I've been here once (that's it) and I'm not the fittest person or an athlete, so it kind of little bit a struggle for me. So, I thought to share my tips for all the beginners about climbing this 4096m mountain. The journey will take 2 days as you will have one night rest at Laban Rata (beautiful scenery). Don't ask me what I time arrived at Laban Rata station (start climbing at 9.00 am and arrive at 6.00 pm - it's like working hours !) but depend on how fit you are. I thought I am the worst but one lady arrived at 10.00 pm. I thought she taken helicopter.
The journey will start at Timpohon Gate and it will take 5-6 hours before reach Laban Rata. Along the way, you will start to experience thin air. You will saw a spectacular view from 3500m above sea level. There is a small little forest with small mountain plants & flowers. At Laban Rata, you will stay at dorm-style accommodation equipped with shower, heater, and other basic amenities. Take a good rest as the second part, probably the coldest and the dangerous will start at 2.00 am early in the morning! Make sure you wear thick clothes, warmer, double socks, double gloves, undies (maybe) as the temperature can reach below -10 degree Celcius. The journey to the Low's Peak will take around 4 hours through slippery 45-degree rocks, man-made ladder, and bridge. After that painful journey, when you reach the top, you will cry.
Here I want to share some very important tips for all those who wish to conquer Mt. Kinabalu. Remember, this is not professional advice, this is just my humble advice, tips & experience. So, if I can do it, you can do it, even better and faster! 1. Be Light as possible
Don't ever think to bring your extra towel, 1.5 L water bottle, fruits, and other unnecessary stuff. It will add more weight to the bag. The choice of bag is very important. Choose water-resistant and lightest jungle trekking bag that you can find. Everything should be water-resistant and easy to dry if you can.
Basic Mount Kinabalu Climbing Gears
Sweaters & Pants
Torch Lights (small)
Adidas kampung (Rubber Shoes Water Resistant)
Paracetamol (in case)
Look at my picture below, see...like I went to a shopping mall with all the foods, plastic bag, and stuff.
It would be better if you have a steady stamina. At least run or hiking a month before. But don't be like an athlete. What you need to do is just normal jogging routine to keep your stamina at top-notch. Try to use the staircase or hiking. Training will keep your stamina on point.
3. Never ever eat heavy or random foods a night before your trip.
Facilities like toilets, as per my experience, not that friendly and taking a toilet break, wasting your time. (Maybe that's why she arrive at 10.00 pm) . Therefore, just eat the foods that contain a lot of fiber like oatmeal, so you will not feel hungry. Breakfast should be light and include energy bars, eggs, banana but not too much and please avoid those foods that contribute to bloating. There will 99 % you will farting while climbing.
4. Don't try to beat time/compete with others climbers.
This is your enemies. Don't try to catch up with other climbers. When your friends or boyfriend told you to speed up, don't bother. Follow your own pace and enjoy the scenery and take a short break if you feel like to but don't stop too much & rest too long. You will get tired and lazy to continue. When you reach to every kilometre sign, then you can rest for a while. 5 minutes? Can.
5. Listen & Obey
Probably, I think, you should listen and obey any rules and advice given by the local guides and others experienced climbers. Regardless, how fit you are or how prepared you are if you don't listen to any rules, tips, do's & don't your journey will not be smooth. Really. Their advice is like your climbing stick. Hold on to it till you reach the top.
6. Prepare some medications.
It is mandatory, I think for safety & emergency reason. During my last trip, I forgot to paracetamol. You might get a headache or nausea along the way. Some bandage, paracetamol, muscle spray would be helpful. Just don't bring the entire First Aid Box. I was vomited so badly after coming down from the peak and the night before climbing to the top, I had a mild headache, which is so bad at this kind of harsh environment. I am not a scientist or anything genius but seems like taking paracetamol like 6 hours before climbing will boost your energy. -).(Drug)
Read here for the explanation.
I am not a professional climber, I'm just a real climber facing real experience. It was tough, fun, tiring but worth to climb for the second time. You always can ask others who has successfully conquered Mount Kinabalu, they will definitely give good advice and wild story! If you have any other tips, please share below at comment sections for the benefits of others. Sharing is caring. Right? So, good luck!