The Mount Kinabalu ChallengeJoin us on an epic six night jungle adventure, including two days climbing the highest mountain in Malaysian Borneo.

Mount Kinabalu (Malay: Gunung Kinabalu) is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site. Kinabalu is the highest peak in Borneo's Crocker Range and is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago.

At 4095mtrs above sea level it is approximately 3 times higher than Ben Nevis, the U.K's highest mountain and is home to some of the world's rarest plants and flowers.

It is a very achievable climb for persons of average fitness who are prepared to put in some training in the run up to the event. The walk is along well defined mountain paths and experienced guides are provided, climbing equipment is NOT required.

Advocate Events will provide you with full support before during and after the event and one of our team will be in Borneo with you throughout the challenge.

Please contact martyn@advocateevents.co.uk for more information on this challenge.

FAQsTerms and Conditions

Included in the cost of your trip

Flights, transfers and accommodation*

Meals during your Kinabalu climb

Fully qualified local Mountain guides

English speaking staff in Kota Kinabalu during your event

Full support prior to the event

Training Guide

Kit Guide

*Please note, All of the above may be subject to slight change, final details will be fully confirmed at least 2 months before you travel (flight numbers, hotels etc.).Prices are based on 2 sharing

What is not included?

Drinks

Your spending money

Personal travel insurance

Personal items from the kit list

Hotel meals (Kinabalu climb meals are included)

Our open challenge events give a lot more flexibility in how you fund your challenge and who you fundraise for.

Payment options:

  • Self-fund your challenge completely in a one off payment or by instalments.
  • Self-fund your challenge and choose to fundraise for one of our charity partners or the charity of your choice.
  • Fundraise 100% of the agreed target
Find out about our charity partners.

*Please note, All of the above may be subject to slight change, final details will be fully confirmed at least 2 months before you travel (flight numbers, hotels etc). Prices are based on 2 sharing accommodation when applicable.

Location: Mount Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

Please contact one of our team at info@advocateevents.co.uk or call Martyn on 07852 305445 to discuss your requirements.

Where is Mount Kinabalu?
Mount Kinabalu is in Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. Sabah's capital city, Kota Kinabalu, is about 90 minutes by air from Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.
How high is Mount Kinabalu?
The summit of Mount Kinabalu, Low's Peak, sits at 4095m (13,435ft) above sea-level. The mountain is the tallest in South-East Asia and is one of the highest trekkable peaks in the world.
How fit should I be?
The event suits people of average fitness and stamina. The mountain climb takes at least two days, the first day being relatively straightforward. The trail to the highest peak winds along the southern side of the mountain. It is an 8.5 kilometre (5.25 miles) trek to the top.

We recommend you begin to train and prepare prior to the event in order for you to enjoy this challenge. A fitness guide will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit.
Ascending Mount Kinabalu requires no specialised mountain climbing skills but it pays to be fit. Locals begin climbing the mountain from the age of three!
How bad are the effects of high altitude?
Altitude sickness affects every person differently. Most climbers will experience at least a mild headache, while a very small minority of climbers may be overcome by nausea and vomiting. Others will suffer these symptoms to varying degrees. The headaches can be helped with paracetamol or similar, and plenty of water. But, if you suffer badly from altitude sickness, the only remedy is to return immediately to lower altitude. Your guide is experienced in this area and he will tell you if it's not safe for you to continue.
Who can take part in the Mount Kinabalu Challenge?
The Mount Kinabalu Challenge is open to people of all ages with average fitness. The minimum age to take part is 12 years, and those under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult. We request that there is at least one adult present for every two participants under 18.
What support is available for this event?
Advocate Events staff will meet you at the agreed pickup point and will be in Kota Kinabalu for the duration of the event.

A mountain guide will also join you on your climb; We work on a ratio of a maximum of 7 climbers including a member of staff from Advocate Events to one mountain guide.
Although the event is designed to challenge you, we will not put anyone’s safety at risk and support will be available at all times. The Advocate Event’s team is on hand every step of the way, to help and advise you.
How many people will I be walking with?
This will depend on the number of climbers that sign up for the challenge.

Each group is allocated a guide/s. There are no fast or slow groups and everyone comes off the mountain as a group.
How long does it take to climb Mount Kinabalu?
The climb takes two days. Climbers trek 6km to Laban Rata on the first day, taking four to five hours, before climbing to the summit early on the following morning. The return trip from the summit to the Timpohon Gate can take anything from six to nine hours. These times are very subjective as it all depends on the climber and the group’s physical fitness.
What will the pace of walking be like?
The pace set will be accommodating for all. This challenge will not be enjoyable if you rush. The level of fitness will naturally vary throughout the group; therefore whatever pace you adopt you can be sure of company.

The group will be encouraged to work together, with stronger walkers helping those who may be slower. The guides will ensure the group stays together and everyone has a great day, making sure everyone completes this challenge.
In the interest of safety, participants are not allowed to walk in front of the lead guide or fall behind the last guide unless given permission by your guide.
Are there many stops on the mountain?
There are 6 shelters along the route to Laban Rata resthouse. Untreated fresh mountain water is available at every shelter (Bring some water purification tablets).

We will break the journey and spend the night at Laban Rata resthouse, which offers hostel type accommodation and a restaurant for hot meals.
There is another shelter the Sayat-Sayat Hut (3,668m) which is the highest shelter on the mountain.

The most important piece of advice on the climb is that you keep taking on fluids at regular intervals. We also recommend that you eat plenty of energy snacks, e.g. nuts, biscuits and fruit in order to maintain those vital energy levels throughout the day as well as adjusting your clothing appropriately. Have extra warm layers for the summit, even if the weather at the bottom is good.
What is the terrain like?
Interestingly the climb actually begins at Timpohon Gate with the descend to Carson’s fall, from here onwards, depending on your fitness level; it is about 4 – 5 hours climb to Laban Rata resthouse.

The terrain stretches upward from lowland rain forest to mountain forest, cloud forest and sub alpine meadow, before finally reaching a crown of bare granite. Only at Mount Kinabalu can you eat breakfast in a lowland rainforest, lunch in a cloud forest, and enjoy dinner in a subalpine meadow!
Day 1
The summit of Mount Kinabalu is known as Low’s Peak. There are two (2) trails that lead to Low’s Peak. Climbers can either follow the more popular Timpohon Trail or the Mesilau Trails. We’ll be using the Timpohon Trail which has clear paths to help in ascending the steep and rocky terrain
There are no valleys or plateaus the path is mainly steps all the way up; there are shelters approximately every kilometre and it will take about 4-5 hours to climb to Laban Rata resthouse where we will stop for the night.

Day 2
After a short night’s rest, you will need to be ready by about 2:00am in the early morning in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. It takes about 3 hours depending on your fitness level to reach the peak and there are ladders and ropes to help you over the steeper terrain. In the dark, you can see the beams of torch lights as the procession of climbers trudge higher and higher. Along the trail to the summit, marvel at the incredible mountain backdrop of teeth and fangs, rugged landscape of cliff, gorge, gulley, plateau and precipice.
At 4,095.2m above sea level and in the freezing darkness, we reach our final destination – the summit of Mount Kinabalu. In an almost sacred manner, the dawn of a new day unfolds gloriously before you. It is a guaranteed awesome and magical moment of your life! From this vantage point, you’ll see a dramatic drop more than 1,000m down, this is Low’s Gully.

Descend to the foot of the Mountain
It can be very cold with strong wind at the summit. Hence, climbers are advised to descend as soon as possible. It takes about 2 hours to descend back to Laban Rata Resthouse and after you check out, it takes another 4 – 5 hours to descend to Timpohon Gate where you’ll be transferred to the Park Headquarters to collect your certificate and then head back to the hotel.
Is it steep?
The mountain climb takes at least two days, the first day being relatively straightforward – 6km of a step like track up to 3272m above sea level, the second day climb to the summit is slightly technical with ropes at an angle of about 15 - 20 degrees inclination.

Take your time, and if you feel out of breath or in need of a rest, take one.
How will I get there?
We will fly from London to Kuala Lumpur and then on to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia) airport and transfer to a quality hotel in the town centre.
You will be picked up from the hotel and driven the two hours to Kinabalu Park Headquarters to sign in and meet our Mountain guide, then onto the starting point of the climb.
Once the climb has been completed we will take you back to the hotel.

All transfers to and from the airport in Borneo and to and from Kinabalu Park from the hotel in Kota Kinabalu are included.
What is the accommodation like?
We will stay in comfortable accommodation in Kota Kinabalu. You will be sharing a room with an ensuite-bathroom. Rooms are twin and double occupancy with a small number of single rooms, which carry single supplement charges, should one be requested. Rooms are based on single sex occupancy; couples where possible will be kept together.

Single rooms carry a supplement charge should they be requested. We will ask you as our challenge date approaches whether there is someone in particular you would like to share a room with.

Many people come to these events on their own. Taking part in events such as these are a great way to meet new people and have proven in the past to build long standing friendships. For those of you arriving on your own, Advocate Events will endeavour to pair you up with another walker of the same sex and similar age.

Accommodation on Mount Kinabalu
Laban Rata resthouse is a dormitory hostel style accommodation and a restaurant for hot meals before you resume your climb to the peak.  Due to a power cable breakdown in 2009 there are no longer heated facilities. The temperature inside the huts is approx. 12-15 degrees which is still comfortable enough for a stay as bed linen and blankets are provided. Sleeping bags are not required.
What weather can I expect?
March to August is considered the best season to climb because of the dry season. However, as we are referring to tropical rainforest, passing showers and heavy rain are expected and a common sight at any time of the year. The temperature at Low’s Peak Summit is approx. -3 to 5 degrees. It is advisable to have at least 4 layers of clothing including windbreaker for the summit ascend.

As with any outdoor event, we are unable to predict the weather so each participant must be prepared for all eventualities. You will need to carry full wet weather gear and warm layers with you.

The weather conditions at the bottom of the mountain may be vastly different to what we can expect at the top. Should there be adverse weather conditions, we reserve the right to cancel or change the route for safety reason.
What kit will I require?
You do not need any special climbing skills or equipment. Climbing Mount Kinabalu is akin to climbing up endless flight of stairs and equipping yourself with a good pair of walking/trekking shoes, waterproof warm jacket, head torch & gloves are good enough. Anyone that is reasonably fit and healthy can attempt the climb with confidence. Remember to do regular exercises as this will give you an added edge in attempting a successful climb. Wooden walking sticks (RM 5.00) are available to purchase KK City stores.

When you sign up we will send you our recommended kit list for this challenge.

On the day of the challenge, you will need to carry your own personal kit for the climb which will include: your lunch, water, waterproofs, warm layers, mini first aid kit, camera and phone. Try to keep the weight to 4-8Kg. Do not take any valuables with you. The rest of your luggage will remain at the hotel and we would recommend you pay for a safety deposit box to keep you valuables safe.
What is included in the cost of the event?
•    Meals during your Kinabalu climb
•    Fully qualified local English Speaking Mountain Guide(s)
•    English speaking staff during your event    
•    Full support prior to the event
•    Training Guide
•    Kit Guide

*Please note, All of the above may be subject to slight change, final details will be fully confirmed at least 2 months before you travel (flight numbers, hotels etc). Prices are based on 2 sharing accommodation when applicable.
What is not included?
•    Drinks
•    Your spending money
•    Personal travel insurance
•    Personal items from the kit list
•    Optional Tipping
Do I need insurance?
You must have adequate travel insurance to take part in this event.
 
Advocate Events strongly advise all participants to take out their own insurance to cover them for the duration of this event as Advocate Events will not be held responsible for any accident, loss, damage or expenses etc.
 
Your insurance should be in place when you register to participant on the event. If you get injured before the event you will then be able to make a claim for the costs we have paid out on your behalf so that you can take a place on a future event.
 
Due to the nature of this outdoor activity, participants should accept a certain element of risk. Our guides will do everything in their power to minimise the risks, where possible. In the interests of safety all participants must abide by any decisions made by the guides.
How will I raise the sponsorship money?
Although we ask you to commit to raising the minimum sponsorship to take part in this challenge, fundraising needn't be daunting or hard work!

Once you start telling people what you're doing and why, you will be amazed at people’s generosity and support. When you sign up we will send you an invaluable fundraising pack bursting with ideas to get you started. This is a great way to meet new people and get in touch with old friends.

All it takes is a little inspiration and organisation and the money will begin to roll in. Think about your hobbies and interests - they could be the key to your success!

A great tip is to break down your sponsorship target into smaller, bite-sized chunks and be proud of what you are doing.
When do I have to pay my sponsorship money?
You must have achieved your fundraising target 1 month prior to the event. This does not include Gift Aid.