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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mountain Climbing Experience

How it all Started..

I've always been fascinated of climbers, what's their purpose of leaving the comfort of life and taking the risk of the unknown. They carry with them only necessary things for their survival in the mountains, walk 4-10 hours or even more than than to reach their destination. The moment they get there they have to set up the tent for shelter and cook their meals. There's no comfort rooms, mosquito's lurking around and no convenient stores or commonly known as "sari'-sari store" in the Philippines to buy snacks and drinks. Despite the negative things I've written I was exhilarated to give it a try. I decided to be more adventurous and see the wonders of nature on top of a mountain. 

Once in your life you should climb a mountain, but once you've done it I bet it wont be your last one - it got me!. Climbing a mountain is educational, inspirational and motivational. It will teach you a lot of things about the environment and how you deeply understand yourself. I love the feeling of striving hard to pick myself up and to keep going despite the pain and fatigue. It will test your endurance and pushes that limit top notch to attain your goal. To reach your aim you need to be patient, the summit always takes gruesome hours to reach. During the climb you get to know your body more, and what kind of climbing technique works for you. The thing that motivates me to continue striving to reach the top is my positive thinking and the word 'give up' is not even an option. I always push myself to the limit and see what happens, but of course I still believe in keeping myself alive at the end of the day - that's a priority! Ahahaa

My first ever climb was in my hometown in Philippines. The name of the place is Osmeña Peak located at a small town in Dalaguete. It is considered as the highest peak in Cebu and about 1,000 metres above sea level. The climb up the peak was suitable for beginners and expert level. However, when we when down and transverse down to Kawasan Waterfall the trail was quite challenging. I had to say goodbye to my running shoes after the climb and had to dealt with two gray toes for a month-that challenging! Ahahaa 

My first climb was traumatizing especially for my toes yet that started everything. I began to think about other mountains that I can climb. When I got the chance to book a ticket back to Philippines. I went to Mount Manunggal, 1,003 metres above sea level in Balamban, Cebu, Philippines. I asked my two highschool friends and two brothers to join me in this trip. This mountain is famous as the crash site of the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

I continue to challenge myself, so I went for a solo trip to Bali, Indonesia. This time around I choose to climb an active volcano in Kintamani for my third climb. Mount Batur is about 1717 metres above sea level and the last eruption recorded was in 2000. It marked as the most memorable trek I've ever done, I was all by myself and seeing the sunrise on top of a volcano was incredible. 

I wasn't able to climb for a few months after my trip in Bali, my feet was craving for nature's ground. The only nearby and most accessible country was Malaysia. My fourth climb was in a small hill named Gunung Lambak, 510 metres above sea level in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 

The most recent climb I did was just a few months ago. It is known to be one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. Mount Kota Kinabalu stands 4,095.2 metres or 13,435.7 ft above sea level. The most challenging and the highest climb I've ever done. It is advisable to prepare for this climb, increase your stamina and endurance. I hiked every week and run 10 kilometres. I also put on weight to withstand the cold, store in more fats for energy and to handle the weight of my bag. If you have an overweight body mass try to lose some weight, or else it will pull you down during the climb. One more thing regarding the cold temperature , I omitted to wear jacket to work and in cinema's. Ahahaa I always had a low tolerance for the cold weather, this one worked for me especially training my mental ability. Work on your weaknesses, know it well and figure out a way to fight it. 

If you're planning to climb this mountain then congratulations with that, you have courage by your side. Bare in mind that not everyone has the courage to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu. However, its not just about courage that will get you to the peak, training and discipline plays an important role too. This is to lower down the chances of hurting yourself and the people around you. The climb is more satisfying if you reach the peak and not just the summit. 

I managed to booked a promo ticket to Kota Kinabalu and a reputable travel agency for our climb. We got the "Recommended" package with Amazing Borneo , Check out their site for the terms and condition.

Tour Code: ABK-MK02
Duration: 3 days 2 nights
Package cost: MYR 2200 / SGD 850 (3 pax) 

Tour Highlights: 
Mount Kinabalu Climb via Timpohon Trail 
Low's Peak Summit (Highest Elevation 4095.2M) 
1 Night Kinabalu Park Hostel 
1 Night Laban Rata Assorted Huts

Meals : 02 Breakfasts, 02 Lunches, 02 Dinners & 01 Supper 
Includes : Meals as Stated, 02 Nights Accommodation, Entrance Fee, Return Airport/Hotel Transfer (Seat-In-Coach), Return Transfer (Park HQ - Timpohon Gate - Park HQ), Mountain Guide, Climbing Insurance, Climbing Permit, Certificate and English Speaking Support Team 
Accommodation : DAY 01 : 01 Night Kinabalu Park Hostel - Grace / Rock (Dormitory), DAY 02 : 01 Night Laban Rata Rest House or Similar (Non-Heated Dormitory) 

Porter Fees: MYR 100 - MYR 200 (Round Trip) 
The minimum weight required is 10kg, if less than 10kg, the fee is still the same.
Prices are subject to changes. Payable to Porter
Timpohon Trail: MYR 10 per kg (Min. of 10kg) 
Mesilau Trail: MYR 12 per kg (Min. of 10kg)

Excludes : Airfares, Optional Tipping & Porter Fee, Alcoholic Drinks, Any Items Not Mentioned
Two of my friends joined me for the Mount Kota Kinabalu Climb. I managed to persuade them to share their experience and provide some helpful tips to other climbers. 

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