Climbing Mount Kinabalu - An Experience of a Lifetime
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is one of the most popular requests by visitors to Sabah, Borneo. It's easy to understand when you realise what Mount Kinabalu has to offer. Standing at 4,095m above sea level Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Sabah, and between the Himalayas and New Guinea. This makes climbing Mount Kinabalu a big personal achievement, and often a tick off a 'bucket list' for many climbers. As Mount Kinabalu is home to an amazing variety of flora you will also be treated to some amazing landscapes and scenery as part of climbing Mount Kinabalu.
This 2 Day Climb via Timpohon Gate follows the standard 'Timpohan Trail' to Low's Peak Summit. You'll start your trek on day 1 at Timpohan Gate (1,866m a.s.l) at Kinabalu National Park and finish your trek here after trekking down Mount Kinabalu on day 2. The big highlight of climbing Mount Kinabalu is reaching Low's Peak Summit ready to watch the sunrise across the Crocker Range on Day 2 of your tour.
Are you ready for a challenge? Climbing Mount Kinabalu is for you!
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a physical and mental challenge. The climb is recommended for those with a good level of fitness and in good health. Physical preparation is really important to help you more comfortably trek up and down Mount Kinabalu and get the most from this experience. We have included some recommendations from the Alpine Guides Association below for preparing yourself physical for climbing Mount Kinabalu. Good physical preparation provides good mental preparation. Find more tips for surviving climbing Mount Kinabalu with a smile in our Blog.
With this 2 day trek you change altitude significantly within a short space of time. To help minimise the risk of altitude sickness it is advisable to stay in the Kinabalu National Park or a highland resort at Kundasang prior to the climb for high altitude acclimatisation. Alternatively you could choose a 3 Day Climbing Mount Kinabalu Package which offers the first night staying at Kinabalu Park Headquarters.
Still up for the challenge of climbing Mount Kinabalu? Great! After all, you have not really experienced Sabah Borneo and all its wonders without climbing Mount Kinabalu!
Trip Itinerary - Climbing Mount Kinabalu | via Timpohan Gate (2 Days)
The outline itinerary below is based upon booking the optional return transfers from Kota Kinabalu with this Climbing Mount Kinabalu via Timpohan Gate (2 Days) package.
Day 1 (Meals: Packed Lunch, Dinner)
06:00 - 06:30hrs: Pick up from your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu and start your journey to Kinabalu Park Headquarters. The journey will take approximately 2 hours passing by villages and paddy fields as you drive along the Crocker Mountain Range. There will be a brief stop at Nabalu Market for an opportunity to buy local fruits.
08:00 - 08:30hrs: Upon arrival, you will register at Kinabalu Park's office for climbing Mount Kinabalu and meet with your licensed mountain guide. The real adventure begins as you proceed to the Power Station / Timpohon Gate by coach for the start of your 2 day climb of Mount Kinabalu. The average Climber will take 5 to 6 hrs) to trek from from Timpohon Gate to your Mountain Hut (Panalaban). It will be continual trekking all the way up with short (5 minute) rests at each of the checkpoints you pass by on the route up to your Hut. Trek at your normal pace - not too fast, not too slow - to help climbing Mount Kinabalu feel as comfortable as possible and to manage your energy levels. The trek will pass by different vegetation zones from Oak and Chestnut trees at the start to mossy and eventually to alpine type of vegetations.
Between 13:00 - 16:00hrs (depends on your trekking pace): You will arrive at @ 3272m at Panalaban where the Huts are located. Check into your accommodation. It's then time to relax and enjoy the spectacular mountain landscape in the evening. Your dinner (buffet style) will be at Laban Rata Restaurant. Overnight at Laban Rata Resthouse (unheated dorms).
Day 2 ( Meals: Supper, Breakfast, Lunch)
02:00hrs: Wake up early for supper before continuing climbing Mount Kinabalu towards Low's Peak summit @ 4,095m. The climb takes about three hours but you will be well rewarded with a breath-taking view of the sunrise along the horizon (weather permitting). For this last part of climbing Mount Kinabalu you’ll only need to pack your essentials such as warm clothing, sunblock, water, headlights, gloves, etc. You can leave the rest of your stuff at the base camp. Your headlight / torch will be essential for this part of the trek as it will be dark during your ascent.
07:00hrs (after sunrise): Descend back to Laban Rata Restaurant for a well earned breakfast before checking out of your Hut. After check out you will trek back down to the Timpohon Gate (estimated arrival is between 13:00hrs to 15:00hrs for the average Climber). Upon arrival at Timpohan Gate you will transferred by minibus to the Park Headquarters to collect your certificate of achievement - congratulations, you just succeeded at climbing Mount Kinabalu!! Enjoy a nice buffet lunch at Balsam restaurant located with Kinabalu Park Headquarters.
By latest 17:00hrs: Depart for Kota Kinabalu city / hotel, a ~ 2 hour transfer (depending on traffic).
Trip Pre-requisites - Climbing Mount Kinabalu
There are no set age limits for this trek for Mount Kinabalu climbers. You need to be in good in health, or you have approval from your doctor if you are on any medication, for climbing Mount Kinabalu. It is recommended children to be at least 10 years old due to the numerous steps and steep slopes. Similarly, elderly climbers need to be in good health and fitness level to attempt the climb.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu requires good physical strength and endurance. The Alpine Guides Association recommends “The best preparation for mountain sports always involves good amount of cardiovascular exercise outdoors (running, cycling, mountain biking etc.) and getting out for long days in the hills whenever possible. If you do the amounts of regular weekly cardiovascular exercise during the 2-3 months leading up to your trip, you should be reasonably well prepared."
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 recommended that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, Diabetes, Palpitation, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Severe Anaemia, Peptic Ulcers, Epileptic Fits, Obesity (Overweight), Chronic Asthma, Muscular Cramps, Hepatitis (Jaundice); or any other disease which may hamper the climber.
- 1 night basic accommodation at Laban Rata's mountain huts or similar dormitory (sleep in a shared, unheated dormitory). Blanket, Bed, Bed Sheet and Pillow are provided.
- Meals as stated above.
- At Laban Rata coffee & tea will only be provided complimentary during Breakfast & Supper.
- Conservation fee, Climbing Permit, insurance and certificate.
- Mountain Guide who will look after you during your trek up and down Mount Kinabalu (who is registered under the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks Authority and is compulsory for all mountain trekkers / climber).
- There will be maximum of five Climbers per Mountain Guide.
- 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019.
- Return transfers from Kota Kinabalu - Kinabalu Park Headquarters. They are available as an add on for this trip.
- Any children < 16 years old climbing Mount Kinabalu will require an extra Mountain Guide (at a surcharge).
- Porter service for carrying your rucksack - advance booking recommended (Timpohon-Laban Rata-Timpohon is chargable at RM 130 per porter per night, max 10 kg.)
- Personal spend.
- Drinks and meals not specified. Laban Rata Resthouse does NOT provide boiled water for drinking/refill to climbers. Mineral water and other drinks are available for purchase at the Grocery Counter.
- Tourism Tax which is currently set at RM 10 per per bed/room/lodge per night. You will pay this tax on check in at your Lodge.
- Personal Travel Insurance
Recommended Packing List For Climbing Mount Kinabalu
Pack as light as you can for climbing Mount Kinabalu (it will help make your trek easier for you). Your extra luggage can be stored at Kinabalu Park HQ at a nominal fee of RM10 per piece prior to the climb - let your Guide know when you are registering for the climb.
ESSENTIALS for climbing Mount Kinabalu:
- Waterproof backpack to store your items
- Good, comfortable trekking or running shoes with good grip (e.g. hiking boots, walking shoes or trekking shoes)
- Warm clothing (like a fleece jacket)/Long sleeves shirt/Hiking pants - layering your clothes works well as the temperature changes significantly during the ascent / descent.
- Waterproof Jacket/Wind breaker
- Extra clothing and socks (you'll want to sleep in dry clothes)
- Small towel
- Hand gloves (waterproof)
- Winter hat (helps prevent heat loss, especially at night and in the early morning)
- Disposable raincoats
- Head torch (compulsory)
- Personal toiletries
- Refillable water bottle (0.5 – 1 Litre)
- High energy food such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars
- An adventurous spirit!
RECOMMENDED for climbing Mount Kinabalu:-
- Walking / trekking poles - it will making trekking down Mount Kinabalu more comfortable
- Medication such as headache tablets or altitude sickness tablets, plasters
- Tissue paper / Toilet roll
- Sun protection - Sunglass, sun screen lotion, SPF lip balm (beware of the strong UV rays)
- Insect / Mosquito repellent
- Camera with water proof bag
- Sandals / Slippers fo use in your overnight accommodation
- Plastic bags
Notes for Climbing Mount Kinabalu
The trip prices are valid for trips up to 31st March 2020. For trips after this date contact us for a quote.
This 2 day Climb Via Timpohan Gate tour can only be booked maximum 30 days before a trip date. All other Mount Kinabalu tours can be booked further in advance.
There are maximum 102 climb permits issued per day by Sabah Parks for climbing Mount Kinabalu for International visitors. This means there is very limited capacity for climbing Mount Kinabalu and trips quickly get fully booked.
Being in good health and good fitness for climbing Mount Kinabalu is very important for this 2 day trek. There will no health checks conducted by any authorities during your climb registration, so you climb at your own risk.
All tours are subject to weather conditions and may be amended without notice for safety reasons.
Book the 2 Day 2D1N Mount Kinabalu via Timpohan Gate Tour and get ready for climbing Mount Kinabalu!