Mount Kinabalu

Featured photo of Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain of Borneo. It is located 70 miles from the northern tip of the island. It is an impressive flat-topped granite block, rising in isolation, thousands of feet above the gently sloping plain. It is a rugged, heavily eroded mountain, scarred by gullies, with jagged rocks and sharp pointed peaks surrounding the main terrace. The lower slopes are farmed, while the higher slopes are covered in thick jungle with rich biodiversity. The mountain's high peak is easily climbed, but all other peaks require rock climbing skills.

Kota Kinabalu is the provincial capital, and is the most important city in the area. It is just 35 miles southwest of the mountain, and is accessible by either air or boat from Singapore.

Elevation (feet): 13,455
Elevation (meters): 4,102
Continent: Asia
Country: Malaysia
Range/Region: Borneo
Latitude: 6.08333
Longitude: 116.55
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Year first climbed: 1858
First successful climber(s): H. Low and Spencer
Nearest major airport: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Convenient Center: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 56 trip reports for Mount Kinabalu.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22461 - by Sven Bugarski on Feb 02, 2014
    Back in 2001 I booked a 2-day-package for US$ 80 to go up Mount Kinabalu including accommodation, guide and "entrance fee" for the mountain. The whole trek was technically easy, but long...
  • Log #22260 - by Plant.nerd on Dec 01, 20114 Stars
    Beautiful climb up the Mesilau route however there is a bit of up and down. One particular narrow ridge about 2600m altitude had cloud rushing over it through the cloud forest and it was...
  • Log #21801 - by crazygal81 on Nov 04, 2009
    Fantastic view and an even better feeling when at the peak. We took the Mesilau Route up and Timpohon on our return.
  • Log #21759 - by yk on Aug 26, 20094 Stars
    2nd climb since Nov 2004 via Mesilau Trail...
  • Log #21572 - by Tan Jee Tien on Jan 12, 2009
    Climb really Tested my Youth or lack of it. Good to climb with friends, especially when they are Encouraging.
  • Log #21283 - by reto on May 19, 2008
    standard route over two days, with 1 night at Laban Rata
  • Log #21093 - by Winston Johnston on Nov 22, 2007
    Fantastic bit of exercise for 2 days. Very enjoyable experience. Piece of cake for even the moderately fit.
  • Log #21078 - by Gary Hubbard on Oct 29, 2007
    Very arduous climb, with overnight stay at mountain hut, some altitude effects - breathlessness, anxiety etc...
  • Log #20712 - by Stewart Aickin on Mar 27, 2007
    This was my 5th time to the top of Mt. Kinabalu!
  • Log #20713 - by Keshia Aickin on Mar 27, 2007
    I was only 5years old when I climbed Mt. Kinabalu with my dad and our guide Victor Siam. It was great but I didn't like waking up at 2:30am to climb to the summit on the 2nd day!
  • Log #19239 - by Christine Theodorovics on Sep 27, 2006
    Phantastic days without rain. Did the 2 day climb. Second day started from Laban Rata Hut at around 3 a.m.. Was wounderful, since it was a fullmoon night and no torches were necessary in the upper...
  • Log #19577 - by Mike on Sep 27, 2006
    Reached Laban Rata 3300m after 5 hours, passing through cloud and strong winds for our nights sleep. Around 3pm rain started and the cloud closed in and the wind picked up to around 80km/ph. Woke at...
  • Log #19726 - by Kristoffer Vandbakk on July 15, 2006
    A great hike to the top. You start in the jungle and end up at the barren and cold mountain top. Not for unfit people. I saw a lady being carried down on a stretcher, unknown reason.
  • Log #18718 - by Andrew on Feb 14, 2006
    This Mt. Kinabalu is towering 13,345ft and requires 2 days to reach the peak with overnight stay at the resthouse at about 10,000ft. You need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the...
  • Log #18848 - by chris on Aug 15, 2005
    bloody cold! hired a jacket at laban rata for 15RM, only problem was there were no buttons or zip on it! made do with some safety pins though. the climb was pretty eassy, some people had problems...
  • Log #14245 - by Lim Yew Khuay on Nov 11, 2004
    Nice, cold, breathtaking scenery!! the whole trip took u about 24 hours...
  • Log #14248 - by Claire on Nov 05, 2004
    I summitted just before sunrise after an exhauting second days climb, it was freezing cold at the summit, the view of the sun rise was the most magical experience, the sign for 'Low's Peak' was one...
  • Log #14250 - by Choi Chik Choy on Oct 11, 2004
    14 years later, I climbed Mt Kinabalu the second time and I succeeded. This time a lot wiser and take it easy. It was a very different climb as compare to the first one. It was cold at Low's Peak,...
  • Log #14251 - by Vanessa on Oct 07, 2004
    Proud to say that Ade and I made it to the summit without too many problems. Left the power station at 10 am and made it to Laban Rata in 5 hours - the last one of which was in the pouring rain....
  • Log #14252 - by Mohd Nizam Abdullah on Sep 25, 2004
    "its such a great experience and i thik all malaysian climbers should be there and feel the smell of the great malaysian mountain..before we conquer other countries mountain." -The...
  • Log #14253 - by cp on Sep 21, 2004
    There were 7 of us, Neow (Expedition leader), Kevin, Cheryline, Angela, Ee Mann, Moh and myself. Cheryl was hit with asthma and AMS and Neow/Kevin stayed at Laban rata to take care of her. Moh, Ee...
  • Log #14254 - by Tze on Sep 17, 2004
    group of 5 of us reached the peak. It was chilling, with strong headwinds, but it was a sight to behold.... glorious was just fantastic.
  • Log #14255 - by Juan Ramon Morales on Aug 27, 2004
    Luckly the weather was clear in the 2 days we were there. The climb is fantastic and really easy. A very good trek
  • Log #14256 - by Flo Ware on Aug 25, 2004
    I'm 14, I climbed with my parents and 9 and 12 year old brothers. The first day was ok, after leaving at 11.30, we were at the laban rata at 5, and then at 2 am, the 4 of us (the 9 year old stayed at...
  • Log #14257 - by Andrew R. & Melanie O. on Aug 24, 2004
    Climbing Mt Kinabalu was a real challenge! Walking sticks are a MUST, and make sure you pack light! Going up is not so bad - we made very few stops along the way to keep the momentum going, and made...
  • Log #14258 - by Adam Marcinowicz on Aug 15, 2004
    After the World Scout Moot in Taiwan a few of us from the United Kingdom travelled over to Borneo. While we were there 11 of us (Kat, Tru, A-net, Calum, Chris, Michael, Michelle, Adriano, Debbie,...
  • Log #14260 - by graeme hunter cowan on Aug 14, 2004
    worth every swear word and tear !a fantastic and most memorable expierience thanks to my soulmate teen ! a big well done to you babe !
  • Log #14261 - by Law Shue Lin on Aug 13, 2004
    We climbed this marvellous mountain on 3 & 4 August. It was raining heavily on our 1st day ascend to Laban Rata, the rain continued till 8-9pm of the nite. We were so worry that nite of our next...
  • Log #14262 - by Law Shue Lin on Aug 13, 2004
    We went to climb this marvellous mountain on 3 & 4 August. It was raining heavily during our ascend to Laban Rata, the rain continue till 8-9pm of the nite. We so worry of our ascending to submit...
  • Log #14263 - by LK Tee on Aug 10, 2004
    On 3rd August 2004, 9.30 am, ten of us climbed to Laban Rata from Mesilau Gate, experiencing beautiful view on the way up. Unexpectedly, heavy rain and great wind greet us during the last 2 hours of...
  • Log #14264 - by Les Davis on Aug 10, 2004
    I was not prepared for the intensity of the endurance challenge. I recommend that you climb only if you're in good physical conditioning for an 'Up Hill' climb. Other than that, it is a beautiful...
  • Log #14265 - by Jeanne on Aug 08, 2004
    I was at Mt. Kinabalu Laban Rata alone but couldn't make it to the summit due to I was suffering from altitude sickness...;-( when I 2 toes was hurt and still not fully recovered till...
  • Log #14266 - by Michael Reynolds on Aug 01, 2004
    A very nice mountain and well kept park. Very good indeed.
  • Log #14268 - by Adam Brown on July 25, 2004
    The climb was exhausting but well worth it. The ascent through a tropical rainforest, cloud forest, then onto bare rock is really something to see. The transition between the landscape is matched by...
  • Log #14269 - by Andrew Sui on July 22, 2004
    I arrived the summit Low's Peak at about 5:40am. I took picture in the pre-dawn over St. John's Peak that showed just its outline and other scenery. By 5:55 am the sun came out from the clouds in the...
  • Log #14270 - by Andrew Sui on July 22, 2004
    There were 14 persons out of 19 climbers from our team who managed to reach the peak in respect of the final ascent. For the remaining 5 climbers; 2 climbers reached at the foot of Low's Peak and one...
  • Log #14271 - by Dickson Ong on July 16, 2004
    Three times... same Mt... Every times give me wonderful feels.... I'm there for the coldest month and warmest month.
  • Log #14272 - by Gladys Loh on July 14, 2004
    It was my first ever time climbing a mountain. Really a memorable journey, that words cannot adequately describe the whole trip. Magnificent view from the top too :)!
  • Log #14273 - by Joanne on July 12, 2004
    t's was Amazing!! I facing a worst weather which that day Tyhoon tail pass by Sabah cool weather , heavy rain !! those wind ever able blow off people...:) i planing to go next year 2005 anyone wnat...
  • Log #14274 - by Choi Chik Choy on July 03, 2004
    I hv conquered Mt-KK in 1990 and that is 14 years ago. I was fit, young and eager to go then. The view is spectacular that words cannot describe. The challenge is that no one can tell but to...
  • Log #14275 - by Nurulhuda Hamzah on June 20, 2004
    Mount Kinabalu was memorable. All i can say is that be prepared for the cold weather. Wear thick clothings because you won't regret overdressing.The guides there are also helpful and friendly.
  • Log #14276 - by chen2 on June 16, 2004
    My first touch with Mount Kinabalu was 3 years ago. It is really a marvellous experience, that is why I am going to do my second climb soon. The climbing of Mount Kinablu is real challenge of...
  • Log #14277 - by Louis Tan on May 26, 2004
    I was only 13. It was a good experience.The view was absolutely stunning. I could not believe that I conquered Mt Kinabalu.
  • Log #14278 - by Rai on May 23, 2004
    I guess I was stupid enough not to slow down and take leasurily walk up and down the summit.Now when I think,look,hear and see at sites, I seem to have missed plenty of things. To be really honest,...
  • Log #14279 - by Lai Wah,Liu on May 09, 2004
    Magnificent view from the summit, Mother Nature at its best. Dream come true to conquer the highest peak in South East Asia.
  • Log #14280 - by J. Anthony Gud on May 01, 2004
    You don't have to be a super human to climb the mountain. It's so easy but you need to have a high determination other wise you only half way to the summit. Wanna test how fit you are? Try...
  • Log #14281 - by TY CHAN on Apr 29, 2004
    The climb was tough just like they said it would be and the early morning temperature at the summmit was very cold just like they said it would be - so be prepared physically and mentally and bring...
  • Log #14282 - by Eugene Lau on Apr 02, 2004
    I had headaches but it was worth it. I am still smiling when I think back. A fantastic climb not to be missed!!.. Cheers!
  • Log #14283 - by Pete Burke on Mar 27, 2004
    From the entrance gate to Laban Ratan took 2.5 hours. From Laban Ratan to the summit took 1.5 hours. From the summit back to the entrance gate took 2.5 hours.
  • Log #14284 - by John Robinson on Mar 27, 2004
    Take it easy! We left for the peak at 2am. We progressed 50 steps at a time and reached the peak for sunrise. It was worth the effort! BUT coming down was harsh. GET A WALKING STICK ! You can rent...
  • Log #14285 - by Hajah Zaleha Hj Abu Samah on Mar 21, 2004
    This is my 4th time to climb Mount Kinabalu Sabah Borneo.The view is fantastic.My intention to bring along my student to experience the climb was fullfill for this trip.May be next trip will bring...
  • Log #14286 - by Rebecca Chai on Mar 21, 2004
    This was the first climb in 4 years since leaving KK to further my studies. Many changes have taken place since my last visit: management change, route changes, renovated paths etc. My perspective on...
  • Log #14287 - by Roberto Cartelli on Mar 18, 2004
    A mountain not challenging technically but immensely tonic for the spirit. The keys for enjoying the trek is adequate training, a sense of purpose, early morning starts, a pair of robust walking...
  • Log #14288 - by Angeli Lok on Mar 11, 2004
    Great mountain creats great people - great guides, great porters & greats climbers.
  • Log #14289 - by Mohd. Akmal on Mar 10, 2004
    Hey...I'm on the top of the Mount Kinablau on the Valentine's Day... A very interesting journey but mental challenging... I saw a variety of people come from all over the world on that day... A lot...
  • Log #14290 - by gordon tyrrall on Feb 24, 2004
    A memorable experience.I would echo those who say - go slow and steady.Beware also of sunburn - I suffered from very clear,dry weather- an advantage in many ways,but the sub burns very quickly higher...