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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Experiencing Mt Kinabalu for the 2nd time-Day 2

The alarm was set 5.30AM in the girls room. There were 4 rooms, 6-10 beds in each room. Aunty Rose (Doc Peter's mother) slept in another room .The rest of us ladies squeeze in our original given room. The guys slept in the other 3 rooms.
Most of us had bread and peanut butter bought in Giant supermarket yesterday. Some had fruits and some, cakes brought from home. The tap water was yellow in colour. We boiled some to make hot drinks.
Someone drew a cross on the glass window. Another drew what I perceived as dark clouds with lightning underneath. Hmmm... what do these drawings symbolise, I wonder?

By 7.15am we were all ready to leave the hostel. Our bags were packed separately, 1 for the porter and the other, to leave at the foothill.

We had to walk a long way down to the waiting area, near the registration office.

The signboard of the Mesilau Nature Resort and the view of the mountain from the foothill. It looked so daunting. At that time I was thinking... wow, how am I gonna get to the top in 24 hours??!!

Peter Lai and Gan helped with the weighing and recording the weight of the bags for the porters to carry. The bags were tagged with names, therefore making it easy for them to record. There were 28 bags, total weight was 154kgs inclusive of 1 guitar and banner weighing 8kilos. The going rate per kg was RM8, but since we were staying for an extra night up in Laban Rata, the Park charged us and additional RM4 for each kilo.
Lu Vin and Chan Boon Pin helped with the luggage to be left at the foothill for safekeeping. Each piece cost RM10. Kinda expensive, so some of us stuff one bag in another to save some money.
Tags were given out by me. Without these tags, no one can go beyond the final hut (Sayat-Sayat) up in the mountains.
Hamiri, the head guide explained to us the route to Laban Rata using the Mesilau trail. He stressed that all of us had to reach Laban Rata before dark. Normal hikers would take an 1 hour per KM. It's an 8KM hike to Laban Rata, we should reach it by 4.30 - 5pm.

We had a group photo before the start of the long hike. Here we were, all smiling, giving thumbs-up very sure that all could make it to Laban Rata in time.

Most of us bought a walking stick at the entrance of the trail. It cost only RM3.00 for a good stick. We had thin ones last year and the cost was the same. :(

We began our journey at 8.40AM.

The start of the trail was upwards all the way. Kind of like hiking up Gunung Datuk. The ground was wet and muddy because it rained the day before. Esther even saw a leech and she pointed it to me. Nobody told me there were leeches in Mt Kinabalu.

The view before the 1st KM mark.You got to be there to appreciate this picture.

Naturally we had to have to photo shoot with this view. The clouds or mist covered the mountains. We were the final five in our group.

At KM 3 now, still going strong. The time now is 11.13AM. We are ahead of our timeline.

The sweepers, Doc James and Hendry. The duty of the sweepers were to make sure no one from the team is behind them and to urge the members before them to go a little faster to keep up with the time.
Hendry abandon us after the 4.5km mark. He met with Rachel after leaving us and went ahead of her after the Mesilau/Timpohon junction. He felt cold and my sister urged him to go ahead to keep warm.
Right after the 3KM mark, we reached the hanging bridge called Kipuyut. This picture looked as if Doc James was the villain and KG defending his people.
Throughout the journey, Doc James kept the group in stiches. Along with Esther's witty comebacks, I couldn't stand it any longer. I warned them not to make me laugh because it was so difficult to walk and laugh hard at the same time. I remembered lifting up my walking stick to warn him to stay further away from me. I walked a little faster overtaking KG so as not to be near Doc James.
Both KG and Doc James must have started singing more than 20 songs. They usually sing the first line only to tell of their feelings. Some of them are oldies, some of them are Christian songs. One of the songs I remembered clearly when Doc James was pretending to struggle was "Tell Denise, I love her, Tell Denise I need her...". But when I whipped out my camera to video tape his song dedication to his wife.. he changed to another song.. "unbrella.. ella..ella.."
The breath-taking waterfall at the hanging bridge.

The beautiful plants, trees and shrubs decorated the mountain making it one spectacular sight for all who took time to appreciate.
It started raining after the 4 KM mark. We put on our ponchos and walked miserably in the rain.

At 3.54, we finally came to the junction of the Timpohon (also known as the Summit trail) trail. We had just passed the 5.5KM mark at 3.02pm and if one is coming from the Timpohon trail, they would just had passed the 4KM mark leading to Laban Rata. We were about 1 hour behind schedule now.
After this junction my mind was full or Peter Lim's words. "You didn't train hard enough". "Your team is weak". "You are a borderline case". Nevertheless, I pressed on willling for Peter Lim's voice to go away.
These are all 8 huts leading towards Laban Rata from the Mesilau trail. Not wanting to miss out anything, I was adamant in taking pictures of all the huts and KM mark along the trail. My thoughts were, I may not come here again. I want lots of pictures.
After 7th hut, 1 KM more to Laban Rata, KG went ahead of us. He thought was to go up to Laban Rata, seek extra help from other members of the team, get a couple of headlamps, leave his knapsack and come down to relieve Doc James as sweeper. It was already 5pm. Doc James was getting colder and hungrier.
We arrived at the 8th hut at 5.51PM. It took us almost an hour to cover 0.5KM. After the 8th Hut, Esther urged Doc James and I to go ahead of her. The guide was with her, she said. I walked a little bit faster, but Doc James, stuck on to his job as sweeper.
About 200 km to Laban Rata, I met KG descending and told him that Esther and Doc James were behind. He rushed down to check on them. I managed to catch up with the Gans and told them that the entrance to Laban Rata was at the back of the white building.
Upon seeing good 'ole Laban Rata, I stopped to take some pictures. Shortly after that I saw Doc James behind me. He too took some pictures. I waited for him to catch up and led him to the entrance of Laban Rata.

The time is now 7PM. We arrived exactly at 7PM according to the digital clock outside Laban Rata.
Rachel snapped this picture as I was coming in. Esther came in some 10 minutes later. We attacked the buffet dinner immediately. Doc James wasn't feeling so well. He was cold, hungry and his head was pounding.
He sat on another table, not eating, but both his hands were holding his head. KG came in later to give him a back rub and Esther prayed for him.
Later after we had sorted out the rooms, we showered with nice hot water. The person in charged told us he will let us have the hot water for another 30minutes before he turned it off. So kind of him. After our baths, we went downstairs fora short breifing for the next day.
Tiredly at about 9PM, we crawled into our heated bedrooms, hoping that sleep would come.


Unknown said...

The clear morning certainly was a sharp contrast to the wet and gloomy night before;

We started the hike well and managed to keep within the targeted times initially; but i still cannot understand where and why we drifted further and further away; 10 hours to LRR was way too long...

Anonymous said...

Kudos! You guys took the Mesilau route :)

It takes 8-10 hours to get to LRR through Mesilau, don't be too hard on yourselves, considering you had a huge group. We took 8.5 hours and there were 5 in our group.