|Mt Kinabalu (and more Shangri-La Rasa Ria)(October 19 - 26, 2001 )|
Lahad Datu/ Danum
Selingan & Liberan Is.
The trail was about 6 km long with a vertical rise of 1406m (4600 feet). It started raining about half way up, and it got colder. I was having trouble breathing - Laban Rata is at 3272m (10,700ft), and by the time I got there, I think I had mild hypothermia. Being in the tropics, there is no snow on the mountain, but the temperature was less than 10 deg C. I warmed up after a few hours - no one else had any problems.
The climb is not a tourist attraction. It is a test of endurance and determination that was much harder than I expected.
We discovered that my backpack is not waterproof. All of the warm clothes we brought to wear to the summit were wet. After strategically locating all our wet clothes in the room to dry, we had an early bed at 8PM.
We were ready to attack the summit at 3:00AM. The theory is that you leave early so that you'll be at the peak for a beautiful sunrise. However, we're equipped to travel the world, not climb mountains, so we must have looked a little funny - while others had miner's lights, we had our odd assortment of book lights and pen lights to climb with in the dark. Mark and I had socks on our hands because we did not have gloves.
Things started fine, but the altitude affected Heather first. She slowed down a lot and was eventually sick to her stomach. She felt much better after that, but stopped at the Sayat-Sayat hut, the last rest hut before the summit. Chloe also stopped out of sympathy, and Sarah stayed behind to look after them. Still, it was a tremendous accomplishment for the girls. They had reached 3668m (about 12,000 feet) on their own. Pretty good for 8 and 10 year olds!
We caught up to Sarah and the girls at Laban Rata at about 8:30AM. One piece of toast was all that Mark and I could stomach. At 9:30AM, we started the almost 4 hour walk back down to the bottom.
The kids were fine all the way down. Sarah's knees gave out a third of the way down and my legs turned to jelly around the same spot. As soon as we got back to the Rasa Ria Hotel, we changed our flight to allow us an additional two days to recouperate. I am pleased to report that even the kids are showing signs of sore muscles on the second and third days after the climb.
Well, two days wasn't quite enough to completely recover, but we boarded the plane back to Johor Bahru on the 26th. On arrival, we took a taxi to the bus station, and then grabbed a nice bus for a 4.5 hour drive to Kuala Lumpur.