Borneo’s mount kinabalu

Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu

A keen trekker myself, and one who has peaked Mt Kinabalu over 35 times whilst leading numerous tourists, I feel it’s only right that I should impart some of my knowledge onto you, so you are not only well prepared but also enjoy  every aspect of this exhilarating yet sometimes difficult hike, because you have everything you need.

My number one must do, Hire a Porter: Yes we all want to prove we are strong and fit, not requiring any assistance whilst trekking up mountains, but isn’t it YOUR holiday? And if that’s not enough let me tell you a bit about the incredibly delightful Dusun people that make a living guiding and porting up Mt K. Firstly you are offering someone a job, enjoying a friendly smile and perhaps ‘if you’re lucky’ some broken English along the way. Don’t be afraid to walk along with your porter, and chit chat, after all if you’re that fit you should be able to keep up with them. Your guide is a must, after all you simply aren’t allowed to climb the mountain without one. Don’t be shy, it’s only going to make your climb a disappointing one if you don’t walk away with a few new best buddies, you may even get an invite to the village.

Secondly and another good reason to hire a Porter: You need to be prepared for hot weather and very cold weather in the one pack, you also need something to sleep in, toiletries, so let the porter carry these for you and enjoy the lighter load on the first day.

Things I recommend carrying on you for the first day:
1.    Small backpack (camel pack) with 2 litre water bladder
2.    Emergency plastic poncho (and umbrella if you’re not too embarrassed)
3.    A light fleece for rest stops (don’t let your body cool down too much)
4.    High energy snacks
5.    Camera and water proof bag
6.    Head torch (don’t use a handheld torch, you need both hands to climb on the second day)
7.    Small first aid kit or bring a few things like a bandage, bandaids and antiseptic spray
8.    Sun Block
9.    Walking stick (your choice)
10.    Some money, you have to buy your food at the accommodation it’s not cheap, but there are a few items you may want, like the buffet dinner and breakfast, so you will need about 100MYR, make sure you reconfirm prices with your guide before you leave, as it may have changed since my last climb.
On the first morning (at HQ) make sure you eat a breakfast full of good slow burning carbohydrates, if you’re a slower walker, start nice and early between 7.30 and 8.30am, you don’t want to be still walking up in the dark. You should set off in light trekking shorts or pants, good rubber grip shoes that are good on flat rock surfaces as well as slippery gravel with ankle support, a t-shirt and a hat.

What’s in the Porter Bag? Firstly start off filling a strong garbage bag instead of another backpack. Porters usually have their own bag or basket, it’s easier for them to fit a garbage bag into it rather than a bulky pack, and your things are more water proof this way. I recommend putting the following inside:
1.    A nice comfy pair of tracksuit pants, a jumper and clean t-shirt, clean socks thick and thin (undies)
2.    Very basic toiletries, toothbrush and paste!  (soap and towel can be obtained at accommodation Laban Rata)
3.    A pair of flip flops (thongs) or sandals
4.    A good windbreaker and water proof jacket light but warm
5.    Thermal top
6.    Beanie, and two pairs of gloves one thin one thick (or you can use another pair of socks)
7.    If you’re fussy a sleep sheet, the blankets on the beds are washed every other day!

You will thank me when you are sitting in the accommodation with warm clean and dry clothes on, and others are shivering in their sweaty trousers and t-shirts.
Second day, if you took a while to climb the first day then you’re going to need to start early if you want to see the sunrise. Probably around 1.30-2am would be a wise choice, those of you that are super fast, around 3.30 – 4am the sun rises usually around 5.45am, but hey it’s been a while so ask your guide re-time of sunrise. My best advice to you is, don’t eat a BIG breakfast, your body is not used to eating at 2am, it is probably not used to altitude or strenuous exercise at this time either, it’s quite on the cards you will lose your breakfast whilst walking, have a warm drink of Milo or Hot Chocolate (you can get sachets from HQ shops) take a few energy bars with you for the summit wait, or when you are feeling a bit peckish along the way. Dress as light as you can in the cold, maybe your trekking pants and thermal with t-shirt over the top, thin gloves, thin socks and head torch, you will warm up quickly, put your warm gear in your pack, it’s better to put warm and dry layers on once you reach the summit than sit in sweaty wet clothes and freeze, don’t let the warm weather of Borneo fool you, it is really cold on the top of Mt Kinabalu. Don’t take your walking stick up to the summit unless it is retractable and can be attached to your pack, you need your hands to climb some parts of the steep rocks, and hold the ropes (hence thin gloves). Don’t wear your thick gloves, your hands will get wet on the ropes save them for the top!

Really important: If it is raining heavily, do not climb to the summit, rain can form torrents of water on the flat rocks, washing everything off the path including you. If it becomes very foggy that you cannot see, don’t keep walking, stop, hold the rope, and wait, you are on the path a rescue person will find you.
Once you reach the summit, pop on your layers, beanie, thick gloves or socks over your hands, and thick socks on your tootsies, jumper, jacket, and maybe your tracksuit pants. Trust me you will still be cold, but so much better off than those with light gear or sweaty clothes.
Enjoy the sunrise, wonder back down to the accommodation Laban Rata for a buffet breakfast, pack your stuff back up as it was on the first day, give your garbage bag to the porter and take your time heading back down.

I hope this has helped you to enjoy this amazing mountain that little bit more.

A keen trekker myself, and one who has peaked Mt Kinabalu over 35 times whilst leading numerous tourists, I feel it’s only right that I should impart some of my knowledge onto you, so you are not only well prepared but also enjoy  every aspect of this exhilarating yet sometimes difficult hike, because you have everything you need.

My number one must do, Hire a Porter: Yes we all want to prove we are strong and fit, not requiring any assistance whilst trekking up mountains, but isn’t it YOUR holiday? And if that’s not enough let me tell you a bit about the incredibly delightful Dusun people that make a living guiding and porting up Mt K. Firstly you are offering someone a job, enjoying a friendly smile and perhaps ‘if you’re lucky’ some broken English along the way. Don’t be afraid to walk along with your porter, and chit chat, after all if you’re that fit you should be able to keep up with them. Your guide is a must, after all you simply aren’t allowed to climb the mountain without one. Don’t be shy, it’s only going to make your climb a disappointing one if you don’t walk away with a few new best buddies, you may even get an invite to the village.

Secondly and another good reason to hire a Porter: You need to be prepared for hot weather and very cold weather in the one pack, you also need something to sleep in, toiletries, so let the porter carry these for you and enjoy the lighter load on the first day.

Things I recommend carrying on you for the first day:
1.    Small backpack (camel pack) with 2 litre water bladder
2.    Emergency plastic poncho (and umbrella if you’re not too embarrassed)
3.    A light fleece for rest stops (don’t let your body cool down too much)
4.    High energy snacks />5.    Camera and water proof bag
6.    Head torch (don’t use a handheld torch, you need both hands to climb on the second day)
7.    Small first aid kit or bring a few things like a bandage, bandaids and antiseptic spray
8.    Sun Block
9.    Walking stick (your choice)
10.    Some money, you have to buy your food at the accommodation it’s not cheap, but there are a few items you may want, like the buffet dinner and breakfast, so you will need about 100MYR, make sure you reconfirm prices with your guide before you leave, as it may have changed since my last climb.
On the first morning (at HQ) make sure you eat a breakfast full of good slow burning carbohydrates, if you’re a slower walker, start nice and early between 7.30 and 8.30am, you don’t want to be still walking up in the dark. You should set off in light trekking shorts or pants, good rubber grip shoes that are good on flat rock surfaces as well as slippery gravel with ankle support, a t-shirt and a hat.

What’s in the Porter Bag? Firstly start off filling a strong garbage bag instead of another backpack. Porters usually have their own bag or basket, it’s easier for them to fit a garbage bag into it rather than a bulky pack, and your things are more water proof this way. I recommend putting the following inside:
1.    A nice comfy pair of tracksuit pants, a jumper and clean t-shirt, clean socks thick and thin (undies)
2.    Very basic toiletries, toothbrush and paste!  (soap and towel can be obtained at accommodation Laban Rata)
3.    A pair of flip flops (thongs) or sandals
4.    A good windbreaker and water proof jacket light but warm
5.    Thermal top
6.    Beanie, and two pairs of gloves one thin one thick (or you can use another pair of socks)
7.    If you’re fussy a sleep sheet, the blankets on the beds are washed every other day!

You will thank me when you are sitting in the accommodation with warm clean and dry clothes on, and others are shivering in their sweaty trousers and t-shirts.
Second day, if you took a while to climb the first day then you’re going to need to start early if you want to see the sunrise. Probably around 1.30-2am would be a wise choice, those of you that are super fast, around 3.30 – 4am the sun rises usually around 5.45am, but hey it’s been a while so ask your guide re-time of sunrise. My best advice to you is, don’t eat a BIG breakfast, your body is not used to eating at 2am, it is probably not used to altitude or strenuous exercise at this time either, it’s quite on the cards you will lose your breakfast whilst walking, have a warm drink of Milo or Hot Chocolate (you can get sachets from HQ shops) take a few energy bars with you for the summit wait, or when you are feeling a bit peckish along the way. Dress as light as you can in the cold, maybe your trekking pants and thermal with t-shirt over the top, thin gloves, thin socks and head torch, you will warm up quickly, put your warm gear in your pack, it’s better to put warm and dry layers on once you reach the summit than sit in sweaty wet clothes and freeze, don’t let the warm weather of Borneo fool you, it is really cold on the top of Mt Kinabalu. Don’t take your walking stick up to the summit unless it is retractable and can be attached to your pack, you need your hands to climb some parts of the steep rocks, and hold the ropes (hence thin gloves). Don’t wear your thick gloves, your hands will get wet on the ropes save them for the top!

Really important: If it is raining heavily, do not climb to the summit, rain can form torrents of water on the flat rocks, washing everything off the path including you. If it becomes very foggy that you cannot see, don’t keep walking, stop, hold the rope, and wait, you are on the path a rescue person will find you.

Once you reach the summit, pop on your layers, beanie, thick gloves or socks over your hands, and thick socks on your tootsies, jumper, jacket, and maybe your tracksuit pants. Trust me you will still be cold, but so much better off than those with light gear or sweaty clothes.

Enjoy the sunrise, wonder back down to the accommodation Laban Rata for a buffet breakfast, pack your stuff back up as it was on the first day, give your garbage bag to the porter and take your time heading back down.

I hope this has helped you to enjoy this amazing mountain that little bit more.

For more information about trekking and hiking holidays please have a look at our website

http://www.dtoursoriginal.com

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