Luggage: During the Climb to Mt Kinabalu

Luggage Arrangement

This was how we dealt with our luggage when we started our climb to Mount Kinabalu. You may do the same too.

In the morning before we started the climb we divided our things in luggage into three groups.

  1. Things that we DO NOT need to bring up to Laban Rata,
  2. Things that we need to bring along with us on the way up to Laban Rata, i.e. bottles of water, energy bars, a set of clean and dry clothing, raincoat, camera, first aids kit, etc.
  3. Things that we need to bring up to Laban Rata, but we don't need them on the way, i.e. clothes, sweater, etc.
Outside Operation Office, the porters weigh our luggage.

For items in Group 1, we packed them in plastic bags or luggage bag and left them at Operation Office of Kinabalu Park's HQ. The cost was RM10 per piece of luggage.

For items in Group 2, we put them into a lightweight backpack and carried the backpack to Laban Rata. I had 4 bottles of water, banana, energy bars, a set of clean and dry clothing, raincoat, camera, lunch pack (provided by Sutera Sanctury Lodges), etc. in my backpack walking up to Laban Rata.

For items in Group 3, we let the porters to carry the luggage for us. The cost for the porters to bring our luggage to Laban Rata (and back) was RM80 per 10kg.

In that morning of climbing Mt Kinabalu, we made luggage arrangement as above right in front of the Kinabalu Park HQ's Operation Office.

Mountain Guides

Beside the porters, the Park's operator, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, requires climbers to engage at least one mountain guide for a group of 6 persons. For group of 8 persons, we were required to get 2 mountain guides. The cost for one mountain guide is now RM150 (started from September 2011) which include entire trip of going up and coming down. This cost to hire mountain guides is not included in the original package you paid to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.

Personal Mountain Guides

You can engage a personal guide solely for yourself, on top of the mountain guide(s) for the group. With a personal mountain guide, you can get him to carry your backpack, hold your hand when you need strenght, etc. This mountain guide will not serve as porter to carry your group 3 luggage.

Edited in 7 Jan 2012:
However, they may charge you for the backpack that they carried for you by weight, KG. So ask them first, if they offer to help you to carry your backpack. In our case, the personal guide of Sept 2010 climb did not charge my teammate. In Sept 2011 climb, the personal guide, after the descend, insist to charge my teammate by weight of the backpack. This is on top of the personal mountain guide fees that we had paid to hire him. Dealing with locals, sometimes we are dealing with their own sense of logic trying to make a few bucks more from their labor work. Ask about price first, before engaging their service.