Mount Kinabalu: The Climb of September 2010

Below is how we designed our journey for the climb of 19 September 2010. It serves as a guide for you to design your own journey.

We have a very tight schedule, i.e. reaching Kinabalu National Park Head Quarter (KNPHQ) on 17/9, went up to Laban Rata on 18/9, reached summit, returned back to Kinabalu National Park Head Quarter (KPHQ) and departing Sabah on 19/9.

Thursday, 16 Sep 2010:
  • 9.30am
  • Eight of us flied from LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal), KLIA, To Kota Kinabalu with Air Asia. We came one day earlier so that we can walked around Kota Kinabalu. We stayed in KK's Cititel Express.
Kota Kinabalu seaside

Friday, 17 Sep 2020:
  • 3.00pm: The van from our travel agent picked us up to Kinabalu National Park Head Quarter (KNP HQ), where we spent a night.
  • 6.00pm: We had buffet dinner at Balsam Cafeteria in KNP HQ. The food is good with satay and BBQ.

Saturday, 18 Sep 2010:
  • 9.15 am: We started our way up from Timpohon Gate.
  • 3.30 pm: I reached Laban Rata.
  • 5.00 pm: We had our buffet dinner at cafeteria.
  • 6.00 pm: We went to sleep.

At LCCT, before boarding. I was holding the camera. We flied with AirAsia, off course.

Sunday, 19 Sep 2010:
  • 1.30 am: We woke up to get ready
  • 2.00 am: We had our...buffet supper or breakfast, and started our way to summit on 3am (which was late. we should have started the trip at 2.30am)
  • 7.30 am: I reached the peak (I was having some altitude sickness problem right before and after Sayat Sayat checkpoint) as the last person reaching the peak for the day.
Lows Peak, Mt Kinabalu (4095.2meter). Yes, I made it to the top of the summit.
  • 10.00 am: We returned back to Laban Rata before 10am and had our breakfast and lunch. (which was late too. Most other hikers had packed and left for mountain's foot.)
  • 11.30 am: We left Laban Rata in heavy rain. 
  • 6.00 pm: Finally reached Kinabalu National Park's HQ and rushed to airport (which is about 2 hours away) as our flight back to KLIA, West Malaysia, would be departed on 9.30pm. We did not have time to waste. We needed to check-in an hour earlier as we were having trouble in web check-in at Kinabalu National Park's Headquarter.
  • 9.30 pm: Finally we managed to catch the 9.30pm Air Asia flight back to West Malaysia. By the way, I really like to eat in the plane.

Monday, 20 Sep 2010:
  • 12.30 am: We reached LCCT, KLIA, Sepang and finally 
  • 1.30 am: reached home. 
  • 3.30 am: I slept, finally, after cleaning up my luggage and myself
In total, I was active for more than 24 hours since waking up in Laban Rata for the summit assault. The only time that I rested was probably in the van and in the Air Asia plane.

It was a fantastic trip... :-)

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:

Follow our step-by-step photos series to see the terrain of Mount Kinabalu and our climbing experience, KM by KM:

Personal Hygiene while Climbing Mt Kinabalu (Toilets & Bathrooms)

8 most important tips on personal hygiene in climbing Mt Kinabalu:
  1. There are flush toilets, approximately one in every kilometer distance, all the way up to the last 1.5km of the peak of Mt Kinabalu. Thus, through out the climb journey, you don't have to dig a single hole or to find bushes to hide. ;-)
  2. Sayat-Sayat has the last toilet before reaching Low's Peak. Most people take about 2 -3 hours from Sayat-Sayat to reach the peak and about an hour back to Sayat Sayat. So don't miss this last toilet.
  3. At Kinabalu Park, the place that climbers spend a night before the climb:
    • There are hot shower and clean bathrooms at Kinabalu Park's hostels.
    • Gentlemen and ladies bathrooms are separated and are not attached to sleeping room.
    • The resort provides dry towel, body shampoo and shampoo.
    • We stayed in a 4 beds dormitory. There is no separated room for man or woman. It is up to your arrangement with your teammates.
    • The beds are clean and comfortable.
  4. At Laban Rata Resthouse, the place climbers rest and sleep before the night climb to summit:

    • They are clean bathrooms at Laban Rata Resthouse.
    • Gentlemen and ladies bathrooms are separated.
    • Laban Rata provides dry towel, but not body shampoo and shampoo. So remember to take the shampoo and body shampoo from Kinabalu Park along.
    • We stayed in a 10 beds large dormitory. There is no separated room for man or woman.
    • The beds are clean and comfortable.

    Theoretically there is hot shower water at Laban Rata Resthouse. But since the electricity at Laban Rata is not stable, practically we still had to take freezing cold bath water. In a different trip, my friends (another team) managed to upgrade to a smaller dormitory with lesser beds. They had hot shower (arrrhhh....!)

    Shower water in Laban Rata is freezing if you do not have the luck to stay in that small dormitory. My teammates shivered in bed covered by blanket for an hour after taking the cold water bath. This was how I dealt with cold bath water:
    a. shower your head and face clean
    b. while washing your head and face, cover your body with towel provided by Laban Rata Resthouse
    c. then, wipe clean your whole body with the wet part of the towel and wipe your body dry with the dry part of the towel
  5. As the electricity at Laban Rata is unstable, hair dryer or charger can hardly be used. I found only one power point in that ten-bed dormitory.
  6. After the climb, when we descended back to Kinabalu Park from Laban Rata, we had a problem taking bath. Since we were to leave Kinabalu Park for airport the same day, we had already checked-out from Kinabalu Park's hostels the morning we climbed up to Laban Rata. We had to use the toilet beside the HQ's Operation Office & Reception O7. ffice to change clothes before leaving for airport. No bath.

    My colleagues who came earlier with another team simply went back to the hostel they stayed (and checked-out earlier) and just used the bathroom (as the bathrooms are not attached bathroom).

    Another group of colleagues simply booked to stay for another night in Kinabalu Park after descended from Mt Kinabalu. This solves the problem.
  7. Remember to clear bowel in Kinabalu Park the morning before going up to Laban Rata, because your next morning is at Summit.
  8. Please don't think that there are 5 stars toilets and bathrooms. This is National Park, not luxury hotel. I found dead moth in a toilet. One of the hot showers at Grace Hostel was not working. Sutera Sanctuary Lodges had not been doing a very good (though reasonably decent) job in maintaining the facilities.

Outside the ladies' bathroom/ toilet
of Grace Hostel at Kinabalu Park.

Outside the men's bathroom/ toilet
of Grace Hostel at Kinabalu Park