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Mt Kinabalu

Travel Forums Asia Mt Kinabalu

1. Posted by em78 (Full Member, 8 posts) 14 Mar '07 17:35

em78 has indicated that this thread is about Malaysia

I'm heading over to Borneo in April and have booked to do the Mt Kinabalu climb. I don't know how it all happened....I had the idea......I booked it.......now I'm left wondering if I'll be fit enough to manage it? I've been on the road for over a year, so exercise has been a little low on my list of priorities. I went over to Tasmania recently and did a fair bit of walking there, (a few 8 hour days) but nothing like Mt Kinabalu!!! Exactly how tough is the walk / climb. Please tell me you don't have to work out for 3 hours a day for months beforehand

2. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member, 142 posts) 14 Mar '07 17:47

Quoting em78

I'm heading over to Borneo in April and have booked to do the Mt Kinabalu climb. I don't know how it all happened....I had the idea......I booked it.......now I'm left wondering if I'll be fit enough to manage it? I've been on the road for over a year, so exercise has been a little low on my list of priorities. I went over to Tasmania recently and did a fair bit of walking there, (a few 8 hour days) but nothing like Mt Kinabalu!!! Exactly how tough is the walk / climb. Please tell me you don't have to work out for 3 hours a day for months beforehand

No, you don't :)

It helps if you have a reasonable degree of fitness and if you've been on the road lugging a backpack around, that will help you no end although you may not realise it. I climbed Kinabalu nearly a year ago and it is tough going - not least the altitude which gets to you about 3/4 of the way up to Laban Rata - but I wouldn't class myself as particularly fit. Just take it slow and steady - it's not a race - and you will be fine. A good pair of walking boots or trekking trainers is essential though, and wrap all your electronics in plastic bags even within your backpack, as when the rain comes down you will be drenched right through in a matter of seconds!

It is a fantastic place - utterly beautiful and the plant life on the way up is like something out of a science fiction movie. One tip - get a stick to help you up (or more appropriately, down) the mountain - you can buy them for about 15 ringgits from the shop at park HQ by where all the hostels are.

And finally - don't plan on doing much involving your legs for three or four days afterwards :)

Some pictures I took at the top of the mountain and along the summit trail are in my profile gallery if you want a look.

Have a fantastic trip,

Chris

3. Posted by em78 (Full Member, 8 posts) 14 Mar '07 19:33

Chris

Thanks for that - it's made me feel a bit more confident about the whole thing.

Already have the hiking boots, but as I'm travelling through warmer climates, I only have a thin waterproof jacket, and lots of layers. I've heard its possible to hire warm jackets from Laban Rata. Do you know if this is the case?

Amazing photos by the way.....they've made me even more determined to reach the summit :)

4. Posted by ebh777 (Budding Member, 16 posts) 14 Mar '07 21:30

I concur with cde 3879 that you dont need to practise 3 hours everyday for the climb. It would help if you are fit and have strong legs.

It can be cold up there as you are above the cloud level. The climb is tougher at the last part because of the high altitude, (the highest in South East Asia,) and when descending because you can see downwards.

Many who have conquered this peak is of average fitness.

Hope that helps.

5. Posted by Eefs (Budding Member, 77 posts) 15 Mar '07 01:00

uh i am soo jealous. An I am sitting lookin at table mounain from my apt but still I am jealous! I did not book in advance and couldnt climb the mountain......one day

6. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member, 142 posts) 15 Mar '07 02:29

Quoting em78

Chris

Thanks for that - it's made me feel a bit more confident about the whole thing.

Already have the hiking boots, but as I'm travelling through warmer climates, I only have a thin waterproof jacket, and lots of layers. I've heard its possible to hire warm jackets from Laban Rata. Do you know if this is the case?

Amazing photos by the way.....they've made me even more determined to reach the summit :)

No problem! Up at the summit it was around 6 degrees so quite a bit cooler but I got away with wearing a goretex layering t shirt (the really thin, lightweight ones), two thin and light polartec fleeces and a lightweight goretex waterproof jacket. So given what you have already you should be absolutely fine - you're sheltered by the mountain most of the way to the top anyway so it's only right close to the top that you will start experiencing windchill.

I take it you've got all your accommodation and a guide sorted out already? If not, and you're pressed for time while you're there, do it now because beds at Laban Rata sell out yonks in advance. If you've got a few days to play with though you'll save yourself some money by just turning up and trying to get a cancellation - that's what one of the people I climbed it with did and she saved quite a bit doing it that way.

Thanks for the comments on the pics - my whole collection of Kinabalu pics is here if you want more to whet your appetite!

Cheers,

Chris

7. Posted by SpaceCadet (Full Member, 70 posts) 15 Mar '07 03:10

hi em ..

you'll be fine. the route to laban rata is easy if you take it slowly, enjoy the view and have plenty of breaks and snacks in between. but the route from laban rata to the peak at 2.30am can be really exhausting, mostly due to the low air, you can easily get hypoxia.

i did the climb 3 months ago. i did planned to really workout before going but unfortunately i was too lazy and besides everyone who has done it told me it was easy .. so yeah i just went. and i made it! so i'm sure you can too.

the weather was perfect so that helped a lot. i can't imagine doing it in the rain though.

have fun and good luck!

regards,
audrey

8. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member, 458 posts) 15 Mar '07 13:32

You'll make it and you'll be glad you did.

It's a bit of a slog on the way up, but people of all fitness levels make it up at their own pace. If you're pretty fit, you can go on up ahead of your guide. But the guide will stay in the back at the pace of the slowest group or member, so you won't get left behind.

I'll be honest though. I do a fair bit of hiking/climbing at home and my legs were SORE the day after I got down. Nothing a few beers didn't sort out though.

Good luck, have fun!

9. Posted by sunicol (Full Member, 93 posts) 16 Mar '07 06:54

Hiya, I climbed Mt Kinabalu last September and must say I was rather unprepared as I had heard it was the 'easiest' mountain to climb and my brother had told me he had run the majority of the way back down nearly 10 years previously. Hmmm, in retrospect I wish I had done a bit of walking up & down stairs continuously as my upper legs were certainly not prepared and it was VERY tough on the way back down. Make sure you have booked accommodation at the resthouse as there was none when I was there and I had to do the whole thing in one day which, unless you are used to climbing, is bloody stupid!!

Other than that, hire a porter to carry your pack, cheap and saves you that extra weight. Stretch on your breaks and bring cards/book etc for the overnight at the resthouse as it's very basic and you'll be kicking your heels. If you don't have one already, a head torch will come in handy for your early morning ascent from the resthouse and there are a few tricky rope bits but you'll be grand and the sunrise will be more than worth it.

If you were planning some cheap massages on your trip, get them after this :-)