Kinabalu Climber’s Guide book cover

Before I took Lulu’s publishing services, I tried to create my own book cover. The first two cover was done by me. I used GIMP to create the book cover, in which I found it a bit difficult. Not that GIMP is not good, but I don’t have enough creative juices and enough knowledge to use GIMP to the max. You can see it for yourself.

By the way, the content of the book is in extensive editing process. As English is not my prime language, you can imagine how tough it was for me and Lulu’s editing team to correct all the mistake. Please give me some more time, so that I can deliver you the best that I can produce!

Wish me luck!

Want to see Mount Kinabalu when it rains?

Found 2 videos from the net on rains on Kinabalu.

The first video is taken from Gurkha Hut, a remote hut up on the mountain, in which normal Summit Trail climbers will no be able to see it. It’s a small hut for 4, especially for those hard core climbers and like the adventure of mountain camping.

The second one was taken from Sayat-sayat Hut, the last hut before Low’s Peak. The second video looks a bit scary as the mountain trail was flooded heavily. Looks really, really dangerous for us to either climb up or down.

Enjoy!

Mount Kinabalu trail map

While updating my website and blog today, I found out that Moutain Torq, the only Mount Kinabalu via ferrata adventure operator has created a very nice map of the trail. I received an email yesterday asking me about the route map / trail of Kinabalu.

Some of us new climbers may confused on the trail, as it seems that there are new trails which includes a via ferrata adventure. For your information, there are no new trails at this moment of time, but there two DETOURS while climbing down from Low’s Peak, if you decided to take an adventure with Moutain Torq via ferrata route.

When you climb down from Low’s Peak and arrived at 7.5km mark, you have the option to take the detour with Mountain Torq for their via ferrata adventure, provided that you have registered with them the day before in Pendant Hut. (Pendant Hut is managed by Mountain Torq, not like other huts, in which are run by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges).

After a small briefing, you will be assigned a via ferrata guide by Mountain Torq, as you normal Summit Trail guide do not have the qualification and experience for the adventure. The first detour before Sayat-Sayat Hut is called Low’s Peak Circuit with an intermediate via ferrata difficulty, French grade AD. The journey will take you 4 to 5 hours walk. The second detour after Sayat-sayat Hut is called Walk the Torq, an introductory via ferrata experience, French grade PD. The journey will take you about 2 to 3 hours.

You will then merge back with the Summit Trail just before Gunting Lagadan Hut and after the adventure, your via ferrata guide will bring you back to your hut and hand you back to your dedicated mountain guide.

Cost? You may have to contact Mountain Torq for more information.

The image above is taken from Mountain Torq website. Get it here.

Paragliding from Mount Kinabalu – soon you will be able to do it!

After a successful event by Borneo Air Sports Ozone Adventures last June on organizing the paragliding event from Ruhiang Hill of Tamparuli, at the foothill of Kinabalu, you will soon be able to paraglide from the majestic mountain yourself! Hopefully they will be able to organize another event that could enable us to paraglide from Sayat-Sayat Hut.

Quoting from their website;

Paragliding is the simplest way to learn to fly quickly, easily and offers you the opportunity to see the world from a totally different perspective. The freedom and pleasure you’ll enjoy from this pure form of flying are absolutely unsurpassed! After your initial certificate course, as you advance in your paragliding skills, more opportunities will open up to you. Some of these opportunities are winch towing, inland thermalling, cross-country flying, powered paragliding, competitions as well as local and overseas paragliding tours.

A tandem paragliding flight allows you to experience the thrill of flying free as a bird while enjoying fantastic views over the Tamparuli and Tuaran towns. You may experience the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Kinabalu at the background while flying. No training is necessary and there are almost no age or size limits for tandem paragliding.

It’s quite an interesting adventure, I guess…

Oh, I also managed to get a nice video from Youtube on paragliding from the mountain. The video was taken on 22nd April 2003, showing 2 tandem and 1 solo pilots flew down from Mount Kinabalu.

You can also read some of paragliding news from our online news portal here:
1. NST
2. Sabah Tourism

T-Shirt Womens Brown ” Live without Paragliding – I don’t think so!!! ” Sports

Kiram Village revisited – New paved road and more flowers!

I was there last year, spending some time with my family. Just a weekend get away from the hectic day in the clinic. Went there again last weekend for an overnight as I had some work to do on Sunday in Ranau.

I gave Bro. Jamalul a call a couple of days before, just to check whether the chalet was still available on Saturday. Luckily for me, Cabbage unit was empty.

We started our journey to Kundasang at about 4pm. It was raining throughout the journey. We even have to make a detour in Tamparuli, because of a small landslide.

Arrived in Kundasang at about 6pm. Had our dinner near Kundasang town and head up to Kiram Village in Kampung Mesilou. It was dark by the time we arrived there. The air was cool, temperature showed 14 degree Celsius. I was shivering as my wife forgot to pack a sweater for me.

As it was World Cup fever, Bro Jamalul was kind enough to lend us his 14 inches television for few of us (yes, there were other guests) to watch Germany vs Argentina. After about 35 minutes, I decided to go back to my chalet as it was really cold at the open hut.

There was not much sunshine in the morning because of the clouds. It’s clear with gray sky. I decided to take a walk around the village to snap some shots with my model. Obviously, there were more flowers and more beautiful!

If you decided to go there and spend your weekend with your family, just reply to this blog post. Enjoy the photos!

Please check out Kiram’s Village Cabin here.

Casino on Mount Kinabalu?

What say you?

It has been quite an issue during the past few weeks. Politicians and businessman talking about it. Somebody will get rich and a lot of people will get poor if they build casino on Mount Kinabalu.

I know, it’s not an issue for most of Kinabalu climbers, but the impact of the gambling industry to the World’s Heritage Site need to be considered.

I personally don’t agree with the idea. Let Kinabalu be as it is. It’s not Genting Highlands.

But don’t be surprised when one day you will hear that they are going to a casino at Gunting Lagadan Hut…

Read about the issue from local newspaper:

http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/21bet/Article/

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=73230

Survivor Island (Pulau Tiga) Day Trip

Honestly, I have never been to the island. Although the boat ride there is only about an hour, I still cannot find time to go. I received an invitation (as usual) from Evelyn of Dive Down Below, a PADI 5 star dive adventure center and dive shop plus adventure travel center here in Kota Kinabalu. I dived with them once before in Gaya Island, and they have a very dedicated team of divemasters and instructors.

They are having regular visits to Survivor Island Pulau Tiga for excursion. I am here to share with you their promotional package, in which you can get further information from their website.

Nudibranch, courtesy of Dive Down BelowThis paradise island surrounded by pristine tropical waters is located 6 miles offshore Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Formed on September 21st 1897 when an earthquake on the Philippine island of Mindanao triggered a volcanic eruption just north of Borneo. The eruption of mud and rock formed a new island 20 meters wide. Over the next four decades subsequent eruptions developed two more islands which have now joined together and three islands have become one and herewith the island was named Pulau Tiga which is Malay for Island of Three !

The last eruption of the volcano was in 1941 but to this day warm mud continues to ooze from geometric vents on the island. These mud baths are safe to bath in and although not proved by science the mud bath is claimed to improve the complexion, relieve joint and muscle pain and remove toxins. If nothing else they are great fun and very relaxing !!

Pulau Tiga was made famous by CBS as the location for their Survivor Island reality based TV show. Contestants were marooned on the island while cameras followed their every move. Over a 39 day period they were faced with physical and mental challenges in an attempt not to be voted off the show, the last one standing was the Survivor of the Island and won $1 million.

The pristine natural environment of Pulau Tiga Park is protected by the Malaysian government. Harming native vegetation and animals is illegal and carries a punishment of up to three years in prison plus a hefty fine.

As a result the surrounding reefs around Pulau Tiga are in excellent condition, with myriads of hard and soft corals, whip corals, barrel sponges, schools of Tropical Fish, Sea Turtles, Rays, Cuttlefish, Nudibranchs, Lionfish, Scorpionfish and the list goes on and on.
Pulau Tiga is also home to some fascinating land based wildlife, proboscis and macaque monkeys, flying foxes, bats, monitor lizards and a plethora of birds – including megapodes, hornbills and sea eagles.

The islands fine white sandy beach provides an idyllic place to relax, swim and enjoy the peace and serenity of this uncrowned tropical paradise. Those who are a little more energetic can trek through the 7 miles of trails now carved through the rain-forest.
Close by Pulau Tiga is Snake Island – named for the many Sea Snakes that inhabit and lay their eggs on the tiny rocky uninhabited island.

Whats Included ?
We offer regular day trips to this fascinating location for divers and non divers alike. Aboard our 37ft & 35ft spacious speed boats a day trip includes return sea transfers from Kota Kinabalu ex Sutera Harbour Marina. (approx. 45mins /1 hour each way, sea conditions permitting), unlimited Snacks and Refreshments, Buffet lunch, use of Resort Facilities, Park Entry Fees, Jetty Fees, 2 x Guided Boat Dives (Diving Package) Guided Snorkeling, All Equipment and Area Orientation and Guided Trip to the Mud Volcano.

Contact Evelyn of Down Below here for more information!

The story of a camera that travels 1770km across the ocean

I spent my first 3 hours of yesterdays work reading through a forum thread about a camera that travels across the ocean, and how a good samaritan managed to get the camera back to it’s owner, 1770km away…

You may want to read about the story here.

underwater camera

And you may also wants to read a thread in Scuba Board about how the guy who found the camera find ways to get the camera back to it’s original owner. I must say it’s the best Scuba Board thread I have ever read.

Read about it here.

Oh, during the 1770km trip across the ocean, the camera was bitten by a turtle. Accidentally, the turtle pressed the shutter release button and recorded itself struggling to get the camera off from its body.

Watch it on Youtube here.

Moral of the story: I am going to put my name and address in my upcoming underwater camera housing when I get one. So if it gets lost during my diving, somebody will find it easy to get the camera back to me. You should do it too!

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP 10 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Green)

Kinabalu Blog Book Table of Contents

The Kinabalu Blog Book is on the way of production. After a lot of considering, I have selected 27 timeless posts from this blog to be included in the book. I have categorized it into 4 main chapters:

  1. Travelers Tips
  2. Medical & Emergencies
  3. Climbing Equipments
  4. Via ferrata

I selected the post in which will show you how you can actually tweak your preparation before the climbing, so that you will have more knowledge and hopefully minimizing the risk of not being able to get to the highest peak of Borneo. At the same time, I hope the post will made your journey more enjoyable.

Travelers Tips

  • Post #1: Kinabalu National Park HQ Trail Map
  • Post #2: Weather issue: When is the best time to go to Mount Kinabalu?
  • Post #3: Ten FAQ on Mount Kinabalu mountain guides
  • Post #4: Jungle Adventure tips on Kinabalu Park Mountain Trail
  • Post #5: Ten ways to save your money while backpacking in Kota Kinabalu
  • Post #6: Five things you should taste before you leave Kinabalu
  • Post #7: Mount Kinabalu climbing tips for children
  • Post #8: Climbing Mount Kinabalu – From a Muslim’s perspective
  • Post #9: Eastern Plateau of Kinabalu – Alternative climbing route for hardcore climbers

Medical and Emergencies

  • Post #10: Don’t forget your travel medical insurance
  • Post #11: Air ambulance for emergency evacuation on Mount Kinabalu?
  • Post #12: Rhodiola Rosea – Herbal remedy for acute mountain sickness
  • Post #13: Anti-malarial medication for travelers to interior of Sabah
  • Post #14: Five medications you should have for your climbing trip
  • Post #15: First Aid kit for your Mount Kinabalu climbing trip
  • Post #16: How to treat blister during your climbing trip
  • Post #17: Nine most common injuries to climbers of Kinabalu

Climbing Equipments

  • Post #18: Hiking pole and walking stick for your Kinabalu climb
  • Post #19: Flashlight for your Kinabalu climb
  • Post #20: Climbing gloves for Mount Kinabalu climbers
  • Post #21: Altimeter watch buying guide for your climbing trip up Kinabalu
  • Post #22: How to choose a climbing backpack for your Kinabalu trip
  • Post #23: How to choose a good hiking sandals for your trip to Kinabalu
  • Post #24: Shoes and gears for Mount Kinabalu Climbathon Skyrunners

Via Ferrata

  • Post #25: Mount Kinabalu via ferrata adventure FAQ
  • Post #26: Five provided equipments for your Mount Kinabalu via ferrata adventure
  • Post #27: Mountaintorq via ferrata trip preparation notes

If you have any more suggestion, I am glad to hear it.