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Monday, May 18, 2015

Mount Kota Kinabalu Climb, Malaysia

Mount Kota Kinabalu First Climb, Malaysia

Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata

Our first climb to Mount Kota Kinabalu begins! The climb started from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata, where we stayed for the night and continued the ascend to the summit the following day. 

1. Secure Bags
Wake up early to double check your things for the first climb. If you're  planning to hire a porter packed all your things in a waterproof bag and packed in ziplock. The porter can carry all your things for the second and third climb ( HQ To Laban Rata and vice versa). All three of us combined our things in two bags and one bag was left in the Kota Kinabalu HQ for safekeeping. 

Baggage can be stored at Kinabalu Park HQ at a nominal fee of MYR 10 per piece prior climb.

Porter Fee: MYR 100/SGD 50
(The weather is unpredictable so All your things must be packed in plastic bags /ziplock)

2 Hiking Socks
2 Undergarments
1 Milo 3in1 powder (optional) beverages are provided in Laban Rata. 
Waterproof Jacket, Windbreaker with fleece
Uniqlo Heat tech top
Waterproof Hiking Pants
Waterproof gloves (i bought ski gloves)
Head torch
2 Heat Packs (summit climb), my thoughtful friend gave it to me before the climb) 
Deodorant (1 sachet)
Tissue paper
Facial wash 
Snacks (for summit climb and descending down the mountain)

Travel Light. Packed for Small hiking Bag: (unfit climbers make sure to keep your bag light)
Lightweight Windbreaker
Water bottle (1 Litre) 
High energy food such as biscuits, chocolates, energy bars, nuts, sour sweet candies 
Medication such as headache tablets or altitude sickness tablets
Disposable raincoat
Small towel /bandana
Ear plugs (optional)
Camera with waterproof bag
First Aid kit: Gauze, plaster, roller bandage, alcohol swab, safety pins, and rubber bands. 

To avoid over-packing we decided to assigned specific items to each one of us. 
Idell- Cogesic(muscle cramps), Dimenate(altitude sickness), Charcoal(bloated) and 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)

Optional: Sun block lotion (apply before climb)

Trekking Pole/ Walking Sticks is available for rent at Kota Kinabalu HQ for MYR 10-MYR 12. Ask your assigned agent and mountain guide about it. 

2. Have a light breakfast in Balsam Buffet Restaurant. Don't forget to collect your packed lunch there before heading to Timpohon Gate. 

3. Start at slow pace and try to enjoy your surroundings. Take it more easy especially when you reached the 3.5 km mark, as you get to the top the chance of having altitude sickness is higher. 

4. It's not a marathon, save your breathe and energy. This is quite important so I'll repeat this again. The stairs ahead will get more steeper and you will need an enough supply of energy and proper breathing to make it to Laban Rata , and to make sure you're significantly still in good condition. If you already felt sick when you get to Laban Rata, that's already a bad sign and a factor of lowering your chance of getting to the peak the next day. 

5. Hydrate and Fuel up. Take sips of water. We managed to empty our 1 litre of bottled water. Energy foods like oatmeal biscuits, chocolates and banana's are great options.

6. Take lots of pictures with your friends and the mountain view. Catch the energy and laughter's with the first climb and compare the pictures with the second climb. Watch your friends images as they crumble during the second climb and yourself! with the collection of pictures you've taken. Ahahaa I love my climbing buddies and I wouldn't ask for more. 

I love the part when we the reached the 4 km mark, the misty mountain was mesmerizing with all the gray scale colored trees. The view resembled like from the movie entitled "Lord of the Rings." 

Check out different kinds of flora growing in the mountain like the white small orchid, fruit-bearing raspberry plant and the famous insect eater Pitcher Plant. 

7. Climbing Buddies. You must have the same goal and motivation. If not at least you watch each others back. Safety comes first and with that you need people whom you can trust.

8. Try to walk 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. Don't forget to flex your toes, refrain from wearing tight shoes and buy trekking socks. 

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.

10. Do not rest for more than 3-5 minutes. Mr. Roland, our mountain guide told us is sitting down was fine but we should avoid doing this especially on the second climb. I tried to refrain from taking a seat as much as possible except for the 3.5 mark and when we had our lunch break at Layang Layang Hut. 

Our first climb lasted for 6 hrs and 30 minutes from 0900-1530 not bad for amateur and unfit climbers. We took our time chit chatting with our mountain guide, taken lots of snapshot pictures and enjoying the scenery especially when we've reached the 4 km mark. The mist started to be visible and the cold air creep in the nearby bushes. 

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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