Friday, November 09, 2012

Borneo (Sabah) - Mount Kinabalu

During our stay at the orphanage we managed to book some last minute passes to climb the famous Mount Kinabalu. The climb is only a two day affair and we decided to do it on one of our free weekends. Getting up early and heading to the bus terminal we found that there were no buses because of Hari Ria so we arranged a shared taxi out to the ‘base camp’.

By the time we had reached the base, organized a guide and set off on the hike it was about 11 o’clock. Now we had heard varying accounts of how difficult the climb was…standing at 4095m (highest peak in S.E Asia) several people had said it was really tough but then it does only take two days and Jerry had done it 7 times!! So we figured it couldn’t be that hard?!

I thought it was horrendous!! We climbed straight up for literally 5 hours…there was no respite, it was like climbing stairs solidly and some of the steps were well over a foot high. I couldn’t believe how unfit I’d become since Nepal…2 months of enjoying the local cuisines were definitely taking their toll.

To make matters worse about half way through the climb it started to pour with torrential rain and with only feeble rain jackets we got completely soaked through. When we arrived at the hut where we were staying we were absolutely freezing but relieved for the climb to be over! There wasn’t any heating in our little dormitory so it took forever for us to warm up and none of our clothes dried.

Luckily we were the only two in there so we were able to steal all the other blankets! At 4pm we had a buffet dinner which was really tasty especially considering all the ingredients had to be carried by foot up the mountain. Then we went to bed at 7 to try and get some sleep before getting up at 2am for another dinner and the climb to the summit.

At 2am I felt like I hadn’t slept a wink and when I had to put my damp clothes back on and start the climb in the pitch black I was pretty miserable. In my superior athletic shape I had managed to pull one of my hip flexors on the climb up, so as well as complaining about being tired I was able to complain about that too.

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