How many of you been to Sabah in East Malaysia? If you have, most likely you will hear about Mount Kinabalu. Mount Kinabalu is the 20th tallest mountain in the world according to Wikipedia, located in Kinabalu National Park, a world heritage site in Sabah.
I was fortunate enough to successfully reach the peak (4095.2m) without regular training. Being said, I don’t mean that Mount Kinabalu is suitable for anyone who do not undergo regular training. In fact, I urge people who are interested to climb Mount Kinabalu to have regular training, preferably mountaineering or rock climbing activities. Regular exercise such as jogging, soccer, badminton, etc…are great, but not sufficient as training for climbing Mount Kinabalu.
Depending on your health condition, some people might suffer from altitude sickness or not used to the local food / drinks and hence causing diarrhea. 4 out of 5 of us suffering of diarrhea at night at Laban Rata.
From Left To Right: Yee Pei, Hao Xin, Vivian, Ying Hui and myself. This is where we start the first trail and everyone is full of energy!
Things You Need To Climb Mount Kinabalu
Apart from regular training such as mountaineering / rock climbing activities, you need to prepare the proper gears to bring along. The first trail is from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata. The trip starts in the morning and usually is warm. You can consider to bring the following:
- 1 litre Water bottle (you can refill when you reach the shelter every 0.5 or 1km)
- Sunblock cream
- Lunch pack (if your package does not include lunch)
- Rain Coat (in case raining)
- Hiking Stick (can be purchased at RM3 over there)
The 2nd trail is from Laban Rata to the summit, set off at 2:30am in the morning. So, do expect some wind chill effect.
- Wind breaker
- Headlamp (you really need this as it is completely dark up there)
- Water Proof Gloves
- Beanie hat / Balaclava mask
- 500ml Water bottle
The Challenges Faced During Climbing Mount Kinabalu
I took around 8 hours to get to Laban Rata. A light backpack (less than 5 kg) is strongly recommended else that will really become a burden down to the road. I carry a 9kg backpack and it was really tiring to carry all the way to Laban Rata.
As you climb higher, the oxygen level becomes less and you might suffer from breathing difficulty.
Your angle, thigh, knee, etc…are likely strained and hurt during the climb. Do prepare some bandage, knee guard, etc…to protect yourself from injury.
Slip, Trip and Fall
It might sound like the common hazard in the occupational health and safety environment. It is true! You need to be aware of slip, trip and fall as you might not get a 2nd chance when you fall into the cliff. Water proof gloves are required so that you can grab the rope without hurting yourself.
Mentality of Giving Up
I admit that I am not physically fit enough to climb Mount Kinabalu so along the way, the thought of giving up keep flashing over. When I realize my physical condition of my body and the danger along the climbing of Mount Kinabalu, I struggle to carry on climbing to the peak. I keep wondering will it cost my life to reach the peak? This might seem exaggerated but the fact is that if you made a mistake to slip, trip or fall, you will easily risk your life.
This is a game that you compete with yourself, not others. I just need to adjust my pace until I can physically cope and handle along the climb, I will be safe and confident to reach the summit. Despite the fear inside, I know I will be able to grab the rope in case any slip, trip and fall. By knowing my limit physically, I have prepared for the worst mentally and eventually I successfully reach the peak safely.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is certainly fun and enjoyable, most importantly my takeaway from the trip are:
- Learn from others if you have a chance before you even try it. Get yourself empowered before you do it.
- You don’t know your limit until you try it.
- Be honest to yourself as only you know your limit.
- Do your best and you won’t have any regret.
What’s your thought or experience in climbing Mount Kinabalu or others mountain? Would you like to know more details to climb Mount Kinabalu? Feel free to leave your comment below and I will be happy to chat with you