Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mount Kinabalu climbing activities fully booked for next few months

KOTA KINABALU: Climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu are fully booked for the next few months beginning from March onwards, said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Masidi said the response showed that people were eager to climb Mount Kinabalu, adding that most climbers were foreigners.

The fact that the daily limit to the number of climbers scaling Mount Kinabalu had been reduced from 192 to 135 which also meant that the queue was longer, he said.

He said the first trail to Mount Kinabalu, which was named Ranau Trail, had been utilized while the second trail, called the Kota Belud Trail was expected to be ready in March or April this year.

Masidi also announced there would also be a new point called the Aki Point overlooking Ranau town.

He said Sabah Parks director Dr Jamili Nais and friends initially offered to name Aki Point as Masidi’s Point but he rejected the idea consistent with the policy not to take anything from the mountain.

“Aki is part of Aki Nabalu. It is only proper that everything that is there should remain with Aki,” he said this when officiating at the relaunch of the Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu by Mountain Torq Sdn Bhd.

Mountain Torq also introduced the Aeroligne System, which is a continuous belay system that allows the climber to be in continuous connection to the safety cable.

Developed in France, the Aeroligne System is the first of its kind in Asia.

He said the reopening of the Via Ferrata marked the beginning of a new episode in an effort to resume activities on Mount Kinabalu.

“On December 1, we opened Mount Kinabalu to 120 climbers daily.”

He said the relaunch of the Via Ferrata would regain the confidence of climbers on the safety level at Mount Kinabalu.

Masidi lamented that Mount Kinabalu was perceived to to be unsafe due to the aftershocks.

“The aftershocks are normal, it does not affect the safety of hikers.

“Sabah Parks is cooperating with those involved to implement measures for the safety of all Mount Kinabalu climbers.”

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