Climbers have nothing but praise for Mount Kinabalu guides

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KOTA KINABALU: Climbers who had to face the rain and strong flows of water while carefully scaling down Mount Kinabalu on Tuesday (Sept 12), have nothing but praise for their mountain guides.

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For them, these guides or “malim gunung” had extraordinary strength, stamina, experience and actually knew the mountain very well.

“When I first saw my mountain guide, I was mesmerised by his physique. His thighs were huge and he was following us and making sure we were alright along the way, without seeming to get tired,” said first timer Suara Sarawak reporter Gerrald Gilles anak Ahi.

The 29-year-old said he also met with several other mountain guides and porters, and couldn’t stop appreciating just how easy it seemed for them to go up and down the mountain, while carrying loads of foodstuffs and gas cylinders.

“So when we got into a bit of trouble early in the morning due to rainfall and a subsequent downpour, we really relied on what our guides instructed us to do,” he said.

Gerrald said for him, he was already shivering since before it rained and the cold got worse for him when it poured.

“I was told to hang on to the rope tightly and to get down as carefully as possible to avoid being swept away by the strong water flowing from the peak,” he said, adding their guide never left them alone throughout that journey.

He said as he was not confident standing up and walking down, he chose to hold tightly to the rope while sliding down, ignoring his clothes getting all wet as long as he got down to the next checkpoint area safely.

Gerrald’s first time experience scaling the country’s tallest mountain was slightly too much for him, but he might come back again for a second climb up Mount Kinabalu next year, just to challenge himself.

RTM reporter from Kuching, Sarawak, Debbie Amanda Padan said she ran into the bad weather when she was almost near Low’s Peak, and there was actually sunrise when a sudden heavy cloud swept over the mountain top.

“It started drizzling at first but my guide asked if I still wanted to continue the climb because he said up there, the rain is already heavy,” said the 29-year-old.

She remembered wanting to proceed but her guide was hesitant and kept telling her that it would be quite dangerous as the weather was not favourable.

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Debbie decided to heed the concern of her guide and turned back down, when slowly, she started to see water coming in streams down the mountain.

“Thank goodness I listened to my guide. I was disappointed at first but now, I just feel thankful to be safe,” she said.

She said that was her second failed attempt to reach the summit as she had experienced bad weather on her first try up the mountain in May 2017.

Debbie said during her scale down, her team mates comprising two firemen from Sarawak as well, had helped others along the way.

“I also saw how the mountain guides did their job with such professionalism and I could tell that they knew exactly what they were doing,” she said.

She will come again soon to try and conquer Mount Kinabalu.

Debbie, Gerrald, and two firemen from Sarawak, are part of a media trip to Mount Kinabalu, organised by the Kuching Division Journalist Association.

Most of them were first timers trying to conquer Mount Kinabalu.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the downpour caused gushes of water flowing down the mountain between 5.50am and 7am.

A total of 115 guests comprising Sabahans, Sarawakian, peninsula Malaysians and other nationals as well as 37 mountain guides were there and there were no major incidents that followed suit.
-TheStar


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