On Trend Attraction: Mount Kinabalu – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


Mount Kinabalu from the depature point

Mount Kinabalu from the depature point

Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a feat that Alex and I successfully achieved over two days (including an overnight stay at Laban Rata). We did pay for a guide although we did carry our own gear.Despite doing steps training for a couple of months leading up to the climb I have to say I still struggled.

How steep is this mountain?

How steep is this mountain?

Alex did it relatively easily and would have finished the climb quicker if not for me holding him back… sorry Alex.

Up up up up up ...its never ending

Up up up up up …its never ending

3001m above sea level - doesn't make me feel any better knowing that

3001m above sea level – doesn’t make me feel any better knowing that

I can’t express how relieved I was to finally make it to Laban Rata.

Laban Rata

Laban Rata

It took us 8 (long) hours to do the ascent and reach Laban Rata.

Inside Laban Rata - these people are as silly as us

Inside Laban Rata – these people are as silly as us

At least the view was worth all that effort.

Not a bad view after all that effort

Not a bad view after all that effort

Although we did get up at 2:00am to watch others head off to climb the final summit to Low’s Peak, we decided not to tackle this extra segment and it was the best decision we could have made as I struggled with the descent as it was.

Going down...I thought this would be the easy bit...wrong

Going down…I thought this would be the easy bit…wrong

We had patches of rain on the descent (February climb), which made the path slippery in sections and by time we reached the finish my knees were all but destroyed.  I pretty much descended the last section sideways.

It took us 6 (long) hours to complete the descent.

I would encourage others to take it on (with preparation) and we did speak to others during dinner while at Laban Rata who have done it numerous times.  I think these people are crazy and personally, for me … never… ever… ever again !


Fast Facts courtesy of Wikitravel

Mount Kinabalu is in Kinabalu Park in the Malaysian state of Sabah, some 80 km east of Kota Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu is Borneo’s tallest mountain.  You can climb to the top of Low’s Peak (4,095.2m or 13,435.7ft above sea level).  The height of the mountain is often given as 4,101m but recent satellite imaging has proven this to be incorrect.
Mount Kinabalu is known to be one of the most accessible mountains in the world. No specialized mountain climbing skills are required to ascend it, though along certain sections on the summit trail, hikers will need to rely on guide ropes to make the ascent and descent.  The trail that most tourists use is described as a ‘trek and scramble’. Locals are reported to begin climbing the mountain from the age of 3 and the oldest person to reach the peak was 80 years old. However, how much one enjoys the climb depends strongly on how fit you are and how well you acclimatise to the thin air at the higher levels.
Nevertheless, the mountain can be a dangerous place, especially during the rain or when there is mist. On average, every year one person gets into severe difficulty out of the estimated 20,000 people who attempt the climb. The higher slopes can be very slippery when it rains and dense fog reduces visibility to a few feet.
Although it is possible to climb to the top and back in less than four hours, most climbers take two days, with an overnight break at Laban Rata (3,272.7m above sea level). The final attack on the peak takes place in the early hours of the second day (most begin at 2:30AM) in order to catch the sunrise at the top.  By mid-morning the mist begins to roll in, obscuring the breath-taking views.
Climbing weather is best around the month of April while November and December brings rain.  The temperature ranges from a comfortable 20-25°C at the main park to something approaching freezing near the top (depending on the weather). Bring appropriate warm clothing and windproof gear. If possible, climb during the full moon as it helps illuminate the white rope that marks out the climbing path.
Climb Mount Kinabalu
A typical itinerary allocates two days to attempt the climb. On the first day, hikers make the climb from either Timpohon Gate or Mesilau to Laban Rata. On the second day, the climb starts at around 2 am in the morning for the summit trail to Low’s Peak. The descent back to Kota Kinabalu Park takes place after the summit climb.[showmyads]

Admission charge:  charges include park entry fee, climbing permit and guide fee
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