Monday, May 11, 2009

Conquering Mount Kinabalu ...For The Second Time

Mt Kinabalu

Last year, Mt Kinabalu became the world's highest Via Ferrata(at 3800 metres) and I was eager to try my hands on this amazing new thrilling adventure that was started back in 1914 near the Dolomites. Now, I've summited Mt Kinabalu before and had a tortorous outcome. Trekking using the Mesilau trail and Via Ferrata are the only reasons I came back to Mount Kinabalu.

I landed in Kota Kinabalu's Terminal 2 airport and was picked up by my old Budak Kelantan friend, Hasmailee. Hasmailee and I used to be day labourers on Layang Layang island of the Spratly Islands.
Hasmailee and I mixing cement

It was good catching up with him after all these years and we swapped old stories and kept each other updated over our favourite lunch - Krishna curry fish head
Hasmailee and I over lunch

Later, he sent me to the bus/van/taxi station and I boarded one headed for Ranau. This ride costs me RM16.00 as opposed to RM88.00 charged by Sutera Sanctuary-the company responsible for Mount Kinabalu.
Vehicle headed for Ranau

Since I am taking the Mesilau trail (which is 3km longer than the Timpohon trail), my destination was the Mesilau Nature Resort,a resort tucked underneath the foothills of the mountain. The resort is located 16km from the Kundasang road junction and my intention was to take a cab from the junction to Mesilau Nature Resort. But when I found out that the cab ride was RM50.00, I had to resort to this :
Hitch hiking my way to Mesilau

Still no luck

It was frustrating but the view ..ahh the view compensated for it

As Kundasang has a cool climate, walking was perfect but ..stretches of uphill and downhill was starting to take a toll on me. I walked probably 0.5km and I was already panting. A dozen or so cars passed by without stopping and the timeby then was 500pm. It gets dark at around 620pm in Sabah. But deep down inside, I knew in my heart that someone will stop and give me a ride because I would and not everyone has a wooden heart so says Elvis. True enough, a driver saw my sign and asked me to get in. Phew, what a relief. He was going the same way and for once, he did not look like an East Malaysian serial killer. The 20 minute drive to Mesilau Nature Resort made me realize that if I were to walk my way there, it'd be a 2 hour walk. Yikes. Results of a quarter life crisis affected man. Anyway, we arrived at the gate and I thanked the good samaritan for his kindness.
My saviour who brought me to the gates of Mesilau Nature Resort.It's really really nice to experience the compassionate and caring side of humanity.

I started off the Mesilau trail the next morning. Beautiful bright morning and the hike was not too bad except for a few parts.
A view you don't see if you use the Timpohon trail

Mountain squirrels that will eat anything you give them..even energy gels

Mesilau trail-misty and mysterious

I started the Mesilau trail at 8am and reached the turn to Laban Rata, the halfway house to the summit of Mt Kinabalu at 1130am. The traffic there was heavier compared to Mesilau as Mesilau's trail has an added 3km route.
Part time job as a mountain porter. RM9 per kg

I reached Laban Rata at 130pm and was quite pleased with myself as compared to last time's performance.
The next morning, I headed off for the summit at 300am and did not even stop until I reached the summit. It's unfathomnable that I am this fit!!!! I summited Mt Kinabalu for the second time at 545am and was pleased with myself overall. Next stop, the world's highest Via Ferrata!!!!!

Safety briefing for Via Ferrata participants

At the summit...for the second time


Collett's Mountain Holidays said...

Congratulations - Looks liek you had a great day! The first recorded Via Ferrata was put up in the Dolomites in 1906 and is called Via Ferrata des Mesules (or the Possnecker Path)

Joleen said...

wow you really are fit. You went alone again?

Fadzy said...

nice one bro..wish i have the opportunity as urs..