Mount Kinabalu – Introduction
SUMMIT OF BORNEO
Mt. Kinabalu, towering 4095m high above sea level and still growing 5mm a year is the defining symbol of Sabah. The spectacular jagged peaks has taken the throne as one of the tallest peaks in South East Asia.
This impressive granite mass boasts landscapes of tropical mountain forest and rich sub-alpine vegetations, also a plethora of plant-life. It’s an exciting and exhilarating climb for both seasoned climbers and first-time hikers.
In 2000, Mount Kinabalu was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List to preserve and protect its natural heritage. It also has been designed as a Centre of Plant Diversity for South East Asia.
There are many ways to unlock your Mount Kinabalu Climb achievement. Many options for the Two Days One Night climb, in which the first day boils down to a night’s stay in a cabin 11,000 feet above sea level before taking on the summit at 2:30am the next day, where you will be rendered speechless by a glorious sunrise.
Or rather, the Three Days Two Nights climb allows you to acclimatize and spend some leisurely time at Kinabalu Park where you can go for short hikes as a little prep-up.
If you feel like taking adventure to whole new level on your descend, you can also experience the Mountain Torq, the world’s highest and Asia’s first Via Ferrata or ‘iron road’ at 3,200m to 3,800m above sea level. Get to know the hidden plateaus of Mt. Kinabalu through the various routes on the northern rock faces consisting of a ‘trail’ that is made up of iron rungs, palettes, cables and rails. Depending on the preferred difficulty level, visitors can enroll in various activities such as the intro to single pitch or multi pitch sports climbing, intro to rappelling (abseiling) and introduction to rope ascending.
Kinabalu Park marks Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park plays host to the 140 million year old rainforest stretching across Borneo. It is also righteous in its role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and around 100 mammal species.
One can be easily acquainted with the plethora of flamboyant plant-life at the Kinabalu Park Botanical Gardens. Or perhaps get on the Rainforest Canopy Walk that suspended 43meters above the lush forest to get a better view of the ancient eco-system.
Mount Kinabalu is wreathed in enthralling local legends and folklore. Among numerous variations of the legend, it is believed that a long time ago, a dragon resided in the summit of Mount Kinabalu. The ferocious creature possessed a magical jewel where many had embarked on a seemingly impossible mission to get hold of the treasure, including a large number of Chinese soldiers. Unfortunately many had died in the attempt. As result of the fatal pursuit, many Chinese women became widows. Hence the name Kinabalu was created, which translates into “Chinese widow”.
Another folklore tells that the name ‘Kinabalu’ derives from the Kadazan words, Aki Nabalu, meaning the revered place of the dead’. The local Kadazan people believe that spirits dwell on the mountain top.