Conquering Mt. Kinabalu Essay, Research Paper
The pale pearly light of pre-dawn was spreading across the sky above Mount Kinabalu on the northeast of East Malaysia. The early morning silence was shattered by the bustle of campers getting ready.
I drew a sharp intake of air. As I peered outside my tent, the forest around the camping ground came to life. Birds started chirping and a morning breeze blew past, sending shivers down my spine. There were three other groups hiking together with us on this climb. Waking my friends up, I headed to prepare breakfast for everyone. As our group had trekked together a few times before, we were in tune with one another and cooperated well. This was very crucial in any climbs.
The slopes were quite steep at the beginning and therefore the not-so-well-trained people got tired out really fast. The ?kiasu? people who brought almost everything were also having problems now. It is not an easy task to carry a 28kg load while having to balance yourself making sure you do not slip.
Having the most experience in trekking, our group was ahead of the rest. Wet from an earlier drizzle, the slopes were quite slippery and failure to get a firm foothold could result in a nasty fall. There were some ropes secured at vital parts of the journey to help people pull themselves upwards.
Just as we were getting the hang of it, there came another problem ? altitude problem. Some felt breathless, others nauseous but as for me, I felt sleepy. It was really hard keeping my eyes open especially when the glaring sun rays beat against us. It was as good as blinding me, making it worst. From my experience, I had already expected this thus the coffee I brewed earlier in the morning came in handy. Though hard and tired, we pressed on. Singing, joking and encouraging each other along the way, this helped to lighten the spirits of everyone.
After much effort, we finally arrived at the second stopover called ?Pata Labun?. That was where we rested for the night before we setting off in the morning again. The air there was dry and cold. From there, one can get a picturesque view ? a waterfall cascading down, the plots and plots of vegetation arranged in such an interesting way. This was certainly something you could never find in Singapore. Dinner served was simple but delicious and I guess everyone was just looking forward to a good rest.
Next morning, we got up at 3 am to get ready to complete the rest of the climb. We had to cooperate with one another to scale up in time for the magnificent sunrise and because the surroundings were pitch dark and quiet, we had to rely a lot on each other and our torchlights.
We had to grope in the darkness and made slow progress. My batteries went flat! What good timing! I had no choice but to follow the leader like a blind woman. The slopes were even steeper now. Now that we were nearing the peak, the altitude problem became worse. Many had to turn back, some because of breathlessness and nausea and some because it was unbearably cold. I began to feel sleepy again but was determined not to let my efforts all go to waste.
Soon the original 40 people team was left with 15. The trip really took a lot of endurance, stamina and of course teamwork. As we pressed on, there was hardly any conversation. Everyone was persevering to reach our goal. Over an hour later, rays of sunlight gradually pierced the darkness.
Eventually the moment we all had been waiting for was finally here! It was cold alright, with each exhalation of our breath, little clouds of condensation formed right in front of us. The sight that greeted us made all the hardship worthwhile. The splendid sun slowly rising above the horizon in the distance had us spellbound as we watched the rising of the huge ball of fire amidst the splashes of warm hues of red, orange and yellow. The mist over the valleys looked so much like light clouds, making me feel really on top of the world looking down at all the creations. This was truly breathtaking. Such was the splendour and grandeur of the sunrise.