Let me talk a bit about myself first, I love food, I love slacking around, daydreaming and I love singing.
I used to go out for weekly cycles around the east coast of Singapore, that was till my bike spoilt about a year and a half ago, since then, I’ve pretty much stopped exercising, I couldn’t really afford a new good bike.
A couple of months ago, Amazing Borneo Tours asked me if I was up for a challenge, to do a Mount Kinabalu climb, and attempt to reach the summit at 4095metres elevation above sea levels. ISN’T THAT CRAZY OR WHAT? Of course I took it up, I didn’t believe I won’t be able to do it, in fact I believed it was for the best of me.
So off I packed my bags, and flew off to Sabah, to be more specific, Kota Kinabalu city, East Malaysia.
Right outside the airport, Mr Zul, a very friendlylocal driver greeted me.
Professional driver from Amazing Borneo indeed, on the road to Mount Kinabalu’s base was very curvy and dangerous looking at some point, his driving skills was superb, I felt really safe on the roads.
finally after about two hours from Kota Kinabalu Airport, I’ve reached the base of Mount Kinabalu, also know as Kinabalu Park HQ. The views were spectacular! The look up onto the mountain was very intimidating, but that didn’t stopped me from conquering it!
And oh yes, the sun sets at Sabah around 6:15 or 6:30pm daily, really early compared to the usual 7:30pm in Singapore, I had an early dinner at Balsom Buffet Restaurant at Kinabalu Park HQ. Very very awesome dinner place!
Later that night, I checked into a very nice tree-house at Mount Kinabalu Heritage Resort for a night stay before the climb, needed to repack things I’ll really need for the climb and stay up the mountains while I leave the luggage stored behind.
Oh yes, not to forget about this, I was assigned one of the best and most encouraging mountain guide from Amazing Borneo, Joe(right), who stayed with me and supported me mentally throughout the climb!
Layang Layang checkpoint, this is somewhere in the clouds already, the winds were strong, rocks were wet, and getting really steep and harder to climb. I felt heavier due to the lower oxygen levels in the thin air. This is about 2.3km elevation above sea level.
Wet, and very tired out, you know, it isn’t just 4.5km, this isn’t a stadium track, these are rocks, some sharp some slippery, and don’t forget, elevation count isn’t inclusive.
I was going to give up, I really wanted to, I was so tired my whole body became distorted.
I felt victorious, even though it was just another kilometer away from Laban Rata resthouse where I was going to stay and rest before moving up to the summit, at this point, I had already accomplished something I believe no other fat people has done before.
About an hour later, I finally reached Laban Rata resthouse, I was almost crying, I was shaking, one resthouse lady quickly poured for me a cup of hot water as I got came into the house located 3122m above, the feeling was extraordinary.
At some point during the climb, I’ve kept asking myself one question “What am I doing here?” , I had no answers for myself.
As I struggled through the climb, especially in the total darkness, I sat down occasionally on the rocks for a rest, closed my eyes, and kept asking myself.
It wasn’t till I reached Laban Rata resthouse, that I had the answers.
I am fat, with a BMI index of 46.1, extremely obese,
Not everyone makes it up here, not even some fit people,
I took almost 12hours, reaching Laban Rata at 8:30pm, when others usually take only up to 5hours.
I may have been one of the first to start, I may have been the last to reach,
I’ve proved people wrong, I’ve proved myself wrong,
And here I am, I can tell you,
If I can do it, anyone can.
Of course, I deserved a good dinner like this.
at this point, I was so tired out, that after I took a towel to wipe my body sweat off, changed a set of clothes, and jumped right to bed. It was a good thing the resthouse was warmer than outside, it was about 5degrees celcius outside at night.
As I woke up around 10am to grab a drink downstairs at the noisy dining area(everybody ascended to the summit approximately 2am and reached back 10am), everybody who climbed(and overtook me), suddenly cheered as I walked down, too bad my photographer was still asleep, we didn’t capture that scene, I almost cried out of excitement, there was a group of indians and hong kong people who came up to congratulate me, I remember you guys, thank you.
Everybody thought I turned back, because by the time I reached the resthouse, they were all sleeping already, to prepare for their final climb.
We rested the entire day, we stayed for 3d2n at the resthouse, usually people stay for only 2d1n to complete the entire climb, but I needed more time.
Something I pretty much expected happened, Altitude sickness, my symptoms were
- Extremely painful headache
- Very heavy, hard to even to walk.
It happened just 200metres from the resthouse on my final ascend, the summit was so close, yet I couldn’t reach it, it was only another 800m away.
But nonetheless, if you are like me, you will make it to the resthouse.
if you are just 1% fitter, YOU WILL MAKE IT TO THE SUMMIT.
I gotta thank Amazing Borneo Tours for this amazing experience, Joe the mountain guide for giving me morale support and Evan the photographer for documentation of the entire journey, All these would not had happened if not for these people. I will definitely climb again soon, I will attempt to reach the summit again.
Finally, remember, you don’t have many tomorrows left, no one has, do something.