Monday, October 06, 2014

Borneo Dream: Conquering Mount Kinabalu Part 1 [ Way Up to Laban Rata ]

It was so hard for us to resist that we had to try it for ourselves.

The reason why we found ourselves packing our bags and taking the flight to Kota Kinabalu is to climb the majestically surreal Mount Kinabalu –  4,095 meters above sea level, the home of  Guinness World Records’ world’s highest via ferrata.

We headed out to the Kinabalu Park Headquarter to get our tags, IDs that served as our climbing permit and to meet our guide, Francis.

After getting our packed lunch in Kinabalu Park HQ, we proceeded to the start of the trail at Timpohon Gate.

The climb started with a rejuvenating view of Carson’s Waterfalls after Timpohon Gate, 1,866 meters above sea level.

As the elevation increased, a refreshing forest unfolded, flowers all kinds, and the rock formations that served as our stairs welcomed us as we continued on our seemingly never-ending climb.

A guide and a porter, men in their thirties perhaps, carrying heavy loads walked past me with steady footsteps.

Then all of a sudden, a middle-aged woman with a huge backpack outpace my baby steps that crushed my glorious pride into tiny little pieces.

The porters of Mount Kinabalu are the lifeblood of this place, aside from carrying climbers’ huge backpacks, they’re also bringing almost everything to support the national park’s operational demands, especially to Laban Rata Rest House far above at 3272.7m.

They carry food, sheets, clothes, gas tanks and everything Laban Rata needed.

Trekking without any help from a porter for the sake of (honestly) to save money. If somehow the regulation had permitted us to proceed without guide, we’d have done it.

A mountain with a clear path and a shelter every 500-700 meters definitely would give you the courage to proceed without “guidance”.  Somehow for safety reason, you need one.