28.04.2006 - 28.04.2006 13 °C
We made it!!! After getting up at 2am we had some breakfast and started the climb at 3. It's a 2.5km climb up to the top from Laban Rata and you'd be nuts to do it on an empty stomach. So even though the toast was 15 ringgits (trust me, that's extortionate!) we had a few slices and were on our way.
The sight of about 50 headtorches bobbing up and down the trail to the summit in the pitch black was awesome. Most of the climb involves pulling yourself up slippery slabs of granite - not easy, especially in the pitch black! Still, some two and a half hours later, we were stood on the very highest point of south east asia.
Not wanting to get emotional online, this was probably one of the highest moments I have ever experienced. As the sun rose above the distant clouds the sky caught fire and the surface of the clouds glistened like frost. In the distance we could see the Philippines, some 100 miles away. Looking the other way we could see inner Borneo's mountain ranges, stretching all the way into the Indonesian state of Kalimantan. Words can't explain how beautiful it was or how utterly awe inspiring it felt - you have to experience it to believe it.
We left the summit once the sun was all the way up and the clouds started rolling in. Got back to Laban Rata at about 9am, had some breakfast (again), and then left to descend the rest of the mountain at about half past.
On the way down we saw some fantastic specimens of Nepenthes Kinabaluensis - picked one up and it must have weighed a kilo it was so full of liquid. Aside from the plants, the rest of the descent was extremely tough, knees and ankles getting a good hammering. We finally reached park HQ at about half two.
Minibus awaiting - next stop, Poring Hot Springs.