It’s the honest truth: it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
But at the same time, it was also one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done. I enjoyed myself immensely and definitely recommend to take on the challenge and conquer the mountain.
That’s exactly what followed our seafood indulgence in Kota Kinabalu.
We got up early on January 2nd and left our hostel at around 6.30am to arrive at the foot of the mountain early enough to give us plenty of time to make our way to Lana Rata. On the way on the car the anticipation levels were rather high and all of us were nervous, excited and a little bit scared. A great combination to get the adrenaline flowing.
The way is slow and steady. I kept thinking LSD. LSD. Long. Slow. Distance. We started out as a team but on the way everyone had to find their own pace and make it up their. It’s a willpower endeavor and it’s absolutely doable. I was a bit concerned up front in regards to the altitude and my overall condition so I started to hit up the gym more frequently in late October and ran 5k around 3 times a week. And that was totally sufficient.
After reaching Lana Rata in the early afternoon, we hung out on the balcony, enjoyed being above the clouds and were finally rewarded with the most amazing sunset I had ever seen.
We were drowning in a world of colours and everything was tinted in red and blue. The sky was so beautiful that it truly made you forget all the exhaustion and pain you went through the get up there.
After a very short night we got up again at 2am, had a bit of breakfast and then started to tackle the summit at 3am. It was non stop steep incline and amazingly enough we kept passing people on our way up. We reached the summit at 5am and just when we got there light drizzle started to fall and soon the clouds came in.
When the sun came up the mountain turned blue.
Getting back down took as long as getting up there. 1.5 hours back to Lana Rata and then another five ours back down to where our amazing driver Danny picked us up. If you ever happen to go to Kota Kinabalu and need a driver, let me know and I can pass on his information.
Once we were back down and the experience started to settle in, I was so hyped about it – I promised my friend we’ll do the Kili this year. Let’s see.