Climbing Mount Kinabalu via Mesilau Trail

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in South-East Asia and is situated within the Kinabalu National Park in the province of Sabah, Borneo. Tourists visit Kinabalu National Park in thousands each year and most come with the intention of conquering Mount Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in South-East Asia.

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in South-East Asia.

If the thought of hiking up Mount Kinabalu in Sabah has caught your interests, then take a climbing package and attempt to summit Low’s Peak. Unpredictable weather and the wind chill factor had turned many climbers away from the Mount Kinabalu summit attempt but do not let that bring you down. Take up the challenge to conquer the summit and be rewarded with an experience you will never forget.

There are two choices of trails for new climbers to choose from. One is the Timpohon trail and the other is the Mesilau trail. The Timpohon trail is said to be a shorter route to the mountain base camp in Laban Rata and is expected to take about six hours. The Mesilau trail is longer and takes more than 11 hours to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

Trail Map to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo

Trail Map to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo

But we would like to recommend the Mesilau, despite the longer hiking hours. Many climbers agree that the trail is scenic and less strenuous.

Before the trail begins, the first stop will be the park headquarters and take an hour’s taxi ride to the Mesilau Nature Resort before departing to Laban Rata. While you are along the way to Laban rata, take your time to enjoy the scenic trail and you may even encounter some fellow hikers.

The hiking distance to Laban Rata from Mesilau is about 8km and it will definitely test your endurance and physical strength. It is recommended to take a short nap before the summit attempt somewhere in between, and altitude mountain sickness can be a concern for some climbers.

From Laban Rata, if climbers take a night climb be prepared to bring along headlamps (a must have item for mountain climbers) and worked your way through a rope section to reach the Sayat-Sayat checkpoint.

Upon reaching Sayat-Sayat checkpoint, you have to show your climbing pass which was issued at the park headquarters.

From the highest mountain hut, the 2.7km push to the peak promises a sunrise view from the highest point in the country and at the summit; climbers get to experience strong winds bringing chills with near freezing temperature.

For climbers who cannot carry on with the climb, you can tell your guide because they have the authority to call off the summit attempt if any reasonable reason arises.

Upon reaching the peak climbers will get to see a small section where a set of metal plates were erected. One indicates the height of the peak and the other is a tribute to Gunting Lagadan, the first man to set foot on the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

When if the mist at the peak gets cleared, be prepared to be mesmerised by the spectacular view from the top as if you are floating in heaven.

Climb Mt. Kinabalu Mesilau Trail

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