Saturday 26/07 - Tuesday 29/07
Mount Kinabalu Climb - Day 1
We chose this name as Potpourri which translates to a diverse mix of items - which as you can see from our variety of cultures, fitted our team perfectly.
We managed to smash out the first 4km in under 2 hours but we had been fore-warned that the last 2km for the day would be the most gruelling...
One benefit to taking a slower approach to the ascend was that Nor felt he could deviate from the main trail and take us to see some infamous Pitcher plants.
It may look like Rox is doing a casual lean pose against the sign, but in actual fact she is leaning against the sign for support as her legs were about to give out!
Mount Kinabalu Climb - Day 2
2:15am - "First Breakfast" time.
3am - Started out on the last 2kms of the climb. There were approximately 200 other climbers who intended to summit the Mount that morning. We didn't want to reach the top too early and have to wait around in the extreme cold to view the sunrise, so we allowed the masses to leave ahead of ourselves, while we enjoyed a final cup of hot coffee. The only disadvantage with this plan is that we had to be at the back of a very slow single-file line to the top- it literally took us an hour to climb the first kilometre.
4am - By this time the line had sifted out the stragglers and was moving more steadily. We also passed the summit check-in point, which kept track of all the climbers on this treacherous part of the trail.
5am - After the check-in point the trail changed from steep, death stairs to steep death ropes and slopes (what an improvement!!!). By this time, our legs were aching, our bodies were frozen from the bone-chilling wind, our chests were tight and each step up was slow and a gruelling effort! Luckily for us, fellow climbers took pity on us and lent us their jackets and gloves - before our fingers fell off from frost bite. Also, since we didn't have head torches, Rox had to place her tazer torch in her mouth while using the ropes to climb and Joy (who had given up on her little token torch) was just bumming off light from the other climbers and hoping for the best...
5.30am - This is the time when first light broke upon the Mount. We were about 150 metres from the top and could see the snake of people gravitating towards Low's Peak.
What an incredible view!! We were so blessed to be able to witness this beauty with clear skies and at the right time when the colours of the sunrise danced across the outline of the mountain range. Completely worth the intense struggle!
Photies at the top...
Winning for days!
We celebrated the victory with a buffet lunch and we then did what all the professionals athletes do after summiting - go to the Pouring Hot Springs to relax the sore muscles!
That evening we had a very chilled one as we were all exhausted. Rox lathered herself with Arnica Deep Heat oil while Joy and Alex played some cards and enjoyed just one beer - and with the altitude, that was all that it took to get into a happy place!
The Next Day
|A line to the canopy walk|
After quite a while of waiting and scouting between the masses of people, we managed to secure a half-filled hot bath! It was perfect as all three of us could fit quite snugly inside.
That evening we celebrate Hari Raya with a bunch of Pakistani men who were staying at the same lodge as us. They shared their meal of amazing roast lamb and roti nan bread. In return we gave them the privilege of taking numerous photos with us.
The Next Next Day
Before catching the shuttle to the airport, we quickly did some last minute sightseeing...