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Mount Kinabalu Climbing For The First Time – Part Two

This post is related to the previous post.

After having good rest for the night, at 1.30am we get up & ready for the next climbt to the Summit. From Gunting Lagadan, The Low’s Peak is JUST another 2.6km. I was thinking, the distance is no as bad as we had on our first day climb (6km from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata). Because it was my first time at Laban Rata, i have no idea hows the second day climb looks like. We started at 2.30am after having supper, our mountain guide giving his last advise (that whoever not really fit to go are better not to, and he was looking at me?… Ohh… Come on…I can see clearly his eyes are looking at me! ) before proceeding scaling the mountain.

When we first stepped out from Gunting Lagadan, I can felt the sudden change on the temperature. It was really cold. There was no light along the summit trail this is where your headlamp become your best friend. Just few minutes after passing the gate at Gunting Lagadan, my pace begin to get slower. I stopped more often, I found out that the second day climb is tougher than the first. Not because if the trail, but maybe I’m not fully recovered. I tried to keep my pace with other climber passing me, but only ended with my heart beats really fast. I stopped whenever it get really fast. I need to keep alive here. Our mountain guide was just behind me, he advise me that I can always go back, we must reach Sayat-Sayat (Check point) at 0430hrs. I do thinking of going back, but I keep move forward. When I nearly give up, I take a deep breath, look at the stars &  the mountain. No, I’m not turning back. This will be my first and the last time to climb Mt. Kinabalu.

Then I reach at a point where we have to use provided rope to lift up our body. The angle is around 75-80 degree, it is impossible to go up without a rope. I’m not ready for this, I was thinking my body is too weak to do this. At this point, again I was thinking to go back to Laban Rata. I decided to give a try. Surprisingly, climbing with the help of the ropes actually much more pleasing because now not only your legs, but our arms too took part to lift our body.

The trail before reaching Sayat-Sayat Station (until Lows Peak) is totally on granite rock. When I felt tired, I stop and look behind me. It was cold & silent, and I can see clearly the peaks of Mount Kinabalu in front of me (about 180 degree), and further down there behind me, I can see street light probably from Kundasang & Ranau. That view is one of unforgettable sights, I can still clearly remember every details of that very moment. The sound of the wind, the starts, light trails of th climbers, The Korean Group (I don’t really get the point that they need speak almost shouting even the people the talked to is just few feet away).

I reached Sayat-Sayat at 0430am. Refill my drinks and continue, the first 5 minute from Sayat-Sayat is what I call honeymoon because trail is almost flat. But you that wasn’t the end of the story, there are about 1KM left but when we get tired, now this last 1KM is the most toughest among all the trail of The Summit Trail. If you use a helicopter and landed here, I’m sure we can walk easily here, but now is different story. This last 1KM is where I climb with not only my last energy I have, but full of conflict in my mind. I think about AMS, heart attack, stroke, anything related to sudden death. The guide tried to persuade me to stop, but every time he asked me to stop and go down, I get stronger to move forward.

Finally, I made to the body of The Low’s Peak. Only few people left when I reached 8.5KM, the last 150m to the Summit. But because it was too late, I was advised not to go further beyond that point. I was disappointed, however I proud to made it to that point. For people that has climbed to the peak, they know how tough is the last 150m.

The Lows Peak

8.5KM

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” – Ed Viesturs, America’s leading high altitude mountaineer

That morning, I’m among the last person decent from Sayat-Sayat to Laban Rata. It took about 1 and a half hour to reach Laban Rata. I almost missed the breakfast. 11am me and Rade made our way down from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate. Going down is not tiring, but it puts a lot of pain to my knee. At 1620hrs, we arrive at Timpohon Gate and there was a transport waiting for us to bring us back to Kinabalu National Park HQ & get our climbing certificate.

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Photo Journalism Workshop by Rabani H. M. Ayub

I just return from photojournalism workshop held by BTN. The 3 days 2 nights workshop took it place at Kem BTN Kundasang. Starting fron 27th April to 29th April 2012. There are about 98 participant attending the workshop that comes throughout Sabah and some even come fron Brunei.

Whats is the actual attraction of the workshop? Why do participant would sacrifice their weekends instead of having great quality time with family? Some travel from Tawau and not to mention participant that willing to cross country from Brunei, why?

It because the workshop itself will be inviting our local Sabahan profesional photojournalist as our instructor, Rabani H. M Ayub.

This is my second time joining his workshop, the first was held in Kota Kinabalu December 2010. It’s not because i did’nt get what he teach, but it actualy giving me a lot of inspiration and ideas through his experience in photojournalism.

He is now working with Singapore Publishing Company. His work mainly published in Going Places Magazine, Men’s Health, Asian Geographic and more others. You can start by click here to know more about him.

About the workshop, it is mainly funded by BTN, our accomodation, food & other facilities at the camp. Participants only need to pay small fee which i guess goes to fund our instructor, workshop crew’s gifts, prizes and our workshop T-Shirt. Special thanks to those company/individual for their sponsors (Syarikat On On & Vun Foto from Sandakan).

We are advised to reach early at the camp on 27th April 2012, theres a refreshment at 4pm for those who managed to arrive early. Registration open until 10pm before we have a briefing about the workshop.

On the next day we start by having a little introduction about our instrustor, and introduction of Photo Journalism, gears , question and answer session along the way. A talk by BTN personnel after lunch, and continued with the criteria & composition principles of photo journalism in late afternoon by our instuctor, Mr. Rabani. Then the workshop proceed after dinner where we were introduced about flash photography, post processing with Lightroom and a multimedia presentation of Mount Kinabalu Star Trail by Mr. Rabani.

We then given an earlier break before proceeding night photography practical at 11pm. It was the time where we implemented what we have learned during the workshop.

On our last day, its a closing ceremony, photo voting, quiz.

Well done for the organizer Mr Arif Rahman Hakim and all his team for their effort making this workshop successful.

Photo Jounalism Workshop - Rabani H.M Ayub

Photo Journalism Workshop by Rabani H.M. Ayub | Me with Mr. Rabani

Photo Journalism Workshop by Rabani H. M. Ayub | Adam Zikry Portrait with Backlighting

© Shukur Jahar | Photo Journalism Workshop by Rabani H. M. Ayub | Mount Kinabalu

© Shukur Jahar |Photo Journalism Workshop by Rabani H.M. Ayub | Mount Kinabalu with Star Trails

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