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FACE OFF! Mt. Kinabalu 1985 VERSUS Mt. Kinabalu 2010

In Our Travel Stories on 2011/04/12 at 7:00 am

Our company’s director Graham climbed Mount Kinabalu in 1985. Twenty five years later in 2010, Kuma, the company’s new Assistant Product Manager, also climbed this highest peak in Southeast Asia. It’s interesting to compare how time has changed things for the climb, does time make the 4000+ meters climb easier?


Donkey's Ears 1985

Donkeys Ears 1985

Donkey's ears 2010

Donkeys ears 2010

Here you go, Mt. Kinabalu 1985 VERSUS Mt. Kinabalu 2010!


Differences: Graham accounted in his travel story that the


mountain was 4037 meters. On Kuma’s climbing certificate, it says the mountain towers 4095.2 meters, why? Is it growing? Indeed, according to, the earth’s movement is  causing it to increase 5mm in height

per year. But if you do the math with figures from Graham and Kuma’s records (4037 and 4095.2 meters respectively), you will see in the 25 years between Graham’s and Kuma’s climbs, the mountain had grown an average 2.32 meters per year. With the technical difficulties involved in measuring the height of the mountain, the correct measurement has been debated. Although the real growth rate of Mt. Kinabalu seems unclear, something is for certain: the pain of climbing it!

Similarities: In his story, Graham wrote,

‘I did not find climbing Mount Kinabalu exhausting, nor did I experience any difficulty with the high altitude. I did, however, reach the point where I could not stand up and for the first time in my life, was totally crippled.’

Exactly the same was experienced by Kuma who was doing her climb in her 20s, had had no problem with altitude sickness thanks to plenty of what her guide would describe as ‘mountain food’, meaning peanut butter, chocolate and the pure goodness of fat and carbohydrates. She however was subdued by her jelly-like-knees climbing down.

Advice for climbing: Both Graham and Kuma agree that it’s advisable to make the ascent to the summit and return to the lodges which are  a short distance down from the peak ,  for another night before descending to Park Headquarter. This should make all the difference by helping you gain some strength back to your legs and knees before you head home all happily and proud that you’ve made the climb.

  • See Graham’s photos of his Mt. Kinabalu excursion here.
  • We offer tailor made itineraries for climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, please feel free to look at this suggested itinerary. To send your inquiries about our specially tailor-made all-inclusive packages, please click  here.
Kuma's climb

Kumas climb

Graham's climb

Grahams climb

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