Climbing South East Asia's highest peak

Mount Kinabalu Travel Blog

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Julia, Me, Emilie and David on Day 1 of the trek

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Hannes (Sweden), David and Emilie (Australia), Brad (Canada), James (Malaysia)

We were up at 6.30am on Wednesday and after a light breakfast, caught the bus to Kinabalu National Park, arriving a little after 10am. We registered, ate some food and waited for some other climbers to turn up, so as to share our guide fee. As it turned out, we ended up meeting 3 quality people to share not only the fees, but a memorable 2 days with. They were David and Emilie a couple from Sydney, Australia and Brad who comes from a tiny town of 200 in the west of Canada. We met our guide James and eventually caught the bus up to the starting point and departed around midday.

Laban Rata at the end of Day 1

As we started the 8.7km walk, we noticed a board that announced that the winner of the 2006 race up and down Mt Kinabalu, had accomplished the feet in a staggering 2 hours and 50 minutes. This feet would seem even more impressive when we finally descended, almost crippled, some 28 hours later! We made good progress on the first 2 kilometres, which was a third of our first days distance and achieved it in around an hour. However, as the steps became steeper and our muscles began to tire, the pace dropped drastically and the breaks became longer. We hit the 4km marker at around 3pm and each kilometre was now taking around an hour, compared to the original 30 minutes.

Around 5pm we eventually made it to Laban Rata, situated over 3100 metres above sea level.

Brad, Emilie, Julia, Me and Hannes at Laban Rata - above the clouds!
We sat on the balcony of the restaurant and admired the breathtaking views and marvelled at how far we had walked... and how far we still had to go! The clouds dispersed for maybe 10 minutes and this was spectacular, but just as quickly as they left, they came rolling back in.

Rather than paying $10 for a buffet, we ate some noodles that we had brought with us, although neither Julia or myself felt particularly well, we were both suffering from altitude sickness. We made it to bed around 7pm, but i kept waking up and my head was throbbing. Eventually i took some of Hannes' headache tablets and we turned our heater off, as the room was getting stifflingly hot. This seemed to do the trick and i managed to sleep through until 2am.

Deats says:
Theres an office located in Kota Kinabalu. Im sure i got their phone number from the Lonely Planet. But many people book online i believe, so if you google 'Mount Kinabalu booking centre', im sure you will find what you require :)
Posted on: Feb 06, 2011
Sahult says:
Do you know where to book the klimb on the web?
Posted on: Feb 05, 2011
Deats says:
Hi, sorry for the late reply, im in Myanmar and theres very little internet! In KK there is the office where you can book the accomodation for the trip on the mountain. I paid 69r for a heated dorm - id recommend this as its quiet and warm - the cheap ones are neither! I think its worth the investment. The office normally says that it is fully booked for a month but there seems to be openings every day. We managed to book 3 people on for the next day even though it was meant to be full. If you need more info, message me and i'll try and be more thorough when i get to Bangkok on 4th Feb :)))
Posted on: Feb 01, 2008
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Julia, Me, Emilie and David on Day…
Julia, Me, Emilie and David on Da…
Laban Rata at the end of Day 1
Laban Rata at the end of Day 1
Brad, Emilie, Julia, Me and Hannes…
Brad, Emilie, Julia, Me and Hanne…
Hannes, Me and Julia preparing for…
Hannes, Me and Julia preparing fo…
Foggy forest trail
Foggy forest trail
Small frog
Small frog
Brad, Emilie, Hannes, David and Ju…
Brad, Emilie, Hannes, David and J…
Mount Kinabalu
photo by: Deats