I think this would be my third post on Special Olympics Mt. Kinabalu Challenge that I volunteered to be involved. The challenges of getting 40 special athletes up the mountain became more intense at this part of Summit Trail of Kinabalu – the “Rockface”. Rockface is a place where the jungle trail ends, and climbers of Kinabalu have to start using rope to climb. At some place you also have to scramble to get up and down trail.
Problems with these special athletes (not all, but some of them) are poor coordination and balancing while having to use rope or moving up and down the trail. Like for example, a Down’s syndrome guy, Harris, has to have his escort holding him all the way up and down, just to make sure that he do not fall down.
The Rockface is very steep, around 70 degree angle, where you have to move sideways up the trail. While climbing up in the dark, you won’t see and feel the height, but it would be a different story when you come down in daylight.
Most normal people just need to hold the rope tight to get up the Rockface, but for these special athletes, they need extra safety to make sure that nothing bad happen. With the help from OBS (Outward Bound Sabah), these special athletes were equipped with helmet, sit harness, carabiner and rope for those who have poor coordination and balancing.
The photos below tells you almost everything. Again, as a sweeper team, I am with the last athlete…
Just before we start our journey at 2am in the morning from Gunting Lagadan.
Joanna (with the helmet).
Anthony (in green), the Chief Mountain Guide. See the green plastic bag from his backpack? He brought the sandwiches up…
Harris, a Down’s Syndrome guy. They are fitting him with a harness.
A Taiwanese athlete.
To be continued…