Hello there hikers!
Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak of the island of Borneo, the tallest mountain in Malaysia and 10th tallest in South East Asia. It is a dream climb for many mountaineers not only because it is Malaysia’s first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site but because its summit is truly a site to behold!
Climbing Mount Kinabalu was the highlight of my trip to Borneo. It was tough but it was worth each and every step towards the summit. I loved the way the scenery changed every few hundred meters and the sense of achievement when we reached the top was unbelievable. Watching the sunrise from above the clouds really does make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Two months after that milestone, I keep on getting inquiries on how I arranged the hike trip (actually it was a company’s treat), what was the itinerary, how much did I spend, where did we stay, etc etc.
I know this post came a bit late. Nevertheless, I hope you find this one helpful in organizing your own Kota Kinabalu adventure!
Day 1: Arrival in Kota Kinabalu
Assembly at Kota Kinabalu Airport
Arrange transfer to hotel
Dinner / Free time
1800H: Briefing by Datuk Ravi Everest
Day 2: KK to Mount Kinabalu Park
1300H: Depart to Mount Kinabalu Park HQ
1700H: Arrival in Mt. Kinabalu Park HQ / Check in
Dinner / Free time
Briefing by Datuk Ravi Everest
Day 3: Hike to Laban Rata
0830H: Arrival at Timpohon Gate
0900H: Hiked to Laban Rata Guesthouse
1630H: Buffet Dinner
Day 4: Summit Assault + Back to Kota Kinabalu
0100H: Wake-up call / supper
0230H: Summit assault
0700H: Reached summit
0900H: Hiked down to Laban Rata Guesthouse
1100H: Breakfast / Rest / Check-out
1200H: Hiked down from Laban Rata Guesthouse to Timpohon Gate
1500H: Arrived at Timpohon Gate
Rest / Pick-up packed meal at the restaurant
1700H: Depart from Mount Kinabalu Park HQ to Kota Kinabalu
Check out the official Mount Kinabalu website for up to date information about how to book.
It is compulsory to do the climb with a registered guide and also with a climbing permit, so there’s no solo, gung-ho option for the intrepid travellers among you. The website recommends booking 3 months in advance, particularly during busy seasons.
You can also book a porter to carry your bag up the mountain. I’d recommend this if you think you’re going to struggle with the climb. It will take a literal weight off your shoulders so you can enjoy the climb.
Me and my colleagues during registration at Kinabalu Park HQ, before proceeding to Timpohon Gate to the Laban Rata Guesthouse
Our guides/porters told us stories of people who even arrived at Laban Rata Guesthouse at midnight! After arriving, you need to eat almost immediately (“dinner” is served at the only restaurant there between 4.30pm and 7.30pm), wash up as best you can and sleep or get some rest in bed by 9pm. This is because you have to wake up at 1am to get ready to hike to the summit. You won’t be able to sleep that early, you’ll only get about four hours of sleep, you’re basically sharing carbon dioxide with seven other people at least (if you take the dorm option that most people do) and you’re uncomfortable from just having dinner.
No. Rest. At. All.
It was a feat I am truly proud of because despite the fact that we lacked in formal preparation and training, we successfully reached the summit of Low’s Peak at 4095.2 meters above sea level.
Do it, do it, do it. Go climb our country’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu. You will love it and love yourself for it.
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