Mount Kinabalu ? Where is that ? How high is the summit ?
Travelling on regular basis to South East of Asia, I always heard about Mount Kinabalu (Unesco World Heritage). This mountain is located in Malaysia (Sabah State). I was attracted by this mountain as it was listed ast being among the top 10 of the tallest mountains in the region (SE of Asia) and is also known as having a summit easily accessible. Mount Kinabalu has an altitude of 4095 meters above sea level. Therefore, I wanted to see by myself how this prestigious mountain looks like !
I did the hike a few years ago, when the via ferrata on the Mount Kinabalu was not implemented yet. The hike itself was not difficult, but you need to be in a decent physical condition before attempting this summit.
Another reason to take into consideration is the last part where you will be exposed with high altitude and might suffer from altitude sickness (in this case, you should go down to a lower altitude level immediately).
For this hike to the top of Mt Kinabalu, I did it in 2 days/one night, I started my hike from Timpohon Gate (1800 meters high), you need to register, book your room for your stay at Laban Lata to located at 3200 meters. An accredited guide will accompany you during the entire hike (compulsory).
Gears: I just took a small bag ( 30/40 liters), a sleeping bag, a torch-light, a polar fleece a raining jacket, 2 pairs of socks, and a t-shirt, some foods and drinks …
You will notice that most guides are walking just with flip-flop ….don’t even try to do the same, stick to your walking shoes !
I start my walk around 11AM, I know I’m not an early bird, but well I just didn’t want to rush. Between the Timpohon gate and Laban Rata, you have around 7 shelters where you can rest (it’s more than enough). I reached Laban Rata around 3 pm just on time for a good meal (pack some foods with you) and then just hang around for a while before to go to sleep.
Don’t forget that around 6pm, it’s pitch-black and temperature drop to a few degrees only….By 8pm I was kind of sleeping at least resting. Wake up at 2 AM, and started the last leg that brought me to the summit. Expect a walk of 2 or 3 hours, no major difficulties to reach the top of Mt Kinabalu, just take the time you need, as the air is thinner and you may have short breath due to high altitude.
Most of the hikers were Malaysians when I was hiking, a lot of them were having hard time with the cold. So just a quick reminder : drinking vodka, gin, tequila … do not help to get warm
Here below, the Lodge at Laban Rata
Early morning and beautiful colors in the sky.
Sun rise at 4000 meters, incredible feeling !
This is what I was looking for:
Sun is hitting St John’s Peak early morning.
On a clear sky, you may see The Philippines.
As you can see below, the granite rock looks slippery.
The descent to Laban Rata, took me around 1 hours, I did a stopover to take a breakfast (noodle soup) and then shortly after it was time for me to go down to Timpohon Gate. I have to admit, I was really tired when I reached the gate (aching knees, sore muscles) but completely satisfied about my journey. Overall, a fantastic experience ! I still have a lot of vivid souvenirs of this hike in mind.
More info about Mount Kinabalu can be found on the following links:
If you are interested about the via ferrata (the world highest via ferrata in the world), check this link: http://www.mountaintorq.com/