Mount Kinabalu is a well known mountain range that lies on the border between Malaysia and Borneo. Famed for being one of the easiest mountains to climb in the world requiring no special climbing skills, the mountain is also an extremely important source of biodiversity.
When arriving at Mount Kinabalu visitors will be presented with a rich array of plant life at the lower levels. Climbers can expect to find over 800 species of flora and 600 species of ferns. Even more interesting is the fact that most of the plant life that can be found here is actually endemic, meaning that it cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Of course this is just the beginning of the appeal of Mount Kinabalu. The real adventure lies in the climb to the top, a feat that is attempted by thousands every year. The entire ascent is approximately 8km’s in length and takes around 3 days and 2 nights for the round trip. Though for the most speed inclined it is possible to do it in 2 days and 1 night.
When ascending the mountain, climbers will notice the immense variations in temperature on the mountainside through changes in the plant life. The lower levels are dominated by tropical while as one gets closer to the summit this changes to almost alpine like near freezing conditions.
Those hoping to make this climb are advised to be relatively well prepared. For footwear, it is best to wear boots as they provide ankle support as a common injury is the twisting of the ankle on the way down. Sneakers are a common choice that results in this injury.
A water bottle is also advisable as the walk will certainly make you thirsty. One plastic bottle is enough per person as there are plenty of natural sources where the can be refilled. Torchlight is also essential as during the night climb visibility is very low. Raincoats are a must in the event of rain as getting soaked on the ascent is not good for your health. Snacks are also advisable though those with salt should be avoided. It should also be noted that for the night climb a separate warmer outfit should be worn as the temperature drops significantly.
For those wishing to undertake the climb to the top staying in a hotel in Kota Kinabalu is highly recommended. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort Kota Kinabalu presents an option that features an array of facilities in addition to the benefit of being an acclaimed Kota Kinabalu resort.