Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Low's Peak

Ok, it's been taking me too long to finally finish blogging about THG Mt Kinabalu expedition a month ago.

Where was I?...Oh ya...Laban Rata. The last member of our group reached Laban Rata around four in the afternoon. All had brunch, late lunch, showered, and proceeded to Pendant Hut for Via Ferrata briefing.

One hour passed and we all knew wery well how to stay alive using a scorpion & a banana. And it's dinner time back in Laban Rata hostel. Munch munch munch ...with everyone fully loaded, early night's sleep beckons. Those staying at Gunting Lagadan scuttled up another 50m altitude to hostel before the sky turned pitch black.

9pm and it's lights off. But not many slept well. I was having some head pounding session and it felt like mild fever. Somehow I woke up every hour. Must be altitude sickness... finally it got hold of me. Kenny & Dr Ray were having it worse. Both contemplating on going up Low's Peak.

1am lights on. Had light breakfast, packed and all of us were ready to go by 2am.

Checked the thermometer and luckily 9degrees without any wind. No chill factor! Phew! But still, everyone were at their thickest...jacket, skiing gloves, balaclava, windbreaker...etc.

230am Tony & group from Laban Rata arrived at the gate beside our hostel. Once the guide unlocked the gate, Low's Peak here we come!!!

Sayat Sayat hut at 3810m is the last shelter to the peak. Vegetation from there onwards was clearly very different. No more trees or thick shrubs, it's boulders, rocks, more rocks and occasional mosses. Pitch black 300m to the peak so no pix taken. sorry! Step by step the climb got steeper and air was thinner. Finally, I reached the peak 4095.2m around half past four. Hooray!!! But pitch black. Strong wind. Drizzling. COLDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!

We were all gathered at the peak, all huddled against each other for some heat as the chill factor was zapping to our bones! Rain coat on, windbreaker on, jacket on but it was still freezing. That was when the time went by so slowly. 545am, a mountain guide came up to advise us to quickly snap some photos and go down. No beautiful sunrise with such cruel weather that morning.

Oh crap! Sky cleared but we were on the way down, not up! The wind & rain took a break as we walked to our Via Ferrata starting point down at the 7km mark.

Big rock toilet!

If you can see what I was doing, it's a symptom of descending altitude sickness. Those around me were stunned speechless. Looked like I was doing some sort of mountain dance. Hahaha!

View from the Via Ferrata cliff was breathtaking!

Donkey Ears behind us.

Helmet - check!
Harness with scorpion & banana - check!
Let's go down via ferrata!

What is a via ferrata?

A via ferrata (or ‘iron road’ in Italian, plural via ferrate) is a mountain path consisting of a series of rungs, rails and cables embracing the rock face. It allows access to scenic sections of the mountains that are typically available only to rock climbers and mountaineers. The excitement, scenic beauty and personal conquest you'll experience on a via ferrata is guaranteed to give you an invigorating nostalgic experience for years to come.
There are more than 300 via ferrata routes around the world predominantly in Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and Spain, and a few places in the United States and Canada. The world's highest via ferrata, Mountain Torq - which also happens to be Asia's first - can now be found on Mt Kinabalu in the east Malaysian state of Sabah.
(taken from http://www.mountaintorq.com/)

If you are interested to do Via Ferrata, please call Tony 0162742213. He is the contact person in KL.

Some pix of our Via Ferrata...

That's me doing my wee wee . Should be recorded in Malaysia Book of Records as the highest pee-ing in South East Asia! Pee and get a cert. Imagine that! Hahahaha!

Fantastic pix are courtesy of Kelvin, Shih Ming, Michelle, Soi Fung, Lee, Debbie, Tony...many thanks!
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