The most dangerous part of the climb starts at Sayat-sayat check point for about 200m. It is dangerous climbing up and more dangerous coming down. Definitely listen to your guide where to step on and how to position your body. Most important, pull yourself with the white rope provided. It had helped me a couple times when I slipped!!
2 items that i wld highly recommend:
1) high/mid cut shoes to protect the ankles esp during the descend;
2) use a walking stick (u can just pick one up from the park) from timpohon to laban rata. it functions as a 3rd leg!
If this is going to be your first time climb and did not do much training before you climb, make sure your bags are as light as possible and pay a little more for food so you don't have to carry any food up. At RM12.00 for a plate if friend rice, I think its worth the money than bringing your food up yourself...!!!
WARNING --- BRING AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
Be extra careful when you're scaling the mountain using a rope. Good thing we didn't see the cliff down there at night. Get your gloves ready and watch your step.
That is the reason why good shoe and gloves are very important to scale the Mount Kinabalu. During the raining period, its best to bring extra pair of gloves unless you have those water resistant type, else you hand may turn numb in cold weather in wet gloves.
Please treat everything in the mountain with utmost respect. The local believe that the mountain is the resting place for their ancestors. Just like how you will dislike people to misbelieve in front of your ancestors' grave. But for me I respect the nature with or without these local myths.
More mysterious thing will be described in my "Local Customs" section. A warning & tale told by a friend.
If unfortunately it rains heavily during your hike, be careful! Chances are you might not be able to climb beyond Sayat-sayat because heavy rain will create a few strong waterfalls on the granite surface. It will be too dangerous to cross them. You have no way to go around them. When it happens, the park will close the trail to the peak.
All are advised not to trek alone but within their designated grouping or budies and with a leader or teacher while on the mountain. Each registered trekker will be issued with an identification card. Sabah Parks will also have the final say to abort summit climb during extreme bad weather in the interest of safety.
Climbers are advised not to climb if they are unwell on the day of the climb or are known to be suffering from or having a history of heart disease, hypertension, chronic asthma, peptic ulcer, severe anemia, diabetes, epileptic fits, arthritis, palpitation, hepatitis (jaundice) muscular cramps, obesity (overweight) and any other sickness that may be triggered by severe cold, over-exertion and high altitude.
Guardians or climbers are to ensure that they are physically fit, properly attired (especially footwear) and are aware of the risks in adventure activities. They are also to observe all safety practices advised, especially scrambling over wet boulders, crossing streams and keeping away from off-limit areas.
Although going downhill is much faster than climbing upwards, there is a lot of strain on your ankles and knee joints. Use a walking stick if possible. The walking stick will help take some of the stress from your joints as you descend.
Most parts of the slopes are steep and uneven, and at times slippery due to ground moisture or rain the night before. A sideway approach rather than a frontal approach gives more balance and less strain, especially at those steep sections.
Some people may under-estimate climbing this mountain. It is more than 4000 metres high and therefore it is advisable to go for some physical training before attempting the climb. Walking up stairs regularly is a good way to train.
Dont start runnning even if you're too excited you have reach the top. It just like driving a car downhill using 5th gear. Hard to stop.
Few tips. If your tour guide is good. As him if he knows any route that easier to go up and down. Mine, he show me a route which far a bit far from white rope. But easier to climb and not so frightening during going down. But he said, make sure you still can see other group.
I don't think there is a time limit as when to start the climb. However, the earlier you start, the better because you should allow yourself enough time to arrive at Laban Rata before dark. And if you are not staying at the main heated hotel(Laban Rata Guesthouse), it is advisable to get back to your room before it gets dark. When the sun sets, it is pitch black and dangerous to look for your way back to your room. But if you managed to get a room at Laban Rata Guesthouse, then there shouldn't be a problem of finding your way in the dark :)
During the second phase of Mount Kinabalu climb, the trail is about 70 degree angle. As it is very dark while you go up, you will only notice it while you come down from the peak. You have to be very careful and hold the rope (if necessary) tightly.
DO NOT CLIMB if you have a history of suffering from the following ailments :
1. Heart Disease
3. Chronic Asthma
4. Peptic Ulcer
5. Severe Anaemia
7. Epileptic Fits
9. Heart Palpitation
10. Hepatitis / Jaundice
11. Muscular Cramps
13. Any other sickness that may be triggered by severe cold, exertion, and high altitude