Category Archives: Mount Kinabalu

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in ONE DAY???

YES, you can climb Mount Kinabalu in ONE day, climb up in the morning, and climb down in the afternoon. I called Sabah Parks Ranger office just now, inquiring about the possibility of 3 US citizen summit Kinabalu in ONE day. They said it is possible, but there are few things that you have to do.

1. You have to present yourself (and your two other friends) in Kinabalu Park at least a day before your intention to climb. Look for the Manager of the Park, Mr. Haji Abdul Wahab and ask to get the permission & permit to climb in one day. If he is not around, look for the Kinabalu Park Ranger On-Call, and mention the same thing. If everything is satisfactory, You will then can check in to where you have book for your night stay.

2. For ONE day climb, you will then be allowed to climb next morning after confirmation from the Rangers. Guide, insurance and permit is compulsory, i.e. guide will be around RM100-150 for the group, insurance will be around RM10 and permit will be RM100 per person. Certificate of achievement is optional (RM10). All fees to be paid next morning before the climb.

3. You need to start climbing very early next morning, usually before 7am. Better to wake up at 6, and head to the Park office and you will be allocated the guide for you. You will start the climb earlier than other regular climber.

4. You will not allowed to continue your climb to the peak, if you are not able to reach Laban Rata before noon (12pm) or if the weather is not permitting.

Remember, you need to be really FIT, maybe as fit as a climbathon runner… or maybe at least 50%of their ability…

I Love Mt. Kinabalu

Another email that makes me feel “the warmth of giving” inside. This email from Andrea Lau was received on May 8…

Hi! Ruhaizad. I just back from Sabah last Saturday. It’s was a great x 100 experience. We finally manage to reach the summit of Mt. Kinabalu although it was a tough journey. I totally can’t sleep the night when we stay at Laban Rata because of too excited and tired. Thanks to our great Mt. guide Mr. Lazarus, he helps us a lot especially the next early morning. We nearly freeze along the way to summit because of bad weather (raining), but luckily the sky turned brighter and we had the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise and a full view of this great Mt. Kinabalu.

Unfortunately i didn’t see the ‘sacrifice pool’ on the way down, but my friends did because Mr. Lazarus told me to descent first as i walked too slow. So i have no idea where is the ‘sacrifice pool’ ha…ha..

I saw people collecting rubbish along the way, and i remember what i saw in your blog pictures that the way to Laban Rata looked like a dumping area, but now is very clean. By the time, i was excited and i said to myself :” Oh! I need to tell Ruhaizad this good news.” Ha..ha..ha..

It was truly amazing experience, and i promise myself i will be back.

Regards,
Andrea

For Andrea, thank you for your email. I really appreciate it.

Mount Kinabalu Panoramic view by Roselle

I received an email – with a story and some photos of magnificent Mount Kinabalu from Roselle, (one of our friends) last week. She came to Sabah last March and spend 9 days of her great time here. I am still editing her story and a dedicated HTML pages, but to give you the idea of what Mount Kinabalu in wider angle view is, I would like to share with you one of the photo that she emailed me.

Panoramic view of Mount Kinabalu

Wait for the full story!

P/S: Anybody can tell me the name of the 3 peaks shown on the photo?

Transportation issues to Mount Kinabalu

Last Thursday, I received an email from one of our reader, Alice, asking me about transportation issues to Mount Kinabalu. I know, after a good planning and booking of the place to stay in Laban Rata to climb, transportation is the next main issue to handle. It is even more important if you decided to travel as a backpackers – with a knapsack on your back and a travel guidebook cum map on your hand. This was the email sounds like:

The information on your webiste was very helpful. I have a couple of question which I’m hoping you might be able to address that I wasn’t able to find one your website and it’s not in any guide books either. Here is my questions..
I booked my reservations at MT kinabalu – 1st night the Park HQ, 2nd night on Laban Rata. I have the following questions regarding Transportation..

  • If I decide to hire a car to Koto Kinabalu to/from Mt. Kinabalu Park HQ? Anyone you recommend? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
  • If I decide to head for the hot springs after my descent from the Mt on Friday then spend the night at the Hot Springs.. The bus leaves at noon from the Mt. Kinabalu to the Hot Springs. Is it unrealistic to try to catch this bus? If I miss this bus how hard will it be to catch/hire a car to the Hot Springs? How hard will it be to catch/hire a bus to the airport on Saturday from the Hot Springs? How long is the journey so I know what time to book my flight? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
  • IF I decide NOT go to the hot springs on Friday, then try to take a 7pm Flight Friday back to Kuala Lumpur? Another words do you think I will make this or am I being crazy? What is the best method to hiring a car back to the airport?

Thanks In Advanced – Alice

And this would be my answers:

Buses in Kota Kinabalu. Not for a 6-footer.Thank you for your email. Transportation is one of the issues that usually make the climber way up the mountain a bit difficult. I know how you feel, and will try to answer your questions as accurate as possible. I must tell you that taking the transport to Kinabalu in groups of 4 (at least fir 1 taxi) can a be a bit cheaper compared to traveling alone.

1. If I decide to hire a car to Koto Kinabalu to/from Mt. Kinabalu Park HQ? Anyone you recommend? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
No restriction on hiring a car, and I would recommend the well known
car hire company here in KK:

1. KMT Global Rent A Car : 088-223022, 228963, 251105

2. Mayflower Car Rental: 088-221244, 254331, 254332

3. Adaras Rent A Car: 088-216671, 222137, 152280

2. If I decide to head for the hot springs after my descent from the Mt on Friday then spend the night at the Hot Springs.. The bus leaves at noon from the Mt. Kinabalu to the Hot Springs. Is it unrealistic to try to catch this bus? If I miss this bus how hard will it be to catch/hire a car to the Hot Springs? How hard will it be to catch/hire a bus to the airport on Saturday from the Hot Springs? How long is the journey so I know what time to book my flight? Any restrictions on hiring a car?

 

It is realistic to catch the bus to Hot Springs after the climb. But you must take notice that the bus maybe feed you up to Kundasang or Ranau, and you may have to take another bus to feed you to the Hot Springs. It will be a bit hard to get a bus from Hot Spring directly to the airport, as there is usually none. You might have to hop buses from Hot Spring>Ranau>Kota Kinabalu>Airport. If you drive directly, it can take you about 2 and half to 3 hours (From Hot Springs to the airport). No restriction on hiring a car.

3. IF I decide NOT go to the hot springs on Friday, then try to take a 7pm Flight Friday back to Kuala Lumpur? Another words do you think I will make this or am I being crazy? What is the best method to hiring a car back to the airport?

7pm flight may be a bit early, but it is possible if you arrive down to Kinabalu Park HQ (the latest about 3pm) early. It is not crazy, but I would say a bit risky. I would suggest you take the 9pm flight, as it can give you some time to have a rest and get yourself some food.

The best method? Chartered a taxi, which can give you some security on your journey.

Mountain Kinabalu climbing tips for children

I frequently received emails asking me whether they could climb Mount Kinabalu with their children, mainly aged between 5-10 years of age. I have to tell you that there are problems pertaining high altitude climbing involving children, which are:

  1. They can be too small to describe their problems clearly in words, especially the signs and symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
  2. It is harder to recognized the symptoms in children, as the symptoms of acute mountain sickness can be attributed to the changes in routine or diet associated with remote travel.
  3. With low body surface area, children are more prone to fall sick from exposure to the mountain extreme environmental hazard such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and hypothermia (cold).

So what you can do?

  1. Take notice on the character of acute mountain sickness, which is characterized by: headache, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbances, which are particularly common above 2,500 meters. (For your information, Mount Kinabalu is 4092.5m meters and Laban Rata is about 3,000 meters above sea level)
  2. Ascent the mountain slowly, and keeping the pace same as the child.
  3. Dehydration is unhealthy to children and predispose them to AMS. So, plenty of fluid is important during the ascent.

In conclusion, I would advice that you follow the suggestions below, which I refer to British Medical Journal (bmj):

  1. Infants and children below the age of 2 who are on treks should not sleep above 2000 m.
  2. Children below 5 years old should not trek and sleep higher than 3000m (that is where Laban Rata is).
  3. Children between 5-7 years old whom can describe their condition/illness properly during the climb and can follow safety instruction, can be allowed to climb, provided they are escorted by an adult that is well verse with signs and symptoms of AMS.
  4. Children between 7-10 years old is considered fit to climb Mount Kinabalu at the height of 4095.2m.
  5. The guardian who escorted the child must make sure that the children drink plenty of fluids while climbing.

My two cents: It’s your call. You as the father/mother/guardian of your child held full responsibility of your child’s safety and health during the climb up to Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu from Kinabalu Pine Resort

Kinabalu Pine ResortWe went for a family retreat last year to Kinabalu Pine Resort, a get away resort that is situated in Kundasang, about 90 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu. It is also situated at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu at an elevation of about 1525 meters above sea level. The weather is cool, the air is fresh and the views are breathtaking.

As I went there with my wife and kids, I don’t intend to climb Mount Kinabalu. We just go there for a weekend get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In my opinion, the resort is really nice. Clean and well taken care. The meals were also nicely cooked and if you are a Muslim, all the food that they provide is “Halal”. Most of Kadazandusun in Kundasang are Muslim, so, you do not have to worry about that. The vegetables were home grown and fresh from the farm.

Mount Kinabalu seen from Kinabalu Pine Resort

So, if you did not be able to book for a climb on Mount Kinabalu, or just want to spend a couple of days lazing around in cool climate, I would recommend Kinabalu Pine Resort.

What are the things you can do while you are here? Well, you can of course visit Kinabalu Park HQ, for a walk in the “Mountain Garden” or the jungle trails around the park, and visit the Information Center. You can also drive a bit further to Poring Hot Spring or drop around Kundasang War Memorial.

Pitcher Plants of Kinabalu

Do you know that:

  • Mount Kinabalu and Kinabalu Park is famous with it’s pitcher plants – apart from Rafflesia?
  • Pitcher plants is famous for their leaves, not the flower?

The leaf tips of insect-eating pitcher plants form colorful cups. Nine species of pitcher plants grow on Mount Kinabalu. The pitchers, flushed maroon and pink, come in a variety of fancy shapes and sizes. Species St. John reported finding a pitcher of the largest species, Nephentes rajah, containing 4 liters (3 1/2 quarts) of liquid. Another was digesting a drowned rat.

Nephentes villosa - you can see it during your hike at Kinabalu

The hollow cup of the pitcher plant acts like a trap and a stomach. Insects are attracted to nectar secreted from glands near the mouth of the pitcher. Upon entering the cup, they slide down the slippery side; their escape out is blocked by downward pointing spines. They eventually drown in the slimy ooze at the bottom and are digested. The plant absorbs its lunch through the walls of the leaf. Thus pitcher plants can survive in very poor soil. They rely on nourishment from the insect corpses.

A few specialized insects actually make their home in the pitcher. Some feed on the decomposing insects. Others breed in the fetid pool at the bottom of the pitcher.

Nephentes rajah - Notice anything about this photo?

Want to see more photo on pitcher plants? I have few more on Mount Tambuyukon photo by Dr. Ravi.

Kinabalu Solo Traveler – A hilarious travelogue…

At last, after 1 month delay, I manage to upload an article by Leif Pettersen on his quest on Mount Kinabalu, about 2 years back. This article, which was one of my reference for my website Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com, was published a year earlier. As the article is so long, I have divided the article into 4 parts for easy reading. One of our readers give this comment:

The link you gave was awesome…a very good read, and a good laugh too! –Dimitri Ars

So, if you would like to see what a “Solo Traveler” like Leif gone through during the climb, have a good laugh here.