Day 1 Climbing Kota Kinabalu: On The Way To Laban Rata

This map shows the trail up to the summit, passing through Laban Rata, our stop for the night. It doesn’t look daunting, given that its only 6km. However, it doesn’t show the challenges of trekking in high altitudes. We were warned to expect altitude sickness: headaches, shortness of breath, and maybe even nausea.

The trail actually isn’t that hard or rough per se. There were some parts that were actually stairs.

Shelters were also conveniently located approximately every kilometer…….

…..with clean bathrooms, so there was no need to “rough it”.

It didn’t take us long to reach Km. 1. Check out the altitude.

There were also constant reminders to keep the park clean, which was nice to see.

What made the trek difficult was that it was a CONSTANT climb, so that even though it was paved at some parts, pretty soon our legs were feeling the challenge. Add to this the thin air, so what would normally be a pleasant walk had us huffing and puffing.

The weather quickly turned cold as well. You can see us slowly putting on more layers of clothes.

Now it gets REALLY cold.

The last stretch towards Laban Rata becomes very rocky AND steep. We’re really exhausted by this time.

We finally reach 5.5Km. Such a short distance, but the altitude says it all. Luckily, no one experienced nausea. Just headaches, which were banished by painkillers.

Now its just a few more meters to Laban Rata (distance-wise, but again, altitude-wise, a lot higher!), where we arrive just in time for a very early dinner, and to sleep.

We were scheduled to start our trek to the summit at 2am!