Climbing Mount Kinabalu

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Climbing Mount Kinabalu may be the thing that can add new dimension to your vacation. If you plan on doing something different this year, something out of the ordinary, then this would be the best place to go to.

Mount Kinabalu (the Malay name of the mountain is Gunung Kinabalu) is the highest mountain in South-East Asia and the pride of the Kinabalu National Park, on the Malaysian side of Borneo. Although it may sound like the 4095-meter high mountain is strictly for professional climbers, it is in fact one of the easiest peaks to conquer and thousands of people with no prior experience do it every year.

The History

Sir Hugh Low was the 1st man to climb Mt Kinabalu in 1851The first recorded ascent dates back to 1851, when Sir Hugh Low, a British colonial officer conquered the peak with other 42 climbers. The first time was assisted by the guides and porters from one of the nearby villages. Sir Low managed to ascend to the plateau, but he could not complete his ascent to the peak that has been named after him, the first climber who reached that peak being zoologist John Whitehead. After this, science turned with increasing interest towards the amazing flora and fauna of the mountain, a number of major expeditions were organized into the region, successfully exploring it and discovering many species of plants and animals.

Hiking Tips

Your view as you look back on your achievement at the summitThe best time for hiking is around April, as November and December can bring intense rain, which may hinder your view on top of the summit. Temperatures usually vary between 20-25°C at the foot of the mountain to almost freezing temperatures at the peak. On the high terrain, a clear, warm day can unexpectedly turn into heavy rain in a manner of minutes, so climbers must be well prepared for any scenario, but also take care not to carry too much in their backpacks.

Your equipment must be lightweight, resistant and should match the terrain properties. You should wear a waterproof jacket, a pair of warm, lightweight pants and an isolating jumper – fleece is the best. It is a good idea to take spare underwear and socks with you, in case you do get caught by the rain and woolen hats are also useful when the weather turns cold. A pair of sturdy gloves can make climbing easier as you can grasp things more easily with your hands protected.

 

Facts

  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit approx 3MYR to 1USD
  • Language: Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese, although you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't speak English.
  • Height:4,095 meters above sea level
  • Availability: Permits are now only given to people who have accommodation at Laban Rata rest houses plus 4 permits daily for extreme climbers so booking well in advance is recommended.

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  • vela

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