Kinabalu Park is Malaysia’s first World heritage designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its outstanding universal values and role as one of the world most important biological sites.
Mount Kinabalu is a gift from mother nature, as part of the Crocker Range that stretches all the way to the south of Sabah, and it has a height of 4,095.2 m which make Mt. Kinabalu the highest mountain in Malaysia. No doubt, Mt. Kinabalu is the number one landmark for the whole of Sabah, and especially for the City of Kota Kinabalu, where it’s name derived . On a clear day, the Mt. Kinabalu view from the Kota Kinabalu City is majestic and tall, against the back drop of the sky, this huge blue granite mountain shoots up from the other lower hills is a sight to behold.
Established as a state park in 1964, the Kinabalu Parks covers a staggering area of 754 sq.km, bigger than the size of Singapore island. This area also included the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, Poring Hot Spring, and Mesilua Resort. The changing of climate zones can be noticed while moving up to the higher altitude, starting from lowland dipterocarp forest through mountain oak, rhododendron, the coniferous forest, to the alpine meadow plants and ending with the stunted bushes of the summit zone. These different climate zones also contribute to the enormous varieties of flora, fauna and botanical plants that are found unique to this park. Scientists from around the world have been coming here for field trip and research, and new species of plants and insects are still being discovered to this day.
If you are of average fitness, climbing Mt. Kinabalu is a must. I had logged in 16 climbs, so far and reaching the summit, Low’s Peak, 12 times. The climb takes 2 days. A total of 8 miles to complete, which is break into two parts. This first part, The Summit Trail, takes about 3 to 5 hours depend on one fitness, on the way up, one will experience different climate zone as the air thin up. At Laban Rata, 11,000 feet, will be the resting time for the day. The second part, Conquering Low’s Peak, starts early in morning at 3am, be prepared for the cold wind, normal the hike will take about 2 to 3 hours to reach the summit, Low’s Peak 4093 metres. On the summit the view is just breath taking and the view goes as far as the northern most Tip of Borneo. Temperature in the early morning on the summit is normally at O°C, be prepared with some light warm clothings. It’s cold. No kidding.
About 10 years ago, one can easily get a bed to climb Mt. Kinabalu anytime of the year other than school holidays or public holidays. It is advisable to contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodge or tour agents at least six months in advance, if you plan to climb Mt. Kinabalu.
Some useful tips to make sure you conquer Mt. Kinabalu.
massage your legs muscles
When you reach Laban Rata for rest over, before the assult on the summit on the next morning. Ask your partner or friend for a 15-20 minutes massage on your legs, concentrate more on the calf . This can do wonder to rejuvenate your legs energy for the last part of your climb in the next morning.
walk in small steps
Upon reaching the rock surface about 12,000 feet, the oxygen level is thinning off, so the climb will become stiffer, and the breathing become harder. Walking with smaller steps here, you can accomplished more distance than trying to walk your normal pace. Alternatively, one can also walk ten small steps and stop for a short rest, and walk another ten small steps and stop for rest again. Repeat this often enough, you will find yourself on the top of the summit.
relax and be enchanted by surrounding view
While working hard, often too hard, to reach the destination, climbers often forget to check out the surrounding plants and views that the trails offered. Walk in a comfortable pace, and do spend time to view your surrounding, as many of you will only be here once in your life time. Look out for the Pitcher Plant, an insect eater plant, and the wild orchid that hangs on the tree branches, also not forget the cute little friendly squirrels on many of the huts you rest.
For a few ten ringgits you can have a porter to carry your belongings for you. This will free up a lot of kilo on your load and save valuable energy for you to climb the mountain.
Visitors (Day trip)
For those who find climbing 13,000 feet in 2 days too challenging. Mt. Kinabalu Park still has a lot to offer. The cooling climate, the huge green forest, the Kinabalu giude walk on the botanical garden, the quiet place is a good place to chill and relax too. There are also numerous walking trails that run from 1 to 3 hours for a good hike…
The lodges and hostel has beds for visitors with prices starting at RM 85 per bed to RM 540 per lodges. For reservation contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.
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Climbing Mt. Kinabalu:
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more information coming soon…