Thank God for the long weekend though I’m currently suffering from mild fever and lower abdomen pains (well, hello aunt flow soon!) which also why I’m extremely grumpy and refuse to go out from the comfort of my own bedroom. Anyways, I thought today I’m going to write about my Mt. Kinabalu excavation last month on 23rd and 24th of August. It actually was a last minute decision when Adli, my mountain guide friend informed me that there was a last minute cancellation slot on the said date. Of course I said YES. For this trip, I went solo after few of friends including B declining my offers. Tsk Tsk I’ve paid my fee in full less than a month of the actual hiking date and went on rampages – hiking, endurance training and whatever I can fit into my tight schedule.
On 23rd August, the hiking day itself, I woke up very early. I feel alright and I had my beers the night before with B as we had an early anniversary kind of celebration since I will be on top of Mt. Kinabalu on our 2nd anniversary. I re-check all my items once more time before I went down and hop on my chartered car for my trip. I thought I could get a short rest during the 2 hours drive but I was chatting with the nice driver instead. I reached Kinabalu Park earlier, before the office even open and I have to wait for the guide to come around 7.30 AM. We are in a group of 10 hikers and I didn’t know the rest until I reach Laban rata and talked to some of them. 5 of them are in 1 group while the other 4 are pairs of friends and couple and then there’s me – the solo one. We started the hike from Timpohon gate around 8.30-ish and all of them are very fast. Since I already learned my lesson from my previous hike, this time 1) I didn’t carry my own backpack – it’s OK to let the porter help you 2) I hike solo – slowly accordingly to my own momentum and I didn’t push much. These two tips really help me as I reach Laban rata around 3 PM and I didn’t even feel tired. My legs are great and my body are great – Its didn’t feel like a hard hike at all. Unfortunately toward 4KM onward, I started to get my “mountain sickness” even after I take 1 pill earlier in the morning. Its was bad – bad – bad because my head keep buzzing and at one point I hike while closing my eyes. My faithful guide, Hairi was with me all the time. He’s occasionally stop and talk with his fellow friends but whenever I stop and take a breath, he will always right behind me.
Since I arrived earlier at Laban Rata this time around, I’m so hungry but the restaurant only opened for dinner at 4.30 PM. So I went into our room to rest while updating my family and B on my situation. I was so proud of myself as I’m doing much better than the last time. It was also the first time of us – me and some of the hikers in my group talking and sharing our experiences. Though I must say that the accommodation Sutera Lodge are much more better (and warmer) compare to those in Lemaing Hut where I almost freeze myself. Its rain quite heavily in the evening and I couldn’t go out and take a nicer photo.
Thankful for my well rest night with occasional noise that woke me up. Still, I had an awesome rest, my body is good and my leg is well rested. I took my medicines and get ready for the peak’s ascend. Purposely did not eat that much as I only ate 3 sausages and drank my Min Kafe’. We hike slowly and God knows how scared and overwhelmed I am with the stairs – endless stairs; as I’m gulping for more air as the air is getting thinner as we climbed. I admit that I’m very slow – but I keep going. Hairi told me that our target was to reach the check point (Sayat – Sayat Checkpoint) before 4.30 AM and whether I’m going to continue or not after that, its all up to me. At one point where I was so extremely nervous and about to tell Hairi that I don’t want to continue the climb, I ask him if it’s OK if I turned on my music. When he said yes, I took out my phone, open my Spotify and turned on my worship’s playlist. Amazingly after that, I feel better and calm as I continued my climb slowly. Then, out of nowhere, there’s this guide told me that with the speed that I’m at that moment – I won’t be able to reach sayat-sayat checkpoint timely nor the peak (again, this time. He said so) but I shrugged his comments off because I know I will be fine and I will push through. With my focus straighten while praying through the worship’s song played sweetly in the good dawn weather, we reached the check point 5 minutes later from expected 4.30 AM. I rest for awhile and went to wash room before I started to climb onto the unknown realm since I only reached the 7 KM checkpoint last time.
After climbing for few minutes and huffing and puffing like crazy due to the thin air with super steep ascend, I stopped, sat down while calming my heart rate. There are battle in my head “OMG this is so hard. Fay, you should just stay at Sayat-Sayat and wait for the sunrise.” “Your knee will suffers!” and so much more. Then, Hairi appeared from nowhere and ask me to take his hand while he pull me to continue climbing. He is so patience and kind. He didn’t even complained how slow I am – maybe because I gave him candy LOL When I rest my legs while the light slowly coming through the creek of the mountain, Hairi pointed the KM 8 marked where the infamous peak stand gorgeously. Upon seeing the marking board, I was so excited and almost running uphill and gave up in the middle because I can’t seem to arrive there as fast as I hope. At 5.50 AM, I reached KM 8 and send a selfie to my family and wishing B an anniversary wish.
From KM 8, you can definitely see the Low Peak – imagining how close it was but it’s actually another 500M which going to take about 40 minutes. Not to mentioned how steep and small the peak is with some hiker are climbing up while the others are already going down.
And we need to patiently waiting to take turn taking photo with the infamous Low Peak’s signboard. Hey, I’m smiling and my iPhone freeze here. Like seriously freeze. Luckily Hairi awesome camera save the day! After all the hard works, I must take photos here – a lots of photo.
Success climb! Oh, let me just do pose like this because I’m scared of height and downhills is terrifying.
Early birthday present for myself!
Major thanks to the awesome guide ever – Hairi for this awesome photo! Without him, I couldn’t reached the peak timely but with his guidance and re-assurance, I finally managed to conquered Mt. Kinabalu.
Colored certificate, finally. *cries*
We reached laban rata around 9.40 AM and luckily Friskart already helped me to bring my bag down as I was eating my breakfast away. I started my descend around 11 AM and reach Timpohon Gate around 2PM as we (me and Hairi) are mostly running downhill because I couldn’t bear the knee pains. All in all, it was an amazing unforgettable experiences for me though I did take a 2 days sick leave and hated stairs afterward. Thank You Lord for giving me all the awesome people to take care of me before, during and after my climb. Here’s to more mountains in future!