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Ascent to Kinabalu-Pendant Hut on 2018-08-08

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Jill Stone
David Stone
Ceri Stone
Patrick Stone
Phil Kirk
Local guides
Date:Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Kinabalu - Pendant Hut
    Location:Malaysia
    Elevation:10791 ft / 3289 m
    Remaining Elevation:2644 ft / 805 m (36% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Gunung Kinabalu: This is a hugely popular and bureaucratic climb these days. The mountain is run by a Sabah Parks concession who regulate all permits, overnight accommodation (needed because there are no 1-day permits now) and the guides one is required to employ (despite the trail being highly maintained and waymarked at all stages). All this information is of course available online and one can book directly or with various Bornean tour companies. Nevertheless despite all prior arrangements it still took nearly an hour to complete all necessary forms at the Park entrance (7th August).

We went for the standard 2D/1N package and had booked to do the via ferrata as well, but unfortunately our attempt was unsuccessful because the upper reaches of the mountain were closed by the authorities because of bad weather (heavy rain and strong winds). Notice of this decision was only given in the hut at 02:00 and was for the sixth day in the last seven - seems that complete or partial closures happen more often than officially publicised. No summit attempts nor access to the via ferrata permitted today. All very frustrating as it's in the middle of the dry season and we were all fit, acclimatised and raring to go. Furthermore conditions were no worse than I've climbed in on high mountains in five continents but the local rules are aimed at the lowest common hiking ability. The system being inflexible (120 persons a day) one's permit doesn't allow extending one's time on the mountain so we were forced to descend (8th August).

Just as well we'd had such a marvellous time on Gunung Trus Madi a few days earlier, a true jungle wilderness experience and the second highest mountain in Malaysia and Borneo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Gunung Kinabalu from the air (2018-08-10). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4669 ft / 1423 m
    Trailhead:Timpohon Gate  6122 ft / 1865 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Guide, Hut Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds



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