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Russ & Tash's travels

Mount Kinabalu

MALAYSIA | Thursday, 6 March 2014 | Views [1553] | Comments [2]

We briefly spent one night in KL in quite possibly the coldest hotel room ever (ducted airconditioning in an old hotel) resulting in us testing out our base layers earlier than expected, flying out to Malaysian Borneo first thing the next morning. Our first stop of our 3 week Borneo leg was with one aim; climb Mount Kinabalu. Russ booked this hike early in November  and has been really looking forward to it the whole trip.

 After a couple of days relaxing in Kota Kinabalu (the city two hours drive away from the mountain) the day was finally upon us with a bang, we hadn't slept well and we were up at five to be ready for our collection around six. We arrived at the lower gate of Kinabalu Park to commence our day one climb to Laban Rata, our accomodation for the evening, roughly 3025 metres above sea level and just over 1000m higher than the lower gate. Commencing at around 9am we met our mountain guide Fazlie and started our accent.

The first three kilometres up were deceivingly easy, with our guide commenting that we were making good time. After lunch however we slowed and our last kilometre (of six) was hard fought due to steeper terrain and increasing altitude. We arrived at Laban Rata, with Tash thinking the worst was over (hahaha), around 2.30pm with an early dinner at 4.30pm. We headed to bed early as the last leg climb was to start at 2.30am. Our alarm woke us up at 1.30am ready for supper and at 2.30am we headed out into the dark, freezing morning with headlamps and multiple layers on.

If Tash was thinking the worst had passed she was sorely mistaken, this leg was extremely challenging (2.7kms up to an elevation of 4095.2m) and every five to ten metres Tash stopped to catch her breath in the thin air (was this the result of altitude/unfitness or whinging? Who knows?).  The climb included traversing some very steep rock faces using ropes, scrambling over boulders and overtaking even slower people than Tash,  with us reaching the summit just in time for sunrise which was spectacular as well as freezing (actually - there was ice).

After Russ took photos (Tash refused to remove her gloves) we started the decent which was to take us six hours with a breakfast stop back at Laban Rata.By the end our legs were like jelly and we were starting to get the awful feeling we would be walking like John Wayne in the morning. 

We sit in bed this morning clutching coffees for dear life and aching as if we were 80 - the result of 14 hours of hiking in 48 hours - an amazing experience.



We done both of you, now you know how us old folks feel with our aches and pains

  Geoff Mar 8, 2014 3:40 AM


Congratulations to both of you, I agree with Geoff's comment, at least you are young and fit enough to attemp something like this. Enjoyed your description of the trek and the photo's!! Cheers Rob and Sandra

  Rob Chester Mar 8, 2014 12:05 PM

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