Borneo Adventures Day 2 - 11000 feet above sea level

This time, I`ll describe the first part of the hike, which starts from the Kinabalu park to our resting place somewhere high up in the mountains.
To be even able to make the climb, I`m actually very grateful. In fact, the circumstances wasn`t very favourable in the beginning. We had less than a day before the climb yet we had not made any bookings. The weather was extremely bad. It`s been raining cats and dog in Sabah, with many of their main city flooded. Even with the horrible weather aside, there`s a bigger issue, cash. The climbing package offered by the tour agency is extremely pricey. The cheapest one was RM 650 while some was as high as RM 900.

Without any locals to guide us, we walk around randomly till we found the head office of the resort on top of Mt Kinabalu. Even with all the arrangement done by ourselves, it cost a total of 400 ringgit. It wasn`t until I agree to sleep with the women at the counter where I get the lodging for free!!!!

Alright, that was just a joke. I didn`t get the lodging for free. Nor did I sleep with the women at the counter. But, we got a non heated dorm bed for RM 60 per person, without any meals provided. Factor in the travel permits, transportation, mountain guide fee and etc, it will still cost less than 200. This was good enough for me, and on 7am, our journey to Kinabalu Park, located 1900m above sea level, begins. The ride from Kota Kinabalu to the park takes about 2 hours and cost 15 ringgit. It`s about the same distance of KL-Malacca except the road are much more narrow with sharp turns and death corners everywhere.

they call these busses..... so they think they can stuff 40 ppl inside to maximize profit.

the kampung roads..

We started our climb not too long after we reached the park. Of course, every one of us is very very enthusiastic about it. Most of the hills I jogged only took 30 minutes to reach the top. This will push our endurance to our limits.

The road is named to give us the Power!!!!.. Tank says; use the 'force' instead!!

It was about 10.30 am and it was already started drizzling. Resigning to the weather, we had to wear this ugly looking rain coat. We all look like yellow penguins....

two mountain penguins

The thought of hiking up to 14000 feet in this hideous looking suits is quite..demotivating.

That said, as we go on, the walk up was quite pleasant discounting the rain. The first 2 station was an easy climb. There were a fair mix of horizontal and vertical paths.
The rain subsided a little. The walk kept us warm and we don`t even need the jacket.

free show!!

It feels that we can go on forever. The greeneries were beautiful, the squirrels were playful and the people we met along the way were great.

you wish all the paths are as nice all the way to the mountain.

squirrels, the only animal we came across on the way up.

It was fun talking to other hikers from other countries. Most of them are first timers like us, so all of us have very little what to expect in the path to come. Though, we all know one thing. It will be wet from now onwards. From altitude 8000 feet and above, everywhere will be damp even when it doesn`t rain.

Alfred, from HK

not surprisingly, I forgotten her name.

As the rain picks up, and the trails get tougher, everyone was hoping that the next stop will be the last. Of course, nothing could be further than the truth. We are only 3 hours into the climb. An average would take about 6 hours.

The last 2 stations were extremely difficult. There soiled path changed into piles of stones. There are waters everywhere and we are all soaking wet.

the stones are wet and slippery

The altitude now is about 3000m, about 10000 feet. Even as we keep walking, the heat dissipated from our body is barely able to keep us warm. We couldn`t rest for too long as our sweat will then chill and turn cold. Trust me, it`s extremely horrible walk in that environment with wet clothing.

not only wet and cold, at some point, the fog was so thick, visibility fall to just 2 walking steps ahead of you.

After about 5 hours of torture, we saw the Laban Rata resort.

Everyone else rejoiced, except me. That is the ‘luxurious’ heated dorm which we couldn`t afford. Our dorm is another 150 metres away. Translate the distance in that particular circumstances… 150 metre seems infinitely far away. But what keep me going for this view. An image that tells us what is there to come in our 2nd half of the climb to the peak.

Even from here, we can listen to the thundering sound of the waterfall. The view was magnificent. I couldn`t imagine what it`s like to be up there. With such anticipation, I made my final steps to Gunting Legadan hut, yes hut.

We didn`t mind the condition much, since we are too exhausted anyway. It`s only 7pm, but I collapse on my bed. Dreaming of the moment when I reach the peak in another few hours time. I`m sure, then... I`ll be as happy as the me below.

To be continue -----> next chapter: to the summit!!


cereal87 11:27 AM  

Kl - Mlk about 140km

KK-Ranau is about 120km. Kinabalu Park is about 20km before Ranau, so its shorter. But taking 2 hours coz most of the winding roads are single lane and with deadly corners. You shd have rent a car and experience driving up there and down during the late evening when it rains cats and dogs and heavily fogged. One of the best driving challenge in Borneo ;)

Alex 4:13 PM  

The fog was crazy.. There`s one stretch we have to slow down to 30km cuz it was so foggy.

cereal87 8:00 PM  

And you can still find hilux drivers doing more than 80km/h ;)

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