Mount Kinabalu Trail is a 14.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Polar Park, Sabah, Malaysia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
A multi day hike to Low's Peak at island of Borneo in Malaysia, Southeast Asia 4,095m or 13,435 ft Climbers must be accompanied by accredited guides at all times due to national park regulations. There are two main starting points for the climb: the Timpohon Gate (5.5 km from Kinabalu Park Headquarters, at an altitude of 1866 m), and the Mesilau Nature Resort. The two trails meet about two kilometres before Laban Rata. Mount Kinabalu (Malay: Gunung Kinabalu) is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the east Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site. Its summit, Low's Peak ist 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level. It can be climbed through the main climbing route without mountaineering equipment.
I was thrilled to have finished it but just a word of caution. This trek is not recommended for beginners who have not trained.
It is steps, steps and more steps. Make sure you get as many squats in as possible and condition your legs. It's as tough to get up as it is to go down.
On the other hand, the feeling when you are on TOP of the world is insane and that thrill is amazing!
Approaching the mountain by vehicle all you see is the massive mountain looming over you as you wind up the mountainous roads towards the trailhead. The route is very popular and busy so you have to have a reservation and pick up your summit pass.
The trail itself - it's mostly a relentless staircase all the way up. There are some rest stops in the lower portion which have shelters and a water supply at intervals. The trail opens up from the heavy jungle to the more exposed, sculpted granite in the upper parts eventually to the Laban Rata/Pendant huts. Typically visitors stay over night, refulleing with food and a short sleep before waking up a few hours before sawn to make your way up the last bit to catch the sunrise at the summit. This portion is still quite tough and exposed, especially with the altitude, I was certainly feeling the effects with the shortness of breath. The sunrise at the summit is spectacular, with the mountains casting a shadow on the clouds below.
On the way down I did the Via Ferrata, not for the feint of heart if you have any height phobias, but I was comfortable with it and it was worth it despite the high cost. The Ferrata ends up at the Laban Rata hut. After that, it's just pound down the mountain and hope your knees hold up. A must do hike, but you have to be in somewhat good shape and should train before.
It's a steep climb all the way so the legs get very tired on the way down. Not a pleasant track. Watch out for the pitcher plants though! It's nice up on the granite slab at the top!
It is a real physical challenge. The second day is particularly hard. None stop stairs down the mountain.