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Broadleaf Rainforests

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Kinabalu via Timpohon Day 1 - To Laban Rata

Kinabalu Index

Ferns Abound!


We made our way to Timpohon Gate (elevation : 1866m) with perfect weather that morning, and sat in the shuttle van satiated after a heavy breakfast from Balsam Cafe. With both a packed lunch and our climbing permits in hand, we went to the counter to sign-in before we set off down the trail. By then, it was 09:10. The very wide 'trail' was more of a stairwell through the jungle than an actual trail. It began with a short descent to the tiny Carson Waterfall, before beginning a long ascent to Laban Rata (elevation : 3272m), which was 1350 metres higher up and 6 kilometres further along the trail. 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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GBB (CUS Connection) - Day 5

GBB-CUS Index

Millipedes


The Bongok Hill plateau where we had spent the previous night turned out to not be the summit of the hill. The actual summit lay more than a kilometre further up the trail, which took us another half an hour to climb up to. A ridge that made its way westward led to the summit, and as we were following it, I felt a sharp piercing sensation on my forearm. As I looked down, a large insect that looked like an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) flew away. Read more
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GBB (CUS Connection) - Day 4

GBB-CUS Index

Camera Traps


The early part of the day's trail was confusing at best. The water-point from 'Kem Sarsi' was a small stream that could be reached with a five minute downhill walk via at least four left turnings just after the campsite. The trail that continued on from there was through a convoluted mixture of turns that went down the same path, but the 'combination' was left, left, right, then left, instead (see GPS track). Read more
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GBB (CUS Connection) - Day 3

GBB-CUS Index

Ubiquitous Moss


We packed up camp in a dense soupy mist that morning as siamang gibbons (Symphalangus syndactylus) howled and hooted off to the south. The others played music once again as they took their sweet time to get ready. All we could do was wait in exasperation as their music once again drowned out the tranquil sounds of the jungle. We finally set off a few hours later at 10:20, and by then the howls of the gibbons had already moved to the west of us. Read more
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GBB (CUS Connection) - Day 2

GBB-CUS Index

Rata Air to Huhuhu Camp


We finally began the day's hike after an agonising wait for the rest of the group, who spent the morning dilly-dallying as if they had all the time in the world. We left at 10:15, more than two hours later than had been planned, and made our way down to the river that flanked the 'Rata Air' campsite. The riverside was quite scenic in the daylight, and the sunlight glinted off the pools of water that were partially barricaded by large fallen logs. The trickling of water as it flowed over the cascades was very pleasant, and the entire area was shaded by the huge leaves of wild banana trees (Musa sp.) and the fanned leaves of towering ferns. Read more
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