18th June 2009 (Thursday) – Bright, Sunny and Cooling :)

0630hrs… We woke up and started to do our final packing and preparation. We left our dormitory half an hour later and headed to registration counter to check in our bags. We then headed to the Balsam restaurant to have our sumptuous breakfast buffet before we met our mountain guides and porters at 0800hrs.

IMG_4667
On our way to meet our mountain guides and porters

We had a total of 2 mountain guides and a porter following us to the summit. The porter is only 17 years old and his name is Freddy. He’s in-charge of carry Uncle Poh Yan and Quan Quan barang barang which weighed an astonishing of 12kg… whahaha.. The other 2 mountain guides helped Uncle Loi and Auntie Mona to carry their stuffs… For your information, the cost of the porter is RM8 per kg with a maximum of 10kg… :)

IMG_4681
Summit Trail of Mount Kinabalu

We boarded up the bus at around 0830hrs which brought us to Timpohon Gate (1866m above sea level). We then started our journey to the summit of Mount Kinabalu.. The 6km up to Laban Rata Rest House or base camp, which is situated at 3270m above sea level, is neither easy nor difficult. For the first 500m, we were rewarded with a small waterfall… For the next 1km to 4km, we were greeted with hundred species of flora and ferns…The last 2km to Laban Rata Rest House, it was the scenic view of Mount Kinabalu and the bird eye view of mountainous terrain of Sabah that captivated us.

IMG_4692
All smiles at Timpohon Gate, our starting point

IMG_4695
Uncle Poh Yan at Timpohon Gate

On our way up , we got to witness the locals carried tons of foods and even gas cylinders to and fro from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata Rest House. We were full of admiration for these locals who carried food and gas supplies daily to the rest house. We also got to meet new friends, encouraging and motivating one another up to the rest house…

IMG_4869
Look at that porter that transport food supplies to Laban Rata Rest House

IMG_4704
Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 1

IMG_4710
Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 2 – Taking a rest

IMG_4726
Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 3

IMG_4727
Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 4 – Uncle Poh Yan

IMG_4763
Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 5

IMG_4743
Uncle Poh Yan and our 2 mountain guides and porter. Red color is Freddy only 17 years (Porter)

There were rest points or shelter hut along the way to Laban Rata Rest House. These sheltered huts allowed us to take a rest, a short nap, have our packet lunch, refill water that comes from the mountain and we got to see little animals especially squirrels running around the sheltered hut. Uncle Loi also got to leave his ‘poo’ behind at a toilet located 500m away from Laban Rata Rest House. Whahaha.. :)

IMG_4799
One of the sheltered hut

IMG_4792
Brendan at 3km mark

IMG_4800
Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 1

IMG_4812
Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 2

IMG_4867
View of Mount Kinabalu Summit

IMG_4852
Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 3

IMG_4851
Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 4

IMG_4865
Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 5

IMG_4988
Amazing Cloud Cover – We are on top of the world

IMG_4893
A camel?

IMG_4870
A km away from Laban Rata Rest House

We arrived at Laban Rata Rest House at around 5pm (about 8 hours). We were greeted by Rico and SK who arrived earlier (at around 3.30pm) to help us to check in to Pendant Hut (our dormitory at Laban Rata). They cheered for us by waving our Moral Angels’ banner which we took a day to decorate it at Moral Home…

IMG_4868
Majestic View of Mount Kinabalu – taken from Laban Rata Rest House

IMG_4993
A hot coffee at Laban Rate Rest House – Oops it turns cold

After our buffet dinner at Laban Rata Rest House, we made our way to our dormitory where we spend time packing our stuffs for the final push to the summit on the next day morning. The weather was so cold that some of us began wearing winter clothing and stuff ourselves with heat packs to keep our body warm and comfortable… Even though the surrounding was cold, it did not stop us from going down our dormitory to witness the beautiful sunset… :) Furthermore, the icy water also discouraged some of us from taking bath or even brushed our teeth… haha…

IMG_5032
A very beautiful sunset taken from Pendant Hut

IMG_5028
A beautiful sunset with fantastic view of cloud cover 1

IMG_5027
A beautiful sunset with fantastic view of cloud cover 2

IMG_5075
A beautiful sunset view at Mount Kinabalu.. A romantic scenery

Before we headed for bed, we got to attend a briefing on via ferreta, walk the torq… meaning walking around the mountain with the support of harnesses, ropes and carabinas… sound dangerous??? Haha… it was indeed pretty dangerous… but somehow or rather we did not think that much and went ahead with it… crazy ya!!!

IMG_5083
Briefing of Walk the Torq Via Ferreta

IMG_5096
Gearing up for Walk the Torq Rehearsal

Finally we got to head for our bed at about 2000hrs… We had 8 angels in a room…This time round.. besides the well coordinated musical symphony orchestra (snoring from Xiong and SK), we also got military band (snoring from Uncle Loi) and Chinese symphony orchestra from RICO… can you imagine??? Our Rico snored… If you don’t believe, you can ask Brendan who slept just besides her or Quan who slept just on top of her (ehh…by the way… don’t think too much or think dirty.. is a double decker bed.. okay)… It was a simply ‘wonderful’ piece of musical play by all of them.. better than Beethoven or Chopin… haha.. :)

Well, through this trip, we were impressed by how loving and united the Loi’s family is. They constantly encouraging, motivating and support one another during the journey to the base camp even though they themselves were wondering whether they can make it or not… Despite the minimum training they had in Singapore, they were able to make it to the base camp which is 3270m above sea level… For this, we salute them… Well done!!! :)