Timing tips for the climb

Mount Kinabalu Travel Blog

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I was curious about the timing before I climbed Mount Kinabalu, so now that I've done it, I thought I'd share my schedule.

Day 1
8am - 10am: Bus ride from the city (RM15/person) to Park HQ
10am - 11am: Paperwork, checking-in to Hill Lodge
Rest of the day to sleep, laze
6pm: Climbers briefing

Day 2
8am - 9am: Breakfast at Balsam at HQ
9am: Short ride to the start of Timpohon Gate. Hiking begins. Ate crappy packed lunch at the shelters along the trail.
2.30pm: Reached Laban Rata. Was that the longest 5.5 hrs or what? It's 11.3 degrees. I didn't feel that cold.
2.30pm - 5pm: Laze in room & shower
5pm: Dinner
7pm: Tried to sleep despite headache
10pm: Could not sleep, panic

Day 3
1.30am - 2.30am: Prepared to leave, 9 degrees outside. I wore 3 layers.
2.30 - 5/6am (couldn't confirm because I had gloves and couldn't check watch): Climbed in the dark. Crawled sometimes. The rope is a friend but I still slipped a little. Winds blew. The guide did it so easily.
Stayed for 15 minutes at the summit. Started to climb down.
9.30am: Tired and exhausted, reached Laban Rata. An hour to shower, eat breakfast and prepare for climb down.
10.30am - 4.30pm: Climb down. There's no cable car or furnicular, you have to use your feet, one step at a time. Or more like, one breaking knee at a time.
4.30pm: Cab back to Kota Kinabalu city.

The sense of achievement (especially if like me, you've never climbed any mountain) can't be described in words. I strongly recommend any fit person to attempt this! Whining along the way is fine, just make sure your companion(s) ok with that ;)
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Luggage And Bags: A backpack for the hike up the mountain. Not a large and heavy one because then you will get tired, but a medium-sized one that would fit a couple of jackets.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I wish I had brought a cool raincoat. It's likely to rain bad while you're halfway going up or down, so don't forget it. And you can't take the rain as an excuse to rest for long, because then your muscles cool down, and hiking becomes more difficult.

Hiking shoes really helped me alot because of the rough terrain and sometimes wet areas. I felt protected too, in my shoes and hiking socks.

A beanie for the climb to the summit is necessary, so is a headlamp, because it's dark at 2.30am, and if you want to climb AND see where you're going without slipping, wear a headlamp.

Toiletries & Medical Supplies: A packet of tissue, in case you need to use the not-so-pleasant toilets along the way.

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A cute bikini perhaps, if you'd like to take it all off at the top and look fabulous for that summit photo ;)

Miscellaneous: I found a good walking stick to be really important! I relied on it going up the mountain, and coming down as well. It provided me support where I would have wobbled on uneven surface otherwise.

PS: I'm kidding about that bikini
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Mount Kinabalu
photo by: Deats