Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo: Day 1 Part 3 – Timpohon Gate to Layang Shelter

timpohon gate mount kinabalu

Timpohon Gate marks the official start of the Mount Kinabalu hike in Malaysia.

And so to Day 1 Part 3 of the epic Mount Kinabalu hike in Malaysian Borneo. Having booked the tour, paid for it and arrived at Kinabalu National Park we then arrived by minibus to the entrance at Timpohon Gate.

signing our name at mount kinabalu entrance

Signing the sheets at Timpohon Gate on the Mount Kinabalu hike.

Anybody who has hiked Mount Kinabalu will know the hike starts at Timpohon Gate. You sign your names there to say you have started a hike and your guide accompanies you on the hike.

timpohon gate mount kinabalu

My girlfriend Panny and I about to start the hike up Mount Kinabalu!

Once you’re at the entrance, pose and get your “starting” photos taken and off you go! The most surprising thing for me was that the first part of the hike is downhill! But only the first 10 minutes or so until you arrive at the only waterfall on the hike – Carson’s Falls.

carsons falls mount kinabalu hike

Starting the hike – it’s a downward walk to start with down to Carson’s Falls.

It’s nothing to write home about (the waterfall), but try and get the first couple of kilometres out of the way nice and early. Trust me – they are an easy stroll.

start of mount kinabalu hike

The start of the hike is easy terrain like this – get it over and done with quickly if you can!

The terrain is easy, the ascent is not steep and the view is mostly of forest. Up until the 3 kilometre mark that is. When we did it was also misty.

jonny blair and panny yu having a rest

Having a rest and a water break on the first part of the hike!

You’ll pass a few notable points on this part of the hike and by the time you’ve stopped for your lunch, you’re halfway through Day 1. Here’s an overview, a timeline and details of the places on the first 3 kilometres:

9:45am – Timpohon Gate. Where you sign in and officially start the hike.

jonny blair mount kinabalu hike

Signing in and onto the hike at Timpohon Gate!

9:54am – Carson Falls (500m). It’s a small waterfall at the bottom of the hill.

carson falls

Carson Falls – the only waterfall on the entire hike and it’s right at the start. It’s “nothing to write home about” 😉

10:08am – Pondok Kandis Shelter (1km). This is 2,039 metres above sea level.

1 kilometre mark mount kinabalu

At the 1kilometre mark at Pondok Kandis Shelter.

10:24am – Pondok Ubah Shelter (1.5km). This small shelter is 2,081 metres above sea level. We just did a water stop.

10:47am – Komborongoh Telekom Station (2.5km)

11:02am – Pondok Lowii Shelter (2.5km) – At this point we were 2,350 metres above sea level.

pondok lowi shelter

At Pondok Lowii Shelter on the Kinabalu Hike

11:40 to 12 noon – Mempening Shelter (3.2km) – We arrived at the Mempening Shelter and sat down, deciding on an early lunch.

jonny blair hiking mount kinabalu

Chilling out on the hike to update my travel notes! The life of a nomadic travel blogger!

This is where we had our lunch. Plus a lot of the other folks had stopped here too for lunch. Lunch consisted of the bag we were given at the base. In this was:

– 2 hard boiled eggs

– 2 cheese and ham sandwiches

– 1 water

pondok mempening shelter

Lunchtime was at Pondok Mempening Shelter, time to revitalise before the last upward part of the day.

12:29 am – We arrived at Layang Shelter (4km) and had covered more than 2/3 of our hike for the day.

So after munching our lunch rather quickly, it was on up through the clearing mist on the last ascent of the day, which will follow in Day 1 Part 4! In the meantime here are the videos from the part of the hike from Timpohon Gate to Layang Shelter:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 1:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 2:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 3:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 4:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 5:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 6:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 7:

Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo Part 8:

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