Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu/Akinabalu) dominates the island of Borneo in South East Asia. It stands poised in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The highest point of Mount Kinabalu is Low’s Peak summit, towering at 4095.2M (13,435ft) above sea level. It is the tallest peak in the whole of Malaysia and within the Borneo Island. It is the most accessible and easily trekked by most people. Based on topographic prominence, Mount Kinabalu takes the 20th place in the list of Tallest Mountains in the world.
The best time to climb Mount Kinabalu, 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) is during the dryer seasons which falls around March to September. The weather is slightly unpredictable with passing showers expected all year round as it is a tropical rainforest. The temperature at the summit of Mount Kinabalu drops to freezing point 0 °C - 3°C, whereas the trail from Timpohon to Panalaban basecamp ranges from 6 °C - 16 °C and before the start of the climb is around 15 °C - 26 °C at Kinabalu Park.
‘Act of God’ accidents aside, Yes, as long as you respect your mountain guide’s instructions and stay on the trail, there is less risk of suffering any injury or accident. There have been accidents where climbers wander too far off into the trails on their own and lost their way, injuring themselves or lost their lives during the climb, but please be aware that these accidents happen because the climber has failed to abide to the rules.
Panalaban is the pit stop or the base camp where climbers will take a rest before proceeding for the second part of their Mount Kinabalu Summit climb journey. It is located between 3,230 to 3,323 meters above sea level. Panalaban base camp houses a cluster of assorted huts such as Laban Rata Resthouse, Pendant Hut, Gunting Lagadan Hut, Lemaing Hut etc. These assorted huts provide overnight accommodation for climbers, inclusive of shower facilities and meals (Hot meals is only available on Laban Rata Resthouse).
It takes a minimum of 2 Days and 1 Night to scale Mount Kinabalu. Day 1 kicks off bright and early via Timpohon Gate, a 5 to 7 hour trek leads you to PanaLaban for an overnight stay. Day 2 begins at 2am, where climbers will attempt the second ascent up to Low’s Peak to witness the specular sunrise from the highest summit point at 5.30am.
After which, climbers will begin the descent towards PanaLaban (if not participating in any Via Ferrata activity) for check out. The descent continues down to Timpohon Gate. You will be transferred to Kinabalu Park HQ, where you will be given your climb certificate. Depart back to Kota Kinabalu City or other destination.
No. Climbers will have to do the usual 2 Days 1 Night compulsory climb itinerary. Since the trail was reopened in September 2015, Sabah Parks has stopped giving 1-day climb permit.
Yes, you can. Some climbers may fall short of reaching the summit, but even for those who did not reach the top, the trip to Mount Kinabalu will still be highly rewarding. You can stay at Panalaban Basecamp and wait for the others to return from the summit.
Yes, you may cancel or halt the climb before reaching the basecamp, our mountain guide will assist you to descend to Timpohon Gate (starting point). However, no refunds will be made for cancellation after the tour has commenced. Guests may need to bear additional costs for accommodation and transport arrangement.
It is compulsory and advisable to stay overnight at mountain accommodation during your climb. This is for safety reasons and to prevent any possible injuries. However, should an emergency arise, your mountain guide will assess your condition and decide whether to activate the Mountain Search and Rescue Unit (MOSAR) personnels. This will be subjected to authorities’ approval and additional costs might be incurred.
A 3 Days 2 Nights is recommended. In order to reduce risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), we advise climbers to spend a night within the highland areas such as Kinabalu Park or Kundasang Town prior their climb. This is to allow climbers to properly acclimatize.
It largely depends on the physical fitness of the climber and their group. A reasonably fit climber is able to reach Timpohon gate from PanaLaban between 11am – 2pm. However, most climbers reach between 1 – 3pm.
There are also times where climbers only arrive Timpohon Gate as late as 10pm during the descent.
In addition, the total time taken from Timpohon gate to Kinabalu Park HQ for certificate collection and onward to Kota Kinabalu city is approx. 3 hours.
It is highly NOT recommended. Rushing to the airport on the same day as your Mount Kinabalu descent is too risky and might lead to you missing your flight. There are several reasons why: Slow in your descent, injury, landslides, traffic congestion, vehicle breakdown & etc. Win Borneo Travel & Tour will not be responsible for any losses incurred due to missed flights.
It is strongly encouraged that you purchase a comprehensive personal travel insurance policy for the duration of the trip from your own country; to cover against Personal Accident, Loss of baggage, Delays, Unexpected alterations to travel arrangements, Cancellation, Act of God, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Infectious diseases, Epidemics, Terrorism etc. Although all our Mount Kinabalu climb packages include a personal accident plan by Sabah Parks for all climbers, the coverage and claim value is very limited and subject to approval by Sabah Parks Authority.
There is no age limit for who can climb Mount Kinabalu, as long as you are in good shape, good health status or you have sought approval from your doctor if you are on any medication. Win Borneo Travel & Tour has served thousands of climbers ranging from 7 to 80 years old. We do however, suggest young children to be at least 10 years old due to numerous steps and steep slopes. Similarly, elderly climbers need to be in good health and fitness level to attempt the climb.
Though there is no physical health checks done in Kinabalu Park upon registration, we strongly recommend all climbers to have themselves medically check before attempting to scale Mount Kinabalu. If you are pregnant or have a history of suffering from the following ailments, it is highly recommended that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, Diabetes, Palpitation, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Severe Anemia, Peptic Ulcers, Epileptic Fits, Obesity (Overweight), Chronic Asthma, Muscular Cramps, Hepatitis (Jaundice); or any other disease which may get in the way of a pleasant experience.
Not at all. Climbing Mount Kinabalu is indeed a big adventure, but no climbing skills or equipment is needed. Climbing Mount Kinabalu involves several flights of stairs, just being equipped with a good pair of trekking shoes, waterproof jacket, head torch and gloves is enough to get you far. Anyone reasonably fit and healthy can scale, hike, trek and climb with confidence. Regular exercises will give you an added edge in attempting a successful climb.
It takes a minimum of 2 Days and 1 Night to scale Mount Kinabalu. Day 1 kicks off bright and early via Timpohon Gate, a 5 to 7 hour brings you up to 11’000 feet above sea level for an overnight stay. The second day is slightly more to the technical side – there are parts where you will need to hold onto ropes at an angle of about 15 – 20 degrees inclination. If you are able to climb a flight of 12 story staircase up and down few times in a day with not much difficulties, that’s good enough to prepare you for Mount Kinabalu.
The effects of Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Syndrome (AMS) differs for every individual, regardless of fitness level. Climbers may experience light-headedness or mild headaches, while some climbers will suffer from nausea or vomiting. The symptoms vary, but it includes dizziness, fatigue, confusion, difficulty walking and feeling extremely ill. If you seem to be experiencing any of these symptoms, stop doing any physical exertion immediately and be sure to take deep breathe. The most important tip is to keep yourself hydrated. Return to a lower elevation if you are suffering badly and the symptoms do not subside. Seek medical assistance from your guide and he will advise you where to move on from here.
The main cause of altitude sickness is ascending in altitude too quickly which prevents the body from adapting to the decrease in oxygen at a specific altitude. Common preventive measures include staying the night before your climb at Kinabalu Park area (around 1,500m a.s.l), to aid in gradual acclimatisation or taking the altitude sickness tablet.
Three (03) Important Rules to Remember:
You may want to take altitude sickness tablets, Acetazolamide (Diamox) as a prophylaxis. This drug has the effect of increasing acclimatization rates; improving periodic breathing; and helping climbers to recover from AMS more quickly. Please note that Diamox is a prescription drug and a doctor should be consulted about proper dosages. You would also want to purchase a portable oxygen inhaler bar, which helps with AMS. The main cause of these sicknesses is a lack of oxygen; breathing oxygen with the aid of the inhaler will slow their onset and may provide some temporary relief of symptoms. This is extremely useful to all climbers regardless of your fitness level.