Friday, October 10, 2014

Borneo Dream: Conquering Mount Kinabalu Part 2 [ Way Up To The Summit ]

We woke up at 1.30am to prepare ourselves for the final stretch of the climb to the peak.

Had an early breakfast to gain some strength for our way up the notorious trail going to the summit.

We met our guide, Francis outside the Laban Rata and we started our climb to the peak at 2.30am.

Coupled with our headlights, thermal wear, jackets and windbreakers, we headed off in the dark and cold night into the dark, always mysterious forest.

The blinking headlamps of the climbers served as a kind morse code for others to keep going.

The journey up was dark, windy and lots of hikers at the beginning of the trail.

The terrain gradually changes from dirt tracks to steep boulder-like tracks.

It became difficult as boulders gets slippery. Due to the absence of trees and easily accessible branches, there were strategically placed ropes at certain spots.

The strong wind became our companion throughout the climb. Sometimes I was on all four just to get myself up another step.

And then I saw the stretch of the trail with rope and steep stone granite path.

I remembered staring at the trail for a while thinking “How am I going to get up there with that rope?”

At one point we sat to rest and could hear the loud sound of the winds, which sounded like the waves in the ocean.

The strong the winds were blowing at that elevation. For us Filipinos who have never experienced winter or extreme cold weather were felt foreign in this kind of weather.

It is this same air, silently thinning as we go up, that threatened the breaths of several climbers.

As we go along, some people had thrown up due to nausea from altitude sickness.