While finally reaching the summit was exhilarating, it was the memory of darkness slowly descending upon the forest as April and I climbed the final steps together back to Timpohon Gate that was the most memorable for me. Definitely a trip that made us realize “you win some, you lose some”. In this case, we reached the summit but didn’t make the cutoff time for the Via Ferrata (consequently forfeiting the money we paid because we had underestimated Mt Kinabalu/overestimated ourselves). And in addition, because of twisting my left knee, I had to ask someone to carry me for the last 1.5 km of the trail before the 1 km mark. Not only was it embarrassing, but it also felt like a personal defeat. But walking the final 1 km together with April, even at a snail’s pace and in pain, was what felt like the real achievement. A lot of respect and gratitude goes to our mountain guide, Alfred – and the rest of the guides and community in Mt Kinabalu that keep the park clean.
On another note, Mount Kinabalu’s summit was definitely breathtaking.