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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Journey to Mt Kinabalu - The Descent

What goes up must come down. And so do we. After climbing for 14 hours over 2 days, we were finally ready to descend to Timpohon Gate. We had a shower in the freezing cold water of Laban Rata, a light breakfast and off we went.

Our target was to reach Timpohon Gate by 3 pm. The distance from Laban Rata was only 6 km yet it felt like 60km. It never amazed me that 500 metres seem so long in the jungle. 

The first part of the downward climb was on the uneven rock surfaces and so progress was much slower. And we stopped to allow the climbers coming behind us to overtake. Its is so amazing to see these young people jumping down so easily without any fear. For us old fogeys with our aching knees and joints, every jolt felt like somebody using a hammer to hit us.
Photo by Alicia Koh
But thankfully, the rocky part was only about 2 km long and soon we were on the main Timpohon trail. And as we descended, we were thankful that Tony had chosen for us to summit via Mersilau because there was really no view at all throughout the Timpohon trail. It was just a single trail with lots of steps sandwiched between 2 side of jungle. In fact it looked just like our Bukit Timah trail! 

Photo by Alicia
There was a small little waterfall but that was about it. 

Less than 200 metres from the waterfall was the end of our climb. The Timpohon Gate. And it really is a gate!
Photo by Alicia
From Timpohon Gate we were transported by shuttle service to the Sabah Park HQ where we had our lunch before transport back to our hotel in Kinabalu town. And with that, we ended our 2 days 1 night journey to Mt Kinabalu. Did we bite off more that we could chew? I don't think so. Other than the altitude, I think this is a fairly easy climb. No technical climbing skill is required and what is needed is just lot of energy, determination, a pair of good shoes and anyone can reach the peak.

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