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Mount Kinabalu – The Climb. (Part 1 of 2)

This is yet another #throwback post.

“To be at the peak of Mount Kinabalu!” – Tick!

Alhamdulillah, on February 9th 2014 (told you it’s a major throwback), I have finally achieved one of the biggest items in my personal travel bucket list since year 2009.

Plenty of stories and blog posts have been written about Mount Kinabalu climb and I thank each of the writers for their effort. These articles helped me to mentally prepare for the climb though I would say the actual “going through it” experience is probably many times ‘tougher’ than reading about it at the comfort of an air-conditioned room 🙂

With so many stories already out there, I don’t plan to go in details with my blog post. What I’m going to do is just posting random photos in sequence of the 3-day adventure and let the photos do all the talking (alasan malas nak write).


The first leg of the adventure – 5-star pampering before all the hard work.


First thing first, logistic arrangements at Kinabalu Park HQ.


Our group of 7 booked our climb packages via Cuti.my in which the package was handled by local agent – Sanctuary Borneo Travel Agency. Efficient travel agent with friendly and flexible guide/transporter.

Spent one night at Kinabalu Pine Resort – a bit pricy but a very nice place to chill. Highly recommended even if you’re not going for the climb.


Evening walk near the Kundasang vegetable stalls and we were greeted by the magnificent view of the peaks.


As much as I love the view, it was also a friendly reminder on the level of difficulty that we were going to face the next day. Cuak.

A good advice on the internet is to eat lots of carbo and be selective with what to eat before the climb. We wanted to be different, it’s a holiday after all and nothing taste better on a chill Kudasang evening than a good ol steamboat dinner.

6:26am. Day 1 of climbing day.


Sorting out the bags and meeting our guides for the first time. Natius and Gohamin, seasoned trekkers.



Timpohon trail start point.


Carson fall, the first reward for climbers. As early as the first 0.5km of the route.


At km 0.5 wooden steps start to make its appearance. Nothing that we have not seen before (cewahhh!). But yeah if you have hiked at Bukit Gasing or Bukit Bendera, this is pretty much the same kind of challenge.


The younger guys from the team went on at a much faster rate while I was at the back end of the group. I made the first rookie mistake by stopping for too long at the rest shelters which broke the momentum that I was having early part of the climb.


The easy part.


A common sight at rest huts.


Natius taking a break while waiting for us slow hikers 😛


By noon, things starting to get tougher. No more easy wooden steps and the famous mountain rain kicks in while altitude starts to play a role in making me a bit dizzy.


Still it was very scenic which was a major motivation factor for me. I started to take more freuquent but shorter breaks.


The last stretch before reaching Laban Rata (the base camp, destination for day 1 of climb) was the most challenging part. Exhausted, wet and hungry combine with ‘never-ending’ rocky path.

Finally, after 6km of trekking, I can finally see our lodge in Laban Rata – the Gunting Lagadan Hut. Very basic hut with no heater, no hot water but at 11,000 feet, this is as good as Hilton!


5 hours 34 minutes. Within my personal target of below 6 hours. Oklah…kot 😛


The clouds finally cleared for a good 20 minutes and most of the hikers rushed out to snap photos.

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Our adventure to the peak will start just behind out hut. From this photo it may seem as very near but it is definitely not.


To be continued in part 2….

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