Thursday, July 04, 2013

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu

A couple of weeks back some friends and I decided to hike up Mt. Kinabalu. Although this was pre-arranged a couple of months before (I think), I kept forgetting the exact dates (because they changed a few times) we were going to hike up, and how everything's going to be sorted out. For training, I only did cardio in the morning about 2 - 4 km before going off to work. Loved the routine which I've stopped ever since because it took me about a week to recover/ recuperate from the hike and another week which was just pure laziness.

Let me briefly explain to you how these hikings are different from one another. Firstly, there are two types of routes, via Mesilau and via Timpohon Gate (Kinabalu Park). Mesilau's track is 2KM more and are mostly off road which means there are areas with no proper climbing stairs.



You'd have to climb up the boulders and rocks, at one point I even hiked using all four limbs, not kidding. 2KM uphill is almost equivalent of another 2 - 3 hours of hiking. Timpohon on the other hand is more common route among hikers, and it also has more straight roads and definitely well structured either. Evidently, Mesilau is a LOT more challenging.

Since this was our first time, friends and I have been assigned to hike via MESILAU. But of course -_-
Most would either stay somewhere near National Park and walk up straight from Timpohon Gate.





We left Mesilau really late about 10am onwards (I wasn't really happy about this) because I knew it would slow us down and we would eventually reach really late.

The whole hike wasn't really with the most ideal weather and conditions, it was raining really heavily, I was drenched right into my inside (even with rain coat) and my sister wasn't really feeling well either so we were always on the lookout for her.

But personally, I really enjoyed the hike. I took my time to enjoy the irreplaceable scenery and bask in the greatness of everything. The view, the trickling raindrops, the gushes of gravity water, the smell of the forest, this may sound like a complete hippy but I never really quite get to know "the nature" until I'm put in the position to accept the nature in one with whatever situations I was at.

Probably one of the best experience in my life :)

The moment we reached Laban Rata (which is the first and the last stop) before the last climb up to the peak, we crashed and passed out.

Sister couldn't join the remaining because she was too sick, and only a few of us continued the journey. At some point, some of us even decided to not continue the hike anymore because apparently it was too cold and slippery or while some were just plain exhausted.

This was one of my amazing view on my way up. Really, the feeling of being able to reach where you are is just surreal.



I have the best guide in the world :) He took really good  care of me most of the time, chatted up with me, and even helped me at tricky times.  Thank you for being my positive rock Johnny.


I saw this vertical rainbow on my way up. Really beautiful :) And imagine the horizons I could see from here? It was insanely beautiful. I really felt like on top of the world. Like I could see everything now, that things are built in  bigger picture.


Like most of the climbers who had to stop halfway because of the drizzles and exhaustion, I wasn't quite sure about the climb either but I am probably a few hours away from the peak so I decided to just continue. I was exhausted, demotivated and everything one could imagine but I continued.



I was probably the last among 7 - 9 of us that climbed up the peak (out of 24) to reach the checkpoint, so the guide was actually quite hesitant to let me pass through because I might be too late to come down. So after about an hour or so of climb, and was merely -300metres away from the peak, the guide told me to start my walk down or I would be caught in the mist and slow down and will no longer be allowed to go up.


I thought whether that was dissapointing to be so near to the low's peak but couldn't actually touch the board, but quite frankly I wasn't. I was ecstatic! I am on top of Mt. Kinabalu how much can this be better! 


On our way back, I swear to God I heard people calling my name. While I wasn't sure whether it did happened, I kept it to myself only to find out some friends of mine actually experienced the same thing as well. Not quite sure what happened, but I have a feeling it's part of the side effects of exhaustion.


And we stumbled upon an adorable but beautiful waterfall. What a life-changing hike.


All in all I've got some tips and recommendations to make your climb a little better. I think the most important thing is to keep a positive attitude. I'd punch myself if I had to hike with someone who's always so negative about everything and might as well opt for a much slower pace person but has a lighter attitude :)

Tips & Recommendation: 
  • Of course do a stamina and physical training prior to the climb. 
  • Prepare hiking items for both morning and night and on different weathers like; raincoat, walking stick (helped me a lot!), light backpack, headlights, gloves, tons and tons of socks and harness (seriously important, I didn't know as you climb it's between you and the thousands of metres away from the ground only they didn't provide harness). And yes there are such cases like people falling off the cliff and break themselves into pieces. 
  • If you're an amateur and do not want to shock yourself, hike via National Park (Timpohon Gate) first. 
  • Stay calm and keep pace. 
  • Don't extract or pull out any plants or animals from the hike because the park rangers will fine you so much you're gonna cry and regret. I heard about RM 100k. Also, that's not good for the nature :) 

Other than that, have fun! Feel free to ask me anything if you're unsure.

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

2 comments:

KY said...

I wanna do this too, one of these days. :)

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