Summit Day!!!

Mount Kinabalu Travel Blog

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Ok so today turned out to be the one of the hardest physical and mental challenges ever!!!!
at 2am we were up and ready to go. Gloves - check. Hat - check. Thermals - check. Head torch - check.
So there was no let up after yesterday and despite the fact we were in the pitch black the climb was much steeper and harder!! It was such slow going there was a bit of a bottle neck of people so at least you could catch your breath a bit. The rocks we had to climb u - sometimes using hands aswell were at least 1/2 meter again! There we more ladders too and this section through the remains of the forest lasted until about 3.30amish although it felt much longer. I was struggling a bit at one point so decided to put my ipod on so i couldn't hear everyone around me! So Alice Cooper and Metallica gave me my second wind (well, I could keep going!) and 'Poison' will now remind me forever of that night on the mountain!
  At the end of the steps we came to the 'rope section'. Basically we had to use a big rope to haul ourselves up the 45degree angle of the mountain!! I'm glad my head torch didnt shine too far or I would have been very scared! That was really hard work as our legs were so tired and we kept increasing the altitude much quicker than yesterday. After the initial rope section we passed a check point and started out on the plateau up to the summit. Still a good hour and a bit away. I was by myself at this point as the group had separated out into their own various rythms. The 'Plateau' was not a flat one! It was still very steep - just it was flat rock with no steps!! At this point exhaustion was hitting again with the altitude and i was so dizzy. My strategy was walk 30 steps and stop for 20 seconds. The 30 steps were very small slow steps though! Above me I could see little dots of light - other climbers headlamps and they all looked so far away so I kept my eyes down!
 There were a couple of 'false summit's' which got my hopes up but each time I got to them there was more to do! Eventually the red light at Lowes peak came into view. The last 200m was a proper climb up big rocks using hands too which took me ages as I was so tired! My legs were screaming at me to stop but I made it!!!!!! Hurraahh!!!!!!
It was freezing at the top and you got cold very fast as you were still sweaty from the climb so some pictures included me at the summit sign and then got my ass outta there!!! I made it to the summit at 5.30am and was in time for sunrise which was stunning! The views on the way down were incredible!! It was also a good thing we climbed in the dark as on the way down i couldn't believe what I had just climbed!! It was unreal! Made it back to Laban Rata at about 8.15am for a well deserved breakfast! The only downside was now we had to do the other 6km back down the Timpohon trail!
  Headed out at 10ish and got back to the beginning at about 1.30pm. The journey down was just as hard - not as exhausting but bloody hard on your joints! My trusty stick was invaluble and i would have really sruggled otherwise as my knees and ankles were in agony!!
  We made it down though and the relief was immense and we headed straight for lunch. We looked such a sight hobbling around and taking ages to get up and down stairs! It was so painful!!

  But for all the tears and pain it was so worth it and I am so glad I did it. I pushed myself further than I thought I could (although it made me realise I need to get my ass in the gym!) and I will never forget it.
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Mount Kinabalu
photo by: Deats