December 17th, 2008 – by: siri
So this is it, the climb to Mount Kinabalu. Very excited, we arrived at the park at about 8am and did the whole signing up and handing over a lot of money. I will add something at the end of this page about the costs of doing this trek as it has recently gone up very steeply in price.
With our guide, Fabianas, assigned to us, we took a minivan up to the start of the walk (take this option like most people do. It will save you walking about 2 hours uphill along the road). Once at the powerstation, we checked in at the gate, the official start of the walk, and then off we went, starting at 915am. The first part of the walk is downhill!!! very strange. It soon levels out past the little waterfall and then starts climbing. The first few kilometres are pretty easy going, with only a few steep uphill climbs by way of steps.
There are rest huts all the way along with water tanks to fill up with and even a toilet. As we found the going quite OK we didn't really stop until we got to the hut at KM4. Here we stopped for some food and delved into our rather heavy packed lunch that is provided. Here, one of the porters who we called superman went past us. We called him superman because he was carrying up a washing machine on his back. A 40kg washing mashine. He had a wooden board strapped to his back with canvas straps over his shoulders and rubber shoes on and he hiked up to the hut of Laban Rata. That's right, with a washing machine, on his back, on steep steps up and up. Lots of porters walk up the mountain every day carrying supplies to the hut. Lets just hope that the call for a washing machine is not too regular.
Superman's calf muscles were huge!!!
After KM4, the climb got steeper and the going got tougher. We still found it OK, I guess keeping fit with running in Australia was really paying off right about now. The steps can be very big, steep and slippery but we kept trudging on and soon people were going past us on the way down having climbed the day before. The worrying thing was they were saying they couldn't see anything of the view,just endless mist. the last few days had been thick rainy mist and while we climbed, it was drizzlig with a misty rain. We were hoping this would all be worth it.
KM5 came along and we were relieved to be into the last km to our night stop. Between KM4 and 5 I think was the steepest and toughest. The last KM was good and although the legs were starting to get tired, the thought of the hut within the next 1000km kept us going.
And then there it was, Laban Rata hut and home for the night at 3272m above sea level. We had made the climb to Laban Rata in a reasonably impressive 4 hours and quickly checked-in nd got shown to our room. We had our own room with its own bathroom (luxury) and even had little slippers!!! We got the hot water on and as soon as we could we jumped into the steaming hot shower and washed the days' grime, dirt and sweat off. We have climbed quite a few mountains in our time and this was the first one we got to have a shower at the top of!! We spent the rest of the afternoon in the lounge area dowstairs where everyone congregates for meals, and as walkers arrived looking tired and read for a shower throughout the afternoon, we played scrabble. That's right there are even boardgames at Laban Rata!!
Dinner was served at 5pm and was a very good buffet spread.
We ate plenty that night and just after dinner, people rushed outside. The clouds had parted and there looming above us was the mountain peaks!! Out came the cameras. We then walked around the front of the hut and took some pics of the sun setting. We were above the clouds so the view was incredible, with the fluffy white clouds spread before us.
Tucked up in bed at 7am, we tried to get some sleep ahead of the alarm going off at 145am. Yes, A.M.!