eventually i joined myself with Eagle 2 and 4 (Kit, mini, Gab & Faril) along the Mesilau Trial, the last group ascending Mount Kinabalu, as one by one others surpasses me and made their way up to the pit stop of the day - Laban Rata, the rest house for the night. I walked inches by inches up the 4093m giant, occasionally gulping at the sight of steep steps and wondering how long has it been, and how long more it will be. it had never occured to me that i was hungry, nor did i realized that i needed water and food. i just wanted to walk, and get to the final point. Rain water seeped into my raincoat and stained my skin, it was getting colder, hands and nose loses all feelings as i reached higher altitudes. The 7kg bag was also taking a toll on me, last quarter of the way i had to stop every few minutes to relieve my shoulders, as the thin bag strap pierces into my flesh. my body threatened to faint under the combination of cold, weight, hunger, height. every step was dizzy, and each time i stop i felt like going into slumber, i thought i was just feeling sleepy. but alas i forced myself to stay awake, and brave the winds, till i see a tiny, sparkling light in the distance. Relieve flushes over me, my mind wanted to pick up all might and strength and speed towards the comfy, warm looking resthouse, but my body told me otherwise, painfully i inched again, with my guide on my left, till the doors open and i was welcomed with warm lights and a hot bowl of mushroom soup.
the warmth was my rescue
i was glad to finally, after 8 hours of walk, reached Laban Rata but instead of a smile, all i could manage was to hold back tears as it meets with rain droplets, sweat, fatigue and again, cold. i immediately dropped my load on the ground, as dad and friends tore away my wet layers. i was suddenly sipping a steamy watery cup bowl of mushroom soup that tastes like heaven, while someone dried my hair with a dry towel as warm as toast. i felt better after a while, after bathing in the warmth of food, and the warmth of my kinabalu buddies.. as everyone retreated to sleep with the cold mountain mist, daddy and i was left. we took our own sweet time to recover, and prepare ourselves for bed. ironically instead of dressing down for sleep, we slapped on more layers of jackets and beanies, stepped into the cold darkness once more, and search for Gunting Lagadan - my home for the night. Finding Gunting Lagadan was a tad tricky, as dad tried to recall memories and i trialled behind, but it wasnt long before we found ourselves in the dim living room of the hostel.
Bidding goodnight to dad, i climbed onto the upper bunk, and snorred away in the unheated room, jackets and clothes being my heater.
sights and senses i never knew existed
Quest for the Magical Sunrise
i did not want to stop ever so often but i had to, we were going very much higher, very much closer to the 4093rd meter, and the oxygen was getting very much thinner. There were times when i could suddenly walk on and on without stopping, but there were times when i just had to stop, go, stop, go. the walk to the peak was so cold my snot felt frozen, my hands just wanted to find refuge in the pocket as both mittens, and gloves were already soaked in ice cold water. i was worried as 5 am drew nearer, and then 6am came, the black sky was turning to a light blue hue.. i missed the sunrise, but i did not missed the absolutely spectacular view from the highest spot in Malaysia - Low's Peak. absolutely spectacular. seeing other peaks and a party of hue swimming amongst fogs, mists and coulds was breataking enough, aweing at the sight of the shadow of Mount Kinabalu overpowering the sky was something i never knew existed. it is true, they say that the view from Mount Kinabalu is one of the most beautiful sight on earth, for i saw something so amazing just describing it here like this, is not doing it justice..
the peak was crowded with cameras and people, which made it hard to immortalize the breath taking view. the zero degree weather made it harder to stay long, and the abang guide that was soon usering me off the peak did not allow me much time to take in more than i can handle. Soon enough justin and faril was accompanying me down the peak, with abang guide leading the way. the cold wheather deterred me from lugging out the camera for picture perfect moments, ahh but i have it all snapped, uploaded and printed in my noggin.. the view of the other mountains, the view of the trail down, the view of the resthouse looking like little cottages one can only find in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs...
did i really walked this far?
one of the most amazing sense that i have experienced and loved from walking before sunrise, is discovery. Discovering the path that you have ventured, the peaks you have walked passed, and the shocked of realizing that in the middle of the night, while you were only focusing on speck of ground your headlamp showed you, not giving a thought to what might be around you, you have actually covered a vast, majestic area of the mountain... walking down from the peak, and seeing all these infront of you, you would not have imagine that you have actually climbed up scaled such acres and acres of height, in just a few hours ago....
Pride. Accomplishment. awe.
this is something everyone should not miss out on, go climb kinabalu mountain today! :D
ballerina in the forest
"one ! two! one! two!"
this has been the best trip ever!
"no, im not going to Kinabalu..."