Sometimes in life its important to get to the top of something.
I thought about 20 years ago how great it would feel to climb a mountain. Sit at the top and watch the sun rise...
So in this my 50 year time was running out to climb a proper mountain. I had got to the top of Snowdon but that was in a train so didn't really count.
I looked at the map, saw mount Kinabalu not far from where our flight was going in Brunei.13,000 ft, 20th highest mountain in the world (going by some strange stand alone summit calculation). 2 day hike, Me and Ollie (while Ginny chilled out in KK)...surely that would be achievable - they even bus you half way up so its only a 9km hike with an ascent of just over 2,000m.Only 130 people a day can climb as they are limited by the bed spaces in the overnight lodges.
Looking back I suppose I had only considered the way up and hadn't really given much thought to the way back down which is where the pain really starts.
Day 1 is about 6hrs of walking through jungle up rocky dry river beds with steps cut into the steeper slopes. It was all ok until the heavens opened and the dry river beds turned into a slippery rocky river! Still, we made good time and stayed in a mountain lodge complete with vaguely hot shower, heated room and even a very overpriced tin of Tiger beer! By 6AM the corridors were full of soaking and bedraggled Chinese men who seemed totally unprepared for what the mountain could throw at them. Pleased we had booked our own room as they all went dripping through the dormitories with bowls of foul smelling noodles.
We woke at 2AM and climbed in the dark on the increasingly steeper slopes with head torches lighting the way. Ropes were needed to pull ourselves the final barren stretch up to the summit. The sun rose at 5.15 on a beautiful clear morning looking down on the jungles of Borneo below and out into the South China Sea.
The morning elation was followed by the slow decent of 2,000 meters over the next 8hrs. Young muscles and joints were required for such an activity and alas I had neither. My hiking pole was a god send but by the last stretch my muscles screaming and legs like jelly. We conquered the mountain, but I guess in the end the mountain conquered me!
Tot: 0.065s; Tpl: 0.036s; cc: 10; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0136s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb