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25 February 2020Feel free to tag yourself in these photos and share your Mount KinabaluVia Ferrata experience with…

Posted by MOUNTAIN TORQ on Ahad, 1 Mac 2020

For the average Sabah tourist, climbing Mount Kinabalu is usually high on the priority list. But if you’re up for more adventure to spice up your climb, why not sign up for Mountain Torq’s Alpine Sports Climbing course? You will not be climbing to the Low’s Peak during this course, but instead, you will get to conquer the many other rock climbing sites on Mount Kinabalu that very few people know about. 

The Alpine Sport Climbing course takes four days and three nights to complete. There are four different sport climbing courses to choose from, depending on your rock climbing proficiency (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and age. You need to be at least 10 years old to qualify for the introductory course. For the Advanced Rock Climbing course, you’d need to be at least 14 years of age and hold the Advanced Sport Climbing Course Certificate or equivalent nationally recognized certificate.

Completing this course will earn you the qualification to rock climb anywhere in the Sport Climbing world, plus bragging rights that come with Award of the Sport Climbing Certificate.

On Timpohon Trail to Panalaban

26 February 2020Feel free to tag yourself in these photos and share your Mount KinabaluVia Ferrata experience with…

Posted by MOUNTAIN TORQ on Ahad, 1 Mac 2020

Day 1 started with a 6-kilometer trek from the Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu Park to Pendant Hut (3,270m) circa 9.30 am. For those who have yet to climb Mount Kinabalu, the length of time to reach Panalaban (formerly Laban Rata) varies—three to four hours if you’re really fit; seven to eight hours if you’re not. Therefore, prior to your climb, it’s best to train your cardio to make sure you make it to the top.

Normally, your guide will prepare a simple packed lunch for you before you set off on your journey. But just in case you’re worried about lacking fuel, it’s always best to keep an energy bar or two handy in your backpack. You can also munch on dried fruits or bananas throughout the climb, and do make sure to keep hydrated at all times (but not too hydrated as the next toilet is situated 1 kilometer away from the last one).

I reach Pendant Hut at approximately 1.30 pm to check-in. I am given a basic yet cozy dorm (which I would share with three other people) with a bunk bed and sleeping bag as my resting place for the next two nights. Bear in mind that the sleeping bags provided  in the dorms are rather thin and ineffective as an insulator. It’s best to invest in your own thermal sleeping bag before your climb.

After dinner, I along with other novice climbers gather at the main hall for a pre-climbing briefing by our guides, Jinu and Pody. During the briefing, we get introduced to the main safety equipment used, both on the Via Ferrata route and for alpine rock climbing. Safety equipment includes the safety helmet, climbing harness, lanyard and carabiner. Another important aspect of rock climbing is rope management. 

Among the crucial rope management skills are how to check for broken or unsafe rope, how to make a proper loop and the correct way of tying the rope to the harness and knotting it using the figure-8 knot.

After the briefing, it is ‘lights out’ time. 

Walking on the Via Ferrata

28 February 2020Feel free to tag yourself in these photos and share your Mount KinabaluVia Ferrata experience with…

Posted by MOUNTAIN TORQ on Isnin, 2 Mac 2020

The Alpine Sports Climbing course starts at 6.30 am the next morning. Right after breakfast, we slip into our harnesses, grab our backpacks and waddle all the way to the starting point for our first climb.

The first half of the climb involves teetering precariously along the Via Ferrata route which is both exciting and scary. The first thing to make sure before going on the Via Ferrata route is to wear a comfortable pair of shoes that are light and flexible. The Mount Kinabalu guides swear by the iconic ‘kampung Adidas’ — a generic type of rubber shoes with studded soles that are and cheap and functional. However, these shoes aren’t the most comfortable, especially if you don’t have the resilient feet of a seasoned climber. It also helps to have a pair of light, water-resistant gloves handy as the Via Ferrata cables can get numbingly cold making gripping quite difficult.

While you are on the Via Ferrata route, don’t forget to take the time to look over your shoulder to the horizon beyond Mount Kinabalu. With tufts of white clouds, steel blue sky and miniature-looking houses from afar, the view is quite a spectacular one. In fact, if given a choice, I would’ve chosen to sit back and stare at the fascinating vista the whole day. At the surrounding temperature of 10 to 12 degrees Celsius, be sure to also layer up on the thermal clothing.

Defy gravity. Climb!

28 February 2020Feel free to tag yourself in these photos and share your Mount KinabaluVia Ferrata experience with…

Posted by MOUNTAIN TORQ on Isnin, 2 Mac 2020

When we have reached the climbing site, Pody and Jinu demonstrate how a proper rock climb is done. Apart from well-fitting climbing shoes, a bagful of courage and another bagful of climbing chalk, the most crucial thing during a climb is the communication between the climber and the belayer (the one who leverages his climb). 

A climber must constantly be in communication with their belayer when they are ready to climb, or when their grips are tired and need to rest. They also need to communicate clearly when they need a little pull on the rope or when they’re ready to come down from the top. In fact, forget marriage counseling. This is probably what you need to make your marriage better. On top of that, it is also essential for a climber to be nice to the belayer at all times now that one’s life is in the latter’s hands.

My first three climbs sail through brilliantly — despite the occasional brief moments of terror with a foot slipped and when my hands become extra sweaty. The most challenging route on the course is probably ‘The Forgotten’, which, at 30 meters long, is the longest route with the fewest number of nooks and crannies to sink one’s grips into. I must say, rock climbing isn’t at all brawn-dependant. In fact, figuring out one’s next step (literally) on that rock is even more mentally-challenging than I ever expected. It’s like playing a game of chess, only done dangling on a rope. 

Nonetheless, when I reach the top and yell, “safe!” to my belayer, the feelings of fear and frustration quickly dissipate, being replaced only by pride. I’ve conquered a difficult route. Come what may, I’ve got this!

For more info on how you can take part in this crazy exhilarating expedition, visit Mountain Torq’s website at www.mountaintorq.com

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Addicted to traveling. Has visited more than 2 countries.

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