Tag Archives: Mount Kinabalu

Anybody knows what does the climber’s insurance covers?

For those who have climbed Mount Kinabalu before: Did you notice that you paid RM7 (USD2.15) for an insurance coverage?

And do you know what does the insurance covers? Against injuries? Bad weather? Cancellation?

It struck me yesterday when I received an email from one of our readers, Tan Boh Seng. She was asking about that insurance issue, and I personally did not realize it as an issue until she gave me her story.

Hi,

I hope you can enlighten me on the insurance coverage which everyone has to pay to climb Mt Kinabalu. What does it cover?

Recently (about 1 week ago), my sister-in-law fractured her ankle on her way down from Summit to Sayat-Sayat. She has to pay RM100 for a porter to carry her down to Laban Rata and the following day she has to pay RM800 for 5 porters (taking turns) to carry her down (piggy back) to Timpohan from Laban Rata. Her ankle is now being treated in Kuala Lumpur and in cast.

She appears blur about the insurance coverage. I could not locate any FAQ on this topic. I would appreciate your kind feedback.

Thank you.

Tan Boh Seng

I could not answer her question at this moment, because I don’t have any clue. I replied to her about it, and will be searching for an answer in the next few days.

If you have any, just drop us your comment.

Try booking your Kinabalu climbing package through Kumuka

Hmm… Long list of disgruntled climbers jot down their comments in few of my blog post about how sucks it is to contact SSL directly to get a place to climb. It has been few months since my post about Kumuka.com, one of the international tour and travel provider whom seems to be able to pre-book Kinabalu climb for 5+ people each months.

Oh wait… They actually have 5+ availability each months for their 2d1n AND the same availability for 3d2n trip. That makes them having at least 10+ beds at Laban Rata.

I don’t know how did they manage to do that. If you can look into the screenshot below, they even have their own pre-booked dates up until JUNE 2010.

If you check from Kumuka.com website (my affiliate advertiser), they put USD315 for 2d1n and USD370 for 3d2n. If you convert it to RM, you may have to burn RM1128 for 3d2n or RM967 for 2d1n packages. That looks like overpriced, but you cannot complain when the service provider is an international company.

The 3d2n packages will include 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, all activities and entrance fees as per itinerary, local guides, mountain guide, park naturalist (I have never heard about park naturalist before. But I hope they meant Sabah Park Renjers). On this trip you will stay in twin bedded cabins (read: not the ordinary Medang and Menggilan Hostel) at Kinabalu Park, and in Laban Rata Guesthouse on Mt Kinabalu.

The 2d1n packages will include 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, all activities and entrance fees as per itinerary & guiding on tour with mountain guide. Accommodation on this tour is at Laban Rata Guesthouse on Mount Kinabalu.

Sigh… It looks overpriced for an average Malaysian climbers, as I spent less than RM300 (~USD95) in my last climb up the mountain couple of years back.

But, if you don’t mind forking out some money for a trip of a lifetime (or could rob a bank to get that much money), try booking your trip with them. So far, nobody emailed me anything about this international services. No feedback received for their good or bad services. No news at all.

So, I would suggest climbers, international especially, to try and book your climbing package through them. It may saves you some money making international call to SSL, in which sometimes your call will be ignored.

Help me by booking through my affiliate link here:
http://tinyurl.com/6cmb98

You will then be directed to a new window. All you have to do then is click “Asia”, and you will be shown a whole lot list of Asian tour packages. Scroll down, until you see Mount Kinabalu climbing packages, with the code of ASB7 and ASB8.

Click “More info”, and you will be directed to their description page. Read it carefully and scroll down until you see their Important Information (typed in RED):

Any references to availability or non availability of tours which include the trek to the summit of Mt Kinabalu, listed beside the departure dates on our website, should be treated as a guide only. Whilst Kumuka endeavours to keep this information as current as possible please keep in mind that the availability of beds at the Resthouses on the mountain is limited, and can change rapidly, and we cannot guarantee availability for the trek.

So, it seems that they also have minor issues on the availability of the beds in Laban Rata, heh?

Anyway, after scrolling down some more, you will then see the “Departures” start and end date. See which dates that you intended to go, and look at the “Availability”. Click “Book Tour” if you have find the dates that you planned to go.

Just get ready with your credit card. I really hope that you can book and secure a bed up in Laban Rata.

My opinion?

If you are an international climber (means non-Malaysian, or even Singaporean, Brunei or Indonesian), it is a good option to book from them. Yes, it is slightly overpriced, but for the packages and the services, we could not complain much.

If you are a Malaysian, then try to contact them by phone directly. It seems that the administration for SSL is currently held by Sutera Harbour. They claimed that their services are improving. You may want to proof that they are right. Google their link and get their phone number from there.

Again, here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/6cmb98

Good Luck!

Mount Kinabalu is NOT the highest mountain in South East Asia

Rants and raves about the height of Kinabalu were audible last year, 2007. I knew that Mount Kinabalu is not the highest mountain in South East Asia, but I did not know that Mount Kinabalu was ranked 5th on the highest point in SEA.

Dan Low is the person who was responsible for the information to be conveyed to me. LeongWK was the first person who raised this issue but I did not take it seriously, until I read a blog post by Bisean. Fortunately, we share our information together through Multiply social networking platform and I am glad to be connected to a group of people who are really concern about our World Heritage Site.

You can read the heavy discussion in Bisean blog, which some of the commenter did not really agree with the facts. They gave a very different description and definition of the countries and the borders of Asian continent and South East Asia, in which, according to their definition, Mount Kinabalu will rank differently on the highest point list of mountains in this region.

We could actually argue the facts on the border definitions, but personally for me, it is not as important as taking the responsibility to take care of the mountain.

Most importantly, our young generation must be teach to love our mountain and take care of our environment. No point having the highest mountain in South East Asia, but nothing is done to preserve the heritage.

By the way, I think it’s about time we change our Malaysian Geography syllabus, by not mentioning Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia. Our neighbouring countries may get insulted with it.

I hereby give you the 10 highest peak in South East Asia, courtesy of Dan Low…

1. Hkakabo Razi, Burma (5881m)
Hkakabo Razi

2. Puncak Jaya, Indonesia (5030m)
Puncak Jaya

3. Trikora, Indonesia (4751m)
Trikora

4. Mandala, Indonesia (4701m)
Mandala

5. Kinabalu, Malaysia (4095m)
Kinabalu

6. Kerinji, Indonesia (3809m)
Kerinji

7. Rinjani, Indonesia (3727m)
Rinjani

8. Semeru, Indonesia (3677m)
Semeru

9. Fansipan, Vietnam (3143m)
Fansipan

10. Agung, Indonesia (3142m)
Agung

P/S: Anybody could tell me how many of them are NOT volcanic mountain?

I have helped thousands of climbers of Mount Kinabalu to book their climbing spot since 2006. If you want me to help you, just fill in the form below and send it to me. Thank you very much!

World’s highest “via ferrata” now on Mount Kinabalu!

While poking through the net, surfing around technorati, I found a very interesting blog post by kenjj about the newest adventure on Mount Kinabalu – via ferrata. So, what is via ferrata?

A via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”. Plural vie ferrate. In German, klettersteig) is a mountain route which is equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges. The use of these allows otherwise isolated routes to be joined to create longer routes which are accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities. Walkers and climbers can follow via ferratas without needing to use their own ropes and belays, and without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing. – Wikipedia

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

I found out that there is a new company which provides the adventure activities – Mountain Torq – that was just started on September 2007 (only running for about three months). The interesting thing about them is that, they have given Mount Kinabalu climbers other options of activities and accommodations, apart from the usual climb up and down Low’s Peak.

Lucky for me, while checking up their new website on this new thing on Mount Kinabalu, I found out that their main office in Kota Kinabalu is just across the street of my clinic. I went there last Monday during lunch time, and fortunately, I-Gek, their sales & marketing director was there.

We just have an informal conversation on our passion about Mount Kinabalu, and how hard it is to get a slot to climb nowadays. Apparently, they are very busy, as they are going to have their launching ceremony this Saturday, 15th December 2007 at Kinabalu Park.

During that short period of time, I managed to get more information pertaining the climb, the activities and the accommodation that they provide. In summary, these are the things that we ought to know at the moment:

  1. Pendant Hut, Laban RataThey have a newly build hut/lodges on Laban Rata – Pendant Hut, which is non-heated, bunk-beds that could accommodate 30 climbers. This is a good options for climbers who could not get through to SSL for bed. However, they have set their own rule; if you are planning to stay in their hut – you have to, at least, pick one of their activities on their via ferrata, apart from the usual Low’s Peak trip.
  2. They are the only sole provider for via ferrata, equipments and staffs, and they are not related to SSL.
  3. You have three options of via ferrata that you could choose – Walk the Torq, The Low’s Peak Circuit and The Preamble. More coming soon!
  4. As they ONLY provide the activities, you have to book for accommodation in Pendant Hut from their designated travel & tour company. This also means that you still can do their activities although you stay in one of SSL’s huts in Laban Rata.
  5. Having said the above, they welcome ‘Walk-ins’ at either Laban Rata / or at Pendant hut. It will be on a first come first serve basis and weather permitting.
  6. They are the world’s highest and Asia’s first via ferrata located at 3,800m, offers a range of routes designed to match everyone’s ability and endurance.
  7. They did not disclose the pricing structure. You need to contact them to ask for quotations. *Please mention my name/website/blog when you contact them. You may get a special treatment for mentioning it. And they will know how powerful blogging-advertising works!

This new activities has made Mount Kinabalu more interesting than just up-down climb. And I am now working on how to work together with them to promote their activities in my website and blog. Stay tune for more info.

For those who are going to be at the foot of the mountain (Kinabalu Park) this Saturday, 15th December 2007, just drop by their launching ceremony. I won’t be able to be there. Send my regards to them if you happen to crash in their party.

Need I say more? Just check out their photos which I have extracted from their website (I got permission on this. Thanks, I-Gek!). Cheers!

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

Via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu

 

I have helped thousands of climbers of Mount Kinabalu to book their climbing spot since 2006. If you want me to help you, just fill in the form below and send it to me. Thank you very much!

Book your Kinabalu climbing package from Kumuka.com

I started to accept quotation requests for Mount Kinabalu climbing since February 2007. Statistically, I have received more than 500 request, but from that number, Aiden and me could only process and handle less than 5% of it.

The major reason why we could not deal with the other request for the climb is that most of the request is made to close to the climbing dates. As I have mentioned before, climbing Kinabalu is selling like hot fried-bananas this year 2007, as it happens to be the Visit Malaysia Year. Most of the climbers who sent us the request, plan to go within 3 months from their request date. It is almost impossible to get a place for climbers to climb within that period of time as it is always full when we contacted Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Sadly, we have to turn the request down because of this.

Sutera Sanctuary LodgesSecondly, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges has not given us a good cooperation on dealing with the bookings. It was really difficult to get through them – especially by telephone – and Aiden have to go to their office almost every other day to get the latest feedback on our bookings. It wears us down.

Lately, I heard that Sutera Sanctuary Lodges is going to increase the accommodation rate in Laban Rata starting from 2008. They are also going to have new rules and regulations on climbers of Mount Kinabalu pertaining the lodges in Laba Rata and the climbing packages. This is the highlight of our challenges.

So, at the moment, I am going to put down the reservation form for climbers, temporarily. As an alternative, climbers can check out our new affiliate partner, Kumuka.com which will be handling all the climbing packages, until our problems is solved.

Kumuka.com have 2 packages specifically for Mount Kinabalu climbers – 2D1N package and 3D2N package – which will cost US$315 and US$370 respectively. The packages are meant for international climbers. I would suggest that Malaysian climbers to contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodges directly for Malaysian rate.

Book your climbing packages here:
http://tinyurl.com/6cmb98

Click “Asia” and search for Mount Kinabalu Package. I really hope that you can get a bed for the climb.

Good Luck!