Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An account of an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Mount Kinabalu

Even though our climb of Mt. Kinabalu was a few days into our trip, I have decided to post about it first of all.

A lot of preparation, research and a good dose of angst (mainly from me) went into our efforts on this climb.

I read every blog entry I could find about those who had already done the climb.

I knew the initial few kilometres comprised of very steep steps into the rock.

I knew it would be very hot and humid so plenty of sunblock was required and shorts would be fine initially.

I knew warmer clothes would be needed higher up as it turns extremely cold.

I knew we had to start off very slowly as we would need that energy reserve later.

I knew to respect the altitude and heed the symptoms of altitude sickness.

I felt I had a fairly good idea of what to expect and most people's experiences seemed to be consistent.

I trained hard at the gym and my fitness was never an issue. (Thanks Vibrobody). Hubster was absolutely fine too, the mountain goat that he is!

The altitude was not a problem, for either of us. (Blessing)

However nowhere did I read the experience we were to encounter. (Nowhere!)

145 other people embarked on the climb with us that day. (Not all at the same time)

When we set off the whole of the mountain was shrouded in thick cloud. No chance of seeing our nemesis before we started.

It was dank and drizzling.

After just 1km up, 30 minutes in, it was raining heavily and we were soaked through. Shorts, knickers, bra - the lot. (even Gareth's bra! lol)

After 4km up, 3.5 hours in, we were battling a downward torrent of muddy rain water and we could clearly hear the wind howling and whistling as we started to emerge out of the tree canopy.

A little weary and in need of sustenance we stopped at the makeshift hut. We nibbled on a few boiled eggs, drank some water and noted Sepison, our guide, was looking concerned. I found the howling wind disconcerting and I was already very cold.