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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mt. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Last Climb in Mount Kota Kinabalu

The summit climb was exhausting good thing we had an hour break back at Laban Rata for our brunch. The climb down resumed around 11:30 before noon. Descending down was a piece of cake! Ahahaa. We were able to let go of our stress and struggles during the summit climb so I guess that explains our fast paced and carefree spirit trek down the mountain. 

Tips for descending down Mount Kota Kinabalu: 

1. Be back in Kota Kinabalu HQ before 3:30 in the afternoon. For two main reasons: 

a. A  porter fee will be added if you don't reached the designated time. This is quite reasonable the guys deserves a break and keep in mind that they're bringing your heavy bags.
b. The next reason kept me motivated.Late lunch at Balsam Restaurant in Kota Kinabalu HQ. If you dont reach on time your meal will be converted to a packed lunch. 

2. Descend down in Zigzags. 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. We we're almost done with the climb so we try to ensure not to get any injury descending down the mountain.

3. Breathe. Sometimes we forget to do this when we exert too much effort on being fast, this will leave you breathless. 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. The air is fresh and invigorating when we went down the mountain, getting breathless was not a problem. 

4. Enjoy the misty mountain. Once you reached the 4 km marked, it will eventually fade away. Take a peak of the last steepest rock stairway, the mist around the bushes and the untold heroes of Mount Kota Kinabalu. The untold heroes are the porters who brings food and supplies to mountain guides and climbers up in the mountain. 

5. Less pictorial session. By this time I bet you've already taken hundreds of pictures during the first day and summit climb. Instead on focusing on taking a self portrait or capturing your foot try to enjoy your surroundings. See the beauty of the trail, the stairs, boulders and the different kinds of flora around the mountain. We made it back to Timpohon Gate about 4 hrs and 15 mins from 11:30-1545, just enough time to have our late lunch in Kota Kinabalu HQ. Unfortunately, we we're picked up late from the Timpohon gate to the headquarters. In the end we had to eat our packed lunch inside the transport van back to the city. Drop off transfer was provided in the package. Travel time from Kota Kinabalu HQ to city proper: 1-2 hours, depends on the traffic. 

6. Find a nice affordable hotel. 
Sky Hotel - Check in for one night:$120 / MYR 320
The room was spacious, has its own kitchen, living room and a nice view of the city. We don't really need this kind of accommodation yet after living in bunk beds, shared toilet and no privacy for a few days, it was a good haven. My friend booked this hotel for the rooftop swimming pool, unfortunately we we're not informed that it was under renovation-too bad. A massage was needed after an exhausting 2 days climb, all the muscles in our body needed some intensive touch to put it back in place. The taxi seemed to have its own fixed price in the city for MYR 30. Even if the nearest massage outlet was just 10 minutes away. 

7. Get a Full Body Massage (with Ginger Oil) : MYR 65/ SGD 32
The massage was painfully sweet especially the head massage I was blissfully lost with every stroke of her hand, that doesn't sound right ahahaa. Im so glad she knows where to press gently and harder. I always get a massage with every country I go to , its part of my vacation checklist aside from my adventure and bucketlist checklist. 

After the climb
8. The muscle pain on the first day was not that visible however, the following day it tickles you painfully with every step you make. Ahahaa Its not really that bad the pain is tolerable. Apply some muscle rub in the painful areas or muscle cramps plasters. After 3-4 days you'll be good as new, this time around don't hesitate to take the stairs. 

9. Share your experience. I learned a lot of tips from different travel sites and blogs I've read. Now I'm sharing the experience and providing helpful tips to other climbers. Please consider the fact that I am not a professional climber, all tips are based on my experience. 

10. Check out my other post about Mount Kota Kinabalu:

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