Hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu
I was so frustrated once i heard the typhoon in Philipines has affected up to Kota Kinabalu. By that time, i was in KL, preparing for my hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu which i had booked it 1 year earlier. It was my first time to step my feet on the peace land of Sabah and extremely excited to drop my salty sweat on top of the sacred mount of Kinabalu. By that time, it was heavy rain and strong wind for almost everyday in the city of Kota Kinabalu. I keep track everyday on the news of the weather forecast but it seems no different. Everyday is raining, the weather was fairly cold and a fairly strong wind keep blowing. Anyhow, i kept fill up my rucksack, never though of cancellation or extension although my organizer has informed us that we might not have the chance to the summit of Kinabalu since all the hikers from 14th October 2017 were failed to the summit, only up to Laban Rata due the bad weather. I actually was over excited for this hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu .
In my rucksack were 2 pairs of waterproof gloves, 2 pairs of hiking shirts and pants for each days, additional layers of inner pants and inner shirts, 4 pairs of wool socks, wind breaker and a face cover. All were prepared for the worst condition of the weather which i heard it was 2 Degree Celsius or lower on the top of Kinabalu summit.
Our hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu were set on 24th October 2017. Our team consist of 9 members, 4 men and 5 women. Our flight trip was on 22nd October 2017 which i went there 2 days earlier. The worst part when i was at the airport, i received a video through Whatsapp and it was a landslide video of Kinabalu Mount happened on 21st October 2017. Few minutes later i received Whatsapp chat from my close friend in KL asking on the condition. ” Seriously, are you going ? “. “Yes!!!”. I had no other answer than yes. It was planned since 1 year ago and i was not going to cancel it.
Reaching Kinabalu on 22nd October 2017, we gathered at B&B@21 Backpackers hotel. It was located at Kota Kinabalu. Most of the hikers from Malaysia or foreign hikers are staying there for hiking trip. It was super clean dorm with 8 double beds inside a room with reasonable price. While waiting for our hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu schedule, we spent our time for sightseeing at Sabah mostly famous places in Sabah like Kundasang, Tamparuli bridge, enjoying seafood at Philipines market and train our fitness by hiking at Sosodikon Hill.
First Day of Hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu (Ascend)
By 23rd October 2017, we continue our journey to Kiram Village where we stayed before we started to hike. On 24th October 2017, early in the morning we woke up from our heavy slept. All the items, foods, gadgets and hiking accessories were prepared the night before. We drove our car to Kinabalu Park at 7.00am.
As expected, it was raining by the time we reached Kinabalu Park. Registration process took around half an hour. We started our 1st day of hiking journey at 8.00. Van has been arranged by organizer to bring us from Kinabalu Park to Timpohon Gate. It took around few minutes only to reach Timpohon Gate for briefing before we start our hiking journey.
It was still raining and we had to start our hiking journey in the rain. We took almost 6 hours of hiking to Laban Rata (Kinabalu Mount Base Camp). The route were all the ways ascend to Laban Rata and mostly steps. The route to the peak are mostly staircase of soil and timber used as the tread. On rainy days, it was a bit slippery and we had to step slowly, one step by one step to the peak.
We reached Laban Rata at 2.00 pm. There are few huts in Laban Rata but that time we chose Lemaing Hut. It was a dorm with double deckers beds about 16 beds inside each dorm.
Temperature at Laban Rata is 7 Degree Celcius due to raining. By the time we reach Laban Rata, lunch was ready for us, just need to take bath, change cloths and prepared for lunch. There were water heater inside the bathroom and we enjoyed that hot water before enjoying our lunch.
Lunch treat at Laban Rata were considered great especially by that time, we were really tired and craving for foods. The food were considered delicious and a lot of varieties provided. They even treat us with lamb which i never imagine to eat lamb at Laban Rata camp. Of course for next, we enjoyed our deep slept before tomorrow.
Second Day of Hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu (Ascend)
We woke up early in the morning at 1.50 am which actually we are not able to sleep well due to coldness and worried of the weather for the next day. Anyhow, all the items were prepared and we started to gather at the canteen for our supper. While waiting for the news from guider, we enjoy our supper together. By that time, everybody worrying about the weather since the last group before us were unable to climb to the summit when the rain start to fall at 2.30 am. They only able to enjoy their last supper at Laban Rata and descend down back to the base.
Finally it was our lucky day. It was our luck when there is no rain up until 2.00 am. The smily face of the guider coming with a good news which we will conquer the top of Kinabalu. We are waiting for that news since 2 weeks before. Everyday talking about the weather condition.
We start our second journey of Kinabalu hike sharp at 2.00 am we don’t wait any longer for the rain to come. We have to reach the gate before the rain start to fall and before 4.00am.
By headlight, we started our journey to conquer the peak of Mt. Kinabalu. As planned, we were able to reach Sayat-Sayat Gate at 3.30 am before the gate close. All together were around 100 hikers. Anyhow, just after half an hour passing Sayat-Sayat Gate, the rain started to fall. Temperature tremendously drop to -2 Degree Celcius.
By that time, we have two options either to keep our step forward to the summit or to turn back at the base. Luckily we prepared everything for the worst condition from the first day we arrived Sabah. Anyhow, the windbreaker, gloves, face cover and all accessories does’nt so much. It breeze was so cold on top of yhe peak. We reached at the top at 5.40am just before the sunrise. But since it was raining, there were no sunrise and the mist were very thick covered all the peak.
Among all 100 hikers, only half able to reach to the peak. Another half decided to turn back down to Laban Rata due to the rain. Honestly, its not recommended to continue hiking journey to the peak once the rain fall. Its dangerous due to slippery stone or storm waterfall might happen due to flooded of water at the top. Since it was our first time to conquer the peak of Kinabalau Mount, we continue our journey in the rain, keep our step to the top while holding the road provided.
We spend almost 2 hours at the peak of Kinabalu although we were freezing, just because of our intention to see clearly the peak of Kinabalu once the mist gone. And yes, finally we were able to see the peak and took our group photos together by the view of Kinabalu peak.
Second Day of hiking trip to Mount Kinabalu (Descend)
Descend to Laban Rata were using the same route as ascend to the top. Since it was raining early in the morning, the stone was a bit slippery and we had to use rope to descend down. Earlier part was a bit difficult since it was stone as the ground. We just step down slowly in group and helping each other. The view was very outstanding al yhe way down to the camp. The sky was clear and now we able to see the mountain clearly.
We reached Laban Rata at almost 10.00 am. Straight away to our hut, packed all our things and took our breakfast at the canteen before we continue our journey to the base. The climate was very good only 1 hour raining half way back to the base. We reached Timpohon gate at 2.00 pm.
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