Thursday, May 21, 2009

KK Trip : Day 3 - KK Summit / Descend

I had purchased a pair of climbing shoes used by the porters aka “adidas kampung”. Its not Adidas brand, no idea how it got its name. Its just a black pair of rubber shoes with rubber studs.

With only like 1hr sleep in my system (because of heavy snorers), I was up at 1am, all dressed up in my woollies & waterproof jacket. Once again, we were briefed about the hike. Estimated duration of hike was 4hrs, in time for sunrise at 530am. It was pitched dark outside, with only our headlamp to light our way. There’s no getting lost as the trail was pretty well marked.

The first hour was the normal stairs & sandy trail. Then came the ropes to pull our way up (gloves is a must). When I look up, I could only see a trail of light and nothing else. The granite stones came next. Gawd bless adidas kampong. I was walking up the incline mountain without a single slide from my shoes.

It was so cold, I had my arms crossed around me the whole time. Then, it just had to rain. I could see the mist passing in front of my headlamp with the rain wetting my jacket & pants. I slotted 2 packets of handwarmers into my gloves to keep me going. There came a point where I took 10 steps, then stopped & just stood still to recollect myself.

I could see the daylight starting to emerge at the horizon. I was wondering it I could make it in time for sunrise. Thankfully, I was able to catch up with those in front of me. The peak was so narrow, with everyone crowding around to take pictures of the highest point.

We made it!! It was like a pasar malam (night market). We had to take turns taking pictures of our achievement. I think it was 5deg at the peak. We were all freezing cold. I even had trouble talking with my lips quivering away.

The climb down was the most painful for me. Adidas kampong was great for climbing but no cushioning for descend. The technique to climbing down is to zigzag. This way it puts less pressure onto ur toes. I was near limping by the time I got down to Gunting Laganan. I didn’t have the strength to walk down to Laban Rata Resthouse for breakfast. I just took off my shoes & crashed in bed.

After about 2hrs rest, we started our descend to Timpohon Gate. I think we began our journey at about 9am+. The duration was estimated 4hrs (average). Shorter than Mesilau. So lunch was waiting for us at base. My 2 big toes was already bruised, so I wore socks & sandals.

The descend from Laban Rata to the Timpohon Gate marker (1/2 mark) was pretty fast. Being lightweight, I just skipped along the rocks. But after that, it was just stairs stairs stairs. This is where the hiking stick does its job. The knees takes a heavy impact with every step taken.

The first group arrived around 3pm with our tummys rumbling. 2nd group at 4.30pm, 3rd at 5pm and last at 7pm. (estimated time). We were then droved to our KK Shangri-La hotel for our night of proper rest.

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