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Malaysia forum

How to organise climbing Mt Kinabalu?

Posted by flather5121 on 12/3/2011 at 15:30

I am looking to climb this peak in the coming month, but it can be delayed by a further month if necessary, and i am trying to figure out how exactly you can be sure that you can climb Mt. Kinabalu when you arrive in Sabah. What bookings can be made in advanced and what should be booked in advanced. Has anyone done it recently? What should I take with me? What price range am I looking at if I am a single traveller? Would it be better to try to find someone to climb it with- if so would anybody like to join me??
Thanks for all the help

#1 flather5121 has been a member since 9/3/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by goonistik on 13/3/2011 at 10:12

There is a trail that goes up the mountain. My brother and his family did it about 2 years ago.

You can find out more here.


#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563

Posted by jivie798 on 20/3/2011 at 00:57

Ur looking at tour which is going to cost you roughly about 500 ringgit, inclusive of food, accomodation, guides, conservation fees and insurance..... but this is negotiable depending on how big the group is...

#3 jivie798 has been a member since 6/2/2011. Posts: 10

Posted by idreamofdurian on 21/3/2011 at 00:06 TF writer

You need a park permit to climb Mt. Kinabalu which can be organized through the National Park or a travel agency. It's advisable to arrange this in advance because if your climb date falls on a Malaysian or Singaporean public holiday (when there will be many climbers) the accommodations on the mountain may be full. It'll be somewhat cheaper if you can join a group and share the guide fee and transport costs, but the park permit and accommodations on the mountain are the main expenses.

As mentioned above, http://www.climbmtkinabalu.com/ is a great resource.

#4 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576

Posted by amz155 on 21/3/2011 at 08:23

How does one try to join a tour in advance? Do they only book groups if the people all book at the same time? Or can we request to be put with another group to save costs?

Also, if we hire porters to take up a bag with some essentials, what do we do with the rest of our regular travel packs during the climb?

#5 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111

Posted by amz155 on 21/3/2011 at 08:29

Also, I'm really trying to talk myself into thinking I can do this climb but I don't know. I'm in good health and am fit but when I tried to climb Merapi on Java last year, my knees did not react well on the descent. And that was only maybe a three hour descent. Looks like Kinabalu is a 12 hour decent. I feel like it would be a waste to visit Borneo and NOT climb it but I'm limited by my stupid knees :(

#6 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111

Posted by sockmonster on 20/4/2011 at 17:08

Hi, I am pretty much after the same info as the original post. I have scoured the various websites and I am confused by the options regarding where you stay at the end of your first days climbing and whether there will even be any room! We want to do the climb early next month (May), our schedule is flexible however by a few weeks. I have been on the Sutera Sanctuary website, they have a booking form for "Laban Rata" but there was no availability for the next 2 months. I am aware that they have other types of accomodation but I can't find them on the website to check availability or price. I have read that you need to book the climb as far ahead in advance as possible but we have only just settled on the dates that we will be getting into Malaysia. Does everyone plan ahead or can you arrange it at shorter notice? Is it best to book with a tour company and have them arrange everything or do it yourself? Any info would be appreciated as it is something that we really want to do. Thanks

#7 sockmonster has been a member since 20/4/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by goonistik on 20/4/2011 at 19:57

This is what I found in wikitravel. Read the April update.

Formerly administered by Sabah Parks all accommodations in the park must now be arranged through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, a private company, [2] Tel: +60-88-303917 Fax: +60-88-317540 info@suterasanctuarylodges.com). Note: Be advised that Sutera (a.k.a. Sutera Harbour) is requiring hikers stay the first night at their lodge near the entrance. This is in addition to a required stay at Laban Rata at about 11,000 ft. The cost to stay is considerably higher than at lodging just outside the park, and includes a mandatory purchase of meals etc.
• Kinabalu Park, ☎ +60 88 889086, [3]. At the starting point of the trail to Mt. Kinabalu. Accommodation ranges from hostels to individual rooms (for up to two people) to entire cabins and lodges (for larger groups). All have access to simple kitchen facilities. RM70 for dorm beds, RM92-RM184 for suites, RM230-RM1,150 for entire lodges. edit
• Laban Rata, ☎ +60 88 267289, [4]. Laban Rata is the accommodation near the peak of Mt. Kinabalu where you'll stay when climbing Mt Kinabalu. Laban Rata Rest House is the main facility, featuring heated accommodation and the only restaurant. The compound also consists of several smaller accommodation units available, most with cooking facilities. Apart from Laban Rata Rest House, the only other heated unit is Gunting Lagadan Hut. The other is a Waras Hut which is non-heated dorm. All huts are close to the main resthouse, but even a 50m trek uphill in bad weather can seem like an eternity. Fills up very quickly so advance reservations (3-4 months ahead) are strongly encouraged. The link here does not list the dormitories, so call up and enquire personally. edit
UPDATE APRIL 2011: All huts and Laban Rata now cost 415RM for a 60 bed dorm. Since 2009, there has been a problem with the electricity, leaving all rooms unheated and with cold water. A small generator does provide some lighting. There doesn't seem to be any plans on fixing this in the near future. (If they do fix it, a dorm bed at Laban Rata will cost 475RM.)

#8 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563

Posted by kiwigirlnz on 28/11/2011 at 19:39

Thanks for all the info!
I got quoted RM 1,740 for a two night package via Timpohon on Sutera Sanctuary Lodges website. Just wondering if anyone knows if you can book through another company or just book the accommodation through them and pay or a guide and the hike fees separately? This just seems really expensive!!

#9 kiwigirlnz has been a member since 17/8/2011. Posts: 15

Posted by sillysotong on 4/8/2014 at 01:26

Yes, you need to book well in advance, say like 3 months before. You will get a 3D2N Mt Kinabalu climbing package, which include 1 night stay at Kinabalu Park & another night at Laban Rata.
However, there is a 2D1N package but this can only be booked within 1 month of your climbing date. This is cheaper bcos you only stay 1 night at Laban Rata. It is even possible to book when you are already arrived in Kota Kinabalu but I strongly suggest that you book through a travel agency.

There is a reliable travel agency,visit their website and drop them an email, they will be able to help you.

Good Luck ~

#10 sillysotong has been a member since 3/8/2014. Posts: 3

Posted by jshep on 12/8/2014 at 11:44

In order to save on costs I would recommend booking your accommodation at Laban Rata directly though Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Although their website does not allow you to book only 1 night accommodation, you can achieve this by calling or emailing them directly and requesting for it. All other transport can be arranged locally in Kota Kinabalu to save on tour costs. You can check out the overview guide of my solo climb on my blog post.

#11 jshep has been a member since 12/8/2014. Posts: 6

Posted by P_eter on 29/9/2014 at 16:53

Go see Uncle Jack (at Jungle Jack's - 1km on the left before the Park HQ). Great clean cheap place to stay and he can organise permits (far cheaper than Sutera). He takes you out for shared lunch and dinner, local fruits and has spare clothes you can borrow too. The climb to the lodge is 6km of basically steep stairs.

#12 P_eter has been a member since 16/7/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by wind13 on 4/5/2015 at 23:54

I did my climbing on last year. I booked with www.proclimbs.com, their services are good enough. Hope this can help you :)

#13 wind13 has been a member since 4/5/2015. Posts: 2

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