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Travelogue and Gallery

Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

After leaving home at 7:30am an 8 hour flight, a 2.5 hour flight, and a 2 hour car ride, I finally arrived at my hotel near the entrance to Mt Kinabalu at 11:00pm.

I was picked up from Kota Kinabalu airport by Michael who works/manages the Cottage Hotel near Mt Kinabalu. The flight had been delayed from KL to KK, so as the shops were going to be closed, he took me downtown to grab a meal before our 2 hour journey to the hotel, finally arriving at 11pm.

Early the next morning I cleaned out my bag and left the unnecessary items at the hotel, while Michael took me to the park entrance, only 5 minutes away by car.
After checking in with Mountain Torq I hired my guide for the 2 day trek – Richard.  Apparently Richard does the climb once a week (for the past 10 years) for “fitness,” as his full time job is a taxi-driver.  A short 5 minute mini-bus ride late, and we were at the entrance to the climb – Timpohon Gate.

It was 6km to the huts where we were going to camp overnight, before continuing a further 3km the next day to Low’s Peak.

The first day was a tough walk.   A lot of steps.  Probably the most difficult was the last kilometre of track, which appeared to be more rocky than the first 5km.  Luckily there were plenty of chances to take a pit-stop along the way, with shelters set up periodically along the track.

The climb to the huts took a little over 4 hours and I’m glad they weren’t another 1km further.

After checking in with Mountain Torq and going through the short safety briefing, I had a chance to take some pics and then go and have the buffet dinner at Laban Rata, before going back to the Pendant Hut for an early night.

Everybody was up about 1:30am to have breakfast and get ready for climbing.  By 2:45am we were climbing up steps again for the last 3km stretch to the peak.  The 7th km was relatively easy and allowed us to shuffle along at a steady pace without having to take a break.

It was about 5:30am when we reached the  peak, about 30 minutes before sunrise.

After sitting at the almighty cold and windy peak for about nearly an hour taking photos, we started to head back down to the 7.5km mark, where the Via  ferrata  started.

After getting roped up we started along the 1.2km Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata – hanging off the side of mountain at 3,776m above sea level.  It had some spectacular views over the clouds.

After finishing the Via Ferrata it was back to the Pendant Hut for a 2nd breakfast, before completing the 2.5hr trip back to Timpohon Gate.

 

Must Have Gear:

  • Decent shoes that aren’t slippery on rock
  • A headlamp
  • Windproof and warm clothing, including gloves and something for your head – it’s cold at the top!  Ice in the puddles!
  • At least a poncho in case it starts raining
  • Camera!

 

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