Mt Kinabalu – The Mountain

My friend Chris & I decided to climb Mt. Kinabalu.  The summit is 4095 m (13,450 ft), the tallest between the Himalayas & New Guinea.  For some perspective, Mt Rainer is just taller 4392 m (14,410 ft) – although, since you’re trucking through snow, Rainer is a tougher climb.

The climb up Mt Kinabalu starts at about 1866 m (6,122 ft).  The first day, you hike up to Laban Rata at 3272 m (10,734 ft), where there is a lodge to spend the night.  The next morning (around 3am) you start the final 823 m (2,700 ft) climb for sunrise at the summit.  After hiking back to the lodge for breakfast, you make your way back down.

Some dibits…

  • Full roundtrip:
    • 2229 m (7,312 ft) elevation gain
    • 8.72 km (8.41 mi) each way meant it was straight up/down…. no switchbacks.
    • 28.5 hr trip with about 14 hr of hiking for us….
    • 2 hrs 41 min is the roundtrip record (which is just ridiculous)
  • Generally, altitude headaches start happening around usually takes 2400 m (8,000 feet). 
    • Heavy doses of advil helped this.
    • Fortunately, neither of us got really sick.
  • Hiking poles
    • These are seriously the best invention ever.  (okay, not really… but they certainly helped!)


mt kinabalu from a far


our tags for the hike up


my gear

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