Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 4: Laban Rata - Low's Peak - Laban Rata - Rose Cabin - Kota Kinabalu

Day 04

At 0145hrs, we woke up and prepare ourselves for our summit push from Gunting Lagadan to Low's Peak. It was really cold in the early morning hours in the mountains but we were buzzing with excitement and eager for the climb to our ultimate objective.

0215 hrs - Falling in of entire contingent, roll call, final check and split into 3 groups for summit push.

0230 hrs - Commencement of our summit push !

Being an old boy + adult , there were responsibilities on our part to ensure the young boys and girl were taken care of during the summit push due to its technical and terrain difficulties. Yong Kok and myself took care of the Group 2, with the following crew, Wei Chuan, Wei Tian, Wen Li and Ai Xia.

The summit push was much more difficult due to climbing in total darkness, although we had head lamps attached to us. I have to thank Wen Li for helping me fix my maglite torch on my jungle recce hat because I didn't bring a head lamp ! While climbing up the granite rocks, keeping close to the thick white rope, we could easily see lines of "christmas lights". The night was very beautiful, once we trekked out of the temperate rainforest altitude, only the shiny granite rocks greeted us and looking up into the dark clear sky, were full of bright shining stars !!

As much as I would love to stop and take photos, the urgency and sensibility to be safe and taking care of the crew, supersedes my photography ambitions. Moreover, due to the terrain, we had to be a lot more careful and sometimes, we had to be on all four limbs.

It sounds dangerous here but I have to emphasis that, you must follow the white rope, don't deviate away and always be mindful of your steps and people around you, the risks would be controlled considerably and under such circumstances, would you grow in strength and character of yourself in the aspects of risk taking and responsibility actions. Something that even an outdoors person like me, I find my summit push a humbling, enriching and learning experience.

Reaching the plateau, we slowed down significantly, due to fatigue and altitude sickness. I had to constantly motivate my people and it was a huge challenge for me, I had to thank Ms Aixia for helping me to push and motivate the guys up also because upon reaching the plateau, I was pretty drained out and took a bit longer to acclaimatise to the altitude of 4000m. Kudos to Ms Aixia for showing true leadership qualities, well done !

We all finally reached our destination ! Low's Peak @ 4095.2m ............ Physically drained ...... yet Full of pride, happiness, excitement in conquering Low's Peak. We took a bit of time to enjoy the beauty of Mount Kinabalu summit and its surroundings, being so high up in the sky above the clouds, the feelings and emotions were very special and unique. To experience exactly what went through my mind, I strongly encourage you (reader) to climb Mount Kinabalu.

Climbing down, it started to rain heavily and we had to be extra careful, soaking wet and slipping many times, we finally made our way back to Gunting Lagadan, changed to dry clothes, packed our daypacks and head towards Laban Rata for warmth, food and water. Once everybody returned from the summit and gathered at Laban Rata, we gathered ourselves, bid goodbye to the mountains and trekked downhill to Timpohon Gate. With aching legs and sore knee caps, I couldn't go too fast.

During our descent, it rained again heavily, soaking wet again, we returned to Rose Cabin, to collect our backpacks, changed to another set of dry clothings, tucked into dinner and headed towards Kota Kinabalu City......

A very memorable (& VERY WET) day.......