Conquering Mount Kinabalu

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October 29th 2006
Published: October 30th 2006
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Mel and I are just back from our 2-day climb of Mount Kinabalu - the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, 4,100m high.

SO SO hard, oh my god.

All I can say is that I am in absolute AGONY. I have never experienced bodily pain like this and it was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done in my life, and I honestly struggled every single step of the way.

The first day began at 8am, and involved a 6-hour uphill climb to a resthouse up the mountain. 6-hours may not seem long but it was literally steep uphill ALL the way - it was unrelenting and the altitudes meant we were contantly out of breath and lightheaded and every step was a massive effort for me. Luckily we had a great guide who was patient with my slow pace!

Reached the resthouse to see the sunset behind the mountain and the sky turn a fiery orange-red.

Early to bed, because Day 2 started at 2am for our climb to the summit! Was pitch black and freezing, so began our even-steeper uphill ascent wrapped up in a million layers, hats, gloves and the most
Looking fresh before our climbLooking fresh before our climbLooking fresh before our climb

Mel and I with another guy who joined our group, Jeremy.
essential item - a headtorch!

The ascent to the summit was most on a sheer rock face and we had to haul upselves up on ropes for 3 hours. Very very hard, but climbing in the dark and seeing shadows of the mountain peaks in front of you was really exhilarating.

Made it at 5.30am to the summit, 3,095m high, for the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. As it got lighter we could see the huge mountain range all around us and was amazing.

However, it was also 1 degree celsius with freezing winds up there, so had to soon start out scary descent down, again using the ropes.

Coming down was SO hard, as my legs were completely like jelly and a 6-hour steep descent nearly killed me as was exhausted. But it really showed how far we'd come (and also gave us a chance to smile smugly at the suffering hikers on their way up!) and am really proud of myself as anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a climber, hiker or walker in any shape or form and really found this so difficult.

A real treat though was getting taken out that evening when we got back to the city by Mel's parents who'd just flown in for a holiday - had a huge seafood buffet in their gorgeous 5* hotel which was SUC a treat. Plus - they brought me.....Cathedral City mature cheddar - heaven!

This morning, my whole body aches like I've never felt before - every muscle - my arms, legs, stomach, sides, neck, shoulders and even toes. Could barely move yet had to haul myself on 2 flights to Cambodia! Have left Mel in Sabah, and am now in Phnom Penh.

Again, have some really amazing photos which will upload asap!

Additional photos below
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We did it!We did it!
We did it!

At the highest peak, at 5.30am after our 3-hour summit climb

2nd November 2006

loving the head-torch!!!!

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