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After a short night rest to recharge your battery, second and more grueling phase will commence early morning on Day 2, at about 2 am to 3 am. The second ascent will be from mid-summit all way to summit, which is called Low's Peak, named after British colonial officer Sir Hugh Low, supposedly, first person to conquer Mt. Kinabalu.
The ascent should normally take a few hours but it is much more challenging than initial ascent due to thinner air near summit. But near peak on granite portion of ascent, there will be a thick nylon rope laid down to mark route so that climbers will not get lost in fog. You can use this rope to pull your tired body up.
Although, to reach summit is already an achievement, it is best to target, if possible, to reach summit just before sunrise to catch awesome sight. If you reached too early, it will be too freezing cold to wait too long for sunrise. On a good clear weather, sky seemingly turns from black to red then orange and finally gold as sun appears. When daylight breaks, you will truly feel that you are standing on top of world. You can see as far as Kudat and even Sandakan if weather permits.
Some tour itinerary samples can be found at links below:
2D/1N Mount Kinabalu Climb 3D/2N Mount Kinabalu Climb
One important tip is to make reservation early. Given popularity of Mount Kinabalu climb nowadays, it is advisable to book at least 3-4 months in advance (or even much earlier during peak season usually around mid-year) to avoid any disappointment.
This is mainly due to limited accommodation at mid-summit (i.e., Laban Rata Resthouse, Mountain Huts or VIP Lodge). In event that there is no accommodation at mid-summit, climb will not be possible as strictly stipulated in National Park's rules and regulations. Additionally, a mountain guide is compulsory.
In essence, Mount Kinabalu is relatively an easy mountain to climb. There is not much risk of acute mountain sickness at first phase of climbing. Given climber-friendliness of mountain, conquering mountain must be high in your list of “activities to do” if you were to visit Sabah. For average fit person, a visit to Borneo will not be complete without conquering Mount Kinabalu.
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