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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kota Kinabalu Summit ,Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu Summit Climb, Malaysia
Laban Rata to Low's Peak


The Second Climb will resume 2:30 early in the morning the following day. A non-heated dormitory will host everyone for a night. This is crucial for the body's temperature to adjust and to recharged your energy. Prepare yourself because the real challenge begins on the second day. 



1. Get some sleep. Be reminded that the second climb starts at 2:30 AM. Have your dinner early in the afternoon. Be in bed before 7 in the evening or earlier than that. Keep in mind its a non-heated dormitory. Wear your warm clothing, the temperature drops at night, having cold feet will not get you a goodnight sleep. This is the time to bring out your ear plugs and eye mask to ensure or at least help you get some sleep.



2. Prepare all your things ahead of time. 

Packed for Small hiking Bag: (All packed in ziplock/waterproof bag) 
Whistle (emergency) and a Extra batteries (head torch)
Water bottle (1 Litre) 
High energy food such as biscuits, chocolates, energy bars, nuts, sour sweet candies 
Disposable raincoat
Lip Gloss
Medications such as headache tablets or altitude sickness tablets 

Some items we distribute in each bags: to avoid overpacking 
Idell- Cogesic (muscle cramps), Dimenate (altitude sickness, Charcoal (bloated), White Flower 
Kath- Mosquito repellent, Vaseline(cracked lips), Electrical tape , Sterilization Tablets 
Tre- Sun block lotion, Bactroban (antibacterial cream), Toothpaste, Panadol , Imodium (diarrhea), Kefentech Plaster (muscle cramps)

3. Wear proper clothing: 
Trekking Shoes (seriously buy one!)
Waterproof Windbreaker Jacket with fleece (with Hood)
Uniqlo Heat tech top (inner wear) and a Neck Warmer
Waterproof Hiking Pants
Waterproof Climbing Gloves (bought ski gloves)
Head torch on top of your Beanie
Hiking Socks (buy specific one to avoid blisters)
Make sure your bag is big enough for your jacket and fleece. You will eventually have to remove your warm clothing when descending back to Laban Rata. 

4. Have a light breakfast in Laban Rata. Don't forget to have some bananas it's rich in potassium that will surely fuel up your climb. 

5. Start at a low pace. The air is thinner up in the mountains. Be reminded you're already 3,000 metres above sea level. It doesn't mean by making it in the first stop you're chances of having altitude sickness is gone. The only sure cure for altitude sickness is to go down the mountain. My friend had it when we reached Laban Rata, she was vomiting and no appetite for food. However, her strong to will to reach the summit was immeasurable. In case you're wondering my friend made it to the summit. 

6. Find your motivation. The mountain will test your endurance, even your mental and spiritual state. I was motivated to reach another mountain to add in my adventure checklist. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do and I know I can do it. I told myself even before the climb that I will reach the summit no matter what. Even if I had to use drastic measures like crawling or using my teeth to move myself up the slope. I was that motivated! Ahahaa

7. Hold the Ropes and Watch your Step. This is why you have to secure a head torch, a waterproof climbing gloves and your trekking shoes. Listen to your mountain guide and hold on to the ropes. Get ready to be amaze when the sun rises and lights up the trail you've climb at dawn. 

We passed by this small pond where they offer animals for the mountain. As what our mountain guide has stated. It reminded me of my Mount Batur climb, an active volcano in Bali where they do offertory each year to the volcano. Praying for safety and security for their hometown.

8. Try to walk in Zigzag's. Alternate from left to right. Do not put more strain on one leg. If you feel the need to rest both legs it should be in one platform, do not leave the other leg behind putting all the weight on the other leg in front of you. This technique will lower the chance of having strains or sprains. You don't think of just reaching the summit you also need to take good care of your lower limbs to make it down the mountain. Keep in mind to use the same technique when going down the mountain. 

9. Breathe. Sometimes we forget to do this when we exert too much effort on being fast, this will leave you breathless and you might get altitude sickness. I tried to avoid breathing in the mouth as much as possible, to make sure all the muscles in my body are oxygenated. You will take in more oxygen if your breathing came from your nose. Make sure to get to know your body especially when it comes to breathing. You will eventually know this when you go for preparatory hikes a few months before your climb. 

I can't stop looking at this gorilla shaped like feature while heading to the peak of Mount Kota Kinabalu. It looked like the mountain's guardian looking at everyone making sure no one's leaving any mess and taking anything away from the mountain. Roland said there was one guy who took a stone from this very mountain, when we went back home to his country he wasn't able to sleep for months. He decided to bring back the stone to this mountain and eventually his sleep cycle went back to normal. It could be true or a hoax. We should bare in mind that we only leave footprints and take memories from a mountain, respect nature as it is.

10. Do not rest for more than 3-5 minutes, refrain from sitting as much as possible. I didn't even dare to lean on a rock. Resting for too long during the second will increase the chance of getting altitude sickness and muscle cramps. Reminders: Try to reach the checkpoint before 5 in the morning or else you will be politely asked to go back to your way to Laban Rata. The patrol officer will check all climbers by showing each of the name tags to make sure the climb is documented. 

11. Supportive Comrades. Roland, our exceptional mountain guide was one of the reason why we made it on top . He always reminded us not to sit down, rest for too long and he never fails to say two hunting words in the climb, "keep moving." It really did kept us moving. If your mountain guide is not that motivating then you just have to deal with it. This is the reason why we choose our climbing buddies. My climbing buddies were positive and energetic. You should surround yourself with positive energy and in that way you will be motivated spiritually and emotionally during the climb. 

12. When you're up there stop,pause and breath in the wonders of nature. Take it all in! Say a prayer, give thanks or make a wish. They said if its your first time to be on a mountain you can make a wish, it wont hurt if you try.

The queue to Low's Peak signboard will take some time, so for the mean snap some pictures while in line. 

Heading back to Laban Rata. You will still follow the path you've taken back to the starting point when descending the mountain.

13. Hold the Rope, turn your backside to the front side (just like you're rappelling down). Slowly walk yourself down the slope. A safety measure and an easy way down the mountain. 

14. You made it on top so you can make it down too. As what they say "What goes up must come down" , a good thought motivator. 

15. Be back in Laban Rata before lunch time. Checking out should be done before 1130 in the morning or you have to pay for the extended time,another great motivation! Try to reach Kota Kinabalu Park before 1530 to have lunch, later than that will be converted to packed lunch. 


The second climb was really challenging, all the month's training and hiking trails done all amount to this climb. From Laban Rata to Low's Peak it took us 8 hrs 30 minutes, which started from 0230-1000 in the morning. We had plenty of stops, my friend's altitude sickness got really bad as we ascend up the mountain. A swipe of white flower and some sour candies helped her through to the summit. It's up to you to go ahead but its advisable to stay with the group. However, there are things that we just to break the rules and get it over with. The most important thing is to get to your destination and everything is worthwhile. 


Check out: Mount Kota Kinabalu CIimb

Mountain Climbing Experience  - How it all Started..
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Itinerary
Preparations: Mount Kota Kinabalu Vacation Checklist 
Arrival Day: Check in Borneo Backpackers
First Climb (Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata)
Summit Climb (Low's Peak) 
Descend down the mountain & Check in Sky Hotel

Guest Bloggers: (Climbing Buddies Post)
Mount Kota Kinabalu 2015 by Ahdy
Road to Discovery by Katharina

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