Fulfilling my childhood dream; climbing the MOUNT KINABALU

hi there,

if fishing is not an escape of life, this time mr.Husband has another story of his life experienced. anyone love mountain climbing or dream to climb a mountain? me? never! LOL.

but different with mr.Husband, he kept his 12 years old childhood dream become a reality 24 years later ....

so the story begins ...


Anyone love mountain climbing? If last time I wrote about my fishing experienced, this time I would like to share my mountain climbing experienced. It’s worth the effort! And I hope by sharing my climbing experience will provide some information to you, readers.

I have been dreaming to climb the Mount Kinabalu since I was 12. In my dream I saw the beauty of the mountain and reached the peak with full of satisfaction. Oh! It was just a dream, but since then, I promised myself to conquer the mountain’s peak one day. Dare to dream, don’t you?

Year passes by. Whenever I passed by the mountain, I always remember my childhood dream. 24 years later, in 2011 a friend of mine arranged a hiking program and asked whether I want to join them for mountain climbing or not. Without hesitation and to fulfill my childhood dream, I said YES.

We booked three months in advance before the actual mountain climbing with a company that manage the climbing package. For mountain climbing, the climbers need at least to book the 2 Days 1 Night package. Day One is for climbing to Laban Rata for rest and sleep, and in the very early dawn (consider Day 2) is for climbing up the mountain and descending.

The Training
We have 3 months to practice for physical training. It requires a lot of exercises, and I went  for jogging, playing badminton and futsal to strengthen the stamina and to ensure my body are ready for mountain climbing. Climbing needs a lot of stretching and climbers must be properly ready not only physically but mentally as well.

climbers must stay fit
all the way up, the trail is steep and rocky

The climbing equipment
You need to prepare the climbing equipment.  Since the climbing time will be around 2am, the trail will be definitely dark, so you need a very good HEADLAMP/ FLASHLIGHT/TORCHLIGHT, a good sweater to warm your body, a raincoat or PONCHO, at least 3 pairs of socks, waterproof gloves, a pair of TRUSTED shoes, snow cap, and an AWESOME waterproof clothing bag where you will keep all your belonging inside, and last but not least, your changing clothes.

Among all, shoes REALLY play an important role when it comes to climbing. The trail to the mountain’s peak is rocky and slippery, so you need a good shoe, and I would like to recommend anyone to use the toothed rubber shoes called ‘SEMSON’ (among the local people) for climbing the mount Kinabalu.  

The Hiking Day
The most awaited day! We departed from Kota Kinabalu around 5 am and arrived at the Kinabalu National Park climbing station about 6.30 am. After registered our name, we took breakfast nearby. There are few food stalls run by the locals. After finished our breakfast, we once again checked our bags to ensure all required items are ready before we started our climbing.
We first parked our car near the national park where parking is provided to the climbers and it is free. Our group was given two guides to guide us for mountain climbing. The guide provided us with information that every climbers MUST KNOW and a bus took us to the starting point, the Timpohon Gate. 

The climbing begins!
We started climbing around 10 am from the Timpohon Gate, to the 1st stop named PONDOK KANDIS. It is about 1KM to reach the 1st stop, and it tests our physical strength more than enough! It was a steep climbing trail all the way to the 1st stop, and I barely remember if there is any flat ground.
After resting a while at the 1st stop, the climbing continued. We need to climb 6 km to reach LABAN RATA from the TIMPOHON GATE, with a steep trail and the rocky ground all the way up.  

from the TIMPOHON GATE to the LABAN RATA, we went through 7 stops, and must reach base station before it getting dark to avoid any undesirable circumstances. 

restless climbers
the trails : Timpohon ->Kandis ->Ubah ->Lowii ->Mempening ->Villosa ->Paka ->Laban Rata

During the ascent, we were advised moving within the group together with our GUIDE to avoid from getting lost. Besides, we must help each other in case anyone getting muscle cramp or energy loss. We take a break for few minutes each time we reached the STOP ‘HUT’ to recover some energy.

However, despite the step-by-step foot pace is like a never-ending-journey and the fatigues, we were mesmerized by the beauty of the natural plants along the journey.

p/s: If you are nature lover, you will enjoy the climbing scenery around you with everything feel so fresh and green.

beautiful flora

Finally, we managed to reach LABAN RATA around 6 pm. After signed into our guest room, we get cleaned and ready for dinner. It was buffet dining with a wide of food selection from meat, chicken, fish, bread, fruits, vegetables, and hot drinks, suit to fill up the empty stomach and increase the energy after getting exhausted. We didn’t stay long for dinner. We get the food and eat. And we finished the meal, immediately we went to our room.  

Laban Rata Guest House
In our guest room, we get our things ready for the ascend very early in the dawn, the warm clothes, headlamp, gloves, shoes, etc. We checked the temperature, and it’s 8 degree Celsius, enough to make me feel cold and ERRRR I’m frozen! It’s quite difficult to breath. I massaged my body with the hot oil, and get one last hot drink before went to bed.  

At 2 am exact, we woke up and prepared for the climbing. Anyone refused to continue the journey to mountain, they can stay in LABAN RATA and descend in the morning and others to get ready to continue for ascend. 

After getting ready, we started ascending at 3 am, and with cold temperature. The steep climbing route really challenged our physical ability and we need to be mentally strong. I keep climbing though it’s really tough and started reminiscing my childhood dream. Everything looked so dark, and hard to see. After putting so much effort, I managed to CONQUER mount KINABALU at 6 am! Allah Maha Besar.

I come, I see, I conquer!
with a BIG smile ear to ear
I was tired and exhausted, but looking at the mountain beautiful scenery with the morning mist, everything was paid off.


Because of the strong wind and fog began to cover the peak of mount Kinabalu, we were requested to start descending, and at 7 am, we descend. I took 6 hours to descend to TIMPOHON GATE. And once again the bus brought us back to where we parked our car.

small pond with freezing water
I was so thrilled and happy and couldn’t believe finally I managed to climb the KINABALU MOUNTAIN. But back in KK, it takes a week to recover from fatigue and sore feet and calf.
Oh yes! And we received a certificate of appreciation from the KINABALU PARKS for the success conquering the mountain! 

To those who have the intention to climb the mountain, I wish you all the best and good luck. And remember to get enough exercises and stay fit and healthy.


do you have a story to share? email me, let me know.

and, anyone have a dream? are to dream! 

have a pleasant day everyone.


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