In April of this year, I travelled with my grandson to the island of Borneo to visit my son who is working in Brunei. My son thought it would be a good idea for us to drive across to Malaysia and hike up Mount Kinabalu (4,090m). It’s the highest peak in SE Asia and is suitable for non-expert climbers. So, for a few months before, I hit the gym to train my 58yr old legs in readiness for the climb. I also thought it’d be a good opportunity to raise a bit of cash for the centre. So I set up a gofund me and shared the centre’s direct link.
We started the hike at about 09:30 along with our guide, and made steady progress throughout the morning, in good weather and utilising the rest stops along the way. But, the higher we got, the air became thinner, and the going got tougher and tougher. The hardest part for me, a 58yr old who has been a smoker on and off for years and is not particularly fit, was not my legs (as I thought it’d be), but the altitude and lack of oxygen.
We reached the overnight accommodation at about 16:00 and it’s safe to say I was a little bit broken!!! Unfortunately, having reached the accommodation which is about ¾ of the way to the summit (3,200m), I decided it would be prudent not to continue and risk altitude sickness which has killed people on this peak before. Whilst I was disappointed, it was the correct decision but son and grandson both went on to complete the climb to the summit.
Despite falling at the last hurdle, it was an amazing experience which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed despite, as my military son put so eloquently, being ‘in the hurt locker’!! It also raised round about 200 pounds for the centre I think (can’t be totally sure as the donations were split between the direct link to the centre and the gofund me page).