Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mount KK

A journey which requires much courage to sign up. A journey which requires much mental determination to continue. A journey which requires much physical determination to conquer. 

On 9th of August in conjunction with Singapore National Day (i.e holiday =.=), nine friends together with me started the journey of conquering South East Asia highest peak Malaysia's highest peak Mount Kota Kinabalu. Before the hiking, I had been practicing 10-floor staircase climbing everyday for three months, but as expected, it turned out to be very insufficient. We took a shorter and easier journey which started from Timpohan gate considering our team's insufficient preparation. 

In the beginning, we enjoyed the hiking very much, took a lot of pictures, chatting with other hikers, enjoying the marvelous nature creation from God etc. 

But as time passed, we grew fatigue, and our legs grew heavier, and we slowed down our pace significantly. 

The path is getting steeper and tougher
Until the final 1km to midpoint, the dark cloud started to cover up the sky, then only we speeded up a bit. The 6-km took us freaking 6 hours to reach the midpoint which is Laban Rata. By the time we reached, it was already 4pm. 

Raban Rata, the dorm we stayed overnight
When Alvin and I reached, all our friends had already reached and started taking pictures like these:

We were then served with scrumptious dinner (we were too hungry, almost all food would be delicious). We wolved down a lot and chatted a while. 

Then we headed to sleep without bathing because the heater was not working! It was only 530pm when we fell asleep. In between, we (Shane, Ziyu, Alvin and I) were constantly being disturbed by other hikers as our room was just next to the male toilet! *Pity us*

We woke up at 1am the next morning to have light supper and prepared for the next part of the journey, which was also the toughest. Everyone of us experienced little mountain sickness and we were advised to take painkillers before we kicked off. 

We started out the journey with much excitement, but were dragged down to our exhaustion pretty quickly at the very first 500m! We still had 2km to reach the peak! We painted and rested. Until at one point we had to grip the rope along us to continue advancing. It took us much courage if were to continue, as we fall, we would be vanished into the valley! And to make the things worse, it was pitched dark! And that was before we reached our very 1km! I was very lucky as I was helped greatly by our mountain guide. Alvin was the poor one as guys are normally not being assisted as usual. The mountain guide was busy attending to me, Ziyu and Hooi Ching. With the help, I reached checkpoint of 7.5km. I waited for Alvin for 30 minutes but still did not see him coming! I was scared and quickly informed the mountain guides there. They promised me they would look for him, but still I did not see Alvin coming. The mountain guides told me I must continue the journey and others would take care of Alvin (Alvin must be resting somewhere or some other mountain guides had been helping him to go down). I was hesitant for a while before I decided to continue the conquer. But after 5 minutes, I told the mountain guide next to me that I would like to give up as I was still very worried about Alvin's whereabout and being. The mountain guide encouraged me not to give up but to continue. After much hesitation, then only I continued. 

The journey was never a breeze. The wind was strong and I was lack of hydration. The water bottle was with Alvin! I had to survive, so I took some water from a mountain guide and some from my friends. Every inch of stretching the legs to advance was never easy and was very torturing. Every step was like asking me to give up. But I still continued with the help of the mountain guide, Bill and the encouragement from Hooi Ching. We finally passed by the beautiful Low Peak (peak behind Malayisa One dollar note). We did not take any picture but just to continue as it was quite late (past 6am) already. 

And finally finally finally, we reached the top, Low's Peak! Shane was waving and shouting at my name, but I simply had no energy to respond at all. 

We rested and took quite some pictures up there. 

Low Peak is the highest peak in Mount KK
Shane, Hooi Ching and I
The helpful mountain guide, Bill
As we walked down, we did not forget to take pictures with the famous South Peak.

When I reached the checkpoint once again, I was very delighted as I saw Alvin! He was there resting and taking pictures =.=. He said he was afraid the whole journey up there would be the part like before, gripping rope on the steep path and so he gave up. We then told him actually up there was not so steep and relatively easy. He was like "oh damn" @@ 

We then slowly made our way back to Laban Rata to have our breakfast and check out the dorm. The horrifying journey did not end here, the descending was even more torturing. I am not sure if I do not have the skill, every step of descending caused me a toll. Alvin and Shane helped me a lot. We three were the very first few descending the mountain but the last three to come out from Timpohon Gate! By the time we reached the exit, we could not feel our legs at all. We quickly had our dinner pack and were sent to our hotel to have a rest.

This is considered as a successful trip as 6/10 of us made it to the pinnacle.

That's all from the hiking trip. To word, I would say the only thing to make me conquer the mountain was purely my determination. But like Shane, it did not cost him much to reach the peak as he is physically strong. So I would encourage those who are going to be better prepared. The agent told us we must run 6km 3 times a week for 2 months before the hiking! 

All in all, this is a very precious experience but I would not go back again for sure. *grin*


Shane said...

We made it to the peak! Congrates! Keep up your training at gym.. we shall conquer some other mountains in the future! Jia you jia you!!

Wei Chen Esmonde Lim said...

Firstly, it's hard to believe that you're not physically fit. Though after thinking for awhile, I can't find a reason why I'm thinking that you're not physically unable.

By the way, that plate of food is really a lot.

Okay, so you hiked 6km, and then another 2.5km to make it 8.5km in total...and the mountain is 4km. This means that on average, for every two steps forward you need to take a (large) step upward. That sounds steep haha..

6km 3 times a week is like intensive training to me LOL

nostalgia.jesskang said...

That's why if not well prepared, it will cause us at least to certain extent of tiredness in reaching the peak.. lol..

Shane, we shall..