Melangkap Kapa – Mekado Valley – King George’s Peak – Sayat-Sayat Trail

Oh, this is even a rare trail. Kampung Melangkap Kapa is where the first group of the British Army who get lost in Low’s Gully in 1994 arrived after more than one week in the thick jungle.

Ian Hall and AG Shepherd with their guide, Jasrin and porter, Girul, track the trail in November 2006. From Kampung Melangkap Kapa, they walk through a very rough jungle terrain, through Mekado Valley, the unsung “baby brother” of Low’s Gully, and summit King George’s Peak on the Eastern Plateau, before finishing the journey back on the commercialize “Summit Trail”.

Melangkap Kapa - Mekado Valley - King George’s Peak - Sayat-Sayat Trail

I found Ian’s entry of his journey in Blogger.com, and he have written his story in a very detailed way. The journey, which an average climber would take one week to complete, they’ve made it in 5 days. A very nice entry indeed. Some excerpt of his entry:


‘So remind me again’ said Graeme, ‘the 10 guys from Sabah Parks did this route in 8 days and we’re trying to do it in 5?’

‘They were not strong’ explained Jasirin, ‘fat’ he added with pursed lips and an expansive hand gesture.

He got the ‘map’ out again and counted our campsites. This time they came to 4. We could be on our way down the day after tomorrow he suggested. I looked up into the trees. Although I could not see it my GPS told me that there was still 2500m of mountain above us.

I trusted Jasirin to get us through but did I trust him enough to gamble on Graeme’s flight? Graeme had not climbed with Jasirin before so had little upon which to base his trust. It was a brave decision for him to continue but then as I have mentioned, to go back was already unthinkable.

Ian Hall, AG Shepherd

I personally contacted Ian for his story and photos. Within 24 hours, on behalf of Ian, Graeme replied and he even sent me an email on his view of Mount Kinabalu climbing. Here is his email:

Greetings,
I received an email from Ian Hall concerning your offer to put a link to our trip onto your website.
I do not have a problem with this.

Eventually, I might find time to assemble my own version of events surrounding this trip. It was possibly the hardest trip I have ever done and certainly something I could have been better prepared for.

Jasrin and Girul were wonderful and fantastically positive people and I feel my life is richer for having met them. Ian was right to add in his report that I understood that they had ambition to comlete the trip- on the evening of the second day, I realised that the trip was no longer about me but about the group and I had no questions for anyone concerning a possible return to Melangkap on the third day.

I would welcome your thoughts about the Dusun guides and would encourage you to promote their services as they value their mountain and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. They share that sense of pride with their visitors. Encouraging other visitors to place value upon these wonderful characters and to walk with them rather than simply to use them as access to the hill will maintain the good humour.

I was dismayed when I climbed Low’s Peak by the tourist route to see so many of the Dusun guides demoralised by the behaviour of their guests on ascent, summit and descent, dropping litter with absolute disregard. My own guide on this occasion had seen me fill my pockets with sampah on the ascent and at the summit, produced a large bag which we fille easily during our descent.

These guides should be given greater powers to revoke someone’s right to ascend if they misbehave in any way. Empowering them in this way may allow everyone to maintain a sense of duty towards the mountain and restore its dignity.

Graeme Shepherd

Ian Hall, AG Shepherd
Ian and Graeme, with Jasrin in the middle

You can read their long journey entry here:
http://arkitrekker.blogspot.com/2006/12/mt-kinabalu-melangkap-route.html

6 thoughts on “Melangkap Kapa – Mekado Valley – King George’s Peak – Sayat-Sayat Trail

  1. Yes, Leong. It is a very remote village, and I don’t think they have a proper road to go there. From the report from Flemish Expedition 2003, they even took photo of the school children there!

  2. Dear Ruhaizad, I happened to visit your blog as you have mentioned the Melangkap route to the Eastern Plateau via North Ridge. Actually the Letingan and Mekado Valleys lie between the East Ridge and North Ridge – a good deal more to the east than where you have cross-marked on the Google map. When we climb up from Melangkap we ascend a steep spur between two tributaries of the Penataran river and reach the North Ridge. We need to descend only a few hundred feet and go up the gentle incline of the north face of the Eastern Plateau to reach King George Peak. We do not go to Mekado Valley which actually lies on Kotal’s route. Also Kg Melangkap Kappa lies farther west and is outside the Kinabalu Park boundary. It can be reached by 4-wheel drive vehicles, as the road, though a gravel road, is nor very steep.

  3. Zillion thanks ! I love the photo album. I’m wondering how that place ( Eastern Plateau ) looks like after June 5th 2005 tragedy.

    BTW, how can I get permission from Ian to use those pictures in the future ?

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