Six weeks before I am about to run on Malaysia's longest bridge in a 42km race, I am setting myself a physical challenge by attempting to climb Malaysia's tallest mountain.
I am now in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
In a short while, I'll be meeting up with my travel buddy and head down to Kinabalu Park together, where we'll catch some sleep before waking up at 6:30am the next day to prepare for our climb.
Technically speaking, this will be my second time climbing a mountain. My first attempt was 2,200m Mt Sinai in Egypt, where my legs eventually gave way and I cheated by hiring a camel to take me 3/4 way up to the top.
I was desperately underprepared back then (all I wore was a piece of sweater and jeans), so hopefully I could redeem myself this time round by going all the way without the assistance of some four-legged desert beast.
I certainly won't be underprepared this time round.
My packing list includes:
- Sports shorts and shirts
- Long johns or thermal underwear: Looks damn ugly but supposed to keep you warm
- Sweater and trackpants
- Windbreaker with waterproof hood
- My adidas Cardrona outdoor shoes: Heel and ankle support is so important when you're about to climb a total 18km up and down the mountain. Good traction on the soles when climbing up the smooth rock wall could mean a difference between life and death. My collection of running shoes just wouldn't cut it.
- Carbohydrate-rich energy bars and electrolyte powder. I use Powerbar.
- Water purification tablets: There's only rainwater on the trail to Mt Kinabalu, and I ain't keen on drinking rainwater. Not in Malaysia anyway.
- Panadol: For altitude sickness.
- Tiger Balm: my trusty all-purpose Chinese medication.
- Flanal analgesic cream
- Gloves and beanie
- A RM42 metal-alloy walking stick. This one got suspension spring somemore dun pray pray.
- Headlamp: 'cos on Saturday I gotta wake up at 1am to climb. You're supposed to wear the straps over your head, but I thought it kinda look like a G-string. Makes me wonder if there are actually people wearing it like a G-string, and more importantly, for what purpose.
- Raincoat or poncho: I seriously hope I don't have to use this.
The weather forecast for Friday 11th May is "scattered thunderstorms". Let's hope it doesn't rain.