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Essay by   •  March 14, 2017  •  Creative Writing  •  1,004 Words (5 Pages)  •  481 Views

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HI, my name is Alex. Today I will share with you guys about a hobby of mine. But first of all, can anybody tell what is the highest mountain in Malaysia? Yes, that is correct. It’s Mount Kinabalu. So as a keen traveler, I made a crazy decision last October to climb Mount Kinabalu. It sounded crazy because the mountain is 4095 metres high. A lot of people had told me before that they had to train 6 months in advance for the climb. However I was confident I could make it since I went to the gym 2 times a week. The silly me didn’t know something painful awaited for me on the road.

On the first night in Kota Kinabalu, I couldn’t sleep because my friend kept snoring like a chainsaw. I ended up looking like a panda the next morning. When we were about to start trekking to the base camp, there was a heavy downpour. It didn’t look like a good start, did it? At first I wore a long sleeve tee, a sweater and a bulky raincoat. However, the moment I started climbing, perspiration dripped. My bag felt heavier with each step, despite me telling myself that I’ve brought the bare minimum. The terrain got rougher, well cut-out steps disappeared. About a long distance (at least to my thinking), I exhaustedly asked the tourguide “How long more do we have to go?”. He stared at me and coldly said “We just walked 0.5 km, there is 6.5 km more”.

Now, I understand why the permit and lodging didn't come cheap. All the manual labour that goes into maintaining the park, cutting out the steps or transportation of every sack of rice or cooking gas tank. It costs RM 8 to transport every kilo, to make their effort's worth, they usually carry at least 20 kilo per trip and make this trip 3 times a week. Such strenuous work, yet they are happy, greeting every climber along the way.

After 6 hours of climbing, when I could barely drag myself up anymore, we finally arrived at the base camp! We were arranged to stay in a big room with a lot of bunk beds. Can you guess what time they served us dinner? 4.30pm, yes. And after that it’s bed time because the ascent to the summit started at 2am on the next morning.

It was REALLY DIFFICULT trying to sleep before sun down. I thought I would be knocked unconscious after a 6 hours of challenging trek but no, I laid in bed at 5.30pm hearing the creaking wooden floors, the slamming of doors and especially, the snoring noise of other people, including my beloved friend. I gave up trying to sleep, I just couldn't. Arriving woozily to breakfast, I could barely eat anything because there were tons of butterflies in my stomach. Besides, there are NO toilet stops in the next 4 hours, you really wouldn't want to answer nature's call. Worse if it's a big call.

We had to wear a head lamp each because we climbed in total darkness. The stars were strewn across the velvet sky like jewels. It was a very romantic scene, isn’t it? But here comes the reality: The road was even steeper than the day before. It was a combination of craved out steps and rocky terrain. The most tiring part was when we had to abseil with the help of a rope.

When I reached the check point, I looked so pale that the guard warned me “Are you sure you wanna continue? The last 1.6 km is the toughest one and there is no way back”. He pointed out there into the darkness and all I could see was a vast steep slope with only a rope to hold on. I told myself that I had come so far, I couldn’t give up halfway. So I insisted that I would finish the climb.



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