Kinta 01 90th anniversary gathering


01 Kinta 90th Anniversary Gathering photo is now published!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mount Kinabalu Climb 2000

Written by Chin Teck Kean

Mount Kinabalu is a prominent mountain in Southeast Asia. It is located in the east Malaysia state of Sabah, which is on the island of Borneo. Its summit (also known as Low’s Peak) height at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level. The mountain is the third tallest in Southeast Asia behind Hkakabo Razi of Myanmar (Burma) and Puncak Jaya of New Guinea (Indonesia) and is therefore also the tallest in Malaysia and on the island of Borneo.

Mount Kinabalu is essentially a huge granite dome that was pushed up from the earth’s crust as molten rock millions of years ago. The mountain and its surroundings feature a huge variety of flora, and is one of the world’s most important biological sites. The main peak of the mountain can be relatively easily climbed by a person with a good physical condition, and requires no mountaineering equipment. Other peaks along the massif, however, require rock climbing skills.

This trip was well planned six months ahead of time, seven of us sign up for the challenge. They are Loke King Cheong, Elvind Yip, Kee Lian Yuen, Hoh Soon Wen, Christi Toa, Selvin David A. and Chin Teck Kean. Much of the time we were training on our own & only once in a while we meet in Ipoh to train together to ensure we are all equally fit for the climb.
We started from Ipoh on January 2, Year 2000, arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in the evening. Take a taxi to Hotel and stayed overnight. There is nothing interesting in KK town except the Centre Point Shopping Complex. We spend our whole evening there looking for food & also searching for last minute hiking gears.

Next morning, adventure start, at 7am had breakfast nearby Chinese restaurant. Our tour agent arranged at about 8:15am with mini van to take us to Kinabalu Park. The journey from the hotel took us 2 hours overland (88 km) through paddy fields and Dusun villages over the ridges of the Crocker Range to the foothills of Mount Kinabalu at 5000 ft. before arriving at Kinabalu Park Headquarters for registration and to get our mountain rangers. We were then transferred to Timpohon Gate at 1,800 m around 10:30am to start the climb.

After a short briefing by our mountain guide, we were all ready and waiting in anticipation to begin our trip to the summit. In the beginning, it was not tough as it was on low ground. We stopped for a short break at the first Pondok Ubah, the shelter was equipped with toilet and water supply from the mountain. Nearly every hour of hiking, we will reach a shelter with the same facilities. We then pass through Pondok Lowi, and then rested again at Pondok Mempening. At this shelter, we saw few squirrels approaching us for food. The journey after this shelter is quite pleasant as the scenery is beautiful and we passed through the RTM radio station. After 4-6 hours trekking we finally reached Laban Rata Rest house (3,300 m) and stay overnight there. We reached the rest house at about 5:30pm.

Next morning we woke up at 1:00am, after breakfast, start ascent to summit at 2:00am, in the beginning, there were wooden steps, after a while, it is all rock all the way until the summit. As the surrounding is pitch dark, we had to follow the person in front of us very closely with our touch light and whenever we stop, we need to yell up our teammate to stop.
We finally reached the summit "Low's Peak 4,095.2 m" at 6.00am for sunrise. Took some magnificent photos. Total distance climbed = 8.7 km (from Timpohon to Laban Rata, from Laban Rata to Summit 2.7km). The last 800 m (2600 ft), from the Laban Rata hut at 3300 m to the summit at 4100 m, takes between 2 and 4 hours. The last part of the climb is on naked granite rock. Given the high altitude, some of us suffer from altitude sickness and did not make it to the summit. As breathing and any further movement becomes increasingly difficult.

We started to climb down from Laban Rata at 11:00am, a typical descent from the summit is quick but is often equally painful as the ascent: knee joints, ankle joints and toes tend to suffer as the climbers descend 3000 m (9850 ft) in five hours. We finally reached Kinabalu Park 2:40pm. We spend one night in Kinabalu Park, tired but all enjoyed this trip very much, we spend about RM 1,200.00 per person.

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