Tuesday, October 21, 2008

75-year-old Bruneian scales Mt Kinabalu

Awg Haji Johar showing the route he and his group took to the summit

Awg Hj Johar and his team pose after scaling the Low's Peak

Photos courtesy of and Copyright to Achong Tanjong and
Brunei Press Sdn Bhd

By Achong Tanjong

Climbing Mount Kinabalu is no ordinary feat. And for a 75-year-old Bruneian to do it is simply phenomenal - not once but twice in two years.

Awg Haji Johar bin Hj Abd Rashid, 75, has successfully scaled the 4095.2-metre Low's Peak, the summit of Mount Kinabalu, recently with other young local climbers.

This was his second achievement following his first successful attempt in 2006.

"Age is not an obstacle to success. If there is a will there is a way," he told the Bulletin.

Proudly showing off his certificate to the Bulletin, Haji Johar said, his group comprised Haji Norariffiinhazalin Haji Abdullah, Hjh Siti Jamilah Hj Lamit (Group Leader), Hjh Rosinah Hj Lamit, Md Zafri Hj Lamit, and Norshima bte Md Jali.

When asked about his preparation and fitness before going to Sabah, he said, "I used to do my normal jogging in the morning at Shahbandar Recreation Park in Jerudong two times a week."

He said this year the conditions were quite tough for him compared to 2006 because he lacked sufficient physical fitness due to the fasting month. After celebrating Hari Raya, the group went for the climb.

"I felt pain for two days after the climb but I'm alright now," he said adding that one needs to be fit before starting such an expedition.

He said this year they started climbing via the Mesilau Summit Trail and took 10 hours to reach Laban Rata from Mesilau, which others may take about five hours. They climbed for four hours in rainy conditions until Laban Rata (Guest Chalet), he added.

Haji Johar thanked the group for believing in him to reach the Mt Kinabalu summit. All the expenses for the expedition were borne by Awg Haji Johar. He is now looking forward to join any group to scale any mountain provided his fitness and health condition allow him to do so.

He advised the younger generation that nothing is impossible in the world if they have the self-confidence, which is the key to success.

Kinabalu Park is Malaysia's First World Heritage site and conserves one of the richest assemblages of biological diversity and spectacular natural landscapes in tropical Southeast Asia.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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