Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mt. Kinabalu

I was just passing by this false peak (picture on the left).

Picture on the Right: The sharp peak-like mountain behind me is not the actual peak. I am moving on nearer to you and the peak. Wow! I can see so many stones piling up the peak. Must be hard to climb! Hahaha! You can't see it. It's not captured on this shot.

Can you see my red hood at the bottom left of the picture. My photographer said his hands were freezing and he could not take a good picture. Well the pointed stone behind me is not the peak. I am not there yet.

I took this picture before I reached the top of the mountain. I was excited to be almost there!

The worn-out wooden board reads something like this, "You are now on the highest point of Mt. Kinabalu.." Just imagine how many people must have climbed up and held it! The temperature was 2 degrees Celcius and we were freezing cold.

After all the pictures, here are the facts and story:

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain 4101m (13,455ft)in South East Asia. It is located in the state of Sabah on Borneo Island. Historically the Philippines and Indonesia also claimed Sabah as their territory but Malaysia won.

We prepared several chocolate bars, and a water bottle each. There are many water refill shelters along the climb. We started at about 8:00 a.m and reached the 11,000 ft resthouse between 2:30p.m. - 4:00p.m. 1 out of the 19 of us had some breathing difficulty due to the thinner air at higher altitude and decided to rest at the resthouse. She received a certificate that she attempted to climb up to 11,000 ft.

I took some time to walk and enjoy the change in vegetation. As you hike higher, the plants are more stunted and shorter. I saw several pitcher plants or monkey cups along the way. There were a lot of ants in some of them. They attract and trap insects. My friends and I were on the lookout for rafflesias which are the biggest flowers in the world. We saw some rafflesia bulbs which looked like very deep purple compact cabbage. We understand that they fade in 3 days after they bloom and stink as they wilther.

After dinner, we slept early. Then we woke up and had an early breakfast around 2:00 a.m. Around 2:30 a.m. we tied a flash light and our camera around our neck and lined up for the final climb. We had a guide between every six hiker. We needed our flash light (torch light)as it was so dark. We had to use both our hands to hold the rope when we climbed this time. It was rock-climbing!

We reached the peak from as early as 5:30a.m. - 9:30a.m. I was up around 6:00a.m. We waited to watch the sunrise but the dark clouds would not give way. It was around freezing point and with the strong wind, the cold was almost unbearable.

The air was very fresh and I was actually on top of the world! I felt great. I had made it! When I looked down I could not believe I had to climb down those steep rocks. I had to fight against the wind. No wonder they made us hiked up in the dark I thought to myself. I was at the resthouse and had my brunch at 9:30a.m. A friend came down at 11:00a.m and showed us her sun scorched skin. Now it make sense that the rocks heat up pretty fast and the heat from the sun is intense so we had to start in the wee hours.

Are you bored by now? Do you want to see more pictures I haven't shown and the trail? Click here Oh, my muscles ached for a few days. I'm heading to the natural spring and bath in the sulphur water now.
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Bee Ean said...

I have always wanted to do this but missed out the chance several times. Hubby said he would like to do it next time he goes to Malaysia. Me, kind of getting old and lost motivation.

Jesieblogjourney said...

Just take your time with your hubby and enjoy the hike. There is no need to rush. You can hike anywhere to enjoy the nature.

I have hiked up Penang Hill, Maxwell Hill(Taiping), short trails in KL and some hills in the US. My mom hiked with up to the Seneca Rocks in West Virginia and had climbed the Great Wall of China in her 60s. She was proud to show off her certificate when she made it to the Great Wall of China.

I hope you will have fun and do what you want to do in your own time. Enjoy.

Odysseus said...

The false peak is the South Peak. Strangely, it's beautiful in its owne way and everyone seem to recognize this peak compared to the higher one, Low's Peak.

I was up there in 1996:) Visit me at www.flying-pegasus.com

jesie said...

Thanks for your comments. Yes, you are right. I agree with you. Apparently the highest peak is called the Low's Peak because it was named after Sir Hughes Low who attempted the climb but never found the peak. In honor of him it was named the Low's Peak.
I tried to visit your site but there was a problem. Will try again.

Josephine said...

I remember my trip up there but I remember my trip coming down better! hahahaha guess why? Its because 1) someone had an accident and need assistance to make the trip downhill (helicopter's bill is too expensive) 2) while travelling to the airport, we nearly had an accident - the driver drove up the road divider 3) last but not least, we miss our flight back to KL! 4) when we are back in KL, our friends were anxiously waiting for us in the arrival hall as we miss the flight and were rescheduled to take the next plane back 5) both of my legs ached for abt 1 week!

Jesieblogjourney said...

Your flight back was delayed and mine was just the opposite. Luckily no one was hurt and you escaped the accident.

On my trip to KK, there was a thunderstorm and we were stuck at Brunei airport. I did not carry a passport with me. After a few hours, we continued our flight and though we were late, it was not a big problem.

So how did you help the guy going downhill? Did he sprain his leg or ankle. Poor thing! It's a long hike. The name of the game about hiking down is to control your knees. Don't try to run. It's hard on your knees. My muscles ache for a few days. The trip to soak ourselves at the Sulphur Hotspring (Poring Hotspring??) surely helped the muscles loosen up some.