Jesselton City: Glory on Low's Peak

1:15am when the alarm buzzed.

Practically had to drag myself out of the bed. It was a huge relief though that the counter pain must have worked, no soreness felt in my legs. Brushed teeth with the icy cold water in the rest house and washed face. Shivered through the whole process.

Had some breakfast, leftovers of miniature burgers, bananas, and more of that energy bar. Bundled up with more layers, long johns, thick sweatshirt, waterproof windbreaker, another pair of pants, beanie hat, double layers of socks, thick pair of gloves and a head-mounted lamp lol.... good to go! Sounds like a lot but I think movements still not as limited as when I was a bak chang in North Dakota.

Around 2:40am, all of us were gathered at the front hallway and our guide ushered us out the back way. Obviously it was still very much dark and even though most of us probably did not get enough sleep but everyone looked wide awake (in the dark anyway).

Our guide spoke, "Matlamat kita hanya satu, ke puncak." Super cool the way he spoke hahahahha.

With that, we started to climb. We have 2.7km standing between us and the peak. Rain started to fall and that didn't help matters. The trail here is pretty straightforward. There are stairs and also rocks and roots to cling and climb on to. Nevertheless, it is not any easier because the way up at some points are pretty steep too.

It starts getting tough when we reached a large boulder and there is a rope running through the length of it. I was like, what the helll..... lol.... And yes, we have to pull ourselves up on the steeper grounds and there are no safety harness whatsoever in case that you fall. The guides were very helpful though, gave me a hand here and there. I did not take any pictures on the way up as it was too dark to capture anything and also it's a bit of a hassle to dig out the camera when you have two hands trying to support yourself on the rope.

I think compared to the day before's hike, the second day is so much more tougher. When we reached the Sayat-Sayat Hut (last hut to provide water supply and also where a guide takes down our name and checks that we have our badge which meant we paid for a climbing permit), it was about an hour plus since we started. I was feeling relief, thinking that indeed the peak is getting close.

Wrong -___-.

Starting from Sayat-sayat, we no longer need to use ropes to elevate ourselves. But there are still ropes and we stay close to them. SJ, Evan, ZX and Uncle Joshua were further up front, TY and I were left alone. Poor TY some more carrying all his camera equipments. The grounds leading the way to the peak is not exactly tough, only a slight elevation but it was super tough on me I guess because I was feeling tired, my hands were cold and wet because the ropes we held on to earlier were soaked, it's still drizzling, and I started getting smallest waves of nausea. Took a couple of aspirin, hoping it will somewhat ease the dizziness.

It's somewhat surreal hiking in the dark with the rain. At one point we were passing the South Peak (there are many peaks close to the summit) we got to witness the most picturesque view of all, the South Peak bathed in the moonlight with the full moon suspended above.

I suppose I should skip all the torturing details and fast forward. At the foot of the Low's Peak, the climb is tough! No guides around and TY and I cracking our heads on how to move past the huge boulders and rocks. Finally scaling up on the peak... wonderful feeling. It was aout 5:50am. Just about time to catch the sunrise. Oh! Rain stopped already too! :)

Caught a little rainbow above St John's peak.

At 4095.2m high above sea level, we scaled the tallest mountain in South East Asia :)

We made it! Months and months of training and advice fishing we made it to the peak!
Gam dong T__T

We didn't spend too much of a time on the peak. After TY and I arrived, (SJ, Jojo, Evan and ZX reached some time around 5:15am. Gila), Uncle Joshua, followed by the others, WI, JL, YQ and RW). My hands were still cold and I think temperature is about 5 degrees C. More picture taking ensued until we cannot tahan anymore so we started the descend.

This is similar to the wallpaper I have on my office desktop. Lol.

South Peak. Imagine the view without daylight, and a moon suspended above. Perfection.

Four of us were the ones at the back of the pack. We took our own sweet time down and taking pictures at every opportunity lol. It's not that we come here everyday!


I looked so funny lol. And I also realized that I did not take many pictures with TY.

Rays of light trapped between Ugly Sisters' Peak and Donkey Ears' Peak.

TY with all his hair flat lol. Rare picture.

They should call it Bunny Ears' Peak.

Our guide took this for us lol. While all of us were going down slowly (coz it's wet and slippery in some places), our guide is practically skipping down.

I think descending is worse than hiking up because of the impact on our ankles and knees. Especially when we came to the rope point T__T and you suddenly see the great cliff that awaits if you lose your footing.

Tufts of soft fluffy clouds.

Small fall.

Also, do you know that the locals used to sacrifice a chicken each time a climb was made? Now it's only done once a year when only 7 chickens are sacrificed...

Great view. Even the worst photographer can capture a shot and it will still look pretty.

Phone booths at the Sayat-sayat hut lol. Didn't try to see whether it works or not.

This is probably my favorite shot. But it's taken by TY not me T___T
This plant is pretty elusive. Spotted some of the flowers on the grounds when we were hiking on Day 1 but couldn't find the source till now. Then I had to go to the loo first so I asked TY to capture these.

To think that we passed through all these great view but it was too dark to appreciate them.

Pretty !!

Wild, local strawberries that the guide pointed out to me. Tried some and they taste sour! Lol. But passable though.

Steps that lead the way up. The guide told me that these are called 'iron wood' or 'kayu besi' for its sturdiness and toughness. These can be used for many, many years before being replaced.

Close to our Gunting Lagadan hut, spotted this branch that looks like a snake. Lol. Charming.

One final shot of the view from our hut before packing all our stuffs back to Laban Rata. Oh I also managed a quick shower hehehehheh. I feel like Sizuka from Doraemon who cannot handle a day without shower lol.

Had our breakfast/lunch in Laban Rata after checking out. Gobbled everything we see. Wei Inn and the others start their way down first leaving Evan, ZX, SJ, TY and I because a few of us have the sudden urge to do #2 lol. Pity the toilet bowl really.

At 10:30am, we start our looooooong way down...

Found more wild strawberries which Evan love so much coz it's sour.

Toads Evan insisted we stop and take pictures of.

We were also lucky to find the endemic giant Kinabalu earthworm! Soon Jiun was the one who spotted it lol. He thought it was a snake at first until closer inspection ensued. It's about a foot long. And yes I think it looks gross.

We had to rush our way down to catch up with the first group as we were holding the coupons for lunch at the Timpohon rest house. And the lunch buffet stops at 3:30pm. Super kan cheong ... by the time we reached the start of Timpohon trail, we found out that we have to wait for a bus to pick us up! A quick call to Wei Inn brought some bad and good news... Lunch is already over, but the others got to eat because coupons aren't necessary. And they even tabao-ed for us!

The bus only arrived at 4:15pm.... Then we all got our certificates at RM10, each of us got two certificates - one for reaching the summit and the other one for using the Mesilau route. Collected our luggages that were left in the Park, then hopped into the bus to make our way back to our service apartments.... I was dead tired I slept practically the whole journey....


  1. Syok also hoh that picture of you guys descending, everyone standing senget haha
    I think the strawberry you mentioned are raspberry lah
    Earthworm so huge, geli...
    So overall, how many hiking hours to get to summit?

  2. The picture was taken by our guide hehe. I think he aligned the camera to the slope kekekke.
    The guide introduced them to me as strawberries so I just copy and paste over lol. But coming to it again it does resemble raspberries more.
    The earthworms are gross. I can't even tell which side is front!
    First day we took an aprrox 7 hours to reach Laban Rata (at a steady pace with regular stops)and then the second day, night hike took me close to 3 hours I think. Overall about 10 hours I suppose.


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