Just Stamina

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Don Shannon

Adventure Traveller

  1. Age: 27
  2. Nationality: USA
  3. Where was your adventure?: Malaysia
  4. How many days was it?: 2
  5. What type of adventure?: Trekking
  6. Give us a general overview of your adventure:
    My travel partner and I hiked up Mt. Kinnabalu, the highest mountain in SE Asia. It is in Sabah, Malaysia, near the capital city of Kota Kinnabalu. We hiked up and down over 2 days last October.
  7. Was it difficult?: no
    Why or why not?
    The difficulty depends on your fitness level. If your are a fit, experienced trekker, then the trek is simply a steep but well marked trail up a big mountain. No rock climbing or special gear is needed, just stamina. I think hiking down was more difficult than hiking up.
  8. Would you recommend this adventure trip to someone else? Why or Why Not?
    I would definitely recommended it. This is a popular hike, and rightly so. The scenery was beautiful, starting in lush jungle rain forest, moving up thru foggy cloud forest, and eventually above tree line into a world of cloud and glacially sculpted rock. Just be aware that it is not a wilderness experience. There were many other people climbing the mountain along with us, apparently about 50 people a day climb it. It’s sort of like the Mt. Whitney hike in the USA, or the Everest Base Camp hike in the Himalaya in that regard.
  9. What do you wish you would have done differently?
    Well, most people sleep in the park hostel at the bottom of the mountain the day before trekking. Then trek up half way, to either a too expensive lodge with heated rooms, or to some non-heated huts where you sleep 4 to a room. Then you get up at like 5 AM and hike for a few hours to the summit so you can be there to watch the sunrise, then hike all the way back down. The only thing that sucked about our experience was sleeping in the hut halfway up the mountain; it was packed with a group of about 30 Singaporean college students that kept us from getting any sleep. I wish I had brought earplugs! Also while hiking up the mountain at 4 am the next morning, we began later than most of the other people, and since we were stronger trekkers than them, and the trail is mostly very narrow, passing people became an annoying but necessary task.
  10. What kind of advice can you give to other travellers going on this adventure?
    It is cold up there. It was so hot down in Kota Kinnabalu on the ocean, I didn’t believe it could possibly be that cold up on the mountain. But damn, it was. Buy a cheap sweater and warm hat in town first.
  11. What type of gear did you bring?
    Just a backpack with raincoat (needed), some extra warm clothes (wish i had more), extra socks, a flashlight, a bunch of crackers and a couple cans of tuna that we ate on the mountain for lunch, dinner, and breakfast. We also brought a couple bottles of water and camera! We left the rest of our stuff at the hostel down in Kota Kinnabalu.
  12. Where is your next big adventure? Why?
    China! It’s huge and has everything, mountains, deserts, rivers, culture shock.
  13. Did you travel before or after your adventure? If so, where?
    Yeah, before this “adventure” we travelled for a few weeks in Indonesia, and afterwards we continued thru Malaysia and Thailand for a few months.
  14. On your adventure, what person did you most identify with?
    Huckleberry Finn

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