Mt. Kinabalu is located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Its highest point sits at 4,095.2 meters above sea level (Low’s peak). You need 2 days and 1 night to get up there (with a mountain guide) plus a little bit of luck that it will not rain the day you plan to summit.

                                                                                                      breath taking view
  • The first day is a 6 km journey starting from Timpohon gate at around 9.30 am down to a waterfall then just straight up from there
  • Before you start your journey, your guide will show you this very map and explain to you the route in details.
  • The route will take you through a beautiful dense rain forest with lots of birds and beautiful looking trees. The greenery and the fresh cool air will make you forget that you are constantly walking up and up and up. It eases your pain 
  • There are shelters every 1 km–1.5 km. Beware of the squirrels, they might look cute at first but they will jump on you and grab whatever snacks you are holding.
  • It gets cooler after 2,600 meters. You will also notice different variety fauna and flora from that point on. This is also where, according to my guide, most of the climbers start to struggle as the steps get more steep and the trail becomes really strenuous. A 100 meters can feel like 1 km. I’m not kidding!
                                                                                                            route map
                                                                          tropical pitcher plant aka monkey cup 
                                                                                                      the journey
  • You are assigned the rest-house depending on the program you signed up for. (i.e. people doing via feratta will be assigned to stay at Pendant hut, which requires a big climb of stairs to get to)
  • An introduction session for via feratta activity starts at 4.30 pm. Trainers will brief what to expect the next day plus train you on equipment needed for the activity
  • There are 2 routes for via Feratta activity, the short one (walk the torq) and the long one (low peak's circuit) you choose the one you want when you make the booking
  • After that it’s dinner (buffet) time at Laban Rata rest-house. All I can say about food up there is don’t expect too much
  • After dinner you go to bed and try to get as much sleep as you can before the 1.50 am wake up call. And be hopeful that it will not rain right before your day starts
  • There are showers with hot water provided if you wish to clean yourself up after a long day. You need to bring your own towel and all toiletries
                                                                           reach the first day's goal! the hut area
                                                                                   steep stairs to pendant hut
  • The summit day starts roughly around 2.30 am after you grab yourself a super light breakfast (bread & peanut butter) — the gate of the trail is right behind Pendant hut
    • The first 700 meters you climb up the stairs all the way through
    • There is a check point (also the last toilet on the mountain) which you must arrive by 5.30 am. If you arrive after that the officers will ask you to turn around
    • From this point on you pretty much climb up steep rocks with either provided white rope or your hands (trekking pole becomes a burden at this point) up to the summit!
    • It gets super windy and cold up there so prepare your clothing accordingly!! 
    • Gloves and warm beanie are highly recommended
                                                                                                       in the cold fog
                                                                                   Where people struggle the most
                                                                                                    I MADE IT!!!!!!!!!
                                                                                                   the sun came out
    • After summiting, via feratta participants have to make their way down to the meeting points at 7 am (low’s peak circuit) and 8 am (walk the torq)
    • It’s a fun and challenging activity — definitely NOT for someone who’s afraid of heights though
    • After the activity you make your way down to the hut — have some ‘brunch’ then make your way down to the park entrance.
    • You are not allowed to stay at the hut more than one night
    • And voila! mission accomplished!
                                                                                                          via feratta
                                                                                                       looking back
                                                                                                   journey down


    • You can store your big luggage at the park head quarter for 12 MR/bag
    • The guide will charge you extra (per hour) if you don’t make it back to entrance gate by 4 pm. (they might not tell you this beforehand so you can ask them about it from the beginning)
    • Quite a few people suffered altitude sickness when I was there so if you are prone to that then maybe bring along the medication just in case
    • Check weather forecast when planning your summit day! If it rains that day, they will not let anyone up there. No summiting and no via feratta!!
    • We did the climb using RiverJunkie, their service includes transport to Mt. Kinabalu from our hotel, climbing guide(s), lunch box, booking the hut and via feratta, and transport back to the hotel after the climb.
    • Accommodations in the city are mostly rooms in Condominiums. We stayed in Cozy Living Sky Apartment. Super convenient and good value for a group of 5 people.
    • We used Grab taxi getting around the city. Cheap and easy.


     Monday, January 27, 2020 10:01 PM