Saturday, November 9, 2013

A mountain standing so mighty at the height of 4,095 metres in East Malaysia - Sabah, is a mountain I never thought I would be able to conquer.

Till today, I am still at awe reminiscing the moment where I was at the highest top of the Land Below The Wind. 

Many may be in the same 'self-doubt phase' as me before the climb, and I hope this blog would somehow help in giving my share bits of motivation. I am not in position to give the best advice, but the preparation I made for the climb did assure me a safe, relax, and successful climb. 

Before the climb... these are the few things that you must do.

1) Climb... alot! - If you are not an outdoor person like me, do make sure that you hike / exercise few months before the actual climb. It helps to get your body and muscles prepared for a long hike.

2) Get the right attire - To get a proper shoe is a MUST. I didn't invest much on a hiking shoe, just a RM9.90 rubber shoe I got from Cameron Highlands. You can get it at any hardware shops I believe. The second day hike from Laban Rata to Low's Peak can be as cold as -1°C  (depending on rain and season). I'm all prepared for the worst when I get myself a pair of long john (top & bottom from Universal Traveler), a windproof and waterproof pants (from Universal Traveler), gloves (from Universal Traveler too), beanie I borrowed from dad, balaclava Vince lend me, and a thick sweater sponsored by SP Setia. Do not forget to get a head lamp too! It is compulsory on the second day hike. Get a raincoat for both days. 

3) Be mentally prepared - We are lucky to have Kevin Wong to give us a motivational speech prior to our climb. It was a half-day session, and I would like to summarize the session with these quotes. 

"Keep your head and your heart in the right direction, 
and you'll never have to worry about your feet"

"The distance between success and failure can only be measured by one's desire"

It is really important to believe that all you wanted to achieve - is to set foot at the peak, 
nothing lower than the peak. This goal - must be your sole belief. 
Because beliefs are essentially our on / off switch for our ability to do anything in the world. 

4) Altitude sickness pill - Most of the climbers who failed to reach the peak of Mount KK is due to altitude sickness. You don't want to have symptoms like nausea, migraine, headache, vomiting during your climb, coz there's no turning back. So get some AMS pills and take it 3 days before the climb to avoid this.

Now that you are physically and mentally prepared, get ready for a journey that would change your perspective in life - thru a promising tropical adventure! :)

mount kinabalu sabah reviews tips
All 39 of us from the second batch of SP Setia Mount KK 2013 Expedition

During the hike to Laban Rata....

1) This is not a race, climb at your own pace - The goal is to reach the top, not to race your friends to the top. Well, of course, only if you are in Mt. Kanabalu Climbathon. Else, I would suggest you to save that energy and enjoy what nature has to offer.

2) Grab a buddy - It is always so much fun to do things with people, than doing things alone. Whatsmore, a climb to remember! I was so lucky to have a buddy of the same pace, and constantly give encouraging words. 

3) Pack your lunch box - Yeppp... nothing heavy, oily or spicy in the morning before the hike. Although there are many stops along the Mesilau / Timpohon trails, you wouldn't want to rush to the too-too. I would suggest to pack some bananas, chocolates, raisins, nuts, and energy drinks. Once reached Laban Rata, have a cup of hot Milo (bring your own 3 in 1 coz a cup of Milo at Laban Rata is going to cost you RM 6).

tips and reviews climb mount kk
Having fun photo session makes you forget of the coming kilometers before Laban Rata... 

During the hike to Low's Peak....

1) Cover yourself from head to toe - While everyone was shivering, my hands were sweaty and it felt pretty normal for me to remove my gloves to use my camera - the rest felt like they are going to have frostbite when doing that. I felt like this is one of the wisest decision I've made in my life - for keeping myself warm with the right attire. 

2) Head lamp - Again... this is a must coz it's pitch dark when you start your journey from Laban Rata at 2am. Do bring some spare batteries in your bag pack coz the battery tends to drain faster in colder temperature.

tips and review climb mount kk
Achievement that is gonna make me proud... "I come, I climb, I conquer"

Going down from Low's Peak to Kinabalu Park...

1) Just go with the flow - You'd be sooooo happy with your newly achieved mission and you'll be too busy to shout about it. So don't worry about going down. You have only one goal now - to go down. So... you pretty much get the idea. 

tips and review climb mount kk
Remember the raincoat I was telling?
It came handy when it gets cold on my way down - then it started to drizzles. 

I extended my stay at Sabah with my buddies. Went snorkeling at Pulau Mamutik. Pulau Manukan and Pulau Sapi. It was awesooommeee.... could be better if it wasn't for the muscle pain I had for the next 3 days after the climb. Woo-hoooooo!!!

manukan mamutik sapi sabah islands joyce yap

I hope this brief review on Mount KK climb is useful. I did not cover everything about it. Just some pointers based on my own experience.

Will be climbing again next year (I hope)... looking forward to Via Ferrata at Mount KK!!!

And how could I end this post just like this? 

Feed on this.... wootzzz!!! Photo taken by one of my hiking buddy at Pulau Sapi.

joycelifebits joyce yap model pretty rocks island

Goodnight ya'll !!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Back in August, yes, THREE months back (feeling bumped),
I went diving with Viennie and Chriz at our very own beautiful island in Malaysia - Redang Island.

This place is popularized by our local movie few years back - Mo Mo Tea.

This time around we stayed at Redang Pelangi - nothing beats a view facing the beach,
and to not worry about food coz they provide 5 meals a day!

I'm not going into details about the place nor diving, but generally
we dived at Black Coral Garden, Tanjung Tokong, Che Isa and Batu Cina Terjun.

I remembered having problem equalizing my ear during one of my dive and thus kept floating up.
It was painful and I freaked out for still bearing the pain for the next few days!
A note to myself "Descend slowly... and improve your buoyancy!"

Saw baby sharks during shore dives, was introduced to many common things underwater
that I have no idea about, like nudibranch, flathead crocodile fish, banded cleaner shrimp,
cushion starfish, leopard sea cucumber, school of yellowtail snapper,
and clownfish (Nemo) hiding in a bright blue anemone!

Yes, the usual thingy underwater amuses me.
I'm still new here, remember?

joyce yap dive

joyce yap dive

This trip is not merely about diving, but for fun and some booze!
You may have remembered my World Best Instructor, Eric Liow 
he was teaching one of my friend during my trip to Redang,
and oh boy, such fun nights we had!

He made us some Long Island cocktails, and playing 007 games with these booze,
do make us a reckless diver (at night), we are all fine in the morning! :P

eric liow dive instructor

Redang was kind of like my "practice trip" coz I'm preparing myself for Sipadan.
Photos up soon... stay tuned!

As for now... feed on this! :)
Photo by one of the DM in Redang...

joyce yap dive joycelifebits pretty beach