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How to Explore Sabah Borneo

Spur To The Summit Of Mt Kinabalu

   Although Mourt Kinabalu was a sacred mountain to the Kadazandusun communities who Lived in its foothills in the olden days, some of them did move around in its thick jungle to hunt for food for survival. It is believed these Local hunters even went above 3000 m to look for deer. 
 
   The earliest official record of a European ascent of Mount Kinabalu was Sir Hugh Low's expedition of 1851 which started its climb from Kg Kiau. Several other expeditions to study the s flora and fauna in the 19th and early 20th centuries all started from Kg Kiau. Less than ten years ago an expedition tried to retrace Sir Hugh Low's trail up Mount Kinabalu but the expedition was abandoned after an accident. In 2001 The Sabah Society organized a successful expedition to retrace Sir Hugh Low's route in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his 1851 expedition. Later, I assisted two smaller groups to trek the same trail up Mount Kinabalu; it is really challenging. However in 2003 it was realized (after a study of accounts of 19th-century expeditions) that the route taken by The Sabah Society's expedition was not the trail taken by Sir Hugh Low. His expedition had walked through the Kedamaian Gorge to Lobang Cave and Later to Paka Cave. So, what can bedone about the 'trail that wasn't'? I strongly recommend it for the real adventurers who want to see more of Mount Kinabalu and to feel the real challenge of Mt. Kinabalu. Officially, the first group of adventurous visitors (from Kuala Lumpur) successfully trekked along this trail from 17-20 January 2004. This expedition was led by Encik Apau Mudzaffer from Perintis Alam Malaysia and was ground handled by us. There were 13 climbers (7 females and 6 males), most with vast experience in adventure trekking and climbing; some had been to the base camp of Mount Everest. We started from Kg Kiau on 17 January 2004, splitting into two groups one hour apart, and trekked to Camp One at 1500 m, at the Kinabalu Park boundary. The weather was bit unfriendly as it rained most of time, making the trails very slippery. Most members found it was very difficult. The night temperature was 15degrees Celsius. The next day (18 Jan) we stayed in two groups one hour apart; the climbers proceeded to Camp Two (Tiong Tiong) at 2500 m. The weather was tremendous and I had never seen such a wonderful view of sunrise and sunset on Mount Kinabalu. The night temperature was 8 degrees Celsius and the clear sky was filled with thousands of stars; it was indeed a beautiful night. On the third day(19 Jan) we all managed to negotiate several dangerous points where we had to cross slippery rocks and finally, when we were about to approach Paka Cave at 3300 m, it rained very heavily, The cold mountain rain caused everyone to shiver; the worst was when we crossed the river near Paka Cave. Due to the heavy rain the river had risen and we used our rope for crossing. It was not a good idea to stay at the cave and as it was not yet dark we all proceeded to Panar Laban at 3300 m to look for shelter. There we ahad hot showers and good food. The fourth day(20 Jan) was a normal Mount Kinabalu ascent for us. We went up to the summit to see the fantastic sunrise and then descended to Timpohon Gate and returned to Kota Kinabalu. Kiau Spur to the Summit of Mount Kinabalu was indeed challenging.  
 
  It is NOT for anyone who thinks he/she wants to do it. It is necessary not only to be physically fit; being mentally fit is also very important. Written permission must be secured from Sabah Parks to follow this tail up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu. It is recommended that the group have not more than 8 climbers to reduce the impact on the environment. It is also very important to abide by the Park's rules and regulation during the expedition.   


....Next : About Sipadan Island 

By Tham Yau Kong
Find out more about Tham Yau Kong on The Walkers and Cycling in Borneo
and his site : Miki Jungle Survivor Camp

    I have bought this book from Amazon.com, and I have found it quite useful for travelers, especially for backpackers.  The price of the book is reasonable with quality content. I think you should also get one for your easy reference, if you ’re planning to explore Sabah borneo.   

By Ian Chow

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