my 6th Kinabalu expedition: of friendship and conquering Low's Peak, Mount Kinabalu 23 December 2014 (2 days climb via Timpohon Gate)

The mountain called, again. This time, I decided to conquer Low's Peak with my best friend, Charo. It was a last minute plan, two weeks to prepare everything, just to celebrate the end of year 2014. 
The Unexpected Team KickStakin. From left: Burn, Jingkung (our awesome mountain guide), Gabriel, Darren, yours truly, and Charo. Our team started climbing around 8.30am.

Smile, because when life pulls us down, perhaps climbing Mount Kinabalu will lift us up again? HAHAHA!
Please note that this was a 2-days climb. Packing for a 2-days Kinabalu climb (easy hike) is quite easy because you don't need to pack complicated climbing gears. There is no need to bring along your tent or sleeping bags and whatnot because accommodations are provided at Laban Rata (hostel and restaurant) and Gunting Lagadan Hostel (meals and accomodations were included in the 2-days climb package).

The distance to reach Laban Rata from Timpohon Gate is approximately 6km. You can reach Laban Rata in 4-5 hours depending on your fitness level.

Here's a list of what you should pack in your hiking bag:

Clothing For Day-01 Climb (Climb starts at 7.30/depending on your team)
  • Trekking shoes or running shoes with good grip. I wore my Skechers Bionic Trail shoes (not recommended to be used on rockface). Adidas Kampung shoes are used by most of the mountain guides and porters.
  • Comfortable hiking attire (or sports attire)/shorts/hiking pants/long sleeve shirt. Bring extra clothes for change.
  • Socks (bring extra)
  • Small towel
  • Rain poncho/raincoat 
Clothing For Day-02 Climb (Climb to Low's Peak starts at 2.30am/depending on your team)
  • Warm clothing (wear 2-3 layers, depending on the weather and your ability to stand the coldness on Mount Kinabalu)
  • Jacket/Wind breaker
  • Head torch
  • Hand gloves (bring extra)
  • Shoes and socks
  • Beanies/cap/scarf/buff
Other Necessities
  • Waterproof backpack/or you can cover your hiking bag with a raincover
  • Personal toiletries
  • Refillable water bottle
  • High energy food (chocolates, raisins, bananas, energy bars)
  • Personal medications (painkillers, altitude sickness tablets (please consult your doctor or a pharmacist on how to use these tablets))
  • Sun block, Vaseline/lip balm/plasters
  • Camera, handphone, GoPro
  • Sandals/slippers
  • Plastic bags
  • Trekking poles (recommended, you can rent trekking poles at Kinabalu Park HQ)
 ** to keep your clothes in your bag dry and warm, put all your stuff into a big plastic bag, then put the plastic bag in your bag.

Day-01 Climb//8.30am//to Laban Rata via Timpohon

I wore a dri-fit shirt, running tights and trail shoes.. and managed to put everything into a small backpack with a raincover.

With Mr. Daved Simpat (Champion System Adventure athlete, also working as a porter at Mount Kinabalu); champion of 27th Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon 2013 Elite Men Category, champion of SUUNTO Lantau 2 Peaks Hong Kong 2014. Mr. Daved Simpat is a very humble man.
Taking picture with some climbers from other parts of the world.
The Unsung Heroes: A porter with supplies on his back (20-30kg), climbing to Laban Rata.
A state of trance. 
As we climbed higher, the weather gets colder, and the trees and vegetation begin to change.
At Villosa Shelter, 1 more kilometre to reach Laban Rata.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” - John Muir
At last! Laban Rata! We reached Laban Rata after climbing for 3 hours 40 minutes from Timpohon.
Team KickStakin waiting for dinner buffet at Laban Rata Restaurant.
Climbers from other parts of the world chilling and taking pictures at Laban Rata.
“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” - Jeffrey Rasley
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” - Edward Abbey
At Gunting Lagadan Hostel. Charo was mesmerized by the beauty of the mountain.
Getting enough rest is crucial. We slept at 9.00pm, and planned to wake up at 2.00am to start climbing to the peak at 2.30am. Sweet dreams!

Day-02 Climb//2.30am//to Low's Peak
My team started climbing to Low's Peak from Gunting Lagadan around 2.30am. The night sky was full of stars. It was cold, and windy. We ascended a little bit too early and too fast, and later regretted it because the weather was very cold and we had to sit in a circle, side by side, to keep ourselves warm. We managed to reach the peak before sunrise.

“This mountain, the arched back of the earth risen before us, it made me feel humble, like a beggar, just lucky to be here at all, even briefly.” -Bridget Asher

What I wore to Low's Peak: a dri-fit shirt, a turtleneck sweater, wind breaker, beanies, handgloves, trail shoes and tights. Brought along a headlamp, some chocolates, and a bottle of water.

“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.” - Friedrich Neitszche
With the view of the peaks on Mount Kinabalu. Mesmerizing!
"In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there is the promise of...something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb... and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery." - Rob Parker
"The aim of the mountaineer, if he wishes to be an artist in the full sense of word, is neither escape nor "the search for the absolute" as some have claimed, but rather seek that place where "the mystic remains silent and the poets start to speak towards men." - Bernard Amy
Some asked why I kept climbing the same mountain. I don't have any explanation. The mountain keeps on calling, and perhaps the mountain is where I belong. Come, and try experience it yourself.
Going down is mandatory, because everything in this life is temporary. Live life to the fullest, for we don't have much time.
Success; a mountaineering victory is only a fleeting moment, but having known that we've made it, that satisfied the soul.

"The bizarre trend in mountaineers is not the risk they take, but the large degree to which they value life. They are not crazy because they don't dare, they're crazy because they do. These people tend to enjoy life to the fullest, laugh the hardest, travel the most, and work the least." - Lisa Morgan

My previous posts on Mount Kinabalu:

P/s: I just did a one-day climb to Low's Peak, Mount Kinabalu in February 2015. Will blog about it soon!



The well-known Australian supermodel that has made her name around the world, Miranda Kerr, never fails to impress everyone with her amazing sense in fashion. This young energetic lady steps out of the house looking fabulously stunning in anything she wears and she is also a fan of bodycon dress. The slim figure former Victoria Secret model and entrepreneur of her organic beauty line, flaunts off her curves with various styles of bodycon dress to red carpet events, to work and even on a casual day out. There are three types of bodycon dress looks which women can get their inspiration and fashion style.

     1. The lace bodycon dress

Miranda shows off her curves with a bright coloured lace bodycon dress at an event appearance. As bright colours are known to boost a person’s confidence and mood, the yellow colour dress on Miranda definitely makes her look fresh during the day. Meanwhile, the lacey detail of the dress softens out her look and reveals her femininity. If you are want a more modest yet ladylike bodycon dress, opt for white or pastel colours and walk with confidence.
Miranda looking chic yet elegant in a yellow bodycon dress.

2. The formal bodycon dress

This type of bodycon dress is most suitable for women to wear to the office or important dinner events. Miranda looks more mature with her body hugging white dress wrapped with a black belt. The supermodel dazzles up her formal bodycon dress by pairing a pair of nude heels, ocean blue Prada bag and sunglasses to complete her look. For the ladies who wants to appear feminine at the office, wear a one coloured bodycon dress with colours such as white, beige, black, grey or navy blue for that sophisticated appearance.

Sophisticated and classic defined this style by Miranda; a simple white bodycon dress with a belt and sunglasses.
     3. The floral bodycon dress

Miranda looks amazing beautiful walking around town on a casual day out wearing a pretty floral bodycon dress layered with an oversized jacket. Women who want a simple but classy look should definitely opt trying on a floral patterned bodycon dress out to town. The best thing about floral is you can wear it during the day or even at night and still look fashionable all day long. Accessorize it with a cardigan during the day of perk it up with some jewelleries at night. 
Flower Power. Who says floral prints are outdated?
Outfit of the night! Miranda in an elegant green dress with purple floral prints.



It's easy to break
My dear, do not give up
Be patient
Hold on and wait
Have faith.


temporary happiness

these moments called life, because the world is a place of fleeting moments and temporary attachments. 

and that is why, if we live in this world with our hearts, it breaks us, for this world is temporary and imperfect. 


My 5th Mount Kinabalu Expedition via Mesilau Trail

I was pretty psyched to climb Mount Kinabalu again after my last climb in 2009. Once you climb the glorious Mount Kinabalu, you would want to come back again. Believe me. On the 15th of October 2013 (first day of climb), my team and I were scheduled to climb Mount Kinabalu. The sun shone brightly after weeks of gloomy rainy days.

7.30 am- We went to Kinabalu Park to get our tags, to pay for guiders' fees and to get our packed lunch (egg and chicken ham sandwich, an apple and bottled mineral water) prepared by Sutera Harbour (included in the climbing package).

All prepared for a 2 days climb. As we've decided to climb via Mesilau Trail this time around, my father dropped us off at Mesilau Nature Resort.

The Conquering Gayo Ngaran Team ready to conquer Gayo Ngaran! Gayo Ngaran means 'Return To The Big Name' or 'Pilgrimage To The Mountain'. Our awesome drifit shirts were specially designed by Afra Taidin.

Before starting the climb, our guide telling the Do's and Don'ts and whatnot..

8.55am- Starting point. It was my first time climbing via Mesilau Trail. The distance from Mesilau Trail starting point to Laban Rata is approximately 8.2km (2000m above sea level). Meanwhile, if you choose to climb from Timpohon Gate (newbies and first timers always use this trail), the distance from Timpohon to Laban Rata is 6km (1886m above sea level).

Starting the climb.. excuse my fat finger

Blessed with bright sunny day

At KM1 after lots of stairs. Our pace was faster than average. Reached the first kilometer in less than 25 minutes . There was a woman from another group who stopped even before KM1. It takes a lot of determination to climb Mount Kinabalu, thus, be mentally and physically prepared before embarking on an expedition to climb the mountain.

Climbing is all about hills. Be prepared for lots of legs exercise.

Sasa at the first shelter, Schima Hut. We stopped for 2 minutes to take pictures. We met another group resting there, they went off earlier than us.

Happy and not regretting the decision to climb via Mesilau Trail. Do you see the view at the back? It was spectacular!

Still early for long rest.. Off we go. Sasa and Sis Dazeree descending steep hills

You will hate stairs when you're climbing Mount Kinabalu

Lost in nature. My 'adventure mode' pose.

Waterfall! We stopped to take pictures

At Lompoyou Shelter area, at around KM4.9. We stopped here for 15 minutes to recharge ourselves. Amazing view right?
Off we went to continue the climb. Amazing view from where we were.

As you ascend higher, the trees and vegetation begin to change
Not far from Lompoyou Hut area, there is a huge space and we decided to do some Yoga poses. Me in corpse pose.

Sasa was doing the split.. Ouch..

Crane pose by Sis Dazeree. Strong core!

Bro Alvin decided to do a crane pose too, but with a 8kg bag on his back. Warning: Never attempt this, especially when you're at Mount Kinabalu.
After being wowed by the magnificent views, we were greeted with another stairs.. Lots and lots of stairs..

Found a dead pitcher plant

Reached the inter-junction of Timpohon and Mesilau Trail. The terrains starting from the junction were more steeper. Very good for the legs.

"It's always further than in looks. It's always taller than it looks. And it's always harder than it looks." - The 3 rules of mountaineering.

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir

Reached Laban Rata (3272 meters above sea level) after 6 hours of hiking via Mesilau Trail. Our pace was quite faster than average. Your hiking pace determines your fitness level. It was good to be back here after 4 years! Some of us decided to take a VERY COLD SHOWER, and I DID NOT REGRET IT. Laban Rata offers meals and accommodations for the climbers. Don't be surprised with the prices up here. A plate of nasi goreng costs RM15.20. That's what I call 'harga gunung'. Porters bring up food and essential supplies everyday by climbing with stuffs on their back up to Laban Rata. Imagine having 30kgs of weights on your back climbing for 6km up to Laban Rata. Yep.. 

The unsung heroes. Porters (men and women) carrying food and supplies up to Laban Rata (6km climb). Picture from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo Facebook page.
Made friends with an Englishman who had climbed the Himalayas. Weirdly, we decided not to ascend to Low's Peak at 2.30am as it was raining. Or perhaps because of unknown reasons. Nevertheless, at 8.00am, we decided to ascend to Low's Peak.

At 3426 meters above sea level. It was very cold, but after a few minutes of ascending, I was sweating.

Be extra cautious when climbing up. Don't go up too fast, or you might have acute altitude sickness. It is a common condition that can occur if you climb to a high altitude too rapidly and it is fatal. Ascend slowly, and enjoy the climb, and the coldness. And think... "Why am I doing this to myself??!" LOL
After about 600 meters of stairs, you will experience a steep climb.

Steep and slippery rocks. Ropes are provided so you can climb easily. I felt like a Ninja here.

View of Laban Rata from where I was lepaking.

Mentally and physically challenged.. More steep rocks.

"The mountains were there and so was I." -Maurice Herzog

"Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence." - Nemann Buhl

"The bizarre trend in mountaineers is not the risk they take, but the large degree to which they value life. They are not crazy because they don't dare, they're crazy because they do. These people tend to enjoy life to the fullest, laugh the hardest, travel the most, and work the least." - Lisa Morgan

Misty and mysterious Mount Kinabalu, always has a way of dealing with climbers' confidence. When you step your feet on Mount Kinabalu, never brag, never boast.

I've been up here for the 5th time, and am still awed by the beauty of Mount Kinabalu.

South Peak. The first peak that climbers will see when descending up the Summit Trail. You have to apply for special permits to reach other peaks (except for Low's Peak).

Ugly Sister and Donkey Ears peaks.
South Peak from a different angle.
"The contented person enjoys the scenery of a detour." - Unknown
500 meters to reach Low's Peak.
St. John Peak. It looks like there is a face on it. Took this picture when I was a few more meters to reach Low's Peak.
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." - Unknown
Oyayubi Iwu peak and St. Alexandra peak
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their owns freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." - John Muir

And.. I decided to take a selfie to follow the current trend.
I reached Low's Peak after 2 hours and 10 minutes of ascending from Laban Rata. Low's Peak, 4095.2 meters above sea level.

Low's Gully (if I'm not mistaken). This view was taken from Low's Peak, from where I was standing. Approximately 1,800 meters deep.. Pretty scary huh?
Apples were crunchier and tastier when eaten at Low's Peak. My cousin, Sis Dazeree seemed to enjoy herself. It was her idea to eat apples at Low's Peak.
You can see us smiling.. the satisfaction of achieving a goal! This climb was exactly 4 days before Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon Adventure Race 2013, which we had decided to join, just for fun.
Lepaking at Low's Peak before descending down to Laban Rata. My windbreaker's pockets were full of energy bar, chocolates, gloves.. hence, the 'big tummy'.
"Take only pictures; leave only footprints." -Anonymous
"There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains." - Richard Nelson

Descending back to Laban Rata. Sasa posed heartily for my camera as if the climb back to Laban Rata was so easy. LOL

"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know." - Rene Daumal

One of the hardest and steepest challenge of the Summit Trail

We reached Laban Rata from Low's Peak after descending for about an hour. Gathered our things, and descended from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate (6km). It took us approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes by running down non-stop. When you run down while descending to Timpohon, land your feet softly by slightly bending your knees to reduce the impact on your knees and joints.

It was one of the most memorable experience in my 23 years of living. Most probably because I was fitter and could climb faster compared to my previous climb. Will definitely be back again (no, I don't and never will get tired of climbing Mount Kinabalu), perhaps to conquer other peaks. If you're planning or going to climb Mount Kinabalu anytime soon, do climb via Mesilau Trail. The views were spectacular!