10 Things You Need to Know about Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is the pride of the Malaysians. Located in Sabah, this mountain has a special place in the hearts of all Malaysians. The recent earthquake tragedy enhances its values amongst the citizens, and the major earthquake has caused several areas in the Kinabalu Park to be shut down temporarily. However, since September 1st, 2015, the mountain has been opened, once again, to the public. Climbers who were affected by the earthquake and had to cancel their climbing trip can now reschedule and embark on the climbing adventure. Now, we are preparing for you the ten things that you need to know about Mount Kinabalu and give you some information about the latest changes in the mountain.

1. Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The History Behind the Name

1. Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The History Behind the Name
Source – Peterwongphotography.wordpress.com

There are several folklores about the majestic Kinabalu mountain. According to the local tribe, KadazanDusun, the mountain got its name from the words “Aki Nabalu”, which means “a revered place of the dead”. They believe that the spirits dwell on the top of the mountain and treat the summit as a sacred place. There is another folklore that relates the name of Kinabalu to a Chinese widow, “Cina Balu.” It tells a story of a Chinese prince who married a local Kadazan woman and ascended the mountain to search for a huge pearl that was said to be guarded by a ferocious dragon. After the Chinese prince succeed in his quest, he abandoned his wife and returned to China. The widow was heartbroken and wandered into the mountain and eventually turned into stone.

2. Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Height & Climb Duration

Mount Kinabalu stands at a height of 4,095 meters, or 13,435 feet above the sea level. With such height, climbers are expected to spend at least two days and a night to complete the Mount Kinabalu climb. There are several trails on the mountain, and different types of climbers will use different types of trails. Besides than the trail for climbers, there are also specific trails for scientists and researchers who would like to study and analyze the mountain’s ecology.

3. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Trails & Summit

3. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The Trails & Summit
Source – Sunriseodyssey.com

The summit of Mount Kinabalu is known as Low’s Peak. There are two available trails that lead to the peak. The usual trails are Timpohon Trail (the most popular) and Mesilau Trail. These two different trails eventually meet at Layang-Layang at a height of 2,740 meters. The Timpohon Trail is the easiest trail and suitable for beginners. The paths are clear and steps are also available for easy ascending. The trail starts at Timpohon Gate, and it takes about three hours to climb and reach Layang-Layang. The Mesilau has a length of 6 kilometers and it starts at Mesilau Nature Park. This trail is more challenging and is suitable for climbers who have special interests in plants and wildlife. It takes about six hours to reach Layang-Layang.

4. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Weather at the Summit

4. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The Weather at the Summit
Source – Notesofnomads.com

The summit offers one of the best views of Sabah. However, The Low’s Peak is a rather confined space. The highest mountain in Southeast Asia can get pretty crowded with all the climbers. Besides than having to adapt yourself to the crowd and altitude change, you should also prepare yourself to bare the ever-changing weather at the summit. It can get pretty windy and cold at the top. Plus, after the sunrise, the clouds can get in the way, and you may not be able to enjoy the view from the summit. With a little bit of luck, it should clear out soon, and you will be able to enjoy one of the glorious moments in your life, thanks to the spectacular view of Sabah.

5. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Safety Level

If you are worried about the safety, you should fret no more. Mount Kinabalu has one of the most safest and conquerable peaks in the world. There are clear trails that you can use during your climbing. As long you are healthy and fit, and with a little bit of help from the mountain guide, you should be able to reach the peak.

6. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Gears You Should Bring

For a safe climbing trip, it is advisable for you to bring some of the essential equipment. They ensure both comfort and enjoyment. Following are the things that you need to bring:

[ingredients title=”Gears Checklist for Mount Kinabalu”]

  • Lightweight clothing
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Small towels
  • Refillable drinking bottle (1.5 liters)
  • High-energy food bars
  • Hiking pole
  • Extra socks
  • Hiking shoes. Sports shoes with good grips are also sufficient.


7. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Accommodation

7. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The Accommodation
Source – Sabah-golf.com

You can choose the accommodation according to your budget. There are low-cost hostels if you wish to keep your climbing trip economical, and there are also luxurious private chalets that you can choose for a comfortable experience. Some of the hostels and lodges that you can book are:

[directions title=”Hotel & Lodges on Mount Kinabalu”]

  1. Rock Twin Share
  2. Rock Hostel
  3. Grace Hostel
  4. The Hill Lodge
  5. Summit Lodge
  6. Garden Lodge
  7. Kinabalu Lodge
  8. Rajah Lodge
  9. Sutera Sanctuary Lodge


8. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The 2015 Earthquake

On a fateful day of June 5th, a massive earthquake struck Ranau, Sabah. With a magnitude of 6.0, the shaking has caused disastrous landslides around the Kinabalu Mountain. Due to the strong impact, one of the peaks called the Donkey’s Ears had broken. The hostels and rest houses near the summit also experienced severe damages. Unfortunately, it had also caused casualties, and about 187 climbers were impacted by the earthquake. The mountain had been closed temporarily to the public since the earthquake. However, it has been restored and reopened on September 1st, 2015.

9. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Current Permits

9. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The Current Permits
Source – Shamsul Adzrin on Flickr

The Kinabalu Park has limited the number of permits for safety reasons. There are only 100 available permits per day, and if you are planning to climb the mountain, you will need to plan accordingly to book your spot. You can climb till Laban Rata for now as the new trail to Low’s Peak is still under construction.

10. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu – The Current Available Trails

10. The Things You Need to Know About Mount Kinabalu - The Current Available Trails
Source – Scmp.com

As of September 2015, climbers can reach Laban Rata by taking the Timpohon Trail. The new Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail should be ready by December 1st, 2015. The other trail, Mesilau Trail, has been closed indefinitely due to the inaccessible paths.


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