My Experience in Mount Kinabalu Climb Part 1

Dear readers, I am excited to share with you my experience in Mount Kinabalu Climb, Sabah, located in eastern part of Malaysia 2 months ago.

I never thought that I will go for any trekking tour overseas, but my friends went ahead to organise and invited me to go along. They are my good friends and I never would want to be a wet blanket.

So let’s begin:

That what we have sign up for – All the way up to Low’s Peak via Mersilau track. Actually there are 2 routes to choose from: either via Mersilau or Timpohon.

Tip: I would recommend beginners to go with Timpohon route, reason being: The route consists of mostly man-made steps at the front part of the trail instead of walking on uneven grounds with protruding tree branches and rocky slopes.  It is also much shorter giving you more time to reach the mid point Laban Rata rest house and this is important!! You need to have ample rest in order to climb the summit the next morning at 2am!

The Start Point

Ahh, everyone looked so fresh at the beginning! And we decided to,”Let’s hold on to our climb pass and take a picture!”

Tip: For the climb, please wear as comfortable as possible, although you might feel cold at first but once you start climbing, you will be sweating! Hence, for the initial part, you can wear shorts with a good pair of trekking shoes and a small bag that is waterproof. The bag also has to be compact and light! I would recommend all potential climbers to get bag with a capacity of 10-15L will be sufficient. Your Poncho or Gore-tex jacket should be readily available as the chance of rain is just so probable during your climb.

Oh Ya, have all your important belonging “Zip-Locked” in those air-tight seal bags! Get a few sizes to cater for different needs. (Large for clothes, Medium for food and toiletries and small for your handphone/cameras)


One of my climb buddies conquering the steep wooden steps

Have a feel on the first half of climb: basically rocky roads, steep steps and a tired body

After passing by Layang Layang, all roads will look like the above all the way till Laban Rata (the rest house).  You need to have a lot of perseverance and encouragement from your buddies and guide. Basically, you will reach a point that you climb 5 steps and will stop as you can feel your heart beating furiously . You will also be panting and sweating profusely.

Tip: If you are not an avid climber who climbs often, moreover this might be your first mountain climbing/trekking, I would advise you to climb at your own comfortable pace. Do not rush or push yourself too much. If not, there will be a high chance that you will get altitude sickness which will not be a pleasant experience to have for your ongoing climb. Another advise is you must try to breathe with your mouth so as to condition your body to grasp the most air from the thin air environment.

Another 10km more to go to reach Laban Rata!

I am grateful to have a buddy with me throughout the climb. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of a climb buddy. We started the climb as a group of 6, but end up having only 1 buddy who has the same pace as me and the rest were trying to catch up with us.

Tip: A trekking stick is definitely a plus item to have! Throughout your climb, it will be a useful tool for you to hold on your support, to lean on when you tired and the uses just go on and on and on…


A Huge Pitcher Plant!

Some of the nice greenary you will see

Omg, I must thank my guide for prompting me to stay alert for spotting the huge red pitcher plant! If not I would have been too tired to bother and to get notice any of them. I must say when you are climbing, your body is so tired that your mind will just shut down? Like a moving zombie… haha… So if possible, try to train a bit more before your climb so that you can enjoy more of the surrounding plants/eco system during your climb.

Tip: For camera, I would recommend those good pin point camera like Canon Powershot S110 series. They are small and light, that so conveniently you can slip it into or take out from your pocket. No point carrying along a DSLR and yet you are just too tired to take any shot with it. Furthermore, a smaller camera body frame will easier for you to find zip lock bag for it. Waterproofing your electronics is very very crucial!

Laban Rata – The heaven up in the mountain!

Finally! That’s the word I said it out loud when I saw this building! I believe you will do the same if you reach here after a long tiring climb. It is really heaven in there, cozy dining place serving warm and delicious food. Not to mention the bed which is waiting for you after you check in. Although honestly this place isn’t any 5 stars kind of hotel, but I must confess that after climbing up surrounded by trees and plants, and you are so shag and tired, this place really feel good. It is good enough place for you to replenish your energy for the next morning summit climb.

Tip: Although I suggested that you climb slowly at your own grace, but you still have to try to reach Laban Rata before 8pm.  This is because dinner will be serve at 6pm to about 8pm. after which there is no more dinner! Imagine no food after an arduous climb! Also, if you reach there early before dinner, please also get yourself and your buddy a cup of tea/coffee at the dining hall. It just taste so delicious and heavenly.

Shag Shag Shag

That’s all folks for part 1. It is really getting a bit long for an entry. But I hope I have given you an insight of what is the first half of the climb is like and the tip given is of what you need to know to get yourself ready for the climb. Of course you can feel free to drop me a comment if you have any other question.

As for now, do stay tuned for part 2 as I will share with you my second day climb all the way up to the summit: Low’s Peak!! 🙂

2 thoughts on “My Experience in Mount Kinabalu Climb Part 1

  1. I enjoyed the read. Those photos look incredible! Great advice you have there too, to enclose everything in “Zip-Locked” bags. I can’t tell you what a perfect idea that is when travelling. Also, that photo of Laban Rata is simply gorgeous. The way the sun hits the one side of the building makes it all the more inspiring!

  2. Thanks! Yes, sometimes in the midst of packing, we might miss out small details like this. Furthermore, it did rain throughout our climb, I was glad that all my stuff remain dry!

    I hope the advice given will help readers to be better prepare for their climb! 🙂

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