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lundi, mai 05, 2008

 Back from the peak!

Basic Itinerary
29 Apr - Travel to Sabah, Kinabalu Town, watched Keanu in Street Kings (with bonus eye candy of Chris Evans, aka The Human Torch)
30 Apr - Hike up to Summit Camp at Laban Rata, via the Mersilau trail (8am-6pm)
1 May - Hike up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, 4095m (2am-12nn, round trip - yes, 10hrs of hiking in all), quick lunch, hike back down again (130pm-610pm - approx 5hrs)
2 May - Whitewater rafting, arrived back at 5pm, dinner and Iron Man movie (for RM6!)
3 May - Snorkeling at Manutik Island, jalan-jalan at market, dinner at open air market, flight home

I won't lie to you - the trip was hard. Climbing up was hard on my heart and lungs, and wheezing panting hard along the way up the hike was difficult for me. (I actually have a hard time going uphill on a normal day.) My overall pack was the lightest among our group - 5.6kg before water - I brought 3l in total up the climb with me - 1.5l of water, and 1.5l of 100Plus.

We started at approximately 1500m above sea level, using the less popular Mersilau route up to the summit camp. It's a much nicer walk than the other route called the Timpohon route/trail, as it's got more features (plants, trees, terrain, waterfalls). Timpohon is much shorter though. We used Timpohon on the trek down, and it looked rather boring. Step after step after step. It was better maintained though, as it is probably the more popular route.

Some of the team got sick along the way up - if you overexert yourself (i.e. go too fast), and if you don't drink enough water, you'll get Altitude Mountain Sickness (or AMS for short). Characterized by a headache, nausea, and vomiting, in extreme cases, you might have to turn around and descend if the symptoms get too bad.

We started the climb at 8am, and the first among our group reached at 4pm, a total of 8 hours of climbing. I was the slowest, and I took another 2 hours to finish, at 6pm. The summit camp was a rest house at Laban Rata. I cannot remember if this is the name of the place, or the name of the rest house, but I think it really does not matter.

The next day (1 May 08), we woke up at 130am and started our final assault on the summit at 2am in the morning. The fastest among the group made it up by 6am, while slowpoke me plodded away, and reached the place 2 hours later, at 8am. I still managed the sunrise on the mountain though! Look at how gorgeous the place looks! Completely barren after approximately 4000m, but the sunrise was so beautiful.

That's me in the summit photo below. You can probably tell by the relief on my face that I was so incredibly glad to reach the top. It took me another 4 hours to descend, which made my round summit trip a total of another 10 hours. After that, it was a rest of about an hour for lunch and packing up, and then the descent to Timpohon Gate, where our tour operator was to fetch us.

The next day was whitewater rafting day at Kiulu. We were supposed to go on the Class 3 Padas trip, but the transport train derailed, and we had to settle for the Class 2 river instead. The paddle and swim were refreshing, and to top the holiday off, we went snorkeling the next day at Manutik Island (where I burnt myself to a red red crisp.)

It was one of the most fun holidays I've ever been on, and I must say that one of the major reasons why it was one of the best was thanks to the excellent weather that God provided for all of us, and my most excellent friends along the trip. I've said this before, but never have I meant it more now: I could NOT have done it without my friends along the way.

Climbing is an extremely mental sport (I mean, besides being physically challenging), especially if you're always the last one climbing. You really have to tell yourself NOT to give up, and you have to tell yourself it's okay to be the last; that you'll still get there eventually. I DID feel like giving up, especially at the point on the summit where I realised I could see the summit, but it would still take me another 2 hours of climbing to get there. I will admit - I did cry a bit in frustration and despair, but I think that's where will solidifies, and mettle is proved. Encouragement helps though - many trekkers on their way down (!!!!!!!) said very encouraging words to me, all strangers from different places - France, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore - and it helps, it really does.

The summit picture was nice, and the satisfaction of reaching the peak was satisfying, but I think the most satisfying thing for me was knowing that I could do it - that I really DID do it. Do I feel invincible now? Not really. But this trip really challenged my mental perception of what I could do, and it's been a long time since I've been challenged that way. If you're ready to take on that sort of personal growth, I say - go tackle Mount Kinabalu. And match yourself.

Libellés :

[Back from the peak!]
Sngs Alumni @ 5.5.08 { 1 comments }


now i wanna climb a mountain! And you took so many photos on your trip.. 400+ on your picassa web folder! haha.. glad you had a great time. :) I should go on an adventure soon.. 1st up Japan!

By Blogger Marcus, at 13 mai 2008 à 01:47:00 UTC+8


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