Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo: Day 2 Part 1 – Up at 2am for Breakfast and Starting the Hike

climbing mount kinabalu day 2

Just after we started the hike – 2.53 am.

OK folks, so if you’ve followed my posts in sequence from climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, you’ll know I completed day one and we headed to the Waras Hut in Kinabalu to sleep for a few hours. And it really was just a few hours! We got to sleep around 10.30 pm I reckon and awoke again at 2 am ready for the hike. Here’s the first part of Day 2 of the hike – the real reason for doing it – to make it to the top of Mount Kinabalu!!

panny yu jonny blair climbing mount kinabalu

My girlfriend Panny and I with our headlamps on, on the way up, around 3.30 am.

First things first though – when you waken up on the second day, here’s a few tips:

1. Don’t carry all your stuff with you to the peak – you don’t need it all – just bring the essentials and leave the rest in your room (in our case the dorm in the Waras Hut).

2. Wear warm clothes, even in Summer it can get cold at the top (gloves, scarves, coats and hats should be packed just in case).

3. Carry water and if you have a flask – a hot cup of tea or coffee would be a Godsend (you can fill it up for free at Laban Rata – don’t forget how much of a budget backpacker I am ;-).

4. Eat as much as you can for breakfast in Laban Rata – you’ll be glad of the energy.

5. Bring a torch or preferably headlamp with you (don’t get ripped off renting one, failure to prepare and all that…)

6. Bring a spare camera battery and charge your camera and battery ready for the big hike. You don’t want to get to the top and not have “that photo”!

breakfast in laban rata mountain kinabalu

Breakfast at Laban Rata to hike up Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia.

The breakfast is an all you can eat buffet including toast, eggs, tea, coffee etc. The usual. A reminder again to take your flask and fill it with tea or coffee ready for the ascent! I was buzzing at 2.30 am and we got ready for the hike up.

jonny blair mount kinabalu

Up after 4 hours sleep, ready to eat and climb to the peak!

We headed with our guide, Jack on the first part of the ascent – in complete darkness. Some of this is up stairs and steps and is not too challenging – you might feel an odd mix of chill and sweat. Your armpits sweat – your hands and nose get cold. Motor on!

kinabalu rope section

The rope section on the way up to the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

There’s a rope section around the 6.5 kilometre mark and parts of this may be tricky if you’re not an experienced climber. Just take it slow if this is the case – it’s not a rush and you’ll be able to manage no problem. Stick to the route they suggest. Safety and health are important don’t forget!

jonny blair hiking mount kinabalu

Arrival at the 6.5 kilometre mark – only 1.5 km to go!

I can’t remember what time we reached the 6.5 kilometre mark, but when you do, there’ another another 1.5 kilometres to Low’s Peak. Mount Kinabalu has a number of “peaks” due to the cool looking terrain at the top. You’re aiming for the main peak, but keep your eyes out for the first sighting of Low’s Peak!

laban rata restaurant

Packed restaurant at Laban Rata at 2am ready for the hike to the peak!

I’ll continue the next part soon, as we head from the 6.5 kilometre mark up to the 8 kilometre point. This part is still in darkness by the way. Here are my videos from the first part of day 2:

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