CHAPTER 1: THE PREPARATION & DEPARTURE
1 August 2010. Final check on items to bring for Mt Kinabalu expedition.. Raincoat, warm clothing, windbreaker, a bottle of drinking water, hat, gloves, extra thick socks, good torch light, toiletries, towel, personal items, trekking shoes, plastic bags to keep wet items, or in case of rain, energy bar/food (chocolate, nuts, raisins, glucose sweets) headache tablets, paper tissue, wet tissue, some plaster for cuts or blisters.
1) Wind breaker
2) Balaclava/ hat
4) Day pack
5) Torch light
7) Whistle (important in case we were lost)
THERMAL UNDERWEAR x 1 PAIR (eg. Long John)
POLARFLEEXE JACKET & PANTS (eg. Football jersey etc)
DOWN SUIT (OR DOWN JACKET & PANTS) / WOOL JACKET
RAIN JACKET / GORTEX JACKET
SKI HAT / WOOLEN / FLEECE HAT
HIGH ALTITUDE MITTENS & LINENS
WATER PROOF GLOVES
SOCKS 2 PAIRS
TREKKING BOOTS / RUNNING/JOGGING SHOES
WATER BOTTLE OR MINERAL WATER BOTTLE
First Aid (Sub-Team Leader)
ACCESSORIES / OPTION
WET ONES - OPTIONAL (PLASTIC BAGS)
CAMERA & FILMS
TOOTHBRUSH & PASTE
When all items packed.. we left for KL International Airport and Boarded flight Malaysian Airline MH 2604 at 7am from KUL to KK for our Mt Kinabalu expedition.
From the airport we went to the
Imperial Boutec hotel at Warisan Square and meet other climbers whom arrived at Kota Kinabalu a day before. Our chartered van will meet us at the hotel for the KINABALU PARK.
There were 20 climbers in our group but one climber could not make it. The climbers were:
1) Ili liyana Baharon
2) Ilyanna Aylin Ayob
3) Armin Baniaz Pahamin
4) Syed Mahadzir Syed Manshor
5) Abu Lais Walli Mohamed
6) Anita Ahmad
7) Nawal Aini Zulkifli
8) Dr Malek Aziz
9) Farhanah Bamadhaj
10) Suriana Saiful
11) Danial Ismail
12) Faizal Ariff Abdullah
13) Nyna Mohsen
14) Rose Emini Pahamin
15) Farhan Ashroq
16) Adibah Syazni
17) Ahmad Afif Zamri
18) Mohd Arif Taqiyuddin
19) Wan Nurshazlina wan mohd samsudin
20) Hyrene Erwina
CHAPTER 2: The Journey from Kota Kinabalu to the Kinabalu park
We left Kota Kinabalu to the park at 1pm. The journey to the Park should take between 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes.
We took two 10 seater vans.
CHAPTER 3: Arrival at the Kinabalu Park
We arrived at the Kinabalu Park in less than 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu town. We paid an entrance fee of RM3.00 per person and had to wait for the park's charter van to ferry us to the Mersilau camp where we will be staying overnight to start the climb early tomorrow morning.
There are two route up to the Laban Rata base camp from the park. The first route was the Timpohon route and the second route was the Mersilau. The Timpohon Route is a shorter distance which I took during my first climb in 2003. The Mersilau route is a tougher and more challenging route but is said to have a better scene and view.
The distance from Timpohon route to Laban Rata is approximate 6km but the distance from Mersilau is 8.2km with 7 stop/break hut.
CHAPTER 4: THE MERSILAU BASE
The had to take the park shuttle from the kinabalu park to Mersilau base. It was an approximately 15 minutes drive to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, Mersilau Nature Resort.
Ili Liyana Baharon registered for our lodging at the Mersilau. Our lodging was a breath-taking walk away from the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges- Check-in office.
Walking up to the room was almost as tiring as TABATA especially with those bags.
I shared our room with Dr Malek Aziz, Abu Lais Walli Mohamed, Farhanah Bamadhaj, Nawal Aini Zulkifli.
CHAPTER 5: LUNCH AT MERSILAU
It was already 3pm and we have not had our lunch. Upon reaching the rooms, we left our bags and walked down another 10 minutes to the nearest (and the only) restaurant.
The temperature upon arrival at Mersilau was 19 degrees... it was freezing cold at night.
Walking to the restaurant was a challenging task too...
Still being fresh & starving... we were all so happy to walk uphill for food!!
After a few minutes walking up hill to the only restaurant available, we finally reach at the Renanthara Cafe
While we were eating.... the temperature gets colder.. and someOne suffered from a FROZE-BITE???
By the time we left back to our rooms at 6:30pm, it was already dark
CHAPTER 6: Dinner at Mersilau
After lunch, we freshened up back at our rooms and left again to the same restaurant for a STEAMBOAT DINNER... sort of carbo loading for tomorrow's climb too.
The dinner was an important function to gather our team from the ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP MALAYSIA @ Bandar Utama. We have been training at the ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP for this climb. We all wore our ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP OFFICIAL TSHIRT for a GROUP PHOTOS.
After dinner, I have a short briefing on what to expect while climbing based on my personal experience climbing up Mt Kinabalu.
CHAPTER 7: The morning of the Climb
We woke up at 5:30am the next day, packed our bags and ready for the climb.
Everybody was given a nametag for the climb and it was compulsory for every climbers to wear the name tag at all time.
Our lunch pack was provided in the package although we had already packed the whole mall in our back pack.
Rose Emini Pahamin
Syed Mahadzir Syed Manshor
Iliyana Aylin Ayob
Nawal Aini Zulkifli
Mohd Danial Ismail
Faizal Ariff Abdullah
Abu Lais Walli Mohamed
Dr Malek Aziz
Ili Liyana Baharon
Armin Baniaz Pahamin
Our guide explaining the journey up to Laban Rata...
We are now ready for our journey.. Arif recited the Doa Selamat.
We paid a total of RM575 for 5 guides (RM115 per guide) to escort us up to Laban Rata, Summit and back down to the Park. One of the guide was meant personal for Anita Ahmad whom were not confident of going up herself. For a safer climb, we paid One guide per 5 climbers but at 8am.. there was only ONE GUIDE available.
We had plan to start our journey at 7am and wasted more than one hour waiting for the other guides to arrived. At 8:20am, when none of the guides arrived, we began the journey ourselves (without a guide to lead).
There was the KM marker at every 500 meter
After the first kilometer, we arrived at the first hut.. PONDOK SCHIMA.. there are 7 rest huts before reaching the Laban Rata basecamp.
The weather started out well but after a few kilometers, the sky turned cloudy...
The SECOND HUT.. PONDOK BAMBU
The view at Mersilau route was stupendous.. there were beautiful waterfall along the way but the beautiful scene dissappeared when it suddenly rain... after the 3.5km, it was raining all the way to the basecamp.
There are toilets at every kilometer... and the toilets are with flush.
At 3.5KM, Rose Emini Pahamin hand-over her mega heavy CANON 50D camera.. I was snapping pictures using my blackberry handphone and small canon. The camera added the level of difficulty in climbing. It was fortunate for Rose Emini to passed me the camera... Otherwise, her climb up will be very taxing to both her energy and back.
A few meters later, I had the worst cram (again) at 5 area on the right leg and my left thigh. I just could no move an inch at all.. the front thigh, back thigh, calves, shin and all the toes were pulling every muscle...
I was with Nawal Aini Zulkifli and Faizal Ariff Abdullah... I asked Rose Emini Pahamin and Nyna Mohsen to proceed with the climb.
Faizal Ariff Abdullah did wonders.. He massages those crams away and I was able to continue with the climb.
I had a second cram a short while again.. the leg muscle was pulling excruciatingly.....
and I was saved again by Faizal Ariff Abdullah. Faizal Ariff Abdullah could have left and climbed with his girlfriend Nyna Mohsen but he escorted me all the way from the 4th KM to Laban Rata.
I am grateful and will never forget this moment. Nawal Aini Zulkifli too, could have left and proceed with the climb as per my advice and briefing earlier.. One should never wait for anybody during the climb.
The rain became heavier the last few kilometers.. and we could not snap any photos. The rain coupled by the steep climb and thin air at a higher altitude was very challenging. Nawal Aini Zulkifli was down with mountain sickness at the last 500 meter before the basecamp.
CHAPTER 9: LABAN RATA
NAWAL AINI ZULKIFLI and I reached LABAN RATA at 3:45pm.. 7 hours 20 minutes of climb via the Mersilau route. Checked POLAR HRM.. 4860 calories burn!!!! average heart rate was 153bpm.
Rose Emini Pahamin & Nyna Mohsen reached reached the Laban Rata in 6 hours 45 minutes. Faizal Ariff Abdullah arrived at 7 hours.
We were freezing cold. There were no heater or water-heater. We were all wet from the rain and sweat. Our food buffet will only be served at 5pm and our bag from the Porter is no where to be found. In fact, the 5 guides that we pay never appeared!!
While Nyna Mohsen & Rose Emini Pahamin ordered hot milo.... ME ORDERED A HUGE BOWL OF TOMYAM!!!
The high altitude (mountain sickness) gave me a bad headache which was worsen with the cold weather. I had to take a shower to avoid falling sick.... but without water-heater?
The water was ice-cold, i couldnt help but to screamed as the freezing-cold water splashed over my body. My whole body was shivering and my face turned blue!!! i ran to the room and tucked myself under the duvet.
An hour later, the porter arrived with our bags.. and after changing into dru cloth, we went down to the Laban Rata cafe to meet others.
A Few Notes from the Organiser- Ms Ili Liyana Baharon.
After a casual chat on climbing up Mt Kinabalu at Nirwana Maju Restaurant at the end of a bootcamp session in February 2010, Ili Liyana Baharon contacted the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges to check for climbing availability and we were dissapointed when we were told that the climb registration were full and the only availability will be in August 2010.
However, the registration will only be open in March 2010 and on the 1st March, Ili Liyana had booked for 20 pax to climbed up Mt Kinabalu. We immediately made the reservation and payment.
After making the reservation, we had all forgotten about the climb until Ilyanna Aylin Ayob requested for all participants details to apply for climbing permit and insurance. Suddenly.. it was D-Day and we are here now at 11,000 feet above sea level.
It was such a rush, I had forgotten my inhaler and is grateful to Syed Mahadzir Syed Manshor for the extra inhaler that he brought. I was so concern on my asthma that I had forgotten about my knee that was still aching from lat week's Mt Nuang climb.
Everybody in my team was very supportive. I am gratefiul to Abu, Ded and Shaz for supporting and escorting me from start to 5km where we were completely when I insisted for them to proceed at their faster pace. I was left alone with Arif climbing up and reached Laban Rata in 10 hour 2 minutes. I am also grateful to Dr Malek whom gave me a powerful pain killer for my knee.
I really learn a lot about myself from this trip. I will treasure the moment of this trip forever... It was a bitter-sweet experience.. That's what they say, WHEN THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY!!! :) - ILI LIYANA BAHARON"
The last person in our group arrived at Laban Rata in 10 hours 15 minutes and she was crying in joy. Unlike Timpohon route which was shorter in distance, the Mersilau route was very challenging.
Everybody was very emotional.. Reaching Laban rata via Mersilau in bad rainy weather was an accomplishment.
but someONE was just too busy with his food.
The maxis reception at Laban Rata was very good.. for anyone who still have the energy to speak.
CHAPTER 10 : THE FOOD
There were both ala Carte as well as BUFFET DINNER, SUPPER and breakfast provided at Laban Rata. Ala Carte menu was very expensive.. a bowl of tomyam soup that I ordered earlier cost RM15. The buffet comprised of the followings...
CHAPTER 11: THE ROOMS
Everybody had their dinner and went to bed. The bed arrangement was similar. 6 of us, Dr Malek Aziz, Abu Lais Walli Mohamed, Farhanah Bamadhaj, Anita Ahmad, Nawal Aini Zulkifli and me was in one room whilst others we separated into two other rooms.
I met up with the Chief Guide as well as the mountain Ranger and complained of the 'missing' guides that we had paid. I insisted for a full refund having paid RM575 for 5 guides. We had the biggest argument especially when there were no guide at all to ensure of our safety. The Ranger as well as the 'Guides' whom suddenly appear (all 5 of them) explained that the Guides had to be the porter as well since there were insufficient manpower. The porter cost us RM9 per Kg and the total amount paid for the prter was RM981.
I insisted the Porter and the guides should be treated as different party as we paid separately for the guide and the porter. A big argument ensued and the Guides said they will not escorted us to the peak if we ask for a refund. The Ranger said, he will not allow us to climbed up to the summit without any Guides. For a Ranger to support the Guides was unbecoming but considering my team members do need the Guide for the Summit, I settled for the half refund. If there is a complain to be made, there were two main issue.. (1) How can the park Ranger allow a team of 20 climbers to climb up to Laban Rata without being escorted by any guide? (2) the Porter whom arrived with our luggage at 8pm.. Danial Ismail, Ilyanna Aylin Ayob, Farhan and Adibah Shazny had to wait more than 2 hours for the luggage in their wet attired and in cold weather.
CHAPTER 11: The Summit.
The distance from Mersilau to Laban Rata was 8.2km and the distance from Laban Rata to the summit was for an additional 2.7km. Although the distance was only 2.7km, the expected climbing-time was 4 hours. Climbers were adviced to wake-up at 1:30am and have a light supper at 2am before continuing with their climb.
ADIBAH SYAZNI "Conquering the peak of Mt Kinabalu has given me a new sense of achievement in life. The long hours of challenged climbing was paid off with mind blowingand breath taking scenery from the Low's Peak. I would not trade this once in a lifetime experience for the world. My heart-felt appreciation to all my dear friends for the continuous support and motivation. Important lesson to learn: NOTHING IS IMPOSSINLE TO A WILLING HEART AND MIND."
The ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP MALAYSIA @ BANDAR UTAMA has conquered the highest peak in South East Asia.
While climbing back down to Laban Rata Nyna Mohsen was down with a bad Altitude sickness and had to be piggy bag down by the porter.
MOHD DANIAL ISMAIL, "Before the climb, all I had in mind was just to get to the peak, snap a picture with a big smile, go home and put another tick on my bucket list. And thats what I did but I also got a bit more than that - I discovered new things about myself, what I like and dislike, my real capabilities, patience level, and how far I am willing to push myself to ahieve something I really want. The climb was challenging but the sense of achievement that came along with it was overwhelming. Now I feel like there is nothing in this world that I cannot do! Great Stuff!
SQUAT PULSES.. at the highest peak.. the ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP @ Bandar Utama STYLE!!!!!
The guide that carried Nyna Mohsen was the first to arrived from the Summit. Nyna Mohsen was in a bad shape, the Mountain and Altitude sickness had badly affected her.
Faizal Ariff Abdullah was the second to arrived back. I asked the Ranger and was told the cost to carry Nyna Mohsen down from the summit was RM350 per 1 km. I cant imagine what will happen to anyone who really cant afford the RM350 per 1 km cost to be brought down under emergency? Maybe the Ranger would just leave them behind?
Dr Malek Aziz, Farhanah Bamadhaj, Abu Lais, Anita Ahmad, Nawal Aini, Suriana Saiful & me didn't go up to the summit. Shaz had a bad mountain sickness and turned back to Laban Rata. We asked Dr Malek, Farhanah Bamahdaj, Suriana Saiful, Shaz, Anita Ahmad to leave first to Timpohon base at 8:30am.
Abu Lais Walli Mohamed, Nawal Aini Zulkifli and me waited for the summit climbers to arrive. We expect them to arrived back latest by 9am but at 10am, only Nyna Mohsen that was piggy back down and Faizal Ariff Abdullah had arrived.
At 10:30am when there were no sign of other climbers, Abu Lais, Nawal Aini and I left for Timpohon gate to catch our flight at 7:15pm. We climbed down from Laban Rata and reached the Timpohon base in 2 hours 45 minutes.
9 of us took the first van to the airport, Rose Emini and all others except for Arif, Ili Liyana Baharon, Faizal Ariff Abdullah and Nyna Mohsen managed to catch their flight in-time. Ili Liyana Baharon stayed a few extra nights with her family in Kota Kinabalu. Faizal Ariff Abdullah & Nyna Mohsen had to stay another night at Laban Rata. Nyna was still down with bad mountain sickness. It will cost Nyna Mohsen RM2,800 to be carried down by a porter and more economical to stay at Laban Rata until Nyna Mohsen is strong enough to climb down herself. Ariff missed the flight when he took longer than expected to climb down. Ariff stayed a night at Kota Kinabalu town.
At the point of writing, everybody WERE all back in Kuala Lumpur. Despite all the mishap and bad weather we had a great time together.
These are moments in life that is worth capturing and will be remembered forever.
Well done guys... I am proud to share this special moment and experience with you.