R8 Mindakod Akinabalu

The project was suggsted by OP Ala to celebrate our 40th birthday in 2014. However, it took few months to book the climb date with Mount Kinabalu Park authority and to get everyone to improve their fitness level for the climb. 

The climb was scheduled on 24th January before we were told there was a mistake in booking the slots by the guide during the briefing that night. Everything became havoc and some of us were angry because we have to purchase new flight tickets, rearrange the our annual leaves and rebook our accommodation. The guide should have informed us the changes at least a week before not the night before. Fortunately, we agreed to just proceed with the new date since everyone is here already.

Briefing in KK

OP Bear, OP Ala, OP Bandit, OP Ucop & OP Amex

OP Meje, OP Budin, OP Bedul, OP Bijan & OP Syamdun (not in the photo)

OP Kabs, OP Jubes, OP Jibui & OP Ajil

OP Jakpo, OP Mat Over, OP Jepun, OP Wan Jack, OP TL, OP Kerbau & OP Bean (not in the photo)

OP Ron & OP Mandela

OP Zam, me, OP Jampok & OP Kappy

OP Mat Kong, OP, Mat Ten, OP Akeng, OP Joejo & OP Achot

OP Kebu, OP Boot & OP Tanchok
 The guide booked a place at Kundasang on him for us to stay after he screwed up the date. I think it was blessing in disguise because we can start the travel to Kinabalu Park a bit late (only 10 minutes away) and we could have a sumptuous carbo-loading dinner at OP Akak Dun's restaurant with fresh tilapias from his pond in Ranau. Thanks to Akak Dun & wife for good food.
Travel to Kundasang

Puncak Borneo Resort
View from Puncak Borneo Resort

Dinner at OP Akak Dun's restaurant

We ate so much for carbo-loading
Photo credit to OP Bean
On the day we're going to climb, we had breakfast at the resort before leaving for Kinabalu Park.
The day we were going to climb

Group photo before climb, see the mountain behind?
 We were given a pass to wear around our neck and to get through Timpohon Gate we must report to the duty park ranger. Before start, short briefing by the guide. We have 6 guides and porters to follow us.
HQ Kinabalu Park

At Carson's waterfall. Photo credit to OP Bean

First stage to Laban Rata
Being the one who have the most experience on the trail after taking part in a few races in Mt. Kinabalu climbathon and SAC, I decided to stay behind in case there are people need some push. My instinct always right, one of our friends was having knee problem and not enough fitness. I offered to carry his bag so that less burden on his knees. 

Break at one of the pondoks

At Layang-layang and it was heavy rain. We were the last 4 in the group

Being an anchor men is not easy. Luckily one of the guides stayed behind with us.

Finally, we reached Laban Rata just in time for dinner after 8 and half hours on the trail in blistering cold
The next morning, we woke up around 1pm and getting ready for the final push to the Low's peak. We had our supper first before gathered outside the main building. The wind was pretty strong, that just lowered down several degree colder.
Getting ready to the peak. It was very very cold. 

Easy-peasy to the peak. The first 3 OPs to reach Low's Peak were from F Coy
Getting to the peak wasn't hard enough. The only problem I had was extreme cold temperature. Last time I ran up, I was only in one layer short sleeves t-shirt and short pants.
My second time made it to the peak
In about 2 hours I reached the peak together with OP Zam and OP Jampok. Well, what can I say, F coy nailed it this time....hehehe
Stunning view! Can see lights from people's headlight, sunrise and stars in the sky

The rest came not long after that
We were waiting for the rest and the sun to rise by hiding behind the rock. The wind was still strong until daylight.
Spectacular view
 The view was stunning and I didn't waste the opportunity to take as many photos as possible.
More photos at the peak

R8's flag at the peak. Photo credit to OP Bean.  

View on the way down
OP Zam and OP Jampok on the way down
 We took our own sweet times get down to Laban Rata. I would love to stay longer but we have to get ready to check out before 10am. 
At Sayat-sayat

Feels like on top of the world

We were heading back to Laban Rata for breakfast

Group photo before ascending down to Timpohon Gate

More photos
I ran down from Laban Rata getting some good exercise for trail running. 

Yes!! I'm a successful climber!

OPs from Sabah especially OP Ala, OP Jibui & OP Akak Dun together with OP Bandit have done great job arranging everythings from booking, accommodation and logistics. Without their helps this trip may not be materialized. Thanks to OP Jubes too for preparing the t-shirts and R8's panji-panji. Looking forward to next batch trip this year.


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