Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mt. Kota Kinabalu climb

The wind was howling, my wet gloved hands were already numb from the cold, my legs were begging me to rest and I was asking myself "why are you doing this to yourself again?". I was 4000 meters above ground, less than 100 meters more and I'll be on the highest peak of Mt. Kota Kinabalu but I was just so damn tired. Ayie - my climbing buddy was in front of me along with our mountain guide Hajirin when I stopped. I looked around and there it was - a vast expanse of rock granite peaks mostly covered with fog. It was so beautiful, like a scene from a sci-fi movie, but I didn't have the energy to take pictures :(. (damn heavy cameras) I was about to sit on the ground when Hajirin held out his hand to me and said "Come..". So much for my rest, I took his hand and we started the ascent again. After an eternity of crawling and wailing and gnashing of teeth, we finally made it to Low's peak at 4,092.5 meters! Bwaahaha! Top of Southeast Asia, baby! Yahooo!

The day before climbing the summit (Day 1)

Mt. KK has 2 trails - the old trail which starts at Timpohon gate and the longer, more challenging - Mesilau Trail. We decided to go for the Mesilau Trail going up (big mistake :)) The trail was mostly uphill, my backpack was so heavy, waah so tough lah. But it was interesting - along the trail - we found wild orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants, mushrooms, wild flowers, you name it. Aside from these plants, we also encountered cute mountain squirrels, green round birds, and the best one was a brown striped snake! :)

What's so cool (at least for me) about this trail is that every 500 meters or so, there is a toilet with a flush, a shelter and tadaa - a water faucet so you don't need to carry liters and liters of water. 500ml is enough. The best! (sana gawin din ito sa pinas)

After almost 9 hours of climbing(told you we were slow), we finally reached Laban Rata Resthouse(3,273m above sea level). Temperature was already 9.6c outside so it was heaven to finally reach our room. Dinner was superb, though I was the only one who seemed to like it(im happy as long as it's hot and filling). We had a room for ourselves, and it even had a heater. It was a nice good sleep especially after a hot shower. Around 2am, our alarm clock went off but we noticed it was raining outside. Hajirin told us if the rain continues, we might not be allowed to try the summit. But it did stop after a while(salamat talaga), so after a coffee and some toasted bread we started the tough journey up. Fog was everywhere thus no sunrise to experience, but we still reached the summit and I guess sunrise is just one more reason along with many others to come back. :)

More photos of the climb: Mt. KK climb pics

Our sidetrip pics:
Manukan & Sapi Islands
Exploring KK Town & Kiulu river rafting


jao said...

9 hours? jeeeeze... galing mo talaga bonakid! uwi ka na!

lala said...

hi jojao,
day 1 yung 9 hours :)
yung day 2, 13 hours yata.

di ako magaling. ang magaling yung guide namin. napagtyagaan kami ni ayie :) isa kami sa pinakamabagal sa mga umakyat dun.

mas mahirap pa nga yung ibang bundok natin sa pinas pero doble ang hirap ko sa kota kase nga kulang ako sa workout.

uy nakita ko fotopic mo buhay na ulit :)

shaui said...

wowow! parang nakaakyat nadin ako. ganda!!!!

lala said...

hehe salamat shaui. sana matuloy mo rin yung pulag someday :)

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