I know climbing Kinabalu is expensive that’s why I originally struck it out of my itinerary for my Sabah trip this July and instead just do the trails at KNP after the jungle at Kinabatangan. But if it remains stuck in my head and I get sleepless nights thinking and googling it, then I know I must climb. At least I got a really good deal, RM 850 for a 2d/1n package including the Via Ferrata Low’s Peak Circuit. Even with the park fees included, it is still waaaayyy cheaper than the other quoted packages raning from RM1,300-1,900. So I paid the agency through Paypal and thought that was it.
But no. Booking the climb is one thing. Preparing the gear for it is another. Rummaging through my closet, I realized I didn’t really have any cold-weather outfit. I climbed Pulag with with just shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. Even when summitting at 4 in the morning to catch the sunrise amidst a light rain, I did fine though that was my first lesson in wearing a down jacket— once it gets wait, you end up wearing an armor. Reading all the reviews of Kinabalu— how the temperature is below zero, how it gets really cold, etc. I became more concerned with WHAT TO WEAR rather than HOW TO CLIMB it. To top it off, prior to Kinabalu, I will be in the jungle at the Sungai Kinabatangan. That’s a total of 5 days of outfit.
Thanks to Sulit.com, I got a Mountain Research balaclava for only Php 500 and a TNF woolcap beanie for Php 600 (though this is obviously China Class A made). As for gloves, I got a second-hand Lafuma for Php 400. I figured, I cold make do with the bulkiness more than the Php 1,400 I need to shell out for TNF or Columbia’s much sleeker brand new ones. I also got a pair of used Columbia shorts (Php 400), brand new Black Mountain convertible pants (Php 500) and used Millet Stretch Trekking pants (Php 700). Unfortunately, the last two don’t fit me unless I’m able to go back to my old weight. So it depends on how long I’m willing to wait before I think of getting my money back by re-selling them. So I thought I was all done and ready.
But there was the case of the Nikon camera which I bought second hand at a shop in Phnom Penh when my Canon powershot stopped working due to the sand at Mui Ne. Php 300 for a replacement lithium ion battery made by Quantaray is still way cheaper than an original one at Php 800.
With the Black Mountain and Millet pants currently unwearable, I had to buy a new pair or rather 3 pairs. (Php 895-1,200) And while at it, I decided to buy a 2 shirts as well (Php 350). At least they were quite cheap as I bought local brands. 3K for pants and 2k for a shirt of some famed brand will just have to wait. Lagablab and Conquer will have to do for now. And since the threat of rain is omnipresent, a poncho had to be bought (Php 550). To battle away the leeches, I also got some pair and leg warmers.
One of the niftiest stuff I did pick-up was an adjustbale camera pole you screwed on which allowed you to take self-pictures. Normally, you held the camera in front of you and pressed the button resulting in your entire face covering the frame. With the pole, you simply had to put the camera on timer and with the pole, it allowed for a wider distance between the camera and your face. How cool is that!
Lest you think I was shopping like crazy, I wasn’t. In spite of my trusty Merrell Continuum boots’ soles falling off due to being left to dry in the sun, I stayed put with the Aigle shoes I got about three weeks ago. I did attempt to buy some boots when I went to R.O.X. last Friday. The Lafuma discountd boots (Php 2,750) were gone and the available Aigle ones weren’t that good.
It wasn’t all clothing either as I bought my Acetazolamide for altitude sickness and my stash of trail food (a dozen granola bars and 8 pieces of Goya dark chocolate).
I’m almost done except for some hiking socks.