Wednesday, July 06, 2016

MySabah: Climbing Mount Wakid (Gunung Wakid)


If you want to feel on top of the world and enjoy some breathtaking view, climb a mountain! For hikers who only want a day trip to conquer a mountain that is not too high to be overwhelming, but also not too low to be unexciting, Mount Wakid (Gunung Wakid in Malay language) in Tambunan is for you then.

Even if you live in Kota Kinabalu City (KK), which is 80 KM away from Tambunan, you can finish the climb and back home on the same day.

Sabah is mountainous with over half of its land above 1,000 Meters above sea level, and Mt. Kinabalu is not the only beautiful mountain.

No two mountains look the same. Standing at 1,372 Meters (4,501 Feet), Mount Wakid is distinctly different from other Sabah mountains that I climbed before.

It’s also about the same height as Ben Nevis (1,346 Meters), the highest mountain on island of Great Britain and a popular destination that attracts about 100,000 ascents annually.

According to locals, in the past, an Odu-Odu (grandma) went to Mount Wakid to harvest some forest produces. She disappeared, so every villagers were searching for her on the mountain. 

However, villagers couldn’t find her except her wakid (a bamboo basket used by native to collect fruit and vegetables). That’s how Mount Wakid got its name.

When you head to Tambunan town from KK, about 10 KM before the town, you could see Mount Wakid prominently at the left of the road. Its long and crooked crest running parallel to the hilly road, like the spine of a dragon. No wonder the locals believe a Tombuokar (dragon) is living in this mountain.

Every time I looked at this “crouching dragon”, it was like calling me to have a ride on its back. The most unique characteristics of Mount Wakid is – it is chartreuse in color.


Climbing Mt. Wakid (Gunung Wakid)

Mount Wakid is located in the state land of Kampung Sunsuron (Sunsuron Village). Its hill forest is kept intact to protect this mountain as a water catchment area.

The villagers see Mount Wakid as an important source of water to irrigate their crops. It is only in Nov 2015 that they started promoting their “backyard” mountain as an attraction.

Yes, 1,372-Meter is quite an enormous height for a day climb. But no worry, we started our climb from Sunsuron Village, which is located at 780 Meter above sea level, so we only need to ascend less than 600 Meters (1,969 feet) to reach the top.

Sound easy but remember three rules of mountaineering, which state, “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”

Here is the summary of the climb. The total distance of return trip is 9.75 KM. We hiked 5 KM via the new Jinkung Trail to the summit (GPS of the Highest Peak: 5.770667, 116.369209), then descend via the 4.75-KM Standard Trail back to Sunsuron Village.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: MySabah: Climbing Mount Wakid (Gunung Wakid)
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