Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mt. Kinabalu 2009 - A mother & daughter trip

My 3rd trip to this mountain, although only my 2nd with my mom.

The objective this time was for my mom to get to the peak (since her last attempt failed, but my first was successful). 

This trip proved to be a difficult one for me. Well, of course it would be difficult -- for someone who didn't train, what else would I expect? A walk in the park? Hahahaha...

Well, a walk in the park it wasn't. It started well enough.. my mom and I not far apart during the hike up. However the adventure did not really start until it reached Laban Rata.

The hike from Gunting Lagadan proved to be too much for me. From the start, I was feeling nauseous and giddy. I attributed this to the fact that I was probably sweating beneath all those layers of clothes that I had donned - 2 pairs of thermals, 1 long sleeved t-shirt, 1 soft shell jacket, 3 pairs of socks.

However despite peeling the layers off one by one, the feeling did not leave me.. in fact it magnified. It came to a point I could not see my way as my vision was blurring. It dawned upon me, Mama will have to do this alone (not really alone since there was gonna be a whole lot of others with her, just not me). Not sure how to break the news to her, I kept this to myself.. and tried to convince myself that I will feel better with each step.

We walked at our own pace - me ahead and Mama trailing behind. There would be times I would sit by the rocks and wait for Mama to catch up. Despite my constant breaks and rests, I did not get better.. getting worse ada lah. Upon reaching the rope section, I broke the news to my mom - I was gonna walk with her towards Sayat-Sayat hut, and decide from there whether to continue to the peak or not.

I was not sure how she took to the news, but I think she was more concerned about the rope section.. which was fine by me. Ginik assured me that there was a bed I could sleep on at Sayat-Sayat.. which surprisingly motivated me to at least get to that hut! Hahahaha..

Upon reaching the hut, with my head pounding, strong urge to throw up and my super-blurred vision, I choose to stop. My mom was on her own (and with Darshini of course). Handing my mom my backpack, she continued on her quest to conquer Mt. Kinabalu with Ginik and Darshini. I in turn, slept for the next 2 hours. Upon waking up, I turned left and made my way down to Laban Rata (didn't even cross my mind to walk to the peak).

Mama made it to the peak. Yay!!

The journey down to KK Park was a treacherous one! We were all suffering in our own way, and in such situations.. the true me emerges. Hehehe.. Mama got irritated with me and told me off. I in turn decided to walk ahead and wait for her at the huts instead. I made a lot of new friends along the way.. which was fine by me.

One by one, the injured hikers were walking pass by me, while Mama was still behind. At the hut after the 2.5km mark, I decided to wait for Mama and we walked together from then on. It took us over 2 hours to cover 2km but arrived we did. Thank goodness!

As with all mountain trips, it's not about conquering the mountain - but what you can take back from there. There were many lessons learnt along the way, but I'll highlight only the below:

Lesson #1 - Age is not a factorMy mom was one of the oldest participants in our group, and it didn't stop her from reaching the peak.

Lesson #2 - Move at your own paceThis is not a race. Walk at a pace that works for you. The main aim is to reach your destination in one piece!

Lesson #3 - Know your limitsListen to your body and trust it! Stop when it says stop!

Lesson #4 - Know the difference between physical/mental limitationsIt's important to know if it's a physical or mental limitation you are going against. If your mind says no, but your body says yes.. it is still a can-go situation. However if your mind says yes, but your body says no, it could be a dangerous situation if you decide to go ahead.

Lesson #5 - The Mountain Ain't Going AnywhereIf you can't make it this time, it's ok. Come again next time. The mountain ain't going anywhere, it will wait.

Lesson #6 - Have a good reason in whatever you doThis would save you the trouble from asking yourself again and again "why the hell are you doing this?!?" 

I am seriously retiring from this.. hahahaha