Are you ready to climb Mount Kinabalu? Did you take the camera with you? It is time you set off on your newest adventure, one that you will never forget.
The journey always starts very early in the morning with climbing on the Summit Trail, towards the peak of the mountain. There are some beautiful spots that you will be seeing along the way and the seven shelters will provide good rest, excellent mountain water and pure nature.
The Timpohon Gate is the starting point for the day climb, the actual entrance to the Summit trail, where there will also be some registration formalities before you will be allowed to climb Mount Kinabalu.
Once you get past the Timpohon Gate, the real journey begins. Let’s take a look at the most beautiful places that can shelter you on your way to the peak of the mountain.
- Pondok Kandis is the first shelter, about 30 minutes from the starting point. This place will offer a spectacular view that you would like to share with friends and family, so be ready to take photos of the southwestern coast. Rhododendron species will charm your eyes, as well as orchids or the tree cloud forest. You will also be able to spot squirrels, birds or even bats.
- Pondok Ubah seems to be a little bit off the trail, but it is still easy to get to. Dominated by tree ferns and climbing bamboos, this shelter is very picturesque due to the large variety of orchids and to the carnivorous plants. The pitcher plants are unique here. Mouse deer, barking deer, bearded pigs as well as the slow Loris and tarsier are frequent encounters as you climb Mount Kinabalu to its peak
- Pondok Lowii is the next shelter, embraced by the thick upper-mountain forest. Nearby, the hiking trail will split, showing the way towards the radio and television station on the left, which is a restricted area, and the way towards the end of summit trail, on the right.
- Pondok Mempening will bring wild begonias to your sight. Here you can find 715 fern species, as well as Dawsonia, the largest moss in the world. Situated at more than 2500 meters, the shelter will give you the chance of watching birds, squirrels and tree shrews.
- Pondok Layang-Layang is a small hut, which was previously known as Carson’s Camp. This is the spot where extraordinary changes take place, as far as vegetation is concerned. The forest gets much shorter around this area and you are most likely to find wild raspberries and insect-eating pitcher plants.
- Pondok Villosa will be your next stop. The poor soil conditions are only suitable for certain species of vegetation. This place is amazing because of the open rocky patch and the mountain towering above.
- Pondok Paka is the last shelter, located at a 3000 meter altitude. It might not be very easy to breathe here, as the air is thinner, but you will feel closer to paradise, the reason why you have chosen to climb Mount Kinabalu. The name comes from the Paka Cave situated close to it, next to a large overhanging rock.
Every shelter on the trail is spectacular and makes the trip towards the summit even more exciting. As you climb Mount Kinabalu on your way up to Laban Rata, you will feel like stepping in a whole new world full of life, beauty and color.
I would recommend you book either a 2D1N Mount Kinabalu Package or a 3D2N Mt Kinabalu Package if you would like to explore the Kinabalu National Park for a day. Check out www.climbingmountkinabalu.com for information and bookings.
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