Friday, August 29, 2008

Mount Kinabalu 02: Continuing the trail to Panar Laban

mountain and mist

Mountain and mist

At 5.0KM mark, I was already exhausted. I was feeling the thin air as we continued to ascend. Passing the misty part of the forest, we came to a relatively warm zone with all those stunted, scraggly-looking trees which were really fascinating to watch. At this point, we decided to rest for awhile and enjoy the view. Not far behind, we saw this beautiful mountain covered in mist amidst the blue sky.

trail to nowhere

A trail to the bushes


A helipad at the summit trail

We continued the trek following the marked trails. I was leading the pack when our guide, Nani, motioned me to divert toward another trail. She said she’s going to show us something. Going through a narrow path, we found a helipad which surprised me. So this means, people could actually go to Mount Kinabalu from this point to hike without going through the exhausting part. The helipad was just few kilometers away from the Laban Rata resthouse and most of the supplies are transported there via human strength. They hire people to carry huge packs and boxes of food to the lodges.

patches of stamped rocks

My favorite trail

We passed by another type of trail consisting of patches of huge stamped rocks. This was my favorite among the trails because they don’t conjure strains into my feet whenever I walk. They are also not that elevated and would not require that huge of steps unlike the stair trails. The stair trails are torturous that I could not help cursing every time I see them come to view.

Laban Rata

Alas, the Laban Rata resthouse

Kinabalu from Panar Laban

View of the Mount Kinabalu from the Panar Laban

view from Laban Rata

View of the island from Laban Rata

After we passed by the last shelter station to the Laban Rata, a heavy rain poured. This zone is the worst as we encountered a combination of torrential rain and mist. The weather has also become utterly cold. My hands started to get numb and the drops of rain became painful to bear. We found out later that we have experienced droplets of iced rain. No wonder, they were prickly painful.

Waras Hut

The Waras Hut

trees in front of Waras Hut

Nice-looking trees covered in moss just in front of the Waras Hut

sunset from the Waras Hut

Watching the sunset before getting our final rest for the day

A few minutes more and the Waras Hut and Laban Rata came into view. It was extremely cold in this zone. Every gasp I made emitted some mist from my mouth. We got inside the Laban Rata to check-in, rest for awhile, and enjoy the view of the Mount Kinabalu which was a just few kilometers away. We waited for our dinner while chatting with the other foreign climbers we met along the way. Tomorrow morning, we will hike again!


Ferdz said...

I love the 2nd to the last shot. Tuwa ako sa mga puno dyan. Parang sumasayaw.

Aside from the helipad I think meron din silang cable car to transpo goods din. Loko ko nga guide namn kung pwede kaming ma transport kasama food. hahaha.

Buti na lang may ilaw pa when you got to laban rata. Kami inabot ng gabi since we had to accompany one of ours na medyo nahihirapan na. Tas bumuhus pa malakas na ulan.

Love the views. Looking forward to the rest.

Toe said...

Grabe, bilib ako sa adventure mo Rayts! Your pictures are amazing.

If I were with you, I'd use the helipad, hehehe. Hindi ko yata kaya akyatin 'yan.

What a beautiful sunset.

Did you stay in the resthouse? It looks so quaint.

Photo Cache said...

These shots are fantastic; but I'm sure the adventure was ten times more fantastic right.

Kyels said...

I love the last shot - very scenic and beautiful. Thank you for making realize that my country is beautiful too despite our horrible internal politics.


the donG said...

wow! it's really like we're trekking with you. i wonder if the huge stamped were there naturally or were fixed for the trail.

i like the backdrop of the mountain from the laban rata resthouse.

now i can really see that it's already commercialized because of the helipad. it simply shows that this mountain is open to all.

my gulch said...

gusto ko din yang mga puno na yan, ang ganda kahit walang dahon. narinig ko na yung tungkol sa cable car pero di ko naman nakita doon. start kami mag-hike around 8:30am narating namin ang Laban Rata around 3:30pm. maaga pa yun pero dahil sa lakas ng ulan at sa sobrang lamig feeling katapusan na ng mundo, hehehe! wala nang maramdaman ang mga kamay ko.

ako din minsan di ko mawari paano ko natiis ang hirap sa pag-akyat, hehe. pero ganyan talaga...kasubuan na 'to! kinakausap ko na nga lang ang mga puno at dahon para maaliw ko naman ang sarili ko kaso, may isang instance di ko napansin may tao na pala sa likod ko, napatunganga sa ginagawa ko.

yup we stayed at the resthouse. pero malas namin, dun kami sa Waras Hut nilagay. walang heater dun kaya nginig hanggang buto kami!

@Fphoto cache:
yea, the experience alone is worth it. sabi nga ng friend ko, ang sakit ng katawan gumagaling pero yung experience nakatatak na sa isip.

indeed. you have a very rich and beautiful country. Sabah is very scenic.

@Dong:i think those stamped rocks (like any of the other trails) were established mainly for the climbers. they are all strategically placed and established. yang mga established trails din ang nagpadali kahit papaano sa pag-akyat kase susundan mo na lang talaga.

estan said...

really wonderful pictures that gives a sense of place. i haven't climbed this mountain yet but what malaysia is doing is really commendable. it is making their tourist areas very accessible to visitors and its well maintained.

Chris Vallancourt said...

Wow! Gorgeous area. The helipad reminds me of a time I hiked up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire (Northeastern US) - it is the tallest peak in the area, and has a road to the summit. After getting to the top, I saw a guy getting out of a van wearing dress shoes and a wind-breaker. He stretched and said, "What a long ride."

Sidney said...

Breathtaking pictures... well worth the effort.

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