Physical preparation for my Mt Kinabalu Climb.
Although you do not need to be super fit, you do need to be in good physical condition.
Here are some suggestions from the Alpine Guides Association:
- A good amount of outdoor cardiovascular exercise (power walking, cycling, running, mountain biking etc) and getting out for long days in the hills whenever possible is great preparation for your climb.
- We recommend all climbers take cardiovascular sports at least twice a week, with each session being a minimum of 2 hours in duration at a medium intensity.
- Fitness training should begin 2-3 months leading up to your trip, this way you should be well prepared.
Ensure you are medically fit too
It is recommended that all climbers should have themselves medically checked before attempting any mountain climb. If you have a history of suffering from the following ailments, it is highly recommend that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, Diabetes, Palpitation, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Severe Anemia, Peptic Ulcers, Epileptic Fits, Obesity, Chronic Asthma, Muscular cramps, Hepatitis (jaundice); or any other disease which may hamper the climb.
You will not need your bikini ! Here is our suggested packing list.
With good preparation your mountain climb will be more enjoyable and packing plays a key role in preparation, we suggest you keep your backpack around 6kg in weight. This 6kg will feel like 16kg after just 1km! To make your packing easier we have split the requirement into the climbing sections. Panalaban (waiting point in the local Dusun language) is the location of the overnight waiting huts.
Ascent from Timpohon Gate (1800m) to Panalaban Plateau (3,200m)
Time: 1st Ascent 10:00 hrs – 15:00 hrs
Temperatures at Kinabalu Park range from 15°C to 24°C
Timpohon Gate along the Summit trail and up to Pana Laban range from 6°C-14°C and can reach 2°C.
- Wear lightweight clothing and layer up so you can put on and take off the layers as you sweat. T-shirts & lycra sports wear are good options
- Suitable walking / hiking boots with good angle support and a good grip. Training shoes can be worn if you do not have walking boots.
- Waterproof backpack or buy a waterproof cover to keep items inside dry as the chances are it will rain at some point.
- A small lightweight towel.
- Refillable 1 – 1.5 litre water bottles that can take very hot water. (Most climbers need only about 2-3L to reach Panalaban).
- High energy food such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars.
- Personal toiletries such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Change of clothes and extra socks for sleeping.
- Waterproof jacket or disposable raincoat.
Bedding is provided and extra sleeping bags can be rented if required at Laban Rata Rest House. Sleeping bags are provided at Pendant Hut.
Towels are provided for stays at Laban Rata Rest House only. You must bring your own for stays at Pendant Hut.
Ascent from Panalaban Plateau (3,200m) to Lows Peak Summit (4,093m)
Time: 2nd Ascent 02:00 hrs – Sunrise
The Summit itself is around 2°C but the wind chill can make it feel below freezing.
- Waterproof windbreaker
- Fleece jacket, long sleeves shirt or jumper, thick trousers/hiking trousers, thick socks and your hiking shoes
- Head torch so that your hands are free to climb and hold onto the ropes when required.
- Warm hat or balaclava mask.
- Gloves, ideally waterproof.
- Small water bottle.
- Waterproof jacket or disposable raincoat.
- Re-fill your water container with boiled water at the mountain huts OR buy mineral water. 2Ltr is enough for most people.
Your overnight bag can be kept at your room without additional charges since you will return to the accommodation after the summit climb.
Additional general items.
- Headache tablets or required medication.
- Toilet roll
- Sunglass, sunblock lotion, SPF lip balm, plasters.
- Insect repellent.
- Camera with waterproof bag.
- Lightweight rubber sandals/slippers incase you do not want to wear your heavy boots at the accommodation.
- Bags for wet clothes
- Trekking/Hiking Pole
Extra Baggage & Porters
There is a luggage store at the Kinabalu Park HQ reception area where you can safely leave any items not required for the climb, the rate is currently MYR 12.00 per case/bag (regardless of size) and subject to change.
Porters are available and can be organised at the KNP HQ. The minimum weight required is 10kg. Should your bag weigh less than 10kg, the charge will still be calculated based on 10kg. On average you can expect to pay MYR 130.00 per round trip Timpohon – Panalaban – Timpohon for a 10kg bag.
“I Climbed & Survived with Downbelow” – pre-book your souvenir T.Shirt and wear with pride during your ascent.
Specially designed for climbing, lightweight & breathable with VaportLite & VaporSkin technology for comfort & softness for active wear.
Please ask your travel consultant for more information.
Walking Sticks and Head Torches.
You will see from our packing list that these are suggested items. A head torch is especially important during your final ascent in darkness from Laban Rata Plateau to the summit. We sell a variety of such items in our Dive & Adventure Shop, we also rent them to our climbers.