Aug 27, 2012
Jun 30, 2013
A quick two hour drive from KK brings you to the Mt. Kinabalu National Park HQ. Here you can aquire a entry permit and climb to the top of the UNESCO world heritage site, Mt. Kinabalu. At 4095 meters, this is the tallest peak I have ever hiked up, and it is listed as the 20th most prominent mountain in the world (meaning its height relative to the surroundings). You have two arrange your accommodation on the mountain before heading to the park, which can be done in KK at the Sutera lodges head office. This is not cheap! The entire package (permit, guide, accommodation, entry fee) costs ya about 250 bucks! The starting point of the hike is at about 1800 meters above sea level. Day 1 takes you up to 3300 meters to the Laban Rata Resthouse where you sleep for the night. And by night, I mean evening, as you wake up at 2 in the morning to begin the climb to the summit. On day 2, you hike up the remaining 800 meters to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, known as Low's Peak. From there, its allll downhill back to the starting point...a painful day on the knees, calves, and thighs. Along the way hikers are treated to several different zones of flora, including numerous species of endemic pitcher plants. At the top, incredible panoramic views of all of Sabah are to be had....on clear days, you can see as far as the Philippines! It was a grueling hike up a beautiful mountain, but the satisfaction upon reaching the top is a huge reward. Interestingly, I think last years hike to the top of Mount Mayon, in the Philippines was more difficult, even though its height is comparatively small at about 2450 meters. Kinabalu is not as steep and the footing is much better for hikers than the precarious slopes of Mayon. Anyway, enjoy some photos!