Photographer's Note

Mt Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah is not only the highest mountain in Malaysia and on the island of Borneo, it is south-east Asia’s highest peak. Usually it is shrouded in cloud and many visitors to the ‘land beneath the wind’ never see its jagged peaks which reach up to about 4,095 metres (13,435 ft), but I was lucky last weekend when I visited ‘the mountain’ (as the locals call it) because the cloud didn’t come in until about noon. Borneo is known as the ‘land beneath the wind’ because it sits between the trade wind belts and therefore is not subject to typhoons (north of the equator) or cyclones (south of the equator). Mt Kinabalu is an unusual shape rising out of thick rainforest, but can be climbed without any special equipment on a two day trek. However, you need to be quite fit to do the climb as it takes up to eight hours to reach the hut at around 3,000 metres where people stay the night before beginning the final ascent at 3 am next morning to reach the peak at dawn (really fit people can make it to the base hut in three hours). I haven’t yet done the climb myself, but many who have tell me the descent is worse than the climb because you use muscles that you never knew you had, and some have reported that they couldn’t walk for three days after the trek!

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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