Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Vacation Day Four: Mt. Kinabalu Summit

We were somewhat rudely and abruptly woken on Monday morning...very early...1:30 AM. It was not unexpected, since this is when people begin to rouse for the summit hike. We were up fairly quickly, given that other hikers were now stepping over us to get their breakfasts!
Starting a summit hike in pitch darkness, without food in your belly (in hindsight, not a wise choice) is a bit of insanity that, we discovered, pays off. I was exhausted and kept sitting down, only to find myself like this...

I'm actually asleep in this picture. Scary business, given that I was perched on the SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN!!!
Mostly we were guided by the headlamps of the overly-equipped Japanese tourists that were scattered along the trail (helpful folks, those Japanese!); once again Jennious proved to be absolutely useless as a "guide". The hike is fairly treacherous and the danger is magnified when you do it by the light of the moon. A few times I actually thought that I was physically unable to complete the climb, but Alisa was a great motivator... "Look at that schmo! If he can do it, we can do it!!!"
We reached the top with plenty of time to spare before the sunrise, which was sort of unfortunate because it was FREEZING!

It was absolutely, positively 100% worth it, though. We suffered from lack of sleep, malnutrition, abandonment by our guide, physical exhaustion and a variety of other ailments including bitter chills to our very souls but our reward was the breathtaking scenery and the knowledge that we had, in fact, defeated the mountain.
It was an experience that I will never forget, and we all were very proud of ourselves for having accomplished such a thing. It was truly amazing, being above the clouds at such an altitude, with many other people from all over the world who were all thinking the same thing: This is incredible and I did it.

We hiked back down that day, too, all the way from the top to the bottom. It's a busy day, the second day on Mt. Kinabalu: hike to the summit, come down from the summit and have some breakfast, and then hike all the way down!

Ryan and Brian headed back to KK after the mountain because they were booked for diving the next day; the rest of us decided to continue to Poring Hot Springs, which is about an hour further down the highway and is supposed to be nice and relaxing. We got there, discovered that Poring is a dump and the Hot Springs are gross, and the only parts of the area that are worthwhile to visit are accessed by hiking...we were certainly in no position to be hiking ANYWHERE at that point so we made the decision to head back to KK while the evening was still young, thus avoiding spending undue time in "Boring" and not staying at the god-awful hostel we had planned on sleeping in.
Mt. Kinabalu: another highlight of my overseas experience. What a trip!

Until next time,


  • At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Um - are you guys dangling your feet over the edge and looking down in that last shot, or propping your feet up and looking out? I sure hope it's the latter.


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