Ever since Rinjani earlier this year I’ve had my eyes on the biggest mountain in South East Asia and so there was no doubt that it was going to get climbed. For anybody that’s got even the smallest climbing/hiking/adventurous bone in their body, Mount Kinabalu will steal your heart the moment you catch a glimpse of it. I travelled to the national park a few days before my climb, took one look at it, and was in a split state of ‘sh*t that’s a fierce looking guy’ and ‘bring it’.
Mount Kinabalu stands in the North of the breathtakingly diverse and beautiful island of Borneo in Malaysia. There’s no denying that it holds a dominating presence over the area, standing alone at 4095m and casting a shadow over the valleys below. I was reading a book before hand that was saying, whether still true I don’t know, that many of the village people believed it harboured the souls of their dead ancestors. Back then, no climb could be done without a sacrifice of some or many animals. Nowadays, I’m certain that doesn’t happen since up to 150 people climb it a day.
I highly recommend that you make yourself one of them. The surrounding trees, plants and animals are incredibly diverse and changing every 100m in elevation. So it keeps it interesting. And overall, I’d go so far as to say that it’s not actually a difficult climb – even the most inexperienced climbers could get up it if the conditions are good (not that often sadly) and your head is in the game.
If nothing else it’s beautiful. Borneo’s landscape is incredible and from the summit, in fact all the way up in fine weather, you get a 360 view of it. I was fortunate enough to see the sun rising and the clouds offering little windows of beauty as I was descending down from the summit and it was hands down one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen.