Climbing Mount Kinabalu...just!

Trip Start Aug 20, 2007
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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, September 21, 2007

Today the big trek commenced on the mountain that is the highest peak in SE Asia! It basically consisted of trekking for 4 hours up the base of the mountain to our overnight accomodation in Laban Ratah. After the Great Wall, jungle treks, Moon Hill climb, and the bike ride from hell it wasn't that bad...but it was still 6km uphill the whole way. The only problem was the possibility of altitude sickness....but strong Kelsey prevailed and it was a piece of cake (true I tell you!!!) The next day proved way more taxing...met my guide at 3am in the morning to set off on the summit trek. There was lots of waiting around as the park rangers actually had to decide if the weather conditions were too dangerous for us to do the climb! In the end they said it was 50:50 and my adventurous side kicked in (plus the fact that it was bloody expenise to do the climb!!!) and I was determined to climb even though  the wind was howling and battering at the hostel windows! Lots of people actually chose not to climb. Fortunatly  for me it just sounded scarier than it was...not enough wind to blow little me away....lucky I ate a big dinner!!! However the climb was monstrous! It was all uphill with no rest stops, in the pitch black freezing cold and took hours! I couldn't see more than a foot in front of me (and that was WITH a headtorch). At times I was near tears and questioning my sanity but my dogged determination pulled me through and I kept going! For most of the climb I had to hold onto ropes to pull me up the mountain but also to keep me from falling off of it! I ended up with another guide in addition to mine practically dragging me up the mountain by my arms that seemed frozed into place at 90degrees to my body! At points I got into a daze which just involved walking with no thought (and maybe even lack of comprehension of what I was actaually doing). But eventually after over 2 hours I reached the summit. Unfortunatly it was so dark that there was no view to be seen and as it was so cold there was no waiting aroiund for sunrise! On the decent my hands had completely lost any feeling except pain when touched as they were so cold....to keep warm I ended up having my plastic rain mac wrapped around one hand and my balaclava on the other (yes I had a balaclava...is that almost as bad as combats Mim?!)..and my guides were on either side of me rubbing my hands to bring back the circulation....but hey I made the summit!!! The descent was at first hideous as I hadn't had anything to eat which may have been combined with nausea and exhaustion....so on returning to the hostel after a few more hours I tried to take full advantage of the Englissh breakfast...but could only manage Nesquik cereal and deep-fried bananas....what had I done to myslef!?!?!?!!!!
Later we descended to the base of the mountain (another 3hours trekking)...my knees where killing me and I basically had complete jelly legs....but althought the climb was most definitly the toughest physical thing I have ever done and at the time I felt stupidly insane for choosing to do it....once again I have added to my list of things that I am so very proud of!!!

Oh and to treat my weary legas and aching muscles I spent the next day on Mamukan beach, one of the islands near Kota Kinabalu. Th 'ferry' there was a glorified speedboat that crashed careered through the sea so manicly that the boat was crashing down then I was coming a foot up off my seat and then banging back onto it a split second later...ouchie....my poor bum has taken such a battering this trip!!! Every second was a crime against by boney bum! Then got frazzled sunbathing but at least I'm not pasty anymore...haha.

Thailand next to meet Nick.
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