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
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:
- They 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.
- They are the only sole provider for via ferrata, equipments and staffs, and they are not related to SSL.
- 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!
- 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.
- Having said the above, they welcome â€˜Walk-insâ€™ at either Laban Rata / or at Pendant hut. It will be on a first come first serve basis and weather permitting.
- They are the worldâ€™s highest and Asiaâ€™s first via ferrata located at 3,800m, offers a range of routes designed to match everyoneâ€™s ability and endurance.
- 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!
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