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Borneo, Malaysia

Mt.Kinabalu Borneo Reviews

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For those who wish to experience the thrill of climbing, Mt.Kinabalu has it all. You will not require any mountaineering equipment, just moderate fitness and a head for heights! You set off from base camp (HQ)early in the morning after being dropped by one of the local buses. Your first days climb will take you through the dense, verdent and humid rainforests of Borneo up to the second camp (Laban Rata). With the increasing popularity of climbing this mountain it is advisable to book accomodation in advance, this can be done from the website mentioned. You set off up steps and muddy paths through the dense rainforest which is so beautiful. You get used to the humidity, especially if you have been in Borneo for a week or so. TIP: Before setting off ensure that you have ample amounts of warm clothing, and I mean warm! Hat, gloves, thick jacket, jumper, good socks etc. The temperature at the base may be 36C but when you head for the summit for sunrise the temperature can be in the minus figures and is generally hovering around 0C (be warned). Also heavy suncream and glasses as the sun is incredibly intense at nearly 15,000ft. Sorry, back to the climb. On your way upto Laban Rata there are seven resting shelters which as you climb become very welcome indeed. If you do stop to rest watch out for the leeches (especially if it is raining). Over the hours of the climb the rainforest gives way to a kind of tundra like landscape, very unusual, pitcher plants grow beside the path and little mountain squirrels boldly scrounge for food. Your goal is to reach Laban Rata which is your accomodation for the night at 10,347ft. At this height altitude sickness can appear so take it steady, its not pleasant, but not everyone suffers! I puffed and pigeon stepped the last few hundred yards to the second camp as a sherpa woman bustled past me with a 20kg gas canister on her back!! The views from Laban Rata are second to none, you stand way above the clouds and see a sunset to rival all sunsets, unbroken vistas of hundreds of miles. You then wake at 2am to head for the summit. The last section is no joke. The incline grows steeper and the air thinner which really saps your energy quickly and it is very cold indeed, especially with a howling wind. It is worth every minute when you reach the summit around 6am. The summit casts a 250mile shadow out into the indian ocean and there is a 360 degree panorama of the whole of East Borneo, fantastic mountain ranges!.

The summit stands at 13,495 ft. The cold starts to bite home and for me the altitude sickness did start to appear a little. At this point you can either return to Laban Rata and stay the night or a good tip, if you are feeling very unwell decend to park HQ, this is easily possible in a day, its easier going down than up but kills your knees. For me the exprience was everything I hoped for, the sunrise was awesome, the views breathtaking and to see jet planes flying out of Kota Kinabalu as dots way below quite strange. Give it a try. Mix this in with a visit to the Orangutan sanctuary at Sepilok and you have a holiday or trip to remember for years to come!
Nearing the Summit of Mt.Kinabalu
Sahult says:
Wow, thanks for that review!Sounds awesome!How fit and how much experience do you need to have to climbe? Can anyone with a healthy body make it?
Posted on: Jan 05, 2011
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