Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Are you searching for a true sense of achievement?  Or the ultimate test of mental and physical strength?

With views of unbelievable granite rock formations and a panorama nearly 4100m down to the ocean? Then Mount Kinabalu is the summit climb for you.

The sun rises, the clouds part and you are amazed to see where you really are.  The sweat, the pain, the 2 am start with soaking wet clothes, are all quickly forgotten.

 “Did I really walk up here?” you ask yourself. The wind is still howling, your fingers are wet and freezing, but in this moment you don’t care.

The granite peaks around you are unusual, astonishing shapes, that make you wonder the creation of what you are seeing.

It’s a formidable, unrelenting, sparse place, not even mammals can live on this granite plateau.  You walk through the night to reach the summit in pitch black, wind and rain using ropes to heave your body up the steepest parts of the granite face.

“Aki Nabalu” means the revered place of the dead, which perfectly describes the feeling in this place.  There does seem to be a mystical, eerie sensation that overpowers you.

Climbing one of South-East Asia’s highest summits is no easy task and you definitely need some level of fitness.  In just over 24hrs you will climb up over 2500 meters and also have to get back down.

You will hike in two separate landscapes, mostly jungle and steps at the base, changing to open granite faces at the top.  On-route there are huts for resting, where there are small mountain squirrels which are definitely not shy.

I watched as a man took a tiny piece from his apple getting the squirrels to come right to his hand and feed.  Although one squirrel was unbelievably amusing and defiant, whilst being shown the piece in the man’s hand, it went around his back and slyly stole the whole apple.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Mount Kinabalu, Borneo