How to overcome fear of the ropes on Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail?

I received an email couple of days ago, asking for an advise on how to overcome the fear of the ropes on Mount Kinabalu. Marisa (not her real name), asked me whether I have any good tips to overcome the fear of the ropes on her second part of the climb, starting from the Rockface.


I just came back from my climb via Timpohon. It was not a good time for me. The night before the climb, I was down with diarrhoea and fever due to seafood poisoning. When reaching Kinabalu Park, I was already shivering from fever. I almost wanted to give up my climb to Laban Rata the next day. But, I thought otherwise since I have made it so far from KL just to make this climb. Plus, I trained for 6 months.

Next morning, it was raining heavily and we started our ascend to LR. It was freezing cold and wind was so strong. I still grit my teeth and went ahead. Took some panadols to reduce the high temperature. What was supposed to take 4 hours to reach LR, I took 8 hours.

By the time I reached LR, I just had a light meal and rested. Sleep was not good cause my fever came back. Popped in two more panadols and just rested.

By 130am, was feeling better and got ready for the night climb. Climbed up all the way to the rope part. This was the part that stopped me from moving further. I was very afraid of the rope climb. Just did a bout a few metres and I retreated cause I was too scared and did not have any confidence to stabilise my body. I saw the others moved with ease but not me. I just “chickened out”. If you can advise me on how to overcome my fear of ropes, I would really appreciate it very much.


I am not sure why Marisa was afraid of the rope in the first place. Was it really the rope? Or was it related to fear of height, because on Mount Kinabalu, climbers usually associate the ropes with heights. For me personally, I don’t have any specific advise for Marisa, but one thing that I was told to overcome this type of fear was “JUST LOOK UP THE WAY YOU ARE GOING and HOLD THE ROPE TIGHT. NEVER LET GO OF THE ROPE”. It works every time.

In addition, during the time you start climbing the Rockface which has the ropes, it’s usually very dark. You won’t be able to see that much further out of your headlights illumination. So, most probably you won’t be able to know how high you are from the ground below the rocks. It should not gives you much of a problem.

That’s the best advise that I can give. JUST DO IT.

Anybody want to add some more advise on the fear of the rope? Please share with us below.

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