We woke up at 1:30AM to get ready to start off at 2AM. None of us slept very well. We were all to excited and it was strangely difficult to sleep in high altitude. Laban Rata had very decent and clean beds and baths, so it wasn’t as if it was uncomfortable. But it didn’t take long for adrenaline (and coffee) to kick in, and we were all ready and energized to climb.
The weather was quite cold, and we were warned that the temperature would further drop the higher we got.
The first part of the trek was more like what we went through getting to Laban Rata: foliage, mud, some stairs. It felt quite surreal trekking in the dead of night, with only our headlamp as illumination.
Eventually the landscape changed to bare rock, as we crossed the tree line. We also reached a point where we needed ropes to scale the side of the mountain. The air was also quite thin, and we would be out of breath every 10 steps. It was quite difficult.
I remember thinking at this point, “What the hell am I doing at 3am scaling a steep side of a mountain, possibly putting my husband and myself in danger?!?!”.
When the sun rose, we finally had enough light to appreciate the stark beauty of Mt. Kinabalu.
We could also see the clouds below….waaay below!! It was a heady feeling (also maybe because again, the air was so thin!).
Vincent and Maget reached the top and took out their Philippine Flag!
We actually couldn’t stay very long (nor did we want to, as we were really so cold and tired!), so we took our pictures and prepared to descend.
Going down was much easier, and since there was light already, we could take more pictures.
We went down the same way: via ropes. But this time, we could see how high we were.
Coco actually is hyping his fear here. As you can see, Joel is smiling below.
Finally reached foliage again! That meant we were near Laban Rata, and near…..BREAKFAST!!
Back in Laban Rata, we hunker down for a huge carbo-loaded breakfast, before setting off to descend back down to the base of Mt. Kinabalu.
We also regroup with the other climbers, and hear their war stories.
The trek back down was again much easier than going up, but we could all feel the stress on our knees. We were also very lucky with the weather, since it only rained the last 10 minutes of our trek.
We reach the same gate we began (deciding NOT to go to the alternative route, and just go the same way, and back to the same hotel). We were wet (heavy rainshower the last 10 minutes), hungry, and tired, and were so happy to see a store selling hot, noodle soup at the gate! Perfect!
Our group picture ending our trek. You can see the happy faces…..happy at the thought of going back to the Meridien for a hot bath and a soft bed.