"Hey, let's go climb Mount Kinabalu," Wai Kit mooted the idea sometime end of 2013. "It's a very popular trek. I've done it before years ago when I was very unfit, and I suffered. Nowadays it takes 6 months advance booking to secure a place."
Contents [Click on the respective days to jump to that story]
Day 1: Arriving at Kota Kinabalu
Day 2: Trekking- Timpohon to Laban Rata
Day 3: Trekking- Laban Rata to Low's Peak & back to Timpohon
Day 4: The Real Meaning in Climbing Mount Kinabalu!
So enthusiastic was the take up...
This initial rush of euphoria gotten everyone so excited that Gerard decided to bring Colin along, Wai Kit decided to give Jing Qian a chance at the peak, and Serene and I, as always just dragged our five children along - Questal, Fann, Zheng Ang, Ah Sing and Ah Li.
Even Ah Chua got so caught up in the enthusiasm that he just closed one eye and signed up. Of course Kai Sing, Kc Tng, Patrick Papin, Francis and Darric were the first few to inked their names. Chee Wai, Chin Yao and Jeffrey also took the leap. Finally, not long before the departure, David Low finally decided to throw in his trekking shoes and join the fun.
Wai Kit, in his feeble attempt to keep every one on track on the reality of this trek, reminded all on one of his regular postings that there will be a stretch where we will need to grab on to ropes and move along ledges on the face of the cliff. The enormity of this seemed to escape some of us, me included... until the moment came during the actual climb.
Two weeks before the trek...
"It's two weeks before the trek. It's time to start doing some training to condition those muscles..." another attempt by Wai Kit to drill some sense into us.Most of the members on the team were active athletes who were not new to endurance sports. Several were triathletes and Ironmen, a couple were marathon runners, and amongst us we also have our regular gym master blaster KS. Many of us pride ourselves on being very active endurance cyclists who have experienced tough races and events. And the vast majority of us have had prior experiences in mountain trekking, both in the Himalayan ranges and in South East Asia. Even the children have trekked in Nepal. So we were all readied.... so we thought.
At 6:30am on 25th July 2014, we all gathered for breakfast.
|The Aunty forever poon pee pee... What trek?|
|Don't see Ah Li small small size smile smile.. her endurance|
was really damn good.
|ZA did very well during Nepal.. What about Mt K?|
|Cheeky looks, but wait till you see them climb!|
|A Triathlete will forever be steady as a rock.|
|... and the Ironman as solid.|
|... A shy father and a son of few words.|
|Finally happy to be able to climb with Patrick Papin & Kc.|
So we arrived.
And this guide called Jackz who has done Mount Kinabalu 85 times gave us a briefing on the do's and don'ts.
|Patrick Papin, Jeffrey Wong, Ho Chee Wai, Serene, Ah Sing all paying undivided attention to Jackz...|
|David Low was so excited about how he was going to 'Moutain-Goat' this Mount Kinabalu...|
|Still very relaxed...|
|NICE! Nice... houses.|
A shot of the room by Colin Tan.
|A nice shot of David enjoying the wifi in the spacious living room. [Photo: Colin Tan]|
The 21 of us had two terrace houses in to adjoining streets for ourselves. The only thing was, the neighbourhood was not entirely nice and clean. There was houses that were occupied, and there were houses that were in a mess, empty and uninhabited. And wild dogs and domesticated dogs roam the lanes. But we really couldn't ask for more.
|Photo taken using the Panasonic Lumix FT5 at very high ISO. Just for record purpose of our dinner here across the Highway.|
[Do click on the photo above to see a much better version taken by our good team member, the Nuclear Physicist, Jeffrey Wong.]
What? The dogs snatched Ah Sing's left trekking boots...?!?!?!
Yeah... what better ways to start a trekking trip. First, ZA's trekking boots opened up in the airport. And then, after dinner, we realised that Ah Sing's pair of (really) brand new trekking boots which were left on the front porch, had its left side 'stolen' by one of those stray dogs in the neighbourhood. I discovered it missing when I walked back to the house. Ah Sing really couldn't believe her bad luck. Gerard, Ah Sing, Ah Li and I grabbed our trekking sticks and headlamps and went out to the neighbourhood streets to search for her boots, among furiously barking dogs. But despite turning through several shoes and boots strewn all over the road, we could not find hers. Ah Li was trembling in fear as we walked "Papa, I am very scared. I am very scared..." Poor thing..
No choice, looked like Ah Sing was also going the way of the Kampong Adidas.
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Mount Kinabalu trek Day 2: Timpohon to Laban Rata