Thursday, May 01, 2014

Scaling Mount Kinabalu


So some time last year, a bunch of us thought that it would be a great idea to climb Mount Kinabalu!  (And it was – this year, we’re hopefully gonna be able to climb Mt Rinjani!)

So tickets were booked, leave was taken – and off we went, one Friday evening in June, on what possibly has been the most physically challenging trip I’ve been on in my life.  Brought my backpack to work so I could head to the airport straight after (and I still remember Kox laughing at me when I walked into the office in atrociously high heels with said 25 litre backpack on shoulders).

As we descended into Kota Kinabalu, the clouds looked like they were dancing over sea – super pretty!

So this is when I (momentarily) stopped taking photos – once we got to our hotel, we headed straight for an awesome seafood dinner at Ocean Seafood Village (4 Lorong Api-Api 3, Api-Api Centre) where we had the most delicious and cheap seafood dinner ever, including 2 life-changing plates of the most amazing clams. 

Dinner was a relatively short affair because we had to get enough sleep for our climb up the mountain early next morning.  The wake-up call came at 5ish am (I forget) and we were out of the door by 6 am, whisked into a minivan which took us straight to the base of the mountain where we began our climb!

The first thing we saw, within the first 5 minutes of our climb, was Carson Falls – a very small waterfall really close to the gate where we stopped for a good 10 minutes to take a bunch of photos – and towards the end of our climb down, Carson Falls was only thing that everyone wanted to see , because that meant we would be very near the end!!

So essentially, the first 5 km up the mountain was just loads and loads of rocky terrain - see below.  It was pretty slippery because there were pockets of showers in between (and even though we were in waterproof ponchos and the like, I made the grave mistake of wearing cheapass jeggings from Uniqlo instead of spending good money on waterproof pants), so my legs and I were very miserable indeed when it started raining halfway through our climb up.

After a full day of hiking (around 10 hours?) We finally reached our base camp for the night – Laban Rata.  We were squished into 10-bed bunks with sheets that smelt like they hadn’t been washed in centuries, but we were too tired to care, and after carbo-loading during dinner, we went to bed at 8 pm to get ready for our climb up to the peak (our morning wake-up call was at 2 am (!!!) so that we would make it up in time for the sunrise!)  Bathing was completely out of the question, as there was no hot water, plus the showers spewed out 10 degree water – mad cold!!

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