidentally while at the peak, just a misstep on the uneven ground and that's it, just my bad luck, and thus my journey down was not so pleasant as I had to hobble down the mountain due to a sore ankle. Upon reaching Laban Rata we were greeted by a cheerful Kenny who inquired how we fared. Tired and happy of achieving our feat we of course explained about our adventure travel up to the peak.

After resting awhile, it was soon time to time to go down the mountain. A quick change to lighter clothing and we were soon on the way back to Kinabalu park head office. The path was slick with mud and we had to make our way carefully on some part of the journey, slipping a couple of times along the way where the steps are tricky. But otherwise it was not so difficult.

And yes, for the rest of the week my leg muscles were very sore and aching with every step that I made. No doubt I probably walked like a duck but nevertheless was proud of the achievement of finally climbing Mount Kinabalu of Sabah Borneo, the highest peak in Malaysia and South-East Asia!

Previous post:

Mount Kinabalu Sabah Borneo outdoor adventure travel, part 1

Posted on 2-Dec-2006

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