I told myself repeatedly on the way back to Peninsular, "Jming, pls pls post this up fast when all that you saw was still fresh in your mind!" and here I am doing what I was told by myself.
Climbing up Mount Kinabalu was never once on top of my list, but visiting Kota Kinabalu, the still fairly unknown land to me was. So when my friend offer me to go for Mount Kinabalu, I said yes! but not for climbing highest peak in Malaysia, but for the wonderful place of Kota Kinabalu where my friend Edgar is from and also for the name of second busiest airport in Kota Kinabalu, second busiest, this sure means something right?~!
So throughout the days, weeks and months before the Mount Kinabalu trip, I wasn't preparing myself at all to climb that Peak! All I had been doing was going searching on line hunting down interesting places to see, nice food to eat, awesome things to play. When the day comes, I wasn't fully prepared at all, what I had with me was some little piece of information on how it was like on top from dearest relatives and according to her it was like hell to hike all the way up to the mountain.
The journey up was a tough one, if you're not fully aware and well prepared for this, trust me, the mountain gonna fuck you up nicely, every inch of your muscle on your body will be strained. Definitely not for those who are weak in will, mentally and physically unfit. Yes, you may still go ahead, you might even reach the top, but trust me you will find yourself exhausted, tired, headache, dizzy, feel like puking and wondering why the fuck do you need to pay yourself to suffer, are you nuts? are you retard?? Is that worth it?? Farkkkk, fark fark fark, and of course along you add in some hokkien vulgarity that some might find it a little uncomfortable with, ^^!!
This is me before the hike.. all smile and sunny look along the way.. wearing just a Byford inner wear and a sports pants.. feeling all awesome as though I can take on the world. Hooorahhhhhh! The cool breeze and the sunlight radiates slightly above mountain, that view was just plain amazing, something that I had not seen for years.
"Take Nothing But Photographs, Leave Nothing But Foot Prints." a big sign that greeted me when I arrive at the park. Hoolllyyy cow!! Whaaddaaa farkkk, Maddaaa farkkk was my first few words when I step out of that minivan that drove us to the park, indeed no one will ever say no to that magnificent, fantabulous, awesome, simply beautiful, mesmerizing and romantic view. Your life span might even prolong for a few extra years, your temper might be reduce, you started smiling wow is that real? Am I dreaming? Is this Malaysia? and when I turned around and looked at my friends, their eyes were hooked as thou they are looking at the most beautiful thing ever.
Like I said before the journey up was not easy, the first few hundred meters was a breeze, or I could say a walk in the park as energy level was soaring high, mental will were still strong, however as you climb higher, the air gets thinner, without noticing, you're gasping for air and every steps get heavier every time and you run out of energy sooner than you thought. I was sweating by then, here's a picture of me resting my head with a walking stick, another 1.5km to reach the top. Don't even dare to look up, as the steepness and the amount of steps that I need to climb frightens me, sweat dripping down my face and my body even thou the air was cold, the closer it gets, the harder and more steep it is, the colder it gets, the harder your nipple is as well haha =P
After bad mouthed and cursed and begged and I wonder how many times I had mentioned the word shit, ass, mother and fuck.. both words do go along well. So .. thank God, I reach Raban Lata finally, it was 4pm in the afternoon, all I felt was grateful that I am still able to stand, and I had not die. The sun was shining brightly but I was not afraid of that as it took care of the coldness for me, my sweater by that time was still along the way carried by the potter, so I spent my time there taking picture and enjoying the damn fucking awesome scenery. I was 3300 plus meters above sea level at that time. The feeling of being higher than anyone else, even higher than the trees, cloud is so near to you as thou you can reach it with your hand, tear it off and put it in your mouth like a cotton candy. Honestly, the feeling and sense of achievement was there, even thou I had not reach the peak yet.
A view straight down from Raban Lata.... what more can I say.. you really have to be there to feel it. Is that kind of scenery that makes you feel worthwhile living in this world.. all I could said during that particular moment was wow.. this is really beautiful.. most simple yet had the strangest feeling of all time as thou I couldn't believe that I am seeing this.
Farrkkkkk the food taste damn great and I am so farrrrkinnng hungry. I am not gonna comment about the food, all I know it was tasty and I ate as thou I have never eaten for my whole damn life.
Good things just kept happening, is as thou the nature knows that I am still hungry, and HE is cooking up a big yoke for me, the bright red yellow yoke of the sun sets and the mist forms the perfect picture of a boiling egg. That view itself, cause an havoc in the lodge, everyone rushed out with their cameras, Wow here Wow there Wow everywhere, I couldn't catch it with my camera as the battery was still charging, never felt so grateful for my N97 before, for taking that perfect picture at that very moment.
And at that moment, a hero walk by at least He was my hero, true hero, true inspiration, an 79 year old man from Norway, with several joint paints and shivering legs, climbed all the way up here and told me how beautiful this place was and how much he enjoyed it, while all I do was cursing with vulgarity along the way. I was embarrassed there and then, I felt so sorry for myself for being short and timid, not having enough endurance, patience and will. If someone as old as him are still able to do this, there's no reason why, we should be wasting our life being satisfied with our current condition when there are still many things out there for us to see and achieve.
Never mind that as I need to wake up and prepare for my hike. We started our journey at 230 in the morning, all geared up, with chocolate bars, energy drink, camera and water in my small sling bag. Barely even feel my fingers, took a peep on the thermometer, 5degrees.. fark.. look at it again this time more carefully.. it just drop another 1 degrees.. the @.@ face started showing, we are not even at the peak yet. Farkkk. After a short briefing, we were good to go.
The night sky was amazing.. never once I felt the stars so close to me.. the clearest most beautiful sky I have ever seen so far. The only regret I had was not being able to stand the cold and the strong wind on the top, I was afraid to take off my cozy hand gloves as my bones could felt the piercing coldness, taking it off and to press the camera shuttle was unthinkable at that time.
The road up was dreadful and dangerous, energy drain quickly and endurance and physically challenging, from a breeze walk turns into mountain climbing for a sudden, big formation of rocks everywhere, pool of mountain water gathered on the rocks, some ferns that could survive the coldness and strong wind lives. Got to be really careful on your steps, as some of the rocks were slippery and steep. It shattered your will whenever you try to look up and the peak were still faraway from you and the road becomes more and more challenging, I was climbing alone, those behind me were too far away and for those in front of me, I couldn't be bother to catch up with them, I was moving on my own speed, trying not to over push myself, whenever I am tired or I am out of breath, I looked for a big stone to take a rest, sat down for awhile, took a sip of Livita before I started walking again, the air was thin, and the cold wind kept blowing, my wind breaker didn't seem to be working, I felt my face being slapped by the coldness.. cheek turned red, nose felt cold, mucus dripping, trying to wipe away, stuff my hand into my bag in search of my towel, big gloves were obstructing my way, the coldness paralyze my finger muscle, sensitivity level drop, finally I pulled out my small towel and wipe it off, continue my journey again. Something funny did happen thou, a couple cut passed me, and the girl farted big time awkward as clearly me, the boyfriend who is behind her hears it and laugh at her speaking back in Cantonese asking why do you fart at me.
Every time when I felt like giving up, I looked back down it looks 10 times more scarier comparing to climbing up, I kept telling myself "Jming you had come a long way don't give up now", all I could see was a dark sky at the back and some dim white light those are the headlights of the people, they are moving up quickly, don't give up, don't give up, be there, see the sun rise, those are the words playing in my mind at that moment. The stars gave me strength and so does the moonlight, it reflects the light from the son ever so brightly and forms a hollow ring around its aperture. I gather myself, slapped my face both left right with my big gloves, clapped three times, held my hands close to my mouth and breath out, I could see warm smoke coming out from my mouth and continue my journey upwards.
5.30 in the morning, I officially reached the highest peak in Malaysia, 4095.2 meters above sea level. A huge relief and sense of pride of myself. I told myself you had indeed achieve something this year.. well done Jming well done. There wasn't many people up there yet, so I managed to have my own picture taken with the wooden board. Being on top of everyone else, I shouted Yessssss!!! Woohoooooo!!! with my lungs out. Congratulate the others who make it to the top as well of course this time with my gloves off however regretted quickly after a few hand shakes.. the temperature was like 1 or 2 degrees Celcius at the top. My face are frozen when I smiled but it worth every single sweat and pain I had endured to be up here.
Going up was hard, but going down was even harder, dangerous, lose control and you fall. Most probably you fall with your head down first, then you die, or you fall with your knee knock on the rocks, then you have a broken limb.
As the sun rise, sky turning from dark black to blue, and I could see the clouds, and that bright yellow sun light.. is 615 in the morning by that time.
Is time to leave the peak and headed back to the lodge.. I was really hungry by then and I need my breakfast badly, all I had in my mind was grabbing the hot coffee cup with both my hands to get some warm and some bread or cakes to fill my stomach.
Pass by 'Donkey Ears' on my way down.. couldn't help to take a picture of it. As the sun was just rising between the ears. And there ends my journey to conquer Mount Kinabalu, never underestimate yourself my dear readers even at time you doubt your own capabilities, do your very best and never give up till the end, most probably is due to the crisis in Japan, I felt and think a lot on my way down the hill, there are too many things that I need to do, and I am gonna do it I told myself.