Introduction – Mt. Kinabalu
Standing at 4,101 meters (13,455 ft), Mount Kinabalu (Malay: Gunung Kinabalu) is a prominent landmark not only for Sabah, but for the entire country. Located in the state of Sabah, the national park is considered as one of the most important ecological haven for about 5,000 to 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and with more than 100 mammals that could only be found and identified on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.
With it sanctioned as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000, the Malaysian government has been preserving this piece of unspoiled land to ensure that all species are well protected. Located at the foothill of the majestic mountain, Kinabalu National Park is the closest place where you can visit for more information, to trek on many nature trails into the ancient rainforest, and if you are up for the challenge, you can scale the rocky mountain by joining our overnight packages.
You will definitely be amazed by the serenity at the marvelous view at the Panar Laban basecamp, whereby seas of clouds, and sometimes mist will embody the valleys, leaving a mysterious veil that proved to be absolutely breathtaking. On a clear night, Milky Way, shooting stars and sometimes the silvery touch by the moon, would only enhance your mountain climbing experience.
To top that off, you will be further amazed, once you get up to the highest peak (Low’s Peak), and be marveled by the sights during sunrise. Everything beneath you will turn first to fiery red, then golden as the sun rising slowly from the seas of clouds. At that moment, you only wish that your camera has enough memory space, for you to capture the enchanting scenery right in front of you.
This is truly one of the many experiences that you must have, and we guarantee that you will want to come back again real soon!
Preparing Yourself For The Mt. Kinabalu Climb
For many, climbing a mountain sounds complicated and difficult. However, you will be glad to learn that Mt Kinabalu is actually considered as one of the easier mountains to climb in the world!
You don’t have to be an experienced mountaineer to climb nor would you have to be extremely fit physically to conquer the highest peak in Southeast Asia. However, you DO have to be relatively fit in order to complete the climb the many uneven steps from Timpohon Gate to Panar Laban base camp.
This is usually the part whereby most climbers would feel as if their thighs and calves are going to explode; thus training your legs is essential. The route from Panar Laban base camp towards the summit (Low’s Peak) shall rely mostly on your upper body strength, especially your arms, as you shall need to grab on the ropes to haul yourself upward.
We find that good cardiovascular workout routines plus good amount of weight lifting could further enhance your stamina and strength for the trip. So please train well before the climb!
List Of Things
There are a few important things that one should know when attempt for the climb. Temperature at higher altitude shall drop below 10°C while at night, falls between 2 – 5°C. Warm clothing is needed, as well as gloves and some lightweight ponchos, in case of random showers in the late afternoon; which is quite often while in the rainforest.
Please see attachment for our list to pack for your climbing trip. Always remember NOT to over packed, as the weight of your backpack would slow you down. If you find that you absolutely need to carry all those items, you could opt for a porter to carry your excess baggage for you at a fee collected by the Sabah Park HQ.
What To Expect
Most visitors underestimate the altitude while climbing, and they would suffer the altitude sickness (from mild to severe, condition varies on individual), where they would not be able to continue with the journey.
If you are uncertain, you can consult with your physicians for altitude sickness pills or stay an extra night inside the Kinabalu National Park to assimilate the high altitude pressure and thinner air.
As you shall be trekking through rainforest at the lower altitude areas, you’ll tend to get some random shower or fog. A lightweight poncho or raincoat would be recommended to protect your body and bag from getting wet; as we all know, when our bags get wet, it gets heavier! It is also important to keep yourself dry, as the higher you climb, the colder the temperature. If you are climbing with wet clothes, your body temperature will drop faster, risking yourself to suffer from hypothermia.
We understand that there shall be time, when you are so close to the summit that you could almost taste the victory of conquering the peak; but then you get turned away by your mountain guide. Please understand that he/she is responsible for your safety, if the condition is not optimal for you to proceed, please respect his/her decision to return yourself back to base camp. After all, you have only one life to live, and you can always come back and try again.
With that said, we would like to remind all climbers to pack wisely and climb safely!