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.
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.
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.
Alas, the Laban Rata resthouse
View of the Mount Kinabalu from the Panar Laban
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.
The Waras Hut
Nice-looking trees covered in moss just in front of 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!