Confirmed - the Mount Kinabalu, July 2009
One sleepy morning, one harmless joke with Azlan & Glenn (i.e. how ridiculuous Glenn would look like climbing in his CK pants and his dress shoes) turned into something fruitful last 2 weeks. For me, it's more of awakening an old fantasy that I have had for years. Air Asia, being very kind to offer RM77 nett for a return flight to Kota Kinabalu played a major part in this ploy.
We were challenging ideas in possible business ventures, and ways to kill office boredom. Now I cannot recall who came up with the idea about climbing Mount Kinabalu (I think it was me). The idea immediately picked up, as Freya (a Brit), Jermaine (an Aussie) and Mitch (a Canadian) came into our room, while we were debating our absence of physical prowess to conquer the summit. Glenn, being the natural crowd pleaser, quickly spread the words and got so many people excited. At the end of the day, 10 people verbally signed up for a May 2009 expedition. Jermaine, Freya, Glenn, Michael, Eshter & hubby Eric, Ainin, Mitch & wifey Koko, and myself agreed to go.
We checked the flight and the rates are good. Quick check for climbing permits, insurances, guide fees etc - good. A quick check in the net says the B&B rates in KK are exceptionally cheap, which is good for my wife and Iris to tag along.
But our visits to many forums advises to secure an accommodation in Laban Rata (base camp) before anything else. After a quick call, we soon found out that getting a bed over there is extremely hard that few months of advanced booking is required.
They have an opening in 9th July 2009, which we quickly reserved, and planned our holidays around it. Due to work commitments etc, in the end only 5 friends remained - Freya, Glenn, Jermaine, Michael and me. Sutera Resort also advised against bringing children up to the base camp for the thin oxygen will do them no good - so wifey and Iris are excluded. A week later when we are making payments, Freya pulled out as she wants to spend time in Cambodia with her mum.
We made our payments, and book our flights. Now the next eventuality for this hiking expedition is shopping... that in itself is a challenge for me, i.e. to find a hiking shoes my size... I went on to secure few rooms in KK etc, and scout for programmes for wifey and Iris, and suggested that I pay for her sister's trip to KK to accompany her walking around while I'll be on my way to the summit... So the very exciting, indeed.
In all, we shall leave for KK on the 8th July, and stay in KK for a day. The next day will be at Grace Hostel (Kinabalu Park) of free & easy. On the 10th, by 11.00 a.m., we are scheduled to hike up from the Park, up to Laban Rata, and to check-in at Gunting Lagadan Hut, and stay the night. Sometime at 2.00 a.m., we shall then start hiking up to the summit just in time by dawn. Then, we'll descend, check-out, off to KK for a little bit of tourist-y thing, and off to KL on Sunday...
Alas, we'll see how would my training be in climbing some trails in KL. The first would be Bukit Tabuh in Melawati, and I have to drag Yon into this soon.