Saturday, May 11, 2013

Climbing the Mt. Kinibalu

The following is story from my friend, Shofwan MD, with whom I have climbed Mt. Arjuno in Malang, East Java (the story can be read here). For more convenience, I translated the original story from Indonesian to English paragraph by paragraph. This is the story...

Two weeks before departure
Started from the offer of my girlfriend's Dad, I hurry up prepared the required documents like passport and mountaineering equipments, almost one year untouched. The feel of spirit, reluctant and embittered was mixed as it will my first international climb with the very different community compared to my previous adventure.

February 25th, 2013
After everything was packed, we go to Jakarta from Juanda AP (Surabaya). The airplane, Air Asia, is only available from Jakarta to Kinibalu (KK), Malaysia. It was lucky because the airplane came on time as scheduled. As depart from different place, Batam, Malaysia and Singapore, we choose meet point in Kinibalu. They are Indonesian lived there. For information, this mountaineering trip was organized by Karas Adventure which responsible from all from transport, accommodation, permission, and insurance. Simplified talking, all participant just pay the fee, but we keep the ordinary mountaineering rules, especially physical and mental condition.

Taking photo before starting climbing

February 26th, 2013
We arrived at Kinibalu AP at midnight. Directly, the organized pick up and drop us in hostel where we got briefing about tomorrow's agenda and also we got the t-shirt.
On 5th o'clock in the morning, we woke up and prepare for Kinibalu National Park trip. Passing through the city of Kinibalu, it was a quite place with beautiful beach and great building around it. It need two ours from the hostel to the National Park. The Kinibalu National Park was managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodge, the permission to climb was done by the team coordinator while we take photo at the moment.

The Hostel in Kinibalu

Kinibalu City

In the trip, I just brought a day pack which contains dresses, balaclava, glasses, socks, hand warmer, snack and soft drink, headlamp and  raincoat.
The climbing trip was calm and pleasant. The path was very clear and it was designed for climber and tourist. On the way, we met porter and frequently other climber passed us, especially who from western country which has long and constant steps.

The path to the top of Kinbalu

List of annual climbathon winner
Summit trait map

Before we start the climbing trip, we got short briefing about the climbing in Kinibalu itself. We also got ID Card for check-in  in somo climbing post which has gate on it. The breakfast was also provided by the organizer of the National park.

The breakfast before starting the climbing trip
Starting track
Litter provided in every shelter

Shelter/Post "pondok timpohon"
Trophical pitcher plant along the road

Arrived in the middle of the route, we eat the breakfast from the Sutera Sanctuary organizer, it gives benefits for our stamina and energy.
The sky looks cloudy and foggy at that time. Drizzling rain also appears, we continue our trip to the next lodge.
About 3 p.m o'clock we arrived in Laban Rata Hut, a lodge which lies in about 3000 m amsl (above mean sea level). The lodge wes big and great with three floors. Some climber who didn't get room can sleep in Gunting Lagadan Hut (about 400 m from Laban Rata).
Laban Rata Hut
Entrance of laban rata hut

After put our bag in the room, we joined with other climbers in the kitchen which is also the lounge and restaurant itself. Many menus were provided and just take what you want as buffet or "prasmanan" in Indonesian language.

Joining lunch with others

The room in Laban Rata

After it, the sunset was look beautiful from our room's balcony. From the east, the porters and guide seen played joyfulness football in the field, at the same level with the cloud. In the night, we got dinner early so we can take a rest as soon as possible. We also used the facilities offered by the lodge, take a bath with shower and warm water. It cannot be done frequently to take a bath in 3000 m amsl.

The porters and guide played football

February, 27th 2012
About 4 a.m o'clock we woke up. With the headlamp, we take western breakfast: a pan and it variants.  A chicken porridge is also available along with cereal and some warm drinks. While other just take a little, I eat as much as I can..
Finishing breakfast, we start our trip. It still dark and little rain outside. It looks a heavy rain was occurred last night, and the path still wet because of water. The guide always remind us to be careful because the trip was hazardous.
We are, a team from Indonesia, meet in Gunting Lagadan Hut along with other who stayed there. From there, we continue to reach the top of Kinibalu. The path dominated by stones, at a point we must use rope to climb as all is stone. The slope then we very sharp, and it need to keep notice on our steps so we didn't slipped on the way.

The notice board

Approaching the top, we met the last check point. From there, the path was easier then previous one, but we need to keep notice as the road was wet because of rain. The lamp from the climber seen as line from the far. About 300 m to the top, the sun was seen behind the stone while in the backside, a group of clouds was burnished beautifully by shine of the sun. Subhanallah, it was very beautiful.

Silhouette above the clouds 

The sunrise

I take photos with friends for a while and I drink "bandrek" (ginger) which I made before I leave the lodge. Some brother from Malaysia try it, and they like it. From there, a queue for whom to take photos in Low's peek was seen. The Low's peek as the highest point in Kinibalu just a stone which only 5 persons can stand on it. The highest peek was surrounded with safety fench, and beside it, a very depth gulch was shown far away. Kinibalu was a very beautiful and high mountain. Subhanallah.

The St. John's peak
The stone path with the rope

February 17-28th, 2012
After reach the top, we comeback to the ground floor. We had lunch in National park entrance gate, and arrive there about 4 o'clock p.m. We stayed in hotel near Sutera Sanctuary. The next day, we breakfast in seafood restaurant in Kinibalu, then we buy some souvenirs and visit outdoor shop in Kinibalu. At 6 o'clock p.m we leaved Kinibalu to back to Jakarta.  Finish.

Before back to Indonesia

Mount Kinibalu is appropriate for climber who wants conformity and safety during its climbing trips. Because the tour was organized by third party, we don't know the detail fees. Globally, we pay IDR 6000000 to the organizer including airplane ticket Jakarta-Kinibalu vv, climbing ticket, transportation and accommodation.
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