From November 28th to 5th December 2015, the Borneo Expedition team members John Kong, Wong Hoe Kiat and John Lee spent a week at Pendant Hut, operated by Mountain TORQ to rediscover and document the new summit trail on Mount Kinabalu.
On the 5th of June, 2015, Mount Kinabalu was struck with an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0. The occurrence rocked the mountain and shook the whole world, taking 18 precious lives. Since that day, the summit trail to the peak was closed by Sabah Parks for maintenance and rebuilding it to a much better and safer trail.
The daily lives and incomes of the silent heroes of Mount Kinabalu, the mountain guides and porters were greatly affected by the quake with the closure of the park to climbers. Risking their lives, they worked with Sabah Parks’ rangers on a rescue mission to get stranded climbers during the quake by bringing them and carrying them to safety.
Take note that all the facilities and amenities at Panar Laban – the chalets, the bed, the food, the wood that makes the steps and all luxury comfort and utility items are carried by them, piece by piece, day by day like human ants.
During their expedition, they managed to catch up with Sabah Park’s first climb to the summit lead by Y.B. Tuan Kamarlin Bin Ombi – Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Sabah, Sabah Park’s Chairman, YM Datuk Dr Tengku Adlin and Director Dr. Jamili Nais, Deputy Director Dr Maklarin Lakim together with MOTCE, Sabah Parks management and other members of the media.
On January 19th 2015, an exhibition was held to showcase the photographs taken by John Kong during the Mount Kinabalu Expedition. The exhibition was in conjunction with the re-launching of Mountain Torq’s via ferrata, which welcomed climbers to scale Mount Kinabalu again after 7 months of rehabilitation. At the reopening event, Mountain Torq announced and introduced the first of its kind Aeroligne System to Asia which was developed in France. The Aeroligne System is a continuous belay system which will increase customer’s safety and confidence on the via ferrata while creating a smoother and more seamless experience for the climbers. This system is installed on the Low’s Peak Circuit via ferrata route which holds the record of being the World’s Highest via ferrata certified by the Guinness Book of Records since 2009.
The re-launch event was officiated by Sabah’s Minister from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun. He said “From today onwards all the operators on Mt Kinabalu are ready to receive and attend to climbers from all over the world. Let’s restore the confidence of the international and overseas visitors that Mt Kinabalu is back and standing strong. We are tall. So we must stand tall.”
For those who are interested to climb Mount Kinabalu, please make this your NEW LIFE LIST. You will enjoy the true beauty of of the new summit trail and also to support the mountain guides and porters, making this a truly sustainable eco-tourism product for the local communities surrounding Kinabalu Park.
Find out more about the beauty of the new summit trail at: http://www.johnlkong.com/mount-kinabalu-expedition-2015/