Night Hike To Summit Before Sayat Sayat 6.0km to 7.0km (2)

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:

The steepness (slope) of 6KM to 7KM is 0.28 (Vertical 383 meter and horizontal 924 meter) which is much easier as compared to the 0.41 slope of 7KM to 8KM.

However, this stretch of trail is tiring and "difficult" for a few reasons:

  • the climb is in the middle of night at our usual sleeping hours, i.e. 2am - 5am.
  • part of this stretch of trail, approximately 50 meters, requires the climbers to walk on a ledge in the dark and later hold to a white rope to pull themselves up
  • lacking oxygen, 7KM is at 3,653 meters or 11,985 ft above sea level
  • it is cold, our clothes is thick and we are sweating
  • it is dark, we need to get use to the torch lights visually

Walking on a ledge. Don't worry, it is safe.

Pull yourself up.

After the difficult part, take a rest.

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:

Climbing the terrain (Part 2: Descending)

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:

From Summit to Sayat Sayat

  • This is the most beautiful stretch of the climb
  • Be careful of your steps and walk slowly. It is quite easy to slip and fall on the trail during downhill walk, especially when the scenery is so beautiful
  • Follow the white rope

Walk slowly

Grand view

Sayat Sayat checkpoint at the bottom

More photo on the descent before reaching Sayat Sayat

From Sayat Sayat to Laban Rata

  • Watch out for time. Breakfast buffet at Laban Rata closes at 10.00am. So make sure you return to Laban Rata before 10am
  • This is the part that you need to pull the rope during the ascending climb at night. Now you can see how beautiful the view is

Right after Sayat Sayat

You can see Laban Rata Resthouse at the bottom. But it is still quite a long way to reach Laban Rata.
You can't see this at night when you climb up. This is the stretch after Sayat Sayat before reaching Laban Rata during your descent.
Very near to Laban Rata now.

From Laban Rata to Kinabalu Park

  • Leave Laban Rata as early as possible. Chances of rain is higher at the later part of the day.

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:

Climbing the Terrain (Part 1: Ascending)

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu:
From Kinabalu Park Headquarters to Laban Rata

  • The first 3 km is an easy climb. It is not steep. However, do not rush, walk at a consistent speed that you will not pant.
  • Bring one set of dry cloth in your backpack in case you reach Laban Rata hours earlier than the porter who carry your luggage.
  • After KM 3, be aware of your body response toward altitude sickness, i.e. headache, dizziness, vomiting, loss of balance, etc. As altitude sickness commonly occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet), which is approximately at KM 3 onward.
  • From KM3 onward, the slope becomes steeper.

Calculation of slope for each KM of walk. The higher the value the steeper the slope becomes. For instance, the slope from KM3 to KM4 is 0.30 which is steeper than the slope value of 0.22 from KM 1 to KM 2.

  • Last KM before reaching Laban Rata is long and tiring. The road from 5.5KM to 6.0KM seems never ending.
  • Generally the trail from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata is safe. You will not slipped and fell off the trail or fell off the cliff. The climber walks on jungle trail most of the time. There is no cliff. At times, there are wooden fences on the trail that next to a slope.

(For those who live in Klang Valley and have chance to climb Bukit Gasing: Climbing from Kinabalu Park Headquarters to Laban Rata is not more difficult that the last 300 steps of Bukit Gasing. The trail before reaching Laban Rata is just like Gasing trail, except for the last KM. In the last KM of Summit trail, you walk on stones/rocks.

The trail is tiring as the road is long.)

Follow the link to see all the terrain photos of Summit Trail from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata.

From Laban Rata to Sayat Sayat
  • As you can see from the table above, Laban Rata to Sayat Sayat 6KM to 7KM is the steepest part of the climb. 
  • First half of this 6KM - 7KM summit trail is okay. The climber just walks up wooden staircases and stones.
  • It can be tiring as the climber is climbing this part of the trail at 2.00 am before dawn.
  • In the second half of this 6KM - 7KM summit trail we need to follow and hold a white rope. Normal carefulness will be good enough. At one very short stretch of trail, we need to use both hands and legs.
  • Ensure guide is around at the steep angle area before passing this area.
Night climb before reaching Sayat Sayat Checkpoint.

How it looks like in the daylight.

From Sayat Sayat to Summit

  • Sayat Sayat is the last toilet stop, don’t miss this toilet as it is still a long way to reach Low's Peak and back to this check point.
  • All climbers must reach Sayat Sayat Checkpoint before 5am to be allowed to continue their climb. The gate closes at 5am. 
  • The stretch right after Sayat Sayat is the most difficult part of the climb. The slope is steep and the air is thin (only 62% of oxygen available at sea level). Many people reported to have thought to give up.
  • After 8km, all the way up. It is easy to sprain your ankle on  the steep slope if you are not careful.

Step-by-Step Terrain of Mount Kinabalu: