Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mount Kinabalu Sabah Borneo East Malaysia - Mountain Climb Part 2

This is Part 2 of our climb up Mount Kinabalu, Sabah.

The sleep was almost non-existent.  Yes, we retired to bed by 8pm, tired from the Day 1 climb.  However, it was very difficult to sleep even though the beds were fairly comfortable.  The air was thin and we were just too excited. I ended up tossing and turning in bed, waiting for the alarm to ring.

By 1:30am, there was plenty of movement around the hut.  It was time to get back and get some breakfast. This was breakfast.  Looking back, I should have eaten more.  The panadol you see is to help with the slight headache due to high altitude.

We had assembled.  All excited and raring to go.

Headlamps were a must.  We would be walking in pitch darkness.

The only people without headlamps were the mountain guides.  Our chief guide told us that he had climbed the mountain more than 1,000 times.

And this would be our first time.

Checking our gear, before setting off.

Here we go, into the darkness.  If you stopped to think, it actually felt eerie.

But even if you felt eerie, you wouldn't be lonely.  About 200 climbers make the climb every single day.  At times, it was a human traffic jam.

Yes, good advice.  Don't try any stunts now.

Climbing into the darkness.

Real darkness.

Ah, the 7km mark.

Sayat Sayat Checkpoint.  This was the final checkpoint before the summit and a very important checkpoint.  The Mountain Ranger would check our passes again here.  We set off from Laban Rata at 2:30am. Our guide said if we did not make it to Sayat Sayat by 4:30am, we would not be allowed to continue.

The climb after Sayat Sayat just got harder and harder.  Our group stopped to take a short rest.

A couple.

The sun had risen and we were almost at the summit.  It was an awesome sight.

You can make out the rope and climbers on the left side.

The final climb to the summit was arduous.  If you look at the top of the picture, where the large group of people were, that was the SUMMIT!  Now, imagine yourself trying to get there.

Beautiful view.

At the Summit.  Don't fall off!

Don't jump!

Our group posing for a group photo, with a banner we brought.  Finally!!

That was me.

A video for you to watch - Walking down, starting the descent, near the peak.

Just off the summit, we found a group holding a Catholic Service.  Impressive!

We have started our descent. It would be a long, long way down.


I missed this checkpoint on the way up.

The floor was quite slippery.

Stay close to the rope.

I guess we need to make it all the way down!

Looking back up, that was where we came from.  Steep.

We were fortunate that it didn't rain too much.  Sometimes, the Mountain Rangers have to close the Summit due to inclement weather.

Climbing down a very steep part to get the Sayat Sayat.

On the way down, we saw this woman carrying up supplies for the resthouse. Very humbling.

Started to get cloudy and rainy on the way down.

A great momento!!!  Notice the date of the ascent.  The things we do......

If I were to climb again, this is what I would have done differently:

1) Bring even more chocolates and energy bars.  Eat one every 45 minutes, without fail.

2) Climb in clean fatigue.  Pay the porters to carry your stuff up and down for you.

3) Eat a lot more at breakfast.  I ate too little.

Back to Part 1 of the Mount Kinabalu climb.

Thanks for reading!

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