Mount Kinabalu Climb, Sabah, Borneo
Sample Itinerary for Mount Kinabalu Climb, 3 Days / 2 Night
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu / Kinabalu Park (Kundasang)
Pick up from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu after lunch and start your journey towards Kinabalu Park and the mighty Mount Kinabalu. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape with valleys and small villages. The drive will take around 2.5 hours. (At a surcharge it’s also possible to start the tour from Sandakan).
Stay for the night in Kundasang near the starting point in Kinabalu Park or stay inside the park (depends on the package). Most places in the area will have a good view of Mount Kinabalu.
- Transfer from Kota Kinabalu (or Sandakan) to Kundasang / Kinabalu Park
- Accommodation in Kinabalu Park or Kundasang just outside the park
Day 2: Kundasang / Mount Kinabalu
Early breakfast and registration at the Kinabalu Park office. The climb will start from the Timpohon Gate. From here, you will climb up to the Laban Rata Rest House (3,352 meters above sea level), a trek of about 4-5 hours, depending on your fitness level. The trek is a scenic one and you can see how the vegetation changes depending on the altitude. Overnight stay at the Laban Rata Dormitory. Dinner is served at Laban Rata and you will go early to bed since you will only have little time to rest. (other accommodations are available depending on your package).
- Transfer to Timpohon Gate
- Mountain guide
- Insurance & Climbing permit
- Accommodation in Laban Rata Resthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Packed lunch & Dinner
Day 3: Mount Kinabalu summit / Kota Kinabalu
The summit climb starts at 2 am, starting at Laban Rata (3,352 meters asl) all the way to Low’s Peak (4,095 meters asl). The climb to the top takes about three to four hours. This is the most challenging part of the climb, with several steep places to conquer. There are ropes and stairs available at the most challenging places. When you reach the summit, you will witness a beautiful sunrise. You will then start your descent back to the Timpohon Gate. From there, you will be transferred back to Kota Kinabalu and check-in to your hotel for the night. (Depending on your package there might be other activities included – At a surcharge, it’s also possible to finish the tour in Sandakan).
- Transfer to the park headquarter
- Mountain guide
- Climbing certificate
- Transfer to Kota Kinabalu (or Sandakan)
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
It’s highly recommended to take at least 1 rest day after the climb. Not recommended for children and climbers must be in good physical shape.
Note: There are different itineraries and operators. This is a standard itinerary. Contact us for more info about prices and itineraries.
Packing List – Things to Bring When Climbing Mount Kinabalu
As Mount Kinabalu is situated in Sabah, Borneo, which is a tropical island, many climbers mistakenly underestimate the temperature on the mountain and do not bring enough warm cloth for the climb. The average temperature on Laban Rata (3,272 metres above sea level) is somewhere between 8 to 15 degrees Celsius and the temperature on the peak of Mount Kinabalu (4,095 metres above sea level) can dip to zero degree Celsius and be windy. Therefore, it is important to dress well and warm for your climb.
Check out this list of clothing and equipment you should have on your trek to conquer Mount Kinabalu:
During the climb you will be sweating buckets and wearing a damp shirt surrounded by the cold mountain air will be very uncomfortable. Skip the cotton shirt that clings onto sweat and opt for a moisture-wicking dri-fit shirt instead.
Avoid all your changing clothes getting wet from rain or sweat by using a rainproof backpack. Or as an alternative make sure to have everything inside packed in plastic bags.
Energy Bars and Snacks
Bring some energy bars and snacks you can bring along on the trek.
Also known as hiking poles or hiking sticks, the usefulness of the trekking pole may not be immediately obvious but when you have been trekking for hours and your knees are starting to feel a little wonky, the trekking pole is the next best thing to sturdy legs. It especially helps a lot with descents as well.
One of the latest trends to hit the performance gear shelves, compression gears (shirt, trousers or socks) will help keep your muscles warm (by applying a certain level of pressure onto them) and help prevent muscle cramps mid-trek. Compression gears are also believed to be able to clear lactic acid build-up from your muscles more effectively so that you won’t feel as sore the next day.
Comfortable Trekking Shoes and Extra Socks
If you are looking for an excuse to splurge on good quality trekking/trail shoes, this is your chance. Make sure you do your research on what are the best shoes to wear for mountain climbing. Take into consideration the terrains of Mount Kinabalu, which can vary from being muddy to rocky and make sure that the shoes are lightweight for hours of comfortable trekking. Also, don’t forget to bring an extra change of socks in case they get wet.
Waterproof Windbreaker or Poncho
The weather can be unpredictable at best. It doesn’t hurt to bring along a lightweight and hooded waterproof windbreaker or a disposable rain poncho that you can purchase at any convenience store.
Gloves with Rubber Grip
At one point before reaching the summit, you will be required to climb by grabbing a rope. To avoid rope burns while keeping warm, be sure to equip yourself with a thin pair of water-resistant gloves with rubber grip.
The temperature on the Mount Kinabalu summit can drop to as low as zero degree Celsius, therefore, it is important to stock up on warm clothing that is otherwise non-bulky. Opt for a thin fleece jacket that insulates body heat to keep you warm. Don’t forget to keep your neck and head warm too by wearing a fleece scarf and a knitted beanie.
You must be in good physical condition. We highly recommend you have done physical exercise before the trip.