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Montane Savannas & Grasslands

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Kinabalu via Timpohon Day 2 - Low's Peak

Kinabalu Index

The Ascent


No matter how early one goes to bed, one can never get enough sleep in Laban Rata (elevation : 3272m). 'Supper', which is a simple and light meal of bread, rice or noodles, is served at 02:00, and the hike to the summit starts in darkness not too long after. I joined a long procession of hikers that were armed with headlamps and bundled in jackets, that made their way up the trail, all of them eager to make the 1.5 kilometres to 'Sayat Sayat Hut' (elevation : 3668m) before the 05:00 cut-off time. Read more
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Mount Kinabalu

Kinabalu Day 1 : Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata
Kinabalu Day 2 : Laban Rata to Low's Peak

Mount Kinabalu


UNESCO Mount Kinabalu (elevation : 4095m) is the highest mountain in Malaysia (both by prominence as well as sheer elevation), and is also the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Based on topographic prominence, Mount Kinabalu also happens to be the 20th highest mountain in the world, but only the third highest mountain in Southeast Asia behind Hkakabo Razi (elevation : 5881m) in Myanmar, and Puncak Jaya (elevation : 4884m), also known as Carstensz Pyramid, in Indonesia. Mount Kinabalu is basically a massive granite intrusion (or a pluton to be precise) that was formed when magma solidified underground before being thrust upwards through the Earth's crust by tectonic movements millions of years ago. Read more

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ACT Day 12 - Yak Kharka to High Camp

ACT Index

The Valley


The morning mist was interspersed with drizzle yet again, but by then we knew that it would lift if we just waited. When the views gradually opened up after our breakfast--which was tibetan bread (NPR270) and jam (NPR60/2) once again--they revealed the two towering mountains of Annapurna III (elevation : 7555m) and Gangapurna (elevation : 7454m) way down the valley to the south. The plan was to head all the way to High Camp (elevation : 4925m) that day as it would then mean that the elevation gain the following day would be practically halved, from 1000 metres to about 500. Read more
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ACT Day 11 - Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka

ACT Index

Morning Run


The mountains finally revealed themselves as the sun rose that morning. As soon as I glanced out the window and saw the snow-covered peaks that surrounded Tilicho Base Camp (elevation : 4150m), I knew that I had to head up to the ridge above once again. My Salomon X-Ultra 3 GTX shoes were low-cut and were light enough for a trail run, so I quickly put them on and grabbed my camera before heading out to the trail head. Read more
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ACT Day 09 - Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp

ACT Index

Views of Pisang Peak


Since the mist had yet to lift that morning and we had a relatively short hike ahead of us, we started the day languidly with a late breakfast of omelette with onion (NPR230/2) and tibetan bread (NPR230/2). Whilst we were eating breakfast, the mist lifted and as it did incredibly dramatic views of Pisang Peak / Jong Ri (elevation : 6091m) to the east began to be revealed. The clouds that hugged the mountains seemed fickle however, and would first waft away to reveal the summits before sinking down once again to obscure them. They seemed to rise up from the base of the mountains and gave me the impression that the mountains themselves were burning. Read more
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ABC Day 07 - Bamboo to Deurali

ABC Index

Back in the Forest


I left Bamboo (elevation : 2310m) a little later than usual since it was going to be a short day, and climbed up past the other lodges and over a stream to the boulder-lined path. The trail crossed several rivers, and passed a waterfall that was festooned with prayer flags. I was then thrown back into the forest, and found myself surrounded by little brown birds that were flitting from bamboo shoot to bamboo shoot. They were twittering away, but at times their sounds could only barely be made out over the rushing Modi Khola. It had rained a lot the day before and all the little streams, rivulets, and tiny waterfalls washed down the hillside and over the path to ultimately join the river way down below. Read more
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