Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I came, I saw, I conquered

Yes the guy who only does finger exercise with his Mac and qwerty keyboard phone decided to take on a challenge to climb the tallest Mountain in South East Asia Malaysia. ( Even our mountains isn't the tallest anymore)

A series of dramatic twist always occurred to me whenever I have the feeling of going to climb Mount Kinabalu.

It all happen a few months back when my buddies had an idea to climb and I hesitated, so by the time I had the balls to join in, they had already booked the tickets without me.. =(
A week later I received a call saying some had already back out last minute leaving a space for me. =) 
A couple of days later just 2 months before the climb, after making the final payment for my trip, I was admitted to hospital for 6 days with all sorts of diseases and symptoms such as Palpitation, tachycardia, pneumonia, dengue shock syndrome, etc etc.
It kinda looks like I won't be able to participate in any sports for sometime. Also it certainly looks like God is trying to stop me from going on that trip and this was it's signs.

But anyway, I recovered, did some light jogging and futsal weekly and decided to take on the challenge of climbing up to 4095.5m of Mount Kinabalu.

Our trip started on a lovely Tuesday morning from LCCT to KKIA
The spectacular view from the window

Our epic trip consist of (from left): Warmachine, Chinaman, Cambodian guy, Parrot Bu, Taiwanese Girl,  Double rainbow guy, Mother and cute raincoat girl

Abu depicting Warmachine (inside joke)

Day 2: The climb
We took the Mersilau route which apparently is longer but with lovely scenic views, and if you were to ever want to hike up Mount Kinabalu, trust me, this is the route you want. The other route, Timpohon is as dull as dishwasher mud. (literally)
Yes thats me, with my 10kg bag.

Though the steps are freakishly high, some of them only fit for people who are 8 feet tall. But trust me at certain part of the trail, you really wish that you have your full kit of Camera equipment with you.... (I only brought a compact point and shoot)

It was really foggy that day and when it's foggy at the mountains, it can only mean one thing.. Rain.. This picture was taken a few minutes before the rain pours. When the rain pours, immediately your motivation just commit suicide, because the temperate drops, your body cools down, your muscle tend to ache, you're dripping wet and for me, I feel like sleeping.

It's hard to believe that we are going to climb to the very peak of that mountain, after 6-7 hours of climbing(yes we were that slow), glimpse of the mountain top began to reveal itself out of the fog and the dense forrest.

This was taken after the rain has finally stopped, Its muddy, slippery and some steps are like little waterfalls.

This are porters that carry up to 60kg of items daily. They can climb up and down the mountain with heavy loads on their backs in less than 3 hours
The final 1km to the rest house, Laban Rata was one of the longest 1km ever, (until the next day). Every 15 steps we took, we took a 30 second break... Also because the view was fantastic and we were all amid photographers too.. =D

My trusty walking stick - The Apple iVan (given by Alice), without it, my legs would have been shattered to pieces and I would have probably died there too. Best RM3 I've ever spent.
Obviously, being like a immature child, I couldn't get my hands of vandalizing  pimping it with my website, and words of inspiration.

"I want to see the double rainbow"
Random Fat Dude on Mountain
And hey! after 6578965647 stops we finally made it to Laban Rata, the rest house. The buffet there was excellent or maybe it was just the extremely cold weather and the fatigue of our body that made everything we taste there tasted like a piece of heaven. 
After that, we headed back to our rooms in the soaking rain, with mud and sweat all over. I being a hygiene freak, insisted that I need to take a shower immediately. However, I didn't want to wait for the water to boil, and i felt like my balls just grew. 
I decided to take a shower directly from the pipe itself when it was already heavily raining outside at night. It felt like ice cubes were thrown on your head. But hey, showering in cold water cured my fever!

Day 3: The climb to the peak. 
At 2am, We had to make a 3 hour climb to the peak of Mt. Kinabalu. The distance to Low's Peak is about 2km but every step of it gets harder and harder. 
The first 500m were pretty easy, just like climbing stairs, and after that, the stairs just went missing. All we had to aid our climb were just a pair of ropes. It was pretty straight forward, you let go the ropes, you die, you slipped when you're holding the ropes, you die. There's no turning back once you're on the ropes.
Waters on the rocks made it extremely slippery.
The smell in the air was filled with the person infront of you's early morning fart.
You even have to careful to not step on somebody's puke. 

Flashlight thongs on our head really helps.
It's really funny that each time we took a photo, we look really happy. But in actual fact, everyone was feeling miserable.

Until we saw this

The sunrise.

The entire journey, the pain of climbing those awful steps were finally rewarded with what we wanted to see and Thank God that we made it just in time to witness it. 
We were above clouds, This picture is what you normally see in old ancient Chinese paintings.
The view was breathtaking (not because of the eclipse). We totally forget about all the pain and altitude sickness that we had once we've reached the top.
We Made It!
Yes we were prepared for this.
Hi Bunny!
Maybe its because of the cold weather and the altitude, but I miss u even more up there. hahaha
I've even tried to get connected to the internet at 4095.2M up but damn no reception. Looks like there's no technologies in heaven then. 
But hey, my iPod's working =)

But my shoe didn't, after climbing up the torturous journey and sliding down boulders, my shoe finally gave way. 

RIP Reebok. 
You've served well.
19th August 2010

I had to hike down the mountain the old school way.. barefoot. =)
All and all, this is truly an unforgettable experience and definitely the most challenging. I've learned a lot from this trip, the spirit of comradeship, how a little team motivation and encouragement can bring you to the top and finally determination. 
Next up, Mount Everest.. haha.

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