Author Archives: drizad

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

Blogging for business – Accomline Blog for travelers

Accomline BlogA new way to promote Accommodation Reservation Online – having a blog to promote it. Accomline Blog is a good example for accommodation provider to market the services through blogosphere. It provides accommodation news, updates, travel news and stories in a blog presentation to promote their online accommodation reservation services worldwide.

After surfing Accomline Blog for few minutes, I notice that it has few good articles about accommodation stories. “How to shut the kids up while traveling” is a good example that I could relate as I face similar difficulties while traveling with my kids. It makes sense to me that traveling with less disturbance from the kids will reduce my stress and make the journey more enjoyable.

Accommodation travel news about “France Experience” is one of the post that gives us the idea on what to do and where to go if we decided to go to France for our holiday. For me, I would like to experience “Tour de France” route!

Accomline Blog also features “Top destinations for Uni grads” as the latest accommodation updates, and listed out 4 major cities around the world. If you plan to spend your after graduation holiday, you should get some idea from the article.

Brought to you by Accomline Blog 

Write your post and win RM20 from Advertlets!

I won. After blogging about my first Advertlets check and a photo of my kids wearing Advertlets badge, Josh is kind enough to nominate me as one of the winner for the post.

Enough about me. If you have not received any Advertlets check (maybe the accumulated amount in your account is not enough for you to cash out), then you should consider writing a sponsored post about Advertlets. 100 bloggers from Malaysia and Singapore will have the opportunity to increase your account by RM20 (or SGD10 for Singaporean). It may not looked much, but it is better than nothing!

You can write a post in either English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Singlish or Romanized Hokkien. Cool eh? Unfortunately, you cannot write your post in Sabahan dialect…

Advertlets winner

Send your entry before 30th September 2007. Happy blogging!

What does World Heritage title means to Kinabalu?

I received another email from Cikgu Ismail yesterday. He was asking me about the “World Heritage” title that was given by UNESCO (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to Kinabalu Park in 2000.

What is World Heritage?

World Heritage SiteHeritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

How did Mount Kinabalu get the title?

In January 2000, Kinabalu Park was nominated as one of the Heritage Site by UNESCO as it is a clear candidate for inscription on the World Heritage list on the basis of the following two natural criteria:

Criterion (ii): Ecological processes

  • The high species diversity of Kinabalu results from a number of factors:
    • the great altitudinal and climatic gradient from tropical forest to alpine conditions;
    • precipitous topography causing effective geographical isolation over short distances;
    • the diverse geology with many localised edaphic conditions, particularly the ultramafic substrates;
    • the frequent climate oscillations influenced by El Niño events;
    • geological history of the Malay archipelago and proximity to the much older Crocker Range.

Criterion (iv): Biodiversity and threatened species

Research on the biota of Mount Kinabalu has been extensive and has established that the park is floristically species-rich and a globally important Centre of Plant Endemism. The Park contains an estimated 5,000-6,000 vascular plant species including representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants.

The presence of 1,000 orchid species, 78 species of Ficus, and 60 species of ferns are indicative of the botanical richness of the park. The variety of Kinabalu’s habitats includes 6 vegetation zones from lowland rainforest through to alpine scrub at 4,095m. Faunal diversity is also high with the majority of Borneo’s mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates (many threatened and vulnerable) known to occur in the park. It is clear that Kinabalu Park contains “the most important and significant habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity”. IUCN considers that the nominated site meets this criterion.

*****

Kinabalu has been identified by IUCN/WWF as a Centre of Plant Diversity. Despite its geological youth, it is exceptionally rich in species with elements from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malesia and Pantropical floras. The park has between 5,000-6,000 vascular plant species, 1,000 of which are orchids.

It is particularly rich in Ficus (78 taxa), ferns (610sp) and Nepenthes (9 species of pitcher plants). Rafflesia, a rare parasitic plant is also found. The mountain flora has diverse “living fossils” such as the celery pine and the trig-oak, the evolutionary link between oaks and beeches.

So, in December 2000, World Heritage Committee Inscribes 61 New Sites on World Heritage List which includes Kinabalu Park and Mulu National Park.

Resources:

  1. United Nations Environment Program – World Conservation Monitoring Center – Kinabalu Park
  2. Kinabalu Park – UNESCO World Heritage Center

Climbing Eastern Ridge (Plateau) of Kinabalu

I have explained before that you can climb the Eastern Ridge of Kinabalu, together with a geographical map form Google Earth. Fortunately, arkitrek climbed the route in 2006. He wrote about his trip with Blogger.com, and I have the opportunity to highlight his post here.

***
I am a little disappointed when we head downhill, away from those alluring pinnacles. ‘Need water’ we are told. ‘No water here.’ We skirt the base of the pinnacles until it is possible to descend into a dry gully bed.

‘Tidak air,’ announces Jus, confirming the obvious.
‘OK, where is air?’ I try not to sound impatient or concerned.
‘Next one.’ By which I presume he means the next watercourse.

Ironically it starts to rain and I’m not sure whether to put some more clothes on or to spread out our tent flysheet to catch water? Jus and Din also appear uncertain and are quartering the hillside presumably looking for a trail that will lead to the ‘next one’. No sooner have I made my decision they find the trail contouring an improbably steep spur that bounds our gully.

Western Plateau peaks of Kinabalu
Western (Ridge) Plateau of Kinabalu, seen in the morning from Eastern Ridge. Notice the shadow?

We scramble up and down over tree roots and boulders, traversing the mountainside in a pattern that will inevitably bring us into another drainage. Again we hear ‘tidak air’. It’s getting late and Matt and I are grinning at each other in a ‘this is starting to get interesting but we’re game for it’ kind of manner. Matt and I may be game but Emma lets it be known that she’s flagging.

I wonder how much she has left. I have found through experience of climbing with women that they tend to hold more in reserve than they let on. This compared to men for whom the converse is often true. I hold onto this thought and pray that tiredness does not result in accidents.

We should have found a campsite by now but we continue, descending a gully choked with logs and boulders. We’re moving away from that smooth granite toward steaming jungle ravines of indiscernible depth. We descend by lowering ourselves from mossy roots onto footholds of crumbling humus.

I have twigs down my back from stooping under branches and my knees are filthy from crawling. We pass a good flat camping site. Tidak air of course and it’s onwards and downwards. At the end of the day it gets dark and even our guide has to admit that we will have to camp with tidak air.

‘Tidak bagus’ (not good) mutters Matt. We chop out a small ledge from the moss and roots and manage to get two thirds of the tent onto it. After dinner of tuna mayo with crackers washed down with peanut butter, we mix the last of our water with some rehydration salts and pass the mug around.
***

You can read his whole story here.

OssBlogger.com – Another blog for Open Source community

Open Source LogoIf you have been following this blog long enough, you might have came across some of the blog post that I wrote in “Open Source Software” category. I am an Open Source Software fan and supporter, and have been trying to migrate all my computer softwares to Open Source.

As this blog has become an authority blog for Mount Kinabalu, writing a blog post about “geeky stuff” in between Majestic Kinabalu seems a little bit odd to me (not to say my reader). I have been thinking for quite sometime on having a separate blog about Open Source, but the timing was never quite right.

However, when Exabytes promote 50% discount for their new web hosting services, I decided to buy another blog hosting, dedicated to my journey to Open Source Software.

I would like to invite you to visit my new blog, OssBlogger.com. Hopefully you can benefit some writings in my blog posts – from an end user point of view. From now on, all my experiences with Open Source Software will have a new home.

As a start, you can read these 3 maiden post on Open Source Software:

  1. How I use Audacity to produce my first podcast interview
  2. Free Antivirus – Moon Secure Antivirus for Windows
  3. How to install WordPress blog in your computer with XAMPP

Would you like to join me in the community?

First Aid Kit for your Mount Kinabalu climbing trip

These are the most common incidents that can make climbers injured during the trip up the Summit of Borneo.

Muscular aches

Everybody knows that climbing Mount Kinabalu is a strenuous activity. Muscular aches happens to all climbers. Most of the aches involves lower limbs – both legs, thighs, knees, calves, ankle and foot – because of the 8-12 hours of trekking up and down the mountain. Upper body aches happens if you bring too much of a load in your backpack – anything around 10kg is considered to much for an average casual climber. Apart from the strenuous activities, low fluid intake with inadequate minerals and electrolytes, can worsen the muscle aches, as it can’t function properly. Fatigue may sets in, and climbers can feel very week to continue the climb.

Minimize muscular aches by having a regular training before the climbing journey. Do cardio workout, at least 30 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week, and try to concentrate more on your lower limbs. Optimally, you should do the training and exercise at least 1 month before the climb.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Low’s Peak of Kinabalu is categorized in Very High altitude scale (12,000 – 18,000 feet [3,658 – 5,487 meters]). The risk of you getting altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) is there. Laban Rata, the place for you to stay overnight before ascending to Low’s Peak is at the High altitude scale (8,000 – 12,000 feet [2,438 – 3,658 meters]). It is really difficult to say who are susceptible to AMS and who will get it, until they really make it up there.

However, you should know what are the symptoms of AMS, so that you will be alert of this conditions. The symptoms of Mild AMS are;

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • disturbed sleep
  • general feeling of malaise

Minimize the effect of AMS by climbing the mountain slowly, better still, at your own pace. A simple Panadol or Ibuprofen can relief the symptoms. Stay properly hydrated – make sure you take a lot of fluid during the journey. There are 7 “pondok” (huts) along Summit Trail where you can refill your water bottle with untreated water. I elaborated more on the prevention of AMS here.

Trip & Falls

Climbing in a wet seasons gives extra challenges to climbers because of the water. Wet boulders and rocks can be very slippery sometimes. Wrong judgement and misaligned foot while walking through slippery surfaces can leads to fall. It is not about the mountain all the time, but climbers can sometimes be careless and ignorant.

Getting a pair of good shoes for the climb is necessary. Don’t follow what your porters and guides wears for their foot. A good trekking / climbing boots should at least have a traction sole, and high cut boots (which covers your ankle) is an option if you are afraid of ankle injury. Shoes guideline for climbathon runners can be a good reference for your trip.

Blisters

Blisters can be an annoying condition to have during your trip. New shoes with new socks can aggravate the production of blisters on your foot. That is why you need to “run in” your shoes for at least 2 weeks before the climb, so that your foot can get use to the new shoes. Prevention of blisters involves wearing a good thick socks and a well padded shoes. If it happens, you should know how to treat a simple blister.

Hand blisters can happen if you don’t wear gloves properly. During the second phase of the climb (all the way from Laban Rata), you will have to depends and hang on the rope that has been put there by the authorities. Waterproof gloves is better, but it may be a bit expensive. Normal wool gloves gives you some protection against the friction while using the rope.

Acute gastroenteritis (means that food & water poisoning)

Untreated water tankA well known medical problem to climbers who has a sensitive stomach. There is a water tank in each and every hut on the Summit Trail. However, the water comes from the mountain directly – hence, the tanks are all painted with “Untreated Water” sign. Wet season is slightly safer, as the water amounts are huge and it “dilutes” the microorganism inside, and the dynamic of the water makes the tank a “not so good” place for them to grow. Compared to dry season, when the water supply is limited, the water in the tanks can be stagnant, and it will be a good place for the microorganism to grow. The water will be slightly “concentrated” with microorganism during this period of time.

For most climbers who have a resistant stomach, this is not a problem. They could drink the water without any problems. However, some non-Asian climbers found out that they suffers from diarrhea from drinking the water directly from the tanks. If you happens to be like one of them, the best way to prevent this is by disinfecting the water with iodine salts. Iodine salts can kill the germs inside your water supply, and it is safe for you and your stomach. Bare in mind that the salts can produce an unpleasant odour with the water and some climbers may find it annoying.

First Aid Kit suggestion

Adventure Medical Kits have a good First Aid Kit that you can have for your trip up the Summit of Kinabalu. Small enough to take with you everywhere, the Fast and Light Personal Kit from Adventure Medical Kits contains enough first aid supplies for you and a friend Features:

  • Includes a First-Aid pamphlet Medications
  • 1 Splinter Picker Forceps
  • 3 Safety Pins
  • 4 Ibuprofen (200mg)
  • 2 Aspirin (325mg)
  • 2 Anitihistamine (Diphenhydramine)
  • Bleeding care items include 2 Nitrile Examination Gloves and 1 Infectious Control Bag Wound care
  • Sprain and blister items include 2 Butterfly Closure Strips
  • 2 Antibiotic Ointment
  • 6 After Cuts and Scrapes
  • 6 3×3 or 2×2’s Sterile Dressings
  • 1 Non-adherent Sterile Dressing, 1 Conforming Gauze Bandage (2 or 3)
  • 1 Adhesive Tape 10 yards (1-2)
  • 5 Strip and Knuckle Bandages
  • 2 Cotton Tipped Applicators
  • 1 Moleskin 4 x 3

Features

  • Reflective trim makes it easier to find kit in low-light conditions
  • Medications for inflammation, pain, allergic reactions, bites and stings, and heart attack symptoms
  • Nitrile gloves and infectious control bag
  • Wound care supplies
  • Moleskin dressing for preventing and treating blisters
  • Fine pointed, precision forceps allow you to pull out the smallest splinters or ticks

As a medical personnel myself, having a good first aid kit is a must when going into this kind of activities. In my opinion, the package by Adventure Medical Kits for climbers with the above kit is the minimum requirement that you must have. I would recommend you to have the kit – if you don’t want the hassle of buying the items inside the package separately.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”. Happy mountaineering!

Recommended book – Kinabalu Escape

February 1994, a team of 7 British soldiers and 3 of their Hongkong counterparts embarked on an expedition to climb 4,095m Mt Kinabalu and then abseil into Low’s Gully, a sheer 1.6km drop to a virtually unexplored forest floor. The members in the team were:

LTC Robert Neill
MAJ Ron Foster
SGT Bob Mann
CPL Hugh Brittan
LCP Kelvin Cheung (HK)
LCP Richard Mayfield
LCP Pete Shearer
LCP Steve Page
PTE Victor Lam (HK)
PTE Chow (HK)

From the very beginning, the two officers have greatly underestimated Low’s Gully. They only had one day’s training in abseiling and only one member of the team was skilled enough to do multiple pitch abseils and that is LCP Richard Mayfield, a qualified rock climbing instructor.

When the 7 member British team met up with their HK counterparts in Sabah, Mayfield realized that the men from HK were not even aware of the great challenges they were going to face. With no signal devices and no porters, the team marched up the tourist trail only to find themselves exhausted at Panar Laban.

At Gunting Lagadan Hut, LCP Mayfield tried to persuade the colonel to abort Exercise Gully Heights. They didn’t have enough food and there were too many novices amongst them. LCP Mayfield’s advice was met with strong objection and insistence from LTC Neill.

After the climb to the summit, the team had to get down to Commando Cauldron (start of Low’s Gully), Easy Valley and Alphabet Rock. Mayfield brought Pete, Britt and Steve down to Easy Valley and started clearing the forest. Unfortunately, their task took longer than expected. The officers and the HK soldiers waited for them at the col but they did not return for the night. SGT Bob Mann was with the officers. That night, Bob reported spotting a large, ape-like creature at that altitude.

Then, the colonel ordered his group to take half the kit down to the front group, go back up and take the rest down the next day. By now, SGT Bob was certain that the colonel was no longer capable of commanding the expedition. He went down Easy Valley with the officers who turned back 2 hours before dusk. SGT Bob carried on to meet up with the front group. Bob got lost, then bumped into LCP Mayfield and the rest of the front group who have already set up the first abseils.

Next day, the colonel and his group arrived at Alphabet Rock, but the expedition leader was clearly unwell. LCP Mayfield who had gone down to check out the route of descent reported that he sees at least 6 abseils down, but that would still not bring them anywhere close to the bottom. LCP Mayfield explained that there would be no return possible once they started descending into the abyss. He made a last attempt to convince the colonel to abort the exercise. The colonel said that he would see him at the bottom.

Mayfield proceeded to descend, leading the front group which consisted of everybody except the officers and the HK soldiers. It took them 5 hours to descend 1800ft to the gully floor in 12 pitches. As expected, the rear group never showed up. The group debated on what to do. The leader made a terrible mistake of not bringing radio sets. Britt suspected the rear group might have retreated back to the hut. Bob warned that their supplies were low and they had to get out of the Gully fast. They made the collective decision to leave. They group climbed out of the east face of the gully and encountered thick forests, fast flowing streams and rapids. The group split up again. Pete and others were in one group and the Bob was with Mayfield.

The two of them found a river and decided to follow it downstream. Both men were starving. They finally arrived at Melangkap Tamis village, 3 weeks after they had left Park HQ. Pete and company had also arrived at that village. The kind villages took them in and provided them with much needed food and first aid in the form of folk medicine which included snakes and insects.

Back in Kota Kinabalu, they contacted their units and soon, a massive search was launched. A Malaysian helicopter spotted the rear group and rescued them. All 10 members of the expedition had survived.

Back in the UK, LCP Mayfield faced a Board of Enquiry in which the colonel accused him of disobeying orders and abandoning the rear group. LCP Mayfield was cleared of all charges but his military career was over.

Book review by Chan Joon Yee “Dr Chan” (Singapore), courtesy of Amazon.com

September Blogger Hall of Fame for Kinabalu Blog

From now on, I am going to have one dedicated post at the beginning of each month for 3 Malaysian bloggers who has a dedication on blogging. I think by having this Blogger Hall of Fame post, many of unsung bloggers, which has a very good articles and contents, would benefit my readers. Apart from reading my post on Mount Kinabalu almost everyday, it is nice to read, once in a while, about other bloggers who have dropped by this blog, and shared their magic moments.

I am going to be very flexible on choosing the bloggers, but I would particularly look for a similar theme and similar demographic readers, as it will benefit most of my readers.

Here’s for September ’07!

  • Kay Stanford is from Sabah, Malaysian part of Borneo. His dad is from Kudat and his mom is from Penampang. Currently working in Kuala Lumpur, been staying in peninsular Malaysia for more than 7 years but the only directions he can tell you are the LRT stations. Has an interest in stuffs like music, photography and video editing but does not have the right tools to do it.
    I was really impress with his post about his Rungus background. With modernization, his mother tongue was lost…
  • Julian is an IT-savvy person and works in the IT industry in Kota Kinabalu, while Morin is a homemaker. Baby Raelynne was a recent addition to the family. This photo blog will feature mainly on Raelynne plus Julian’s “amateurish” photography skills with his Olympus E-300 D-SLR digital camera.
    He won the prize on one of my quiz about the 7 highest peak of Kinabalu last month. A father like I am, we share the same experiences. Read his post about Lok Kawi Wildlife Park here!
  • Lorna loves anything that has to do with IT, the Internet, music, entrepreneurship and work-at-home matters. She is currently a wife to a wonderful and supadupa systems analyst, a supermom to two rumbustious but lovable “monkeys” (due to their ability to climb on almost anything and everything), a budding entrepreneur and an aspiring content developer for subjects on economics, business, IT and the World Wide Web.
    She is the brain behind “WordPress Top Commentator Widget Plugin“. I must tell you that I am very impress with her ability, and used her plugin in one of my other WordPress MU portal!

And yes, they are all Sabahan (means comes from Sabah, The Land Below The Wind).

Have a nice weekend!

Low’s Gully Movie – The Abyss : To The Ends of The Earth

It took me another 2 weeks to gather all this information. In 1994 a British Army expedition to Borneo’s infamous Low’s Gully went disastrously wrong. Three books and one movie was made based on the event. As I have shared with you the three books, this time, I would like to share with you the movie.

The movie is entitled “To The End of The Earth : The Abyss”, was produced in 1998 by a group of European actors.

The Abyss

The Synopsis:

Low’s Gully Movie - The Abyss : To The Ends of The EarthIn 1994, a British Army expedition of 10 men set out to become the first to explore Low’s Gully in Borneo – a 1.6-kilometre-deep canyon, stretching for 10 kilometres off the side of Mount Kinabalu. Armed with 10 days’ rations and a video camera but without radio and flares, they descended into the abyss …

Setting Out

Low’s Gully was created over a million years ago when a massive glacier carved a huge canyon on the side of Mount Kinabalu in northern Borneo. Known as the ‘Place of the Dead’, local legend tells that it’s a resting place of their ancestors. Today, it remains one of the least explored gullies on the planet.

In 1994, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neil and Major Ron Foster put together a team of 10 soldiers to explore the gully as part of a British Army expedition. The aim was to climb the mountain and abseil into the top of the gully, before trekking along it back to base – all in just six days.

The plan was to travel light, so they decided to forgo radios and flares and take just 10 days’ rations. Of the team, only one man, Lance Corporal Richard Mayfield, had any real climbing experience and two of the soldiers had never even abseiled before.

Low’s Gully Movie - The Abyss : To The Ends of The EarthIn February 1994, with just one day’s abseil training, the team began the 4100-metre ascent to the mountain’s summit. The path up was just 13 kilometres long but rose steeply. Regularly scaled by groups of tourists, Mount Kinabalu is not considered a tough climb. Yet it proved difficult for many of the soldiers who had spent only three days acclimatising to the heat, altitude and humidity.

On the morning of the third day, Operation Gully Heights reached the summit and the men saw for the first time the task ahead of them. Neil, recognising that the climb had taken its toll on some of the men, decided that Mayfield and the younger, fitter men should forge ahead and begin their descent down the gully, while the remaining five men rested before catching up. It was a decision that would divide the team for good.

Mayfield’s group began to abseil the 1.6 kilometres to the gully floor. Each of the five men carried a length of rope. The plan had been to leave the ropes in place as they descended to provide them with a means of ascent back out if they needed it.

But as Mayfield’s team pressed on, it became clear to him that with the two teams separated they would need to remove and reuse their ropes in order to reach the bottom of the gully. Reluctant to take this drastic step, and with no radio to contact his commanding officer in the first group, Mayfield climbed back up to inform Neil of their predicament. But with Neil’s team still too tired to begin their descent, he ordered Mayfield to continue to the gully floor, saying they would follow.

With just four days’ rations left, and with the team divided, Mayfield began to realise that Operation Gully Heights may have underestimated Low’s Gully. It was a point of no return. If they descended to the gully floor would they make it out again?

In The Gully

Low’s Gully Movie - The Abyss : To The Ends of The EarthWhen Neil’s team finally began their descent they had only three days’ rations left. And with novice climbers, they made slow progress.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the gully, the advance team were waiting for the others to catch up. But when they failed to show and with their rations running short they realised they were no longer on a training exercise. It had become a fight for human survival – they had to try and make it out of the forest alive.

As the first group began to negotiate their way out, they met with the gully’s unique weather system. Mists over the mountain gave way to torrential rains and with nowhere else to go, the water poured down into the gully. Soon, the stream that they had planned to follow out turned into rapids. Hemmed in by the forest, Mayfield’s team attempted to follow the fast-moving water, abseiling down waterfalls and traversing the sheer rock flanking the water.

Ahead of them, Mayfield’s team had become trapped between two waterfalls. Up to their waists in water, the drop ahead of them was too dangerous to attempt and they couldn’t climb back up the previous waterfall. So Mayfield, using his climbing skills, decided to tackle the 13-metre rock face that rises from the side of the gully.

But after he had safely helped his companions climb out of the gully, the five men found themselves face-to-face with an impenetrable forest thicket. In the days that followed, as they slowly struggled through the undergrowth, Mayfield and one other team member became separated from the other three in their group. Unable to find them, they were forced to continue on. With no rations, they attempted to live off the forest, but with dire consequences – Mayfield’s companion became violently ill. Unwilling to leave him behind, Mayfield goaded him into going on.

Eventually, after 17 days in the gully, the pair spotted what looked like a bridge. It turned out to be a road. Exhausted and starving, they stumbled out of the forest and back into the arms of civilisation.

On their return, they learned that the other three in their party had already made it back safely. But Neil’s team were still stranded. The Malaysian Army started to search for the missing soldiers with helicopters. A Royal Air Force rescue team was also dispatched.

After 10 days of searching, a Malaysian helicopter finally spotted the second group and lowered stretchers to rescue them. It was 31 days since they’d set out. By the end, they’d been surviving off energy sweets and cough drops. They had lost a fifth of their body weight, but they were alive.

All 10 men had survived the ordeal, but in their rush to be the first to explore the gully, they had overestimated their own abilities and underestimated the unique terrain and unpredictable weather of Low’s Gully.

I check out Amazon.com for the DVD. There’s none. At last, I found two websites that provides the VHS (yes, that old) of the movie. One of the website that I contacted 2 weeks ago still did not reply my email. It costs GBP14.99. If I were to buy the VHS, I have to spend almost RM200 for one, including the postage, and still not sure whether I could receive the package. Here is the link:

  1. Inglesport – Online Shop
  2. 1 Simple Solutions

Resources:

  1. Channel4 : Force of Nature – Low’s Gully
  2. BFI Film & Database