Tag Archives: eastern plateau

10 photos of Mount Kinabalu seen from King George’s Peak, Eastern Plateau

I went up the mountain last month with a group of friends. We reached King George’s Peak on the Eastern Plateau of Kinabalu. The trail up there was the same as Summit Trail up until Panar Laban Rockface, where we then diverted to the right side of the trail into the woods. From there on, the climb took another 5 hours to the peak.

These are 10 less exposed photos of the mountain, seen from the other side of the plateau. You won’t see this photos when you climb up to Low’s Peak.

Eastern Plateau of Mount Kinabalu

Western Plateau of Mount Kinabalu seen from King George’s Peak, Eastern Plateau. From left, Phallus Peak, King Edward’s Peak, Eastern Ridge, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Peak, Donkeys Ear’s Peak, Low’s Peak and Victoria Peak.

King George's Peak

King George’s Peak. From the point I took this photo, it took me another hour to reach the peak. I was walking on the plateau almost two hours to reach the peak. Try spotting a climber on the photo.

King Edward's Peak

Phallus Peak (left) and King Edward’s Peak. King Edward’s Peak is a technical climb. You need to don safety gears and skills of rock climbing to reach it. Very few people have reached the peak.

Western Plateau of Mount Kinabalu

Western Plateau of Mount Kinabalu and Low’s Gully seen from King George’s Peak. The gully separates Kinabalu into two ridges – east and west. Because of the danger, not many people were allowed to go into the gully. Until now, it remains a mystery.

King George's Peak

We are on King George’s Peak, with Western Plateau on the background. The left cairn marks the highest point of the peak. It was documented as 4062m asl, but my GPS watch showed 4072m asl.

Eastern Plateau

View from King George’s Peak, facing south east. From left, Red Rocks, Mesilau Pinnacle, Phallus Peak and King Edward’s Peak. There are few plans to build a hut similar like Gurkha Hut near Red Rocks, for those who would love to explore this side of the mountain. Of course, the guide and permit will be totally different from the Summit Trail.

Mesilau Gorge

At the ledge of Eastern Plateau with Mesilau Gorge at the back. From this point, you can see clearly Kundasang & Ranau far behind us. And yes, we are above the clouds.

Eastern Plateau

At the ledge of Eastern Plateau, with Kinabalu South Peak at the far right. In clear morning, you can see climbers coming down the Summit Trail below Kinabalu South Peak.

Eastern Plateau

Vertical climb of 90 degrees using rope and ladder. Safety harness is a must when you follow the trail to the Eastern Plateau of Mount Kinabalu. There are 4 stretches of vertical aluminium ladder that were fixed by the Sabah Parks for climbers to the plateau, at the early part of the climb. We need to wear harness for safety purposes, as it was a vertical drop of nearly 1000 meters to Mesilau Gorge. These rope, ladder and a ‘chimney’ makes Via Ferrata of Kinabalu really pale.

Clouds on Eastern Plateau

When we came down from King George’s Peak, it was noon. The clouds started to come and covered the plateau and the trail. As there were no ropes on the plateau, we need to stay close together and follow our guides and cairns. Oh, the clouds brought rains. That makes the route even more dangerous and slippery.

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Eastern Plateau Expedition 2015, Mount Kinabalu

We went up the Eastern Plateau of Kinabalu last weekend. Managed to shoot a lot of photos and some short videos.

For your information, I used Openshot video editor, an open source application in my Dell Ubuntu 14.04 laptop. Photos and videos was shot using a China made video cam, Action Cam RD990.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Eastern Plateau Climb 2015 – King George’s Peak Expedition

I has been a very long time since I climbed Mount Kinabalu beyond Layang-Layang Hut. The last climb was in 2008 up to Low’s Peak and I can still remember the views of the majestic mountain. I participated in the last two Climbathon events – 2013 & 2014 – but those climbathon route did not includes the peak. The routes were only up to Layang-Layang Hut before we have to go down along Mesilau Trail.

A new expedition begins this 2015. I was invited to join our well known author on Kinabalu, Dr Ravi Mandalam’s team to conquer Mount Kinabalu – King George’s Peak (13,326 ft / 4,062 m asl). You can buy his book through Amazon at the link below this post.

King George’s Peak is situated on the Eastern Plateau of Kinabalu. The trail to the peak is the same as the Summit Trail to Low’s Peak, up until a junction just before Sayat-Sayat Hut, in which Eastern Plateau climbers will have to make a turn to the right. There are series of vertical ladders on the route along this trail, and I suppose, safety gear is a must on this route.

Climber’s route on Mount Kinabalu, Eastern and Western Plateau

I wrote about Eastern Plateau climb years before, and you can read about it here:


As this is my first Mount Kinabalu expedition to King George’s Peak and my first true climb to the peaks after more than 5 years, I am very excited and anxious. My goal this time is to reach the peak safely and back with a lot of photos and video footage of the climb and I want to share it with all Kinabalu Blog readers. Wish me luck!

I have been preparing the mandatory kit list for the climb since late last year. These will be the list of things that I will bring up to the mountain and hopefully all the items will weigh less than 8kg. Otherwise it will be too heavy. I am trying to be a minimalist climber this time. Haha.

My personal checklist for Eastern Plateau 2015 Mount Kinabalu Climb:

  1. Salomon Sense Mantra shoes (the same shoes that I used for Hasuu Tasuu Trail Run (23km) and Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon 2014)
  2. Adidas thick wool socks
  3. 3/4 Adidas pants
  4. 2 pieces of undergarment
  5. Bath Towel
  6. Sejadah
  7. Kain Sarong
  8. Toothbrush and Bodyshop soap
  9. Red T-shirt (I grew up in STAR)
  10. Cap with neck-flap (Japanese army style)
  11. Buff scarf
  12. Hong Kong Disneyland Raincoat
  13. Thick 4Life Jacket
  14. Compression T-shirt (white long sleeve)
  15. Cargo pants
  16. Eastpack (backpack)
  17. Suunto Ambit 3R watch with HRM & Cable
  18. Power bank & cable
  19. Glove (Contractor)
  20. Hiking pole
  21. Headlight
  22. Battery AAA (Energizer pack)
  23. Electrolytes (Nuun) 1 tube
  24. Sandal
  25. Ultimate Direction Hydration pack with bottles
  26. Bike bracket
  27. White charger plug
  28. Food – chocolate, nuts, grains, powerbar
  29. Handphone & waterproof cover
  30. Waterproof Plastic 4Life (cover layer inside the bag)
  31. Deuter dry bag
  32. Black OBW2014 T-shirt (for solat)
  33. Handphone lanyard
  34. Emergency Whistle

Anymore suggestion on the climber’s item? If you came here to find out the climber’s checklist for Mount Kinabalu expedition, this can be a good guideline. Add or deduct any item that you feel necessary. I will post a photo of all the items that I am going to bring along for you to see.


The correct version of climbing Bowen’s Route by Myles Bowen

I was so surprised when Myles Bowen himself contacted me yesterday. If you don’t know who Myles Bowen is, you can read this post about climbing the eastern plateau of Kinabalu. As the first person to ascend the eastern plateau of Kinabalu, he would like to correct some misinformation that he have seen recently in the web. Yes, the route is named after his name…

Dear Ruhaizad,
The story told in John Briggs’ book (page19) is fairly accurate, but was written from memory after our meeting in London in 1987. By 1956 I had already climbed to the western side of the mountain at least twice, starting (as we all did in those days) from Paka Cave at about 4 am. On these climbs I scanned the cliffs bordering the eastern plateau for a route up to King Edwards peak and concluded that there was one possible route.

In 1956 I went with Harry Morris, again using Paka Cave, straight across the valley (southern extension of Low’s Gully) and proceeded up the route which I had previously identified. I led the climb, bringing up Harry who was not an experienced climber. By British climb standards of the day I would have classified it as “very difficult” but not “severe”.

We were not well equipped and had lost a lot of time reaching the foot of the climb. Having passed the most difficult part it started to rain and shortly afterwards a storm broke out with fierce winds, lightning and torrential rain. We had had enough and abseiled down, having failed to reach the plateau proper…

Next year I was determined to complete the ascent and so ordered a tent and climbing equipment from London and planned a proper expedition. My companion on this occasion was Ross Urquhart, a Shell engineer, also with limited climbing experience. We started from Bundu Tuhan with about 6 porters and after the chicken ceremony set up camp approximately where the Sayat Sayat hut is today.

To take the kinks out of my new nylon rope we climbed Kinabalu South. On the way up Ross stumbled over the very dead body of a Chinese man, who we found out later had murdered his wife. This was shocking, particularly for Ross who wanted to abandon the expedition.

I then showed him my route up to the eastern plateau and he said that it was far too dangerous and that we had to find another way up. We then spent the next four days searching for one, but with no success. Finally, on our last full day, he agreed reluctantly and we reached the bottom of the climb just after dawn.

Having done it before it was no problem and we were able to reach King Edward’s peak in clear conditions where we built a cairn containing a bottle with a note recording our ascent. We then walked to King George’s peak where we again built a cairn with a bottle. We then returned to camp and got down the difficult bit before the rain started. Next day our porters arrived to take us down to Ranau whence we flew home.

Every time I climb my staircase here I look at a most beautiful painting of Mount Kinabalu, by the leading Chinese painter of the day, whose name escapes me. You are welcome to print this.

All the best
Myles Bowen

By the way, the book that he mentioned in the email is one of the rare books that is really difficult to get nowadays. I saw the book was priced USD168.29 in Amazon…

Mount Kinabalu, Borneo’s Magic Mountain: An Introduction to the Natural History of One of the World’s Great Natural Movements