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Thursday, October 1, 2015
New Mt Kinabalu route to include breathtaking view
KOTA KINABALU: A breathtaking view of areas surrounding Mount Kinabalu will be part of a new trail up to its highest point, Low’s Peak at 4,0895m.
The new trail to the summit of the mountain, however, would be along a higher and steeper elevation, said Sabah Parks manager Yassin Miki.
“The new trail has a breathtaking view as it is placed on a higher elevation as compared to the previous trail where climbers only saw forests and rocky plateau,” he said.
The new trail from Laban Rata (3,272m) to the summit is still under construction after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on June 5 hit the mountain’s western side which killed 18 climbers and guides.
Officials decided not to fix the old, badly damaged trail, particularly between the 6km and 6.8km mark, which had been blocked by boulders and rocks, as well as the fear of falling debris from the aftershocks.
Climbers, said Yassin, could face a more challenging and longer trail near the 9km mark as compared to the previous 8.72km trail from the Timpohon Gate base.
“The new summit trail is safer,” he said, adding that this was chosen on the advice of international mountaineering experts and geologists from Japan.
The route from Pendant Hut (3,829m) was found to be the best and most secure route after they looked at two other alternative sites, he said.
Sabah Parks hopes to complete the restoration work, which began on Sept 22, in two months with the target of reopening the climb to the summit by Dec 1.
Yassin said the works were being carried out by 30 mountain guides and experts and they hoped to complete these on schedule unless there were further tremors, bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
On Sabah Parks’ future plans for the two damaged Panar Laban and Gunting Lagadan huts, he said these would be transformed into a memorial site with a gallery as remembrance of the people who died in the quake.
As of Sept 1, Sabah Parks re-opened the mountain to allow climbers to trek from the Timpohon Gate base to Laban Rata.