Friday, December 21, 2007

We came, we saw, we conquered

Mount Kinabalu that is.

OMG, it was the most physically challenging experience I've ever had it my entire life, and of course one of the most memorable ones too, no contest.

Here goes the story:

The first night was spent at a hostel in Kinabalu Park, which costed a mere 30 ringgit per night, complete with all the necessary facilities. Since it was already on highlands, the weather was cold. I know of more than one person who didn't take their bath that night. Hee.

(at Kinabalu Park, looking at the summit trail. There were eight shelters altogether; Kandis, Ubah, Lowii, Mempening, Layang-layang, Villosa, Paka Cave and Sayat-sayat)

There were seven of us: Me, Zamil, Barbara, Daynel (Bar's brother in-law) and Bar's scouts friends Azlan, Ersham and Ruzaili [the trio].

Nothing much happened that night. We ate dinner and chatted with each other. Bar's friends were very funny. They loved to make fun of each other (which reminded me and zamil of budin-arep-onie-idan punya lawak2 bengong) and masing-masing perasan jadi boyfriend Bar.
One time, during dinner, two cats were fighting quietly and all of a sudden came a very loud 'MEOW'...

One of the trio spontaneously exclaimed 'Oy mambang!'. (okay sape tak hapal dialog P Ramlee tak paham).

I thought it was hillarious.

(the majestic mountain behind us)

The next day, after breakfast, we were set to start our journey, ie the first part of our climb to Laban Rata which was at 3272ASL. Being novice climbers, both Zamil and I overpacked our bags. Looking at hind sight, we couldn't be more glad we ditched some stuff in the trunk before climbing or else we would have the soliloquy "kenapalah aku bawak banyak sangat mak nenek barang?" every step of the way.

From Kinabalu Park, we went to Timpohon Gate by bus, which was appoximately 6km away. You can walk there if you want to.

Notice anything weird in this photo? Well, as you can see, there were only two girls/ladies in our group. Guys being guys, they definitely have twice the stamina. Even Bar can be considered as one of the guys. With four of them being scouts enthusiasts (kawan bar tu sorang polis, sorang pegawai penjara, sorang belajar PENDIDIKAN JASMANI whom have climbed Kinabalu at least once and twice before) and others just being guys, I was the weakest link okay? Always left behind, paling banyak merengek. Haha.

(at Carson waterfall, before reaching the first rest shelter ie less than 1km walk)

I remember, we started off on quite a fast pace, with Azlan leading the way. I thought I could manage, so I went with the flow. After only a few hundreds meters, before reaching Kandis shelter, I just couldn't continue walking and almost blacked out. I think my body could not take it. What with the cold weather, heavy bag and the uphill trekking. My heart was thumping heavily it might explode. I stopped to rest, but it wasn't for long because our guide was adamant on me continuing walking as the shelter was only a few meters away. I kept on thinking why did I inflict this on myself? Why oh why?! How can I ever reach the top, let alone Laban Rata.

(Here is Zamil, resting at the first shelter. His almost blacked-out sent every one nervous. Haha. And later kene bahan [time turun la kan])

At this hut, I switched bag with Azlan. Mine was too heavy for my own good. He taught me how to arrange things in a bag, the light ones at the bottom and heavy ones on top so that the heavy stuff would not weigh you down.

(Us posing somewhere along the 6km walk uphill)

It took me approximately 5 hours 45 minutes to get to Laban Rata. Of course, Bar and clan reached there earlier. Around one hour earlier. (can you imagine?!?!) As I walked (sometimes, alone, as some were way ahead, and some were way behind me: Zam legs were cramped) I could hear my heart beating, loudly. I fear I would die due to hyperventilation or something. But I just continue at my own pace, until I reached Laban Rata. Along the way, we came across a lot of other climbers (who were mostly foreign people) and also staffs who carried things up to the hostel. Things like 'tong gas', food supplies, bags etc. They walked up and downhill so quickly like it was such a breeze for them. After all, it's their job. Masing-masing punya muscle kat betis dah macam buah betik! (On the way back I found out that they were paid approx RM50 to carry tong gas naik atas and RM100/km for bringing things down. That's RM600 one way!). No wonder a plate of fried rice costs RM25 and burger RM18 up at Laban Rata, because everything was brought up manually.

The view from Laban Rata was absolutely breathtaking. We were among the clouds. On one side we could see the mountain, and colourful trees covering it. Around us, people were smiling, enjoying the sight and feel of what's in store.

(gambar ala salam perantauan: Dari kiri Ruzaili, Zarina, Zamil & Barbara. Kami ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha kepada semua ahli keluarga, rakan-rakan dan sesiapa sahaja yang mengenali kami di tanah air tercinta, Malaysia. Heehee)

(posing outside of Laban Rata after dinner. It was 10 celcius degree)

After dinner (RM33 per pax for buffet), we (I mean I) were forced to sleep. Hee. So that we would have enough energy, and rest before our climb the next morning, at 2.00 am. Tell me, how was I, an insomniac who cant even sleep at 1.00am supposed to doze off at 8.00pm? Have I told you all of us shared a same room? Now, have I told you that some of us SNORES gila baek punya? Haha. I'm telling you, sleeping with these guys (actually being awake while they were sleeping), made me feel like I'm watchin Pendekar Bujang Lapuk, masa Ramlee, Ajis and Sudin gilir-gilir berdengkur. "eeeeeee", "kurrrrr", "aleyleyleyleyley". Haha. That night I only got like an hour of sleep. I couldt stop laughing out loud when Azlan cakap "Oy, ko tu tidur ke mati tu?" to xxxxx who snored macam orang tercekik.

(here's me having a piece of bun from the day before, prior to the 2.00am climb. I also had a cup of tea. Don't know which one caused me to feel nak terBERRy masa tengah panjat gunung. Dem.)

So we started climbing at around 2.40am. Again, I felt really tired just after a few hundreds meters. I was left behind with our guide and Daynel who accompanied me while the rest went straight ahead. The cold weather was something I could stand. My body was rejecting something else, I could not say what. I felt like vomitting and my stomach was acting up. Once I even let out a "bluekk" (luckily nothing came out from my mouth except gas). The guide, Robert, was quite worried that I couldn't make it, and suggested that I should just rest at the next shelter and not go up. He said I may have had altitude sickness, hence the 'bluek-king'.

Then again, I knew myself. If I put my mind into something, I could definitely do it. My body just needed to adjust to the surrounding. I continued walking, slowly but surely. Stopped every now and then to rest and had my dosage of skittles for energy. We finally reached Sayat-sayat Hut, the last shelter on the summit trail. I didnt settle down, but continued my climb. We then came to the dangerous part which according to Robert was 200m long. I held on to the rope for dear life. When we looked up to the sky, Subhanallah, the stars were shining so brightly. I have never seen the sky so full of stars, like diamonds on a velvet cloth. Sangat santek!

That morning, the wind was blowing SO hard. We had to duck down to resist from being blown away. Sometimes it was even difficult just to open our eyes, to breath through our nose. It was really cold up there (and this wasnt even at the peak yet). As per one of the guides who have worked more than four years, it was the first time climbers had to experience that kind of wind, blowing at 120km/h. One time, when I was up walking, I lost hold of the rope and 'ditiup angin', and fell down a few metres to the side. Robert quickly picked me up and we walked together since. With him holding me, I felt somewhat stronger. I counted my steps, rested every 30 counts. He stopped whenever I requested to. Robert was pushy no more. Hehe.

Apparently, with him by my side, I did move faster. Fast enough that we stumble upon Zamil and Bar who were already down, atau pendek kata "dah selamat". Seeing me, the weakest link, already on par with them, Bar and Zamil menjadi bersemangat! However, I missed a scene yang telah pun diceritakan oleh mereka. Contrary to me who whined and uttered stupid nonsense to battle with cold weather (hey, everybody copes differently!), Bar was silent as a stone. Zamil only heard her voice when she snapped at Ersham who temankan dier.

"Bila mau sampai?"- Bar (aka tikus basah)

"Lima minit lagi"- Ersham

"Bila mau sampai ni?"- Bar (after five minutes)

"Lima minit saja lagi"- Ersham



"Berapa minit lagi mau sampai?"- Bar

"Sekejap saja lagi..."- Ersham


"........"- Ersham cabut lari, and Zamil came to take over Ersham's place accompanying Bar.

What a scene I've missed! Hee. But seriously, it was so cold, we lost our sense of humor. Hehe. I told myself, once I reached the top or meet Ruzaili/Azlan, I was gonna have a puff or two, just to keep me warm. Couldn't stand it no more. (But of course I didnt do it when I met them). I had to use my scarf to cover my nose and mouth. Liquid was coming out of my mouth and nose. My tudung tasted masin (hingus campur wap air). We kept on encouraging each other to 'hang in there' and not stop until we reach the peak.


Alhamdulillah. We did it. Dengan semangat membara. I will never forget this experience. The company I had. The present from Bar (hehe, thank you for the T-shirt). The three of us wouldn't mind climbing Kinabalu again!

Okay, now dah malas nak cerita our journey downhill. Pendek kata, it was tiring. I bought a walking stick to help me, so did Zamil. Without it, entah ape akan jadi. So in total, we walked around 17km (uphill and downhill). Kaki sakit. Bibir kering. Hidung kembang (as in sedikit bengkak). Still, I had fun.

(Lepas turun. Back at Kinabalu Park)

Here are some not so ayu/macho looking pictures. It is not meant to defame anybody, I am just trying to be realistic, showing the other side of the story ie gamba2 yang kureng glamorous. (Ini bukan cobaan, ini betul-betul kejadian......)


p/s: you can read Zamil's Kinabalu report here


fadhli said...

well done smpai atas!
when i climbed, we weren't allowed to climb the dangerous rocky part where u needed to hold the rope..
the wind was too strong, the weather was bad..
too bad for us..
disappointed, nk smpai atas...
wanna join nanti? =p

ps - lawa layout baru blog u ni =)

nina said...

ala, keshian you.
Nak join!! InsyaAllah.
Bestnye kalau dpt pegi sama2.
You kene tunggu kalau i lambat ok?
Tapi we should go in the middle of the year, somewhere in April when the weather is good, bkn hujung tahun macam time I naik nih.

ps: thank you. Ni template blogspot je, I ubah sket2=)

Jalilah said...

Bestnye!!! Congrats dapat sampai atas.

Psst...psst... mesti awak tgh rajin update kan. Kemain panjang...

Love that you put pics.. dapat sket nampak the surroundings of your story

klaka gile your story about bar. i laughed out loud. Kite leh bayangkan her tone and everything. Hahahahah

nina said...

thank you lely!

well, time kite 'rajin' nk update ni bukan selalu, when the time comes, terimalah entry panjang mak nenek nih. btw, penat nk kene tnggu masa upload picture sekor-sekor tau.

tula. kite dengar second hand story psl bar pun kite rase kelakar. her friends mmg gila. byk lagi funny stories, kite tak tulis je. HEHE


Moon said...

wow such magnificent pictures! Congrats ya.

I've always wanted to reach up there.

aQieYa said...

ouchh that hurts!! kalau kite tuh belum tentu smpai first-base dah pengsan! jogging 2 round pun dah larat dah
hahahha congrats!

Moon said...

oh btw i linked ur blog

nina said...

moon: thank you. my friend brought his SLR camera so even amateurs can take such magnificent pictures. hee.

u'll reach up there one day, definitely. but train first!!!!

no prob. link away~

[i wanted to link ur blog (n khair & maryam's too) but my mum reads all my friends' blog which i link. do you mind if your aunty reads your ramblings? =)]

aqie: haha. like i always say to other ppl "YOU CAN DOOWEYT!!". thanks kiko.

Maiya Lim E.J said...

chun gila gambar korang kat atas, kita turut rasa terharu nina!

but but but - geli la kuku kenanahan tu!

nina said...

ju, gamba chun tu thanks to zamil's camera. ((kite pun terharau ju heehee))

as of now, i no longer have those kuku kenanahan, on both feet. DAH TERCABUT, tinggal isi sahaja. hows that for geli?! haha

Aya said...

wah best nye!

nina said...

a ah. best woo! =)

rASHIdah-ling said...

oooooooooo congrats smpi puncak kinabalu!!! syioknyeeeeeeeee! nak pegi jugaklah cuti summer nnti insyallah. tp kene start fit kan badan la nnti semput pulak che. tk smpt sampai puncakkkkk. kekekekeke. nwy nice shots u have there babe!!!!


nina said...

oooo thank you!! happy training n selamat mem-fit-kan badanmu~

*hugs back*