Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scaling Mount Kinabalu

Easter break '09 was well spent. Whilst everyone was busy meeting assignment deadlines, or just frankly taking a break from Monash's crazy workload, I took five days off, for this.

4095.2m, proudly achieved by yours truly. (:

I survived Mount Kinabalu, made it to Low's Peak, South East Asia's highest peak. It's so surreal till today I can't help but break into a smile when I share my experience with others. It's not being smug, although there is a little air of pride, but because it is such a big achievement for me. What made it tougher was that prior to the climb the only training I had was twenty minutes on the treadmill, zero incline. Besides, the doubtful look people shot me when I excitedly told them I'm going to attempt climbing Mount Kinabalu didn't help much. For one, a free dinner was even placed as a "bet" on whether I reach the top. How encouraging right.

But in the end, what matters most is that I made it to the very top,
I conquered Mount Kinabalu!

In my humble honest opinion, the climb was excruciatingly grueling for me, with much mind over matter chantings, a large chunk of will power, a pinch of determination, alot of God, and every single ounce of strength mix together to pull myself through the whole regime. But looking back, everything, all sacrifices made during the climb was so worth it. So worth it when you reach the peak, it's like that feeling of overcoming a tough obstacle, it drains, but it feels really really good at the end of the day.

There's tons of photographs at the end of the trip courtesy to three photgraphers, and Borneo is so beautiful. I already am missing that place, or a matter of fact, a holiday, a getaway from my current hectic life. Scattered pictures of the whole trip:-

Blooming flowers at foothill of Kinabalu Park.
Really really beautiful.

Trail Map of Mt. Kinabalu.
In anticipation of the climb.
The little triangles on the map shows the little pondoks available, and every time I step into one I feel like I'm one step closer to the top. The smallest encouragement helps ease the climb a whole lot.

At Timpohon Gate with our guide/porter Nizam. With the "Selamat Mendaki" sign brightly greeting us, we're still all pumped up, taking in the cool breeze. Very enthusiastic when taking our name tags, and lunch pack.

The team. As Pastor Lik said, "You'll never forget the people you climb any mountain with." Truly, it has been a wonderful experience, and I couldn't have done it without the support from all five of you.

The never ending big steps.

It was practically raining cats and dogs on our way up and down Laban Rata.

Little Miss Sunshine and Supergirl conquered Mount Kinabalu!

Complimentary hot coffee and Sabah tea at Laban Rata Resthouse. Weather was very chilly so it was very pleasant to sip up tons of hot tea to warm the inner body. It was also here that we had a hearty buffet dinner and a light supper before we continued our climb to the peak.

Sunset view at Laban Rata.
We're practically above those puffy cotton candy lookalike clouds.
Breathtaking view ey?

Esther and I all geared up at 2.30am. I think the temperature was around 3-6 degrees only. Air was very thin, thus making breathing difficult and climbing in the dark difficult. The beautiful thing about climbing at 3 in the morning is the uncountable bright shining stars in the sky lighting up the path for us. (:

Awesome breathtaking view from almost-peak.


My shoes gave way a whole lot, and if it wasn't for the nice guide who hold my hand all the way down to Laban Rata, I'd think I'd already slip a couple of times because I was wrongly geared with running shoes. I'm forever grateful to the guide, really. (:

Backpacker's lodge @KK town
It was my first experience staying in a backpacker's place, and I really liked the open concept of it. Free internet access, tv at the lounge, not to mention it's way cheaper than hotels.

On our journey to Padas River white water rafting. The train broke down, so our alternative transport was the "trolley", where the locals would pedal a simple assembled "raft-like-board" with wheels attached. To which I've also experienced a near crash with an oncoming vehicle. Tales that lasts a lifetime.

White water rafting was bundles of fun! (: Enjoyed it tons, and would love to do it again. We were so blessed with amazing sunsets almost every other day in Sabah. Watched this on the way back from white water rafting in the oldest train to Beaufort station, I still remember that little bit of history.

Last day in Sabah was spent sight seeing.
The Navy's were having some event on that fine day.

Us @ The Filippino Art Market
Haggling skills come in handy as starting prices are ridiculous.

Acting bimbo with a red telephone booth, before heading to Pulau Manukan for some lazing on the beach with Esther.

15 minutes speed boat ride to the nearest island.
Absolutely loved the ride.


*Clinks glasses* to our success.

Thank you, for walking with me till the end.

Many thanks to Pastor Lik, Pei Hong, Uncle Steve, Aunt Jamie and Esther, for such a unforgettable trip. To Esther, I'm glad you chose me for the trip, apart from all the fun activities, it was really great having bonding sessions with you over Maggi Mee at the backpacker's lodge, and oogling over that tanned skin good body china guy in boxers. Hahaha. Good times, good times indeed.

As for Borneo, land under the wind, I'll be back in due time.


Hwee said...

hey rosanne.! u made it all the way to the top!! wow. the scenary up there is beautiful!!!

WenY said...

SO AWESOME!! You really rocked the mounts! Good scenery pictures! Totally loved the one with the sunset! AWESOMEEE!! Maybe I'll curi your picture from u on msn and put on my background! Looks reallly nice!

Amazingly the weight of the cam didn't weight u down! hahaa. So small yet so strong! Mighty dorry!

roz* said...

Yeap, made it all the way to the top. (: Scenery above the clouds is really breathtaking.

Mighty Dory made it to the very very top! Hehe, which sunset? LOL, can can. It's not that heavy, least not as heavy as the dslr.

Coming home in July?

WenY said...

true enough, the camera is not as heavy as a dlsr :) The awesome sunset was the one amongst the forest and above the clouds! Slurpsss!!

And I won't be coming home in July ahah. Waiting for parents to come and visit my sister and I!

roz* said...

(: I see I see.
Have a good time!