Mount Kinabalu Climb via Ferrata – Complete the World’s Highest Via Ferrata Activity
Many visitors to Sabah choose a Mount Kinabalu Climb as part of their holiday to Borneo. There are two main choices for the Mount Kinabalu climb – the ‘standard’ via Timpohan Gate route (or Ranau trail), or you can choose the ‘via Ferrata’ option. By choosing this 2 Day Climb via Ferrata – Walk the Torq tour you get two highlights during your Mount Kinabalu climb – reaching Low’s Peak Summit (Highest Elevation 4095.2M) and completing the Ferrata Activity (Walk The Torq). It’s also cool to know that the via Ferrata activity (Walk the Torq) on Mount Kinabalu is the world’s highest and Asia’s first via Ferrata that starts at 3,776m and ends at 3,520m above sea level. This certainly makes your Mount Kinabalu climb that bit more memorable!
This Mount Kinabalu climb via Ferrata involves the same trekking route as the via Timpohan Gate 2 Day Trek. The main difference is the addition of the Ferrata activity which happens once you start the descent from Low Peaks Summit and before you go back to Pendant Hut for breakfast.
Enjoy Amazing Views from Mount Kinabalu via Ferrata – A Mount Kinabalu Climb with a Difference
So what is via Ferrata? A via Ferrata (or ‘iron road’ in Italian) is a protected mountain path consisting of a series of rungs, rails and cables embracing the rock face. It allows access to scenic sections of the mountains that are typically reachable only by experienced rock climbers and mountaineers. The exhilaration, amazing scenery and sense of personal conquest you experience via Ferrata during your Mount Kinabalu climb are guaranteed to give you something to smile about for a long time.
The Mount Kinabalu climb via Ferrata – Walk the Torq Activity is suitable for those trying via Ferrata for the first time. Assisted by your Via Ferrata Guide you will walk across the Monkey Bridge and zip on the Tyrolean traverse during your Walk the Torq activity. For those looking for a more challenging via Ferrata activity, you could consider Climb via Ferrata – Low’s Peak Circuit (2 Days).
Choose a Mount Kinabalu climb via Ferrata for a truly memorable experience!!
Don’t tie yourself in knots | Walk the Torq
Trip Itinerary – Mount Kinabalu Climb | Climb via Ferrata – Walk the Torq (2 Days)
The outline itinerary below is based upon booking the optional return transfers from Kota Kinabalu with the Climb via Ferrata – Walk the Torq (2 Days) tour.
06:00hrs: Pick up from your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu and start your journey to Kinabalu Park. The journey will take approximately 2 hours as you cross the Crocker Mountain Range.
~08:00hrs: Upon arrival, you will pre-check in at the Via Ferrata office for your Mount Kinabalu climb (located in front of the Souvenir Shop) and at Kinabalu Park’s office and meet with your licensed mountain guide. As part of your registration, you will receive an ID tag which you must wear throughout your Mount Kinabalu climb. You’ll need it to pass through the Mount Kinabalu climb checkpoints. You’ll then be transferred to starting point for your Mount Kinabalu climb – Timpohon Gate @ 1,866m – where your journey and quest to the summit of Borneo’s highest mountain begins! At ~ 08:30hrs, you’ll start hiking from Timpohan Gate. The first day of your Mount Kinabalu climb covers ~ 6km through a mostly forest environment with the trail involving many steps and some rocky terrain. The final kilometre of the first day of your Mount Kinabalu climb is the steepest and most difficult and will see you emerge above the forest canopy as you complete the final stretch to Pendant Hut. Depending upon individual fitness level, the trekking today takes about 5-6 hours. Pendant hut is located at 3,289m on the Pana Laban rock face.
~13:00 – 15:00hrs (depends on your trekking pace): Upon arrival at the Pendant Hut (at the latest by 15:00hrs) after the first day of your Mount Kinabalu climb you will meet your Mountain Torq Trainer for a mandatory Via Ferrata familiarization (~15:30hrs). During the session, you will be:
- Familiarised with the Ferrata equipment to be used during the Walk the Torq activity you’ll join during the next day of your Mount Kinabalu climb
- Walked through an initial via Ferrata practice round
- Informed of the actual meeting point and reminded of the cut off meeting time for your activity (07.15hrs – Walk the Torq)
Remember, do not rush during your Mount Kinabalu climb trek to Pendant Hut (trek at a normal pace to manage your energy levels) and do not be disappointed should you not be able to make it on time to the mandatory safety briefing. Your safety comes first and you can still reach the Low’s Peak summit without going through the Via Ferrata activity.
~18:00hrs: Enjoy a buffet dinner at Laban Rata Restaurant. Back to Pendant Hut for some rest with lights out at 20:00hrs. Overnight stay at Pendant Hut (unheated dorms).
01:30 – 02:00hrs: Wake up for supper (at Pendant Hut).
~ 02:30hrs – continue your ascent to Low’s Peak Summit and the final push as part of your Mount Kinabalu climb. Take your headlight/torch as it will be dark as you continue your ascent of Mount Kinabalu. The Mount Kinabalu climb from your Hut to the summit takes about three hours. At ~ 05:40hrs, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the sunrise across the mountain range (weather permitting).
06:00hrs – descend from Low’s Peak summit and trek down to meet your Mountain Torq’s Trainer at Sayat Sayat Hut @ 3,668m. Climbers MUST descend & arrive at the starting point by 07:15hrs (the latest cut-off time).
07:15hrs latest: Start your Walk the Torq activity (French Grade PD) which will take 2 to 3 hours to complete.
09:30hrs: Return to Pendant Hut for a well-earned breakfast. As soon as you are ready, we recommend you start your trek back down Mount Kinabalu (the latest check out from Pendent Hut is 11:00hrs). You trek down to Timpohan Gate, and the final part of your climb Mount Kinabalu experience will take about 4 to 5 hours.
~ 15:00 – 17:00hrs: Estimated arrival at Timpohan Gate after your climb Mount Kinabalu. On arrival, transfer to Kinabalu Park Headquarters to collect your Certificate of Achievement – well done!! You will have a chance to use the toilet facilities, and to buy any snacks/refreshments you want from the Shop, near the Headquarters entrance before starting your transfer back to Kota Kinabalu (a ~2-hour journey).
Trip Pre-requisites – Mount Kinabalu Climb | Climb via Ferrata – Walk the Torq
The Minimum Age for joining the Walk the Torq activity is 10 years old, the maximum age is 70 years old, you must weigh less than 100kg and you need to be > 1.3m to participate in the Walk the Torq via Ferrata activity. The ‘via Ferrata’ activity is not for those scared of heights.
The Mount Kinabalu climb physically demanding – it is recommended you see your doctor before you come on holiday to check you are healthy to complete the Mount Kinabalu Climb. MOUNTAIN TORQ (who run the via Ferrata activity) recommends Climbers engage in cardiovascular sports at least 2 twice a week, with each session being a minimum of 2 hours in duration, for at least 2 months before you start your Mount Kinabalu climb.
- 1-Night Basic accommodation at Pendant Hut dormitory (sleep in a shared, unheated dormitory with shared bathroom and toilet facilities).
- Dedicated Licensed Sabah Parks Mountain Guide per booking e.g. if 2 people book a trip together with Borneo Dream you have a Mountain Guide looking after just the two of you during your trek up and down Mount Kinabalu.
- Via Ferrata familiarization for all participants.
- The maximum number is 6 per group for the Via Ferrata activity.
- Via Ferrata activity (Walk the Torq).
- Via Ferrata Certificate (for successful participants only).
- Via Ferrata trainer and technical equipment. Free rental for all safety devices: harness, lanyard, helmet etc.
- Sabah Parks ‘I made it!’ Certificate
- 1 Buffet dinner at Laban Rata Restaurant (day 1)
- 1 Early morning continental breakfast/supper at Pendant Hut (day 2)
- 1 Late morning American Breakfast at Pendant Hut (day 2)
- Sabah Parks Entrance Fee
- Sabah Parks Climbing Insurance
- Sabah Parks Climbing Permit
- Sabah Parks Private/Dedicated Climbing Guide Fees
- Return transfer from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park
- Licensed guide on the return minibus transfer from Kota Kinabalu. They will assist you during the registration process on day 1 of the tour
- Return internal transfers from Kinabalu Park HQ to Timpohon Gate
- Breakfast and lunch on the 1st day of your tour – Bring a packed lunch
- Any children < 16 years old climbing Mount Kinabalu will require an extra Mountain Guide – Contact us for pricing.
- Porter service for carrying your rucksack, advance booking recommended – Contact us for pricing.
- Sabah Parks’ Mountain guide overtime charges based on arrival at Timpohan Gate on the day of descent.
- Personal spend
- Drinks and meals not specified
- Personal Travel Insurance
Be amazing with Borneo Dream
Recommended Packing List For The Trip
Pack as light as you can for your Mount Kinabalu climb (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 your Mount Kinabalu climb.
ESSENTIALS for your Mount Kinabalu climb:
- Waterproof backpack to store your items
- Good, comfortable trekking or running shoes with good grip (e.g. hiking boots, walking shoes or trekking shoes)
- Raincoat or waterproof jacket
- Warm clothing like a fleece jacket, hiking pants
- Change of clothes (you may not want to sleep in what you sweat in!)
- Cap/beanie/headscarf (helps prevent heat loss, especially at night and in the early morning)
- Gloves (waterproof)
- A small/lightweight towel
- Personal toiletries
- Refillable water bottle
- Torchlight (head torch recommended)
- Camera with waterproof bag/case
- Energy snacks e.g. chocolate, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars
- Sun protection – Sunglass, sunscreen lotion, SPF lip balm (beware of the strong UV rays)
- A rain cover for your backpack
- And of course, AN ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT!
RECOMMENDED for your Mount Kinabalu climb:-
- Walking/trekking poles – it will make trekking down Mount Kinabalu more comfortable
- Medication such as headache tablets or altitude sickness tablets, plasters
- Tissue paper / Toilet roll
- Insect / Mosquito repellent
- Camera with waterproof bag
- Sandals / Slippers for use in your overnight accommodation
- Plastic bags
Notes for your Mount Kinabalu Climb – Walk the Torq via Ferrata (2 Days)
The prices are valid for trips up to 31st December 2021. For trips after this date please contact us for a quote.
You are required to be present at Pendant Hut for the mandatory Via Ferrata briefing session between 3-4 pm. You will not be allowed on the Via Ferrata activity if you miss the briefing session, or arrive at the starting point after the cut off time (no refund provided). For safety reasons, Mountain Torq will not allow you to participate in the Ferrata activity if you wear unsuitable footwear (no refund is provided in this situation). The following shoes are unsuitable for the via Ferrata activity – open toe shoes, slippers, slip-on sneakers, boots/rain boots, gardening boots.
All tours are subject to weather conditions and may be amended for safety reasons.
Being in good health and good fitness for your Mount Kinabalu climb is very important. There will be no health checks conducted by any authorities during your climb registration, so you climb at your own risk.