Mount Kinabalu lies in the Malaysian province of Sabah in the island of Borneo. At 4,095.2 meters over sea level, its summit on Low’s Peak is believed to be the highest peak in South East Asia.
It does not require specialized skills or equipment to climb Kinabalu, as I did on May 5 this year of 2011. A good physical condition and a bit of psychological preparation will do. A guide is assigned to the climber(s) when these enter the national park. This could be avoided, I gather. My guide, a young boy from the village, was pretty useless, primarily because of his limited (or non-existing) knowledge of English. He limited himself to walk a distance behind me texting with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. It is important to climb with a light luggage and there is fine balance between having the right amount of extra cloth and carrying a really heavy backpack. After gathering some information on the web I opted for a set up that proved very good. A light water-proofed jacket is a must. Mine was from Patagonia and could be squeezed down to almost nothing. I had with me a pair of convertible trousers, two t-shirts (one long-sleeved), long under trousers, two pairs of gloves (regular sturdy gloves and liner gloves), a cotton high-neck sweater, a skiing hat and good and sturdy hiking shoes with hiking socks. I started the climb on shorts and a t-shirt. I put on my jacket when a shower came. Also important to have is a head-lamp (you’ll really need it for the final climb!). I also packed with me 6 energy bars and a bunch of nut/fruit bars as well. A half-liter (at least) bottle for water is also necessary. It can be refilled along the way. All this, plus my gripped EOS7D with the EF-S 10-22mm wide angle zoom lens found room in the 200AW slingshot from Lowepro. The set up was perfect, as I later found out.