This trip has been about pushing my boundaries and taking myself out of my comfort zone. Today was one of those days. I climbed the highest mountain between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea!
Mt. Kinabalu sits at 4095m with an elevation gain of 2229m within 8.7km, this is almost double of what I’ve been use to hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The first day I made it up to the hut for the night at km 6. Then an early start at 2:50 a.m to the summit to catch the sunrise, of which the last 2km is a heart pounding 822m in elevation gained. Some grades were so steep, ropes had to be used to ascend with.
Altitude sickness almost got the better of me at the last 200m. My headlight was running low on batteries and it was becoming difficult to see in front of me in the dark on the steep, slippery grade. I also became disorientated and began losing my balance due to altitude, my guide gave me his hand to keep me steady and we finally made it to summit at 5:20 a.m. Unfortunately it was raining and missed the sunrise but it was totally worth it the effort.
I fought fatigue, high altitude, cold wind and rain to prove to myself I could do this. Out of the 50 people attempting to reach summit, approximately 20 made it that day. I was the 8th person to make it! Considering I could barely even walk 9 years ago, this has been a huge accomplishment for me, definitely one for the books…