Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hiking Mount Kinabalu 2011 : South East Asia Highest Mountain (Part 3/4)

The alarm ring at 1.30 am in the morning at Laban Rata, Mount Kinabalu. I never get sleep for the whole night. Thanks for the snooring sound, smelly stocking and most probably i wont sleep well in new places. So i quickly jump down and go to toilet to avoid congested.

The water is still very cold. After some simplified method for washing face, brush teeth, mop body with water etc. I quickly prepare for the next hike to the peak. I was told before trips that the mid night hiking is very cold, must wear long john shirt, long john trouser, water proof winter jacket etc. So i was wearing long john shirt, beanie, t-shirt, winter jacket, sport pants, small head lamp and my camel hiking shoe. (Later i hate all this preparation)

After packing up all the belonging, i wake others up and i move down to canteen for breakfast which will be ready at 2am. After short breakfast, we all ready to start the journey. First we have to gather all the members. As we split to 2 group, we move up to find our friends at a hut just 200 meter from laban rata.
This is the first time i hike in such a cold weather and with such a heavy wearing. The air is very thin. Breathing was difficult and whenever we stop, we will immediately feel the cold breeze. When we reach the huts 200 away from laban rata, i immediately took off my winter jacket, glove and beanie. IT'S DAMN HOT!!!!!
Our body temperature heat was trapped inside with long john shirt, winter jacket, beanie and glove which make you feel stem!!! hahahahha....when i took off my jacket, significant heat vapor coming out from all over our body. At that moment i wish all my beanie, jacket & glove throw away.
The distance from laban rata to peak is about 2 KM only but its more difficulty. First our body not proper rested after the first day hike, 2nd our body is in half rest half active situation, 3rd the air is very thin (oxygen level is low) where our body cant get enough oxygen to produce energy, hiking in the dark and we are walking in a line where jump que or walking in group is not permitted due to narrow route. However thats only for the first stage as later it is free for all to go on own speed.
I feel very very difficult to breath and every step is like taking all my energy can give. The speed in the hike was very very slow indeed. We cant really know where is our group as quite chaotic. At the first mountain climbing area, my sister couldnt continue the hike. Her stamina is ok but her shoe is too slippery. I was in front and only know after the guide inform me. She had try many times but keep slipping down. The guide even hold her hand in hand to try but not success. She went back to laban rata to wait for us with tear in eye and frustration.
We reach Sayat - Sayat station after 2 hours hiking in dark. This is the station where you need to show your tag and name as they will record it for certificate later. We were regroup and take a great relief at here coz it take some times before all verification can continue.
My most treasure experience is happen after last 800 meter to the Low peak. After the sayat-sayat station, we are going with individual strength as the surface is extremely wide. I lost most of the members here. Never in my life feel so painful or so difficult in continue the journey especially in the last 800 meter. My mind was really out of the normal condition and imagination is getting stronger and stronger due to lack of oxygen. I was talking to myself, answering to my mind and i just keep on talking to myself to encourage myself. Even in military training before, i can handle 3 days without sleep but i dont have such imagination scenario.

When i saw the first light in the dark, i know i will miss out the sunrise scenery. I couldnt bother to rush as my body couldnt take it. My mission is to reach the peak. Although not perfect but thats the whole point getting here.

I finally reach the peak of mount Kinabalu on 7.00am. The view was magnificient and you can stunned from where you stand for long time just to enjoy the view. We stay at the peak and take our time as our guide didnt rush us back to laban rata.
Normal people will only be allow stay at the peak for about 30 minute before need to rush back laban rata. Main reason is the sun light will really burn your skin and hiker need to reach the timpohon gate before dark.
We are the extremely lucky group. ON that day, mist was exceptional thick and weather was exceptional cold. Although the time is 8.00am, its still very very cold. Our guide say it is our luck as base on his experience very rare that we can still around the peak by this time.
We are the last group going down. When we reach laban rata its already 1000am. After some rest we going down at 1100am with relax mood.
I finally hurt my leg when going down to timpohon gate. It is my fault again. I was walking steadily down before i decide to rush down as too boring walking down in same pace. 2 km in less than 30 minute. Basically i was running and jumping. When i reach the final 1 km my knee suddenly feel sharp pain. From there on, i cant bend my leg. The rain started to drop again and i was sweating painfully to reach the timpohon gate.
All of us reach timpohon gate at bout 5pm. The transportation bring us back to Kota Kinabalu town immediately. We did stop by having dinner at seafood restaurant but its not really something to shout. Just normal seafood.
It was 900 pm when we reach our stay for the final night at Rainforest Lodge. Most of us went to sleep after taking bath and repacking stuff.

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