Having stayed in Singapore for so many years, but yet I never had the opportunity to visit Mount Kota Kinabalu. This changed in Oct 2016 and I booked a flight and four days trip to Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of teh Malaysian State of Sabah and the Mount Kota Kinabalu is situated a short drive away from Kota Kinabalu itself.
Upon Arrival in Kota Kinabalu, the first task was to find a guide for my climb up to the summit. The rest of the day was exploring the city after I checking into the hostel I booked in KK city center for 14 SGD/night.
The next morning at 7 am, my guide picked my up from my hostel and the destination was to the Mount Kota Kinabalu. The ride was a bit bumpy and lasted for approximately 2 hours, hence I recommend not to have your breakfast until you arrive at the Mount Kota Kinabalu Headquarters. Here you have the opportunity to have your breakfast and your will be briefed by your guide and a mountain pass will be provided.
After the final preparation, the journey begins up to Borneo’s highest mountain. The starting point is Timpohon Gate and the trek for the day will last about 5 hours. The ascend was difficult because of steep stairs and big boulders. On top of that, it was a bit rainy, which slowed me down. Safety first!:)
At last, around 3 PM I reached Panalaban basecamp at 3,272 meters above sea level. This is the base for the day, before the climb continues at night to the summit. Dinner and snacks were provided and had the chance to chat here with other climbers before we all head to bed at around 7 pm. Why at 7 pm? Simply because the hike will continue at 2 am to the summit to catch the sunrise. You must have a headlamp as a mandatory equipment and if you do not have one, you can purchase one at the basecamp.
After a short night, very short night, the ascent to the summit continued at 2 am and this latest for about 4 hours (depending on your fitness level), until I reached the Low’s Peak at 4,095 meters above sea level. Managed to catch a beautiful sunrise and the climb up was very tough. The tough trek up was all worthwhile to see the sunrise. It was just awesome and magnificent.
Part of the route was very steep and lots of stairs and you need to have good footwear.
After an hour on the summit, the descent started at around 7 am towards Panalaban basecamp for breakfast and a short rest before I continued my trip down to Mount Kota Kinabalu Headquarter. The entire trip down took much longer, because during some part of the trek, it rained heavily. Managed to reach the headquarter around 3 PM. At last!:) Totally soaked and tired. Had a quick change into some dry clothes and took some food at the nearby restaurant before heading back with the van to Kota Kinabalu City, where I would spent another day exploring the city.
The trip was very exciting and I highly recommend to have good footwear and pack only a day bag for your trek up. You don’t need much for a day in the mountains:), unless you like to carry all your stuff up and down. No porters available.
If you want to have a short getaway in Southeast Asia with some nice scenery and trekking in the mountains, Mount Kota Kinabalu is the place to go! You will enjoy it!!!
If you need further information, just message me and I will get back to you.
That’s it for Mount Kota Kinabalu. Stay tuned for more from my end.