“We woke up at 4.30 a.m. to start our journey to Kinabalu National Park, which took another 2 hours by bus. We witnessed the morning people either starting their day or ending the night shifts. By 6.00 a.m. the morning sky was brightly shone by the beautiful sun as we make way further into the remote of Sabah, away from the coastal area of KK.

The silhouette of Mt Kinabalu accompanied us along the winding and climbing road. Far away beneath our eyes are the beautiful land below the wind where morning fogs overcasted the mountain range of remote Sabah.

Kinabalu Park HQ was busy with holiday makers & climbers like us. Registration was without a hitch. Within minutes we were already being briefed by our guides in front of the trail map and the view of the majestic Mt Kinabalu lay upon us like breakfast meal of the day. We boarded the park shuttle towards the gateway to “the heritage” through Pondok Timpohon.

Our journey today will take us through the mountain forest of Kinabalu National Park and up to Laban Rata (our hostels) 6 km trekking, which is equivalent to an average of 5 hours. Climbers were provided with huts, toilets & untreated water along the way. It was all well facilitated. Climbers can also pay for the belongings to be carried by local porters.

4 km of endless steps and 2 km of endless boulders trail welcomed each one of us. The steps passed by with a brief, but I can imagine the nightmare of having to scale it down back to Timpohon Gate tomorrow. Temperature dropped, air grew thinner & humidity doubled as we struggled the last 500 meters to reach Laban Rata at 3272 meters high. I laid my foot one after another as I pushed up the steep terrain. Breathing was nothing that I took for granted at this point of time. Every breath was taken with full concentration so as not to upset the heartbeats. It was already 2.30 p.m.

A RM15.00 nasi goreng and a RM5.50 pot of hot coffeee was the best, the highest ever paid lunch I have ever had. The worse was yet to come, when it was time to take our evening shower. A strike of freezing jetstream shower hit our forehead equivalent to a bee stung. A lazy evening was spent around Laban Rata witnessing the beauties of Sabah at the bottom & the gigantic rock of the Kinabalu plateau at the back.

This was the best of it, the chance to admire the peacefulness of nature at the highest peak in South East Asia. These are the reasons for me to keep on coming back climbing. Every peak provides me the same peaceful mind.

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