Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mount Kinabalu - A Reflection

The majestic backdrop showing Mount Kinabalu

It was a difficult climb to begin with, at least for me. Less than an hour after we begin the ascend, I begin to regret ever stepping foot on the mountain. I know it will be difficult and exhaustive, but never thought it will be that physically challenging. We drank the waters provided at every stop and eat the bread provided by Kinabalu Park. It wasn't fun, especially when for most of the journey, we are alone. Met a lot of people along the way, mostly Caucasians and porters lifting gas cylinders and food supply for restaurants up in Laban Rata. It seems to me they have a difficult life.

We started the climb pretty late, about 11am and reach Laban Rata more than 6 hours later. I am among the last to arrive, together with Sun Mei and Ivy. The mountain guide - Posinus, is of course, accompanying us. Surprisingly, my gf physical condition on that day is superb. She is much faster than any of us and shows very little effect from the strenous climb.

Panting and Struggling on the way to Laban Rata - taken by gf

I don't get to see much view as we started our climb from the Timpohon Gate, which is suppose to be the shortest trail but with less scenic view. Physically drained upon reaching Laban Rata, I took a long rest before stuffing ourselves with the buffet dinner provided. I think I eat too much, as I begin to feel uncomfortable after the meal.

Brother Zhe Ping, Sun Mei, Ivy, Ah Keong, and my gf

We need to walk for another 10 minutes to reach our resting place for the night at Gunting Lagadan. It was not a well kept place, dirty and with minimal facilities. Tried to take a bath, but the water was just too cold. It takes some skills and luck to mix and match the hot and cold water. The water pressure was inconsistent and I just give up fiddling with it. Didn't managed to get a decent bath, but that's not the bigger issue...really. The bigger issue is to dry myself up fast enough to get some much needed rest before the big climb at 2am. The longer I take to settle down, the more anxious I become. Overly anxious and couldn't tolerate the extreme cold and combine with a terrible headache, I have difficulty sleeping. Got up at around 9.30 and managed to talk with the staff in duty. Obtained some good advice and pop in two Panadol Active before continuing with the sleep.

We begin our final ascent at around 2.45am. Pretty late by any standard. Again, it was a difficult climb. The big torch light which we bought all the way from KL run out of battery and I have to depend on my gf torch light. To cut the story short, I gave up ascending at the final 900meters (4062metres in altitude) due to exhaustion, cold and altitude sickness. Feeling extremely short of breath and dizzy.

I have no one and nothing to blame, except to say that I am ill prepared for the climb. I still remember the moment when we decided to give up, it was a feeling of gladness rather than being regretful. That also shows the little determination I had for this climb. It must be noted that my gf condition at that time was still good, but instead of progressing further, she insisted on accompanying me on the way down.
Views on the way down after we gave up the final climb to peak

From the group of 7, only 3 managed to reach Low's Peak and according to them, they didn't do it in fashion but struggles all the way too.

Continue later....

5 anak ayam bother to comments:

Josh said...

Great achievement!

myop101 said...

Went last year. Had acute headache hence didn't go for the last 2 km climb.

Oh yeah. SJ made it to the top btw. Shows the ladies are tough...

kaki.ayam said...

hehe,...will attempt the peak in the future, this time i know what to expect!!!

naim said...

It's a pity you did not make it to Low's Peak. It would have been an apt reward for all the 'torture' :-). Hope you'll return to Kinabalu for another attempt. We managed to reach the peak last August. See album here:
http://snipurl.com/kinabalu

Btw last month we did our 2nd climb - a volcano in Sumatra. Pls see story here:
http://travel.nuraina.com/marapi1

Thanks.

kaki.ayam said...

Naim, you took some very very good pictures of KK!!

If you don't mind, will forward the link to my frens and colleagues who are interested in climbing KK...

Thanks!