Mt Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia with the peak 4095m high. What do you do when you see a mountain? Well you climb it of course.
We did the climb in two days spending one night on the mountain. We started the climb in the morning with our local guide leading the way. The scenery keeps changing the higher you go with the guide pointing out pitcher plants and other interesting things along the way.
It is an uphill climb the whole way with lots of rocky steps that make your legs burn! After a day of climbing we reach Laban Rata where we spend the night. Tucked into some dinner, relax for a bit, then hit the hay nice and early as we had to be up at around 3am to start the climb to the summit.
I did not sleep well and I think it had something to do with the altitude. Or maybe I was just worried about the rest of the climb!
In the pitch black with just a torch lighting the way we climb near vertical granite to the summit. There are ropes to hold onto while you get your footing as you climb. I am glad it was pitch black because if I had realised just how steep the climb was I might have turned around and gone back down the mountain!
As the air got thinner, I struggled to breath and was hit with altitude sickness. My friend was telling me that I might have to turn around and go back but there was no way I was doing that. I had made it this far and I was determined to get to the summit. I took regular breaks, walked very slowly and then after awhile it was as if my body adjusted. I was feeling much better and ready to keep climbing.
Everyone is trying to make it to the summit for sunrise and unfortunately we just missed it. It was a little crowded at the summit with everyone trying to get a photo and capture the moment.
After taking in the view and celebrating the fact that we made it to the summit it is time to make our way back down the mountain. The climb down is much easier but don’t underestimate decent! After having had a knee reconstruction I found it a little jarring on my joints.
Equipment for Climbing Mt Kinabalu
You just need the basic equipment for the climb and if you don’t want to carry your bag you can always higher a porter to take it up the mountain for you.
- Small backpack to store your items
- Comfortable shoes with a good grip
- Warm clothing
- Extra clothing and socks
- Small towel
- Warm hat
- Head torch
- Personal toiletries
- Refillable water bottle
- High energy snacks
How to book the climb
It is recommended that you book 3 months in advance, especial during peak season. Mount Kinabalu is the official website which has up to date information on how the book.
You are required to climb with a guide and need a permit to do so.
After the climb
Must admit my muscles were quite sore for a few days afterwards so it was lots of nice warm baths for me and a massage worked a treat!
I might just have to do the climb again so that I actually get to see the sunset next time!
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