Sunday, July 14, 2013

Conquering the Mount Kinabalu with BFF - 2001

It was my lifetime achievement back in 2001, 16th May when I and other colleague's from MMC's group of company conquered the highest mountain of Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah state of West Malaysia. It was about 40-50 representatives from the whole group of MMC including Malakoff and Gas Malaysia, majority owned by MMC participated in the event. It was a charitable climb headed by the Chairman, Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin when the company was still under PNB i.e. before Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar took over a large share from PNB. Many of us, ex-MMC would always remember our last trip with Tan Sri.

3 of us descending down from the Mount Kinabalu summit (4,095m above sea level) to pose cheerfully allowing others to record their memorable event on the summit

It was more meaningful as I was successfully climbed the highest mountain of Malaysia with my 2 best friend, Kamalina and Muniyati both, attached with the same group. Back then during my MMC's time, Muniyati (now a chartered accountant) and Kamalina (human resource in Zelan) were indeed very very close though I am married with 4 kids by the time we were friends whilst they both are single. They accepted me as I was and not even once treated me differently.

At Laban Rata Rest house seated on 3,270m before the second climb through the summit plateau

The company had paid for everything including the porter fee and we all flew with Malaysia Airline from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu. All of us had stayed in a decent hotel in Ranau. It was a 2 stage climb through the lower elevations of climbing trail and early morning the next day through the summit plateau. 3 of us did not leave each other, we climbed up and descended down in the same pace.

There are 2 main starting points for the climb, Timpohon gate located at 5.5km from the Kinabalu Park Headquarters (the route we followed) seated at an altitude of 1,866 metres and the Mesilau Nature Resort. I was told that the latter starting point, Mesilau is slightly higher in elevations but crosses a ridge adding about 2 km extras to ascent to the meeting trails, 2 km before Laban Rata. The first part of the climb was far much easier than the second part. It was just like walking @ climbing in a very nice natural garden.

2 dressing set of climbing gears must be prepared, especially for the second climb

However, the second part was more challenging as we were forced to go up with a help of torch lights and trailing ropes. With a high altitude, we had to watch our breathing as oxygen might be an issue, especially for smokers. I was about to give up, when the 2 of them assured me that we were almost near to the peak. When we descent after the sunrise, I was speechless to see the narrow cliff that I managed to climb in the dark. The view down was too scary when it is visible.

To me, descending down was much difficult part to do as you tend to force your knee as a break from slippery. Hence, both my knees was swollen so bad resulting no high heels for few months to work. I had to see the specialist to remove water contained in the knee before I found a sensible solution, "yoga" and or stretching.  

But the breathtaking views compensate the pain on my knees. I was really enjoying the scenery with the 2 of them accompanied me down in a very slow pace. Some of the photos sharing in this entry for you to judge and form your own opinion about what I said. You can learn so much about the flora and fauna covers the mountain in zones of different types and habitat. There are fig trees, pitcher plants, short trees "the conifer Dacrydium gibbsiae", the dwarf shrubs etc. besides species of orchids

There was a picture of us with the climbathon 2000 record that was unbelievable fast. Sigh! Not to be too disappointed with their achievement, we had a certificate as those who managed to reach the summit was given a certificate by the Kinabalu park despite their climbing record.

The following month @ 9th June 2001, there was an article written by 1 of the journalist invited to join our charitable climb and were present during the whole itinerary in the local newspaper. See below news paper cutting, saved by dearest Munie.

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