When the only thing left you can be dependent on is determination, and not strength.
Treacherous path, cold weather, that's how I describe her, the magnificent Mount Kinabalu. She is one of the beauty, yet what lies behind the beauty, it's only revealed after you truly venture into. I had seen it, and the journey was wonderful, and memorable. With the guidance from God, and companion of all these awesome friends, I proudly said that I made it! Yeah, up till the summit, 4095.2m! There were times I was so tired, and no energy left even for grumblings, this was when determination kicked in. For sure, I did not know how could I even reach the peak, and I am still wondering now. It all sounded dreamy, and imaginative.
Gathering at Centre Point KK
BBQ pork halfway the journey to Kinabalu Park!
There are two paths towards the Laban Rata Resthouse, and this time we took the Mesilau path, which is 2km longer. But the 2km extra distance was well worth it, for the scenery along the path was so breathtaking, and the path overall was less burdened compared to Timpohon path. 8th July, we gathered at Centre Point KK, and set out in vans to Kinabalu National Park. I wasn't sure how long did the journey take, all I knew is the whole afternoon was compensated, and the time we settled at Mesilau Resort, it was around 6pm! The resort was a pleasant one, with awesome dinner and breakfast buffet, as well as warm bed!
Waking up and buckled up, we started to ascend the mountain at 9am. The first 500m only, I was feeling tired and heart beat was fast, maybe I was warming up, I thought. But don't be deceived by the distance, to even complete 500m it would take up to half an hour! After around 1km, I was all warmed up and sweated heavily. At this point, the fast ones were leading way in front, and slow ones behind. I was in the middle, keeping a consistent pace. Then JiaChee, let's call her JC, and Desmond, a new friend made during this trip, kept up and we moved on together. We made a fantastic trio and the whole journey become fun and enjoyable!
Along the way, there were times we grumbled and become frustrated, but encouragements from each other were the thing that kept us moved on. at KM5, we reached a hut, and LuWee kept up with us, and four of us moved together. This hut on wards, the weather was less favorable and we were kept in drizzles. The drizzles remained until we reached the intersection between both trails, and joining into one path which leads towards the resthouse. That path was sort of overflowed, and running water was flowing from the top to the bottom. We only knew that it was raining quite heavily from those who reached earlier than us at the resthouse, so our pace was good and kept us from heavy rain! From the intersection, we still had around 2.5km to go, and that 2.5km was a tough one. Rocky and slippery paths, we were all low in motivation. But still, we all pushed each other up and up, paces by paces, and the sight of a friend who reached earlier and waited for us at the Laban Rata doorsteps was totally heaven! We were talking about hot chocolate drinks and warm beds, and it's all in front of us now! We rushed into the restaurant and sat down, stunned and speechless. Even if the hot chocolate costed me RM12.80, I wouldn't have care less. The time showed 345pm.
We were lucky enough to arrive slightly earlier at Laban Rata. The moment we were waiting for our dinner at around 430pm, the sky turned black and heavy downpour started. Feeling relieved, we were worried about the others' progress at the same time. Pity they had to go through all the rain, but nothing we could do, just hoping they would be fine. After dinner, I couldn't bear the cold, and I just made do with wiping clean my body instead of a bath. There were no hot water, and the water was icy cold, even wiping my body could give myself several jumps! This journey till then had taken toll on me, my body was hot and I was feeling dizzy. Not wanting myself to be unfit for the summit ascend at 2am, I took Panadol although I was reluctant. The rest for the night wasn't that smooth after all, I just couldn't put myself into a nice slumber, until Ken checked on me at around 1130pm. The funny thing was, after he checked on me, he couldn't sleep anymore, and I slept all the way until the alarm rang off at 130am. That made me guilty, but we had some laugh on that!
2am was giving us tough times, at temperature estimated to be under 10 degrees, and we were all like walking zombies. The cold did give us some nudges, but still the darkness ahead pulled us back, and the sleepiness was like a veil covering me. I just followed the group, but eventually the group split into three groups again, the fast, moderate and slow ones. Still the same, I was the moderate one, and as time went on, I was alone with other troupes, for their paces were the same and I was comfortable with it, so I just followed their backs. Halfway, I did meet with those ahead of me, and we assembled.
The summit ascend was tough. Oxygen was thin, and wind was piercing. It was so tough to a level that I stopped for a short breath every eight steps. The land was barred, with endless rocky paths ahead. Following the white rope that guided us all the way up the summit, that's my only hope. Motivation was low as well, I looked down on the path ahead, and I murmured, "Low's peak....Low's peak" as I walked. Sounded zombie aye? But that was what kept me moving on.
Around 630am, finally, I reached the bottom of the peak! But at this level the wind was getting more piercing than ever, and I doubted whether I should or should not ascend to the peak. So I just wondering around and taking pictures for around 30 minutes until a tour guide cheated me to go up, if not I would not be able to get my certificate! So I rushed up, and that took me around 20 minutes. I made it! The peak was only a small area, so after taking whatever pictures required, I left the peak.
Ascending was treacherous, so was descending. The moment I descended the sky was already bright, at around 730am. Then I realized, the path we had been ascending, how dangerous it was! When I reached the resthouse, I felt strains in my right knee, and my left ankle. My head was heavy as well. But without a choice, I had to start descending from the resthouse and reached Timpohon gate before 4pm. With only about 1 hour of rest, I had my breakfast and started to descend with JC at around 1030am. JC was worse, she couldn't afford to have much rest, and have to start descend as soon as she arrived the resthouse from the summit. Both of us had painful legs, so we moved slowly together, until Uncle Lucas and Cherng Yee caught up from behind, and we moved together. Timpohon trail was more challenging, with higher steps, and it's a disadvantage for us who had painful legs. It's tough time descending, but we managed to arrive at around 3pm at the gate.
It's definitely a milestone of a lifetime, and a wonderful experience. My preparation wasn't that complete this time, but hope there's next time, with better preparations and gears!