Questions About Mount Kinabalu

1. Where is Mount Kinabalu?

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 UNESCO World Heritage Site and Global Geopark.

2. How high is Mount Kinabalu?

The summit of Mt Kinabalu, Low’s Peak, sits at 4095.2M (13,435ft) above sea-level. Mount Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Malaysia & Borneo Island. It is also the 20th tallest mountain in the world by topographic prominence and is one of the highest peaks in the world that is easily trekked by most people.

3. When is the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu?

March to September is the best period to climb Mount Kinabalu because of the dry season. However as global climate changes, there is no best time to climb based on the past four years Mount Kinabalu summit gate closure statistics. Check out the detailed analysis.

Click Here for Detailed Analysis

4. What is the temperature at Mount Kinabalu?

The temperature at the summit of Mount Kinabalu (4,095.2m) drops to freezing 0 °C - 3 °C , while Timpohon to Panalaban area ranges from 6 °C - 16 °C , and Kinabalu Park (foot of mountain) is around 15 °C - 26 °C. 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.

5. Does It Snow on Mount Kinabalu?

Yes, but it is rare! Many people ask whether or not you can see snow on Mount Kinabalu due to the high altitudes - while temperatures at the summit can drop to below freezing level, and climbers may experience some ice or frost at the summit, snow will only form when the conditions are just right.

Click Here To See Snow on Mount Kinabalu

6. Is it safe to climb Mount Kinabalu?

Yes. Apart from ‘Act of God’ incidents, as long as you listen to your mountain guide’s instructions and stay on the track, there is less risk of suffering any injury and/or accident. There are reported incidents where climbers lost their way, injured themselves or lost their lives on the mountain, but note that these usually happens when they leave the marked trail on their own and/or get deviated from their group. Furthermore, additional safety measures have been implemented since 1st September 2015.

7. What is Panalaban? Where is it located?

Panalaban is the pit stop or the base camp where climbers will take a rest before proceeding for the second part of their Mount Kinabalu Summit climb journey. It is located between 3,230 to 3,323 meters above sea level. Panalaban base camp houses a cluster of assorted huts such as Laban Rata Resthouse, Pendant Hut, Lemaing Hut, Panalaban Hostel (Mokodou and Kinotoki Huts) etc. These assorted huts provide overnight accommodation for climbers, inclusive of shower facilities and meals (Hot meals is only available on Laban Rata Resthouse).

8. Is Mount Kinabalu a volcano?

No, it is not a volcano. Mount Kinabalu is one of the world's youngest non-volcanic mountains, made of granite about 15 million years ago.

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Questions On Planning A Trip

1. How long does it take to climb Mount Kinabalu?

The climb takes a minimum of 2 Days and 1 Night. Usually, the first day trek starts in the morning via Timpohon gate (about 5-7 hours) to Panalaban for an overnight stay. The second ascent to summit starts 2am on day two where climbers get to catch sunrise around 5.30am at the Low’s Peak summit. After which, return to Panalaban directly (if not participating any Via Ferrata activity) for check out and descend straight to Timpohon gate. You will then be transferred to Kinabalu Park HQ. After collecting your climb certificate, depart for Kota Kinabalu City or other desired destinations.

2. Can I do a day hike up to Mount Kinabalu Summit?

No. Climbers will have to do the usual 2 Days 1 Night compulsory climb itinerary with Since the trail was reopened in September 2015, Sabah Parks has stopped giving 1-day climb permit.

3. Can I climb Mount Kinabalu without reaching the summit?

Yes, you can. Some climbers may fall short of reaching the summit, but even for those who did not reach the top, the trip to Mount Kinabalu will still be highly rewarding. You can stay at Panalaban Basecamp and wait for the others to return from the summit.

4. Can I turn back at any time before reaching Panalaban Basecamp?

Yes, you may cancel or halt the climb before reaching the basecamp, our mountain guide will assist you to descend to Timpohon Gate (starting point). However, no refunds will be made for cancellation after the tour has commenced. Guests may need to bear additional costs for accommodation and transport arrangement.

5. Can I turn back on the same day once I have reached Panalaban Basecamp?

It is compulsory and advisable to stay overnight at mountain accommodation during your climb. This is for safety reasons and to prevent any possible injuries. However, should an emergency arise, your mountain guide will assess your condition and decide whether to activate the Mountain Search and Rescue Unit (MOSAR) personnels. This will be subjected to authorities’ approval and additional costs might be incurred.

6. How many days should I spend on my Mount Kinabalu trip?

We recommend 3 Days 2 Nights. It would be advisable for climbers to stay overnight in highland areas (Kinabalu Park, Kundasang town or Poring Hot Springs in Ranau) prior to the actual climb. This is to allow high altitude acclimatization and reduce risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

7. What time am I expected to reach Kota Kinabalu on the day of descend from Mount Kinabalu?

Arrival time is very subjective as it all depends on the climber and their group physical fitness. A reasonably fit climber can reach Timpohon gate from Panalaban between 11am – 2pm. Most climbers reach between 1 – 3pm. We have also served climbers who arrives Timpohon gate as late as 10pm. In addition, the total time taken from Timpohon gate to Kinabalu Park HQ for certificate collection and onward to Kota Kinabalu city is approx. 3 hours.

8. Can I catch my flight on the same day I descend from Mount Kinabalu?

We do not recommend climbers to rush to the airport on the same day of descent from Mt Kinabalu. There is a high chance that you might miss your flight due to several reasons and unforeseen circumstances. Slow in your descent, injury, landslides, traffic congestion, vehicle breakdown & etc. will not be responsible for any losses incurred due to missed flights.

9. Should I purchase a personal travel insurance plan?

Yes, you are strongly encouraged to purchase a comprehensive personal travel insurance policy for the duration of the trip from your own country; to cover against Personal Accident, Loss of baggage, Delays, Unexpected alterations to travel arrangements, Cancellation, Act of God, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Infectious diseases, Epidemics, Terrorism etc. Although all our Mount Kinabalu climb packages include a personal accident plan by Sabah Parks for all climbers, the coverage and claim value is very limited and subject to approval by Sabah Parks Authority.

10. Should I book my mountain climb slot or flight ticket first?

It is advisable to always check the availability of Mount Kinabalu climb slots and get a booking confirmation from us first before booking your flight tickets.

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Questions On Booking Arrangements

1. I did not receive any reply from after sending email/online enquiry. Why is it so?

We usually reply all emails within 24 hours on working days. Please check your Spam/Junk inbox for any possible emails from us. If not, kindly call or provide us your alternate email address. Most of the time, our emails seem to be filtered and put in Spam/Junk inbox by your internet security provider and especially so for Yahoo account holders.

2. How much does it cost to climb Mount Kinabalu?

The cost for Mt Kinabalu climb varies depending on the different packages that are available by Please refer to our Mount Kinabalu climb packages under our Mt Kinabalu section as listed.

3. What is the deposit amount required to book a Mount Kinabalu climb and the payment terms like?

A 40% deposit is required to secure standard climb slots / accommodation and the balance must be paid 45 days prior to tour commencement.
A 50% deposit is required to secure Via Ferrata climb slots / accommodation and the balance must be paid 45 days prior to tour commencement.
For last minute reservation made within 45 days prior to tour commencement 100% full payment is required to secure climb slots / accommodation and admission to the tour.
Reservation for Mount Kinabalu Climb package can only be held for 2-3 days (unless otherwise stated) from the date of issue of client invoice. Failure to comply to payment due dates may result in an automatic cancellation of your reservation and the release of your climb slots / accommodation / tours / all other bookings to others in the queue system without prior notice.
All bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking.

4. Is it safe to book with or any other website sources?

Yes. It is definitely safe to book with as our appointed professional ground handler (Amazing Borneo Tours) listed in Sabah Tourism Board as licensed local operator. Please be aware that there have been several reported fraud/bogus websites selling unlicensed Mount Kinabalu packages, they can be operated from other parts of the world. Many climbers who fell victim to this fraud scheme had been left stranded in Kota Kinabalu without climbing permits/accommodation or tour as claimed. Please make sure that you receive proper invoice, confirmation and tour itinerary from legal local operators with indication of company address, contact numbers and vehicle type. Do not let these scammers spoil your vacations.

5. Can I upgrade my stay or choose a different accommodation than the one included in the standard climb package?

Yes. Send in your request at the time of booking and pay the price difference for the accommodation. All requests are subjected to availability.

6. Can I climb Mt. Kinabalu without accommodation?

No. Every accommodation (or bed) at Panalaban is tied to a climb permit. All climbers are required to have a climb permit to climb legally. Hence, you will need to secure the accommodation (or bed) in order to get the climb permit.

In addition, climbers need a minimum of 2 days 1 night to climb Mt. Kinabalu. After the discontinuation of the Climbathon, you can no longer climb the mountain in one day unless you are applying for a special permit from Sabah Parks.

7. Can I just book accommodation only? I do not wish to take up the full Mt Kinabalu climb package.

Yes, you may book the Panalaban accommodation (e.g. Laban Rata Resthouse) only. Send in your request at the time of booking. You will need to arrange your own transportation, mountain guide, and miscellaneous fees payment.

Note: Please be aware that there have been several incidents whereby climbers are scammed by unlicensed/untrusted individuals and are left stranded without a climb permit or accommodation. If a deal is too good to be true, it’s usually not true. It is always safer to book your Mount Kinabalu climb through trusted and licensed tour operators. More info under Booking Tips.

8. Can I book my climb without transportation?

Yes. Send in your request at the time of booking and the transportation charges will be deducted from your package rate. You will have to make your own way to the Kinabalu Park HQ registration counter at the stipulated time.

9. When should I start to book a climb slot/accommodation in Panalaban?

You should start booking as soon as you have decided to climb. Although it is often said that it’s better to book your Mt Kinabalu climb slot 3-6 months in advance, however, it is still possible for to accept any last minute bookings, but it will be subject to availability.

10. What is the meaning of climb slot?

Climb slot actually refers to a bed in Panalaban that is attached to a climbing permit. In fact, total beds are equivalent to the total number of climb permits issued. Therefore, if has secured a climbing slot for you, it means that you will also receive a climbing permit and bed for an overnight stay.

However, please be wary of booking Mt Kinabalu accommodation from unknown sources as there have been several reported cases where climbers have booked and paid for their accommodation but could not get climb permits.

Starting Jan 2023, there will be an increase in the climb permit fee. Read more about it HERE.

11. How many types of climb packages are there?

There are two types of climb packages.

  1. The via ferrata climb package that comes with via ferrata climb permit.
  2. The non-ferrata climb package that comes with non-ferrata climb permit.

Both types of climb permits will allow you to first reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu (Low’s Peak) regardless if you will or will not be participating in any via ferrata activity. To view different type of climb packages, click HERE.

12. What happens if my ideal climb package is fully booked on my preferred date?

You may :-

  1. Provide us with alternate dates should your ideal type of climb package (via ferrata or non-ferrata) be fully booked on your preferred date, or
  2. If you do not have any other alternate dates and must climb on your preferred date only, we suggest you to switch your type of climb package (non-ferrata > via ferrata or via ferrata > non-ferrata).

Although there may still be a slight chance of your preferred climb permit made available at a later date from the day you first contacted us due to possible cancellation. encourages all guests to book immediately should either one type of climb package is available rather than to wait for your preferred climb package. This is to at least ensure you to have guaranteed climb permit to scale Mount Kinabalu.

13. How do I know if my climb slot and permit are confirmed & secured?

Deposit will be required before the stated due date given by our sales coordinator once reservation has been made. Usually we must receive payment within 2-5 working days to have your climb slot & permit secured. Otherwise, it will be automatically released from our climb booking system to other guests in queue. Full payment is required on special promotional rate or if your climb date is less than 30 days at time of booking. Once payment is received, we will issue a payment receipt and tour itinerary before your tour starts.

14. What personal particulars are required for climb permit application?

Upon booking confirmation, we would need the photocopy of your passport, passport name in full, passport number for Non-Malaysian, IC number for Malaysian, nationality, date of birth and contact number (if available). A climber details form will be emailed to you for your completion. You should return the completed form to us ASAP. If you fail to do so, you may not be able to secure your climb permit from Sabah Parks authority. Via Ferrata climb operator will also impose an RM100 penalty fee per climber for any late submission, which we have no control over.

15. Can I change climber’s particular?

Yes. An administrative fee of RM50.00 per climber will be imposed for any name change on revision of Non-Ferrata climb permit and RM100.00 per climber for Via Ferrata climb permit. Please note that except for MK201 and MK202 packages, no name changes or postponement of climbing dates are allowed.

16. Do I really need a climb permit to climb Mount Kinabalu?

Yes, a climbing permit issued from Sabah Park Authority is compulsory. One needs to wear the climb permit (visible) ID tag at all times throughout the climb as you will be checked periodically at certain check points. The total number of climb permits equals the total number of beds available in Panalaban.

17. What is the maximum number of climbers allowed per day and why?

Before Covid-19 pandemic, there were 185 climbing permits issued daily by Sabah Parks. This is for safety reasons, so they could help to oversee on climbers’ safety upon ascending to Low’s Peak summit in total darkness. It is also to ensure the summit climb is not overcrowded by climbers.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, there are now only 163 climbing permits issued daily by Sabah Parks as of 25 January 2023. We recommend interested climbers to book early to avoid disappointment. To view the climb packages, click HERE.

18. Why are there 2 types of pricing (Malaysian & International) for Mount Kinabalu climb?

Like any other countries, the locals will always have certain citizenship privileges. Internationals will pay for normal rates whereas Malaysians are heavily subsided by the government. To view the difference between the climbing fees, click HERE.

19. I am a Sabahan. Can I get the Sabahan Package?

There are only 10 climb slots per day reserved for Sabahans at Sabahan rates, and the slots are usually snapped up more than 6 months in advance. You may contact SSL for availability of Sabahan rate packages, but do be wary of scams by unlicensed individuals. Secure your booking with a reliable tour operator at for a hassle-free and worry-free climb experience.

20. Who qualify for Malaysian price?

Those who are holding Malaysian passport or the Malaysian Identity card (MyKad) only. Foreigners who are residing permanently in Malaysia do not qualify.

21. Can I climb Mount Kinabalu without a guide?

No. Even though you are an experienced climber, Sabah Park safety regulations require all climbers/hikers to be accompanied by a licensed mountain guide from the local Mountain Guide Association. The ratio is at least 1 mountain guide to a maximum of 5 climbers (more than 16 years old) and 1 mountain guide to a maximum of 2 climbers (less than 16 years old).

22. I want to hire a mountain guide for Mount Kinabalu Climb. What is the latest guidelines for hiring?

For the safety of all climbers, especially young climbers and children, Sabah Parks Authority has imposed the following guidelines when engaging a mountain guide for Mount Kinabalu Climb. For simplicity, we shall refer to climbers aged 16 years and above as Adult and climbers aged 15 years and below as Child.

  • One mountain guide is allowed to take a maximum of five(5) climbers aged 16 years and above in the same group.

  • Guide : Climbers (5 Adults)
    1 : 5

  • One mountain guide is allowed to take a maximum of three(3) climbers if there is a child aged below 16 years old in the same group.

  • Guide : Climbers (2 Adults + 1 Child)
    1 : 3

    Guide : Climbers (1 Adult + 2 Children)
    1 : 3

  • One mountain guide is allowed to take a maximum of two(2) children aged below 16 years in the same group.

  • Guide : Climbers (2 Children)
    1 : 2

Refer to the different senarios here:

23. Do we have our own mountain guide? does not mix different groups of climbers together for sharing of mountain guides. All individual or group booking will have their own assigned required number of mountain guides according to Sabah Parks guidelines. In such, you or your group may trek at your own pace and trek safely. However, in the event of a shortage supply of mountain guides by Sabah Parks and climbers of different groups are forced to mix, will do a reasonable refund to our climbers accordingly.

24. What is Your Group Size?

Your Group Size refers to your final booking order to us, based on number of person in your group, not our company’s group size that may consist of other travelers for the same tour. The more you buy, the lesser you pay. Should your group size reduce in number, the costs will change accordingly.

Contact us now for big group discounts!

25. Can I Arrange A Pick-up For Flights Arriving Outside The Designated Times?

Certainly! We're flexible and can organize pick-ups anytime to ensure a smooth transition upon your arrival. Just let us know your flight details beforehand, and our team will handle the arrangements.

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Questions On Cancellation & Refunds

1. Do I get a refund if I did not reach the summit during my climb?

Unfortunately no, there is no refund under any circumstances including, but not limited to, summit closure due to bad weather, Act of God, being refused climb by Sabah Parks rangers or mountain guides due to your personal health and safety reasons or any other reasons that may affect the authorities’ decision to disallow you to summit.

2. Do I get a refund if I am unable to proceed for the climb due to flight delay?

If your tour has not commenced, the refund will be based on our Cancellation Policy. There would be no refunds less than four (04) days of notification or after the tour has commenced or for any unused tour services including but not limited to transfer, meals & accommodation, guiding, the climb itself or any other services not utilized.

3. Do I get a refund if I am unable to proceed for the climb due to personal or health reasons such as food poisoning?

If your tour has not commenced, the refund will be based on our Cancellation Policy. There would be no refunds less than four (04) days of notification or after the tour has commenced or for any unused tour services including but not limited to transfer, meals & accommodation, guiding, the climb itself or any other services not utilized.

4. Do I get a refund if I am unable to proceed for the climb due to hospitalization?

If your tour has not commenced, the refund will be based on our Cancellation Policy. There would be no refunds less than four (04) days of notification or after the tour has commenced or for any unused tour services including but not limited to transfer, meals & accommodation, guiding, the climb itself or any other services not utilized.

5. Do I get a refund if I am unable to proceed for the climb due to pregnancy?

If your tour has not commenced, the refund will be based on our Cancellation Policy. There would be no refunds less than four (04) days of notification or after the tour has commenced or for any unused tour services including but not limited to transfer, meals & accommodation, guiding, the climb itself or any other services not utilized.

6. What is your cancellation policy?

In the event of cancellation of booking by Client, a written notice must be provided. The following cancellation charges must be borne by the Client and the travelling companions as follows:-

Number of days between tour commencement and receipt of cancellation notice:

  • 30 days or more (40% of tour cost forfeited)
  • 15 to 29 days (75% of tour cost forfeited)
  • 08 to 14 days (85% of tour cost forfeited)
  • 04 to 07 days (95% of tour cost forfeited)
  • Less than 04 days or No Show (100% of tour cost forfeited)

For tour products or individual components supplied by 3rd parties, e.g. Air Tickets, Hotel/Lodge Bookings, etc, cancellation fees under the terms and conditions of the respective 3rd parties shall apply plus a minimum handling charge of MYR50 per service per person.

7. Can I change my climbing date?

Yes, you can. Any request for a climb date amendment will strictly only be accepted for the following reasons:

  • Emergency Family Matters (eg. Death, sudden sickness)
  • Personal Health problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Amendment requests that are due to the above-mentioned reasons require written notice by the climber along with supporting documents (eg. death certificate, a doctor's letter) as proof.

The amendment request only applies to climbers directly affected by the aforementioned issues and their dependents, such as children who are climbing with affected parents.

Any other requests for climb date amendment that do not fall under the above-stated categories will be treated as a Cancellation Request, and climbers will need to rebook their climb subject to the availability of climb slots for the new requested dates. Cancellation fees per climber would apply accordingly.

* Subject to the approvals by the mountain authorities/accommodation and permit providers

8. How much will I be charged if I change my climbing date?

Amendment to non-Ferrata climb-related bookings after payment is made will be charged at a minimum of MYR50 per service amendment per person, in addition to any charges as levied by the airlines, hotels, climb operators or service providers concerned. Amendment to Via Ferrata climb-related bookings after payment is made will be charged at a minimum of MYR150 per service amendment per person.

A transfer to another package less than 30 days prior to departure does not constitute an amendment but entails the cancellation of the original booking and is subject to the appropriate cancellation fees stated in the clause of "Cancellation Policy".

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Questions on Covid-19 Pandemic Situation & Affected Climb Bookings

1. Is Mount Kinabalu open to climbers now?

All climbing activities have resumed as of 1 October 2021. However, as part of the new Standard Operating Procedures, Sabah Parks has limited the number of daily climbers to 163 climbers per day. Climbers under 12 years old are allowed to climb, provided they are accompanied by parents or guardians. Climbers aged over 70 years old are not encouraged to climb.

2. What are the Sabah Parks' Covid-related SOPs I need to know for my climb?

Please read up on the latest Sabah Parks' Covid-related SOPs here.

3. I tested positive for Covid-19 the day before my climb. Can I still climb?
  • If you are tested positive one day before your climb, you must provide valid proof of your Covid-19 health status to the climb provider. This includes a screenshot of your MySejahtera risk status and Covid-19 test results.
  • If you have tested positive for Covid-19 one day before your climb, you are not allowed to climb following Sabah Parks' SOPs. You can reschedule to a later date after recovery from Covid-19 (10 days from the date you tested positive for Covid-19 is the earliest you can reschedule your climb. This is subject to climb slot availability).
  • A postponement charge is applicable: RM300 per person UNLESS you have booked "Covid-19 Protect".
4. One of my group members tested positive for Covid-19 the day before our climb and is not allowed to climb due to Sabah Parks' SOPs. However, our entire group wishes to postpone our climb to a different date to climb together. Is that allowed?

Yes, your group can reschedule to a later date; however, postponement charges will be applied: RM300 per person UNLESS the whole group has booked "Covid-19 Protect".

5. Can I get a refund if I am not allowed to climb due to testing positive for Covid-19 on the day before my climb?

No refunds are allowed, but you can reschedule your climb to a later date. Postponement charges of RM300 per person are applicable UNLESS you have booked "Covid-19 Protect".

6. What is "Covid-19 Protect", and what does it cover?

COVID-19 PROTECT gives you peace of mind for your climb. You can purchase Covid-19 Protect at RM 150/pax.

Coverage for Covid-19 Protect is as follows:

✅ You are allowed to postpone your climb if you are tested Covid-19 positive 1 to 60 days before the actual climb.

✅ You are allowed to postpone your climb if any of your group members of the same booking are tested Covid-19 positive 1 to 60 days before the actual climb.

✅ Do note that climb slots are subject to availability on the requested new climb date. The new climb date must be within 1 year of the original climb date.

7. I am keen to book "Covid-19 Protect", but the rest of my climb party is not. How should we proceed with our booking of the climb package since the "Covid-19 Protect" is PER BOOKING?

Covid-19 Protect is an option that must be purchased by all climbers in the same booking. For members of your climb party who do not wish to opt for "Covid-19 Protect", their booking will be processed separately and therefore, you will receive separate booking confirmations. If any members of your climb party test positive for Covid-19 prior to their climb and wish to postpone their climb, postponement charges of RM300 per person will be applicable. However, climbers who have booked "Covid-19 Protect" can postpone their climb without any postponement charges.

8. I bought "Covid-19 Protect" and tested positive prior to my climb. How should I book my new climb date?

Please provide valid proof of your MySejahtera Covid-19 health status to the climb provider. This includes a screenshot of your MySejahtera risk status and Covid-19 test results. Then, inform your climb provider of your preferred new climb date. Kindly note that climb slots are subject to availability.

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Questions On Age & Fitness Level

1. Who can climb Mount Kinabalu? Any age limit?

There is no particular age limit for Mount Kinabalu climbers. As long as you are in good health status or you have seek approval from your doctor if you are on any medication. has served thousands of climbers ranging from 7 year old to 80 year old. However, we suggest young children to be at least 10 year old due to the numerous steps and steep slopes. Similarly, elderly climbers need to be in good health and fitness level to attempt the climb.

2. Are there any health restrictions for climbers?

Although there is no physical health checks done upon registration in Kinabalu Park, it is recommended that all climbers should have themselves medically checked before attempting any mountain climb. If you are pregnant or have a history of suffering from the following ailments, it is highly recommended that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, Diabetes, Palpitation, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Severe Anemia, Peptic Ulcers, Epileptic Fits, Obesity (Overweight), Chronic Asthma, Muscular Cramps, Hepatitis (Jaundice); or any other disease which may hamper the climber. You know your body best!

3. Do I need any special skills or equipment for the climb?

No. Although Mt Kinabalu is an adventure destination, you do not need any special climbing skills or equipment. Climbing Mt 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. Please refer to our “Tips” & “Things to Bring” under our Mount Kinabalu section as listed in

4. How physically fit I should be to do the climb?

The mountain climb takes at least two days, the first day being relatively straightforward – 6km of steps like track up to 11’000 feet above sea level, the second day being slightly technical – climb to the summit with ropes at an angle of about 15 – 20 degrees inclination. If you are able to climb a flight of 12 storey staircase up and down few times in a day with not much difficulties, that shows you are ready!

5. How bad are the effects of high altitude?

Altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Syndrome (AMS) affects every individual differently and is regardless of fitness level. Most climbers will experience lightheadedness or a mild headache, while a small percentage of climbers will suffer from nausea or vomiting. The symptoms of AMS vary for different people but include dizziness, fatigue, confusion, difficulty walking, rattling breath and feeling extremely ill. If you experience any of these symptoms, avoid physical exertion and breathing too slow and too shallow. Most importantly is to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Return to a lower elevation if you are suffering badly and the symptoms do not subside. Seek medical assistance from your guide and he will advise you where to move on from here.

6. How do I prevent altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Syndrome (AMS)?

The main cause of altitude sickness is ascending in altitude too quickly which prevents the body from adapting to the decrease in oxygen at a specific altitude. Common preventive measures include staying the night before your climb at Kinabalu Park, Kundasang, or Poring Hot Springs in Ranau area (around 1,500m a.s.l), to aid in gradual acclimatisation or taking the altitude sickness tablet.

Keep the 3 golden rules in mind.

  1. Drink a lot to keep hydrated
  2. Acclimatize to altitude gradually and it is advisable to spend a night at highland areas before ascending Mount Kinabalu
  3. Avoid rapid ascents by trekking at a normal pace and resting at the shelters (pondoks) along the way if needed. It is advisable to rest longer for acclimatization at Layang Layang hut (2702M a.s.l).

You may wish to take altitude sickness tablets, Acetazolamide (Diamox) as a prophylaxis. This drug has the effect of increasing acclimatization rates; improving periodic breathing; and helping climbers to recover from AMS more quickly. Please note that Diamox is a prescription drug and a doctor should be consulted about proper dosages.

Alternatively, you may wish to purchase a portable oxygen inhaler bar. The main cause of these sicknesses is a lack of oxygen; breathing oxygen with the aid of the inhaler will slow their onset and may provide some temporary relief of symptoms. This is extremely useful to all climbers regardless of your fitness level.

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Questions On Bad Weather & Accidents

1. Can I still climb Mount Kinabalu during bad weather?

Yes, at least to Panalaban. Most of the hike up to the Panalaban is on a proper track with steps. Therefore, this should not be affected too much on rainy days; moreover there are several shelters along the 6 km track. The concern falls on the early Low’s Peak summit climb as on occasions when it rains badly with strong wind, the climb to the summit would be stalled or probably cancelled depending on how extreme the bad weather is. Most of the time if the weather is bad and the summit is not officially announce closed by Sabah Park Authority, climbers can still continue to ascend if they sign an indemnity form on the spot as requested by the Park Rangers. Final decision still lies with the Sabah Park official should they decide to close the summit for safety reasons. Anyway based on average statistics, total closure of the summit climb happens about 10 – 15 times a year.

2. Do I get a refund if the summit or via ferrata activity is closed due to extreme bad weather?

No refund shall be made for such cases and do not profit from it either. This is due to Act of God and also for climbers’ safety reasons. Generally, you could still ascend to Panalaban and overnight with meals inclusive.

3. What should I do if I am injured during the climb?

You should immediately inform your mountain guide of your injury. Your guide will assess your condition and determine the necessary course of action.

For serious injury, i.e., deemed as being unable to walk on your own, your guide will alert the Mountain Search and Rescue Unit (MOSAR) personnels to carry out an emergency rescue operation to bring you down the mountain in a stretcher and send you to Hospital Ranau for treatment. Hospital bills and registration fees will have to be borne by the guest.

For minor injuries, you may either continue with the climb or hire a porter to carry you down the mountain with a fee ranging from MYR 400 to MYR 600 Per KM (depending on your weight) until Timpohon gate (starting point).

Not all such cases can be claimed under the Sabah Park’s climber insurance. You are advised to purchase a separate personal travel insurance before going on the Mount Kinabalu trip for a better coverage.

4. I notice there are helipads in Mount Kinabalu, can we hire helicopter services?

In-fact, Mt Kinabalu region is a no-fly zone. Even in many emergency cases that involve life threatening situation, helicopter services may not be engaged. Visibility in this area could pose a potential risk to pilot’s & passenger’s lives as the climate changes every moment without warning. Visibility can be near zero and helicopter may hit trees. However, in June 2010, our ground handler did manage to save a boy’s life using helicopter service after a bad fall near Low’s Peak summit – A very exceptional case. All thanks to Sabah Park Authority, Sabah Air & Sabah Medical Centre for their support to our committed ground handler.

5. What does Sabah Park’s climber personal accident insurance cover?

Provision of Sabah Parks Climber’s Personal Accident Insurance by PIB:-

  • Death/Disablement RM50,000
  • Medical Expenses Per Accident RM5,000
  • Repatriation Expenses RM2,000

Note: As the default claim value is limited and may takes up to 2 months to process. It is advisable for climbers to purchase separate travel insurance in your own country for a better coverage.

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Questions On Climb Preparation

1. What preparation or training do we need to climb Mount Kinabalu?

A routine of walking up hill/staircase for at least 2-4 weeks before the actual climb should be adequate as a basic training preparation for this mountain climb.

2. What do I need to bring?

Refer to “Things to Bring” for a checklist of what you will normally bring for mountain hiking. This is the standard packing list and you can make changes according to your own needs and preferences. However, we recommend that your backpack weight to be between 6-8kg or less.

3. Are trekking shoes and head torch compulsory?

Shoes are compulsory for climbing from Panalaban to the summit. Sandals, slippers and barefooted are NOT allowed and you will be denied ascent to the summit by Sabah Parks rangers or your mountain guides if you are not wearing shoes. As for the head torch, we strongly recommend you to have one for your own safety. There is a high chance that you will be denied ascent from Panalaban to the summit without a head torch.

4. Where can I store my extra belongings/bags as I do not wish to bring them for the climb?

At the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, there is luggage storage service which is chargeable at RM15.00 per piece. They will give out luggage claim tags and you will need to keep for claim after your climb.

5. Is Accommodation In Panalaban Base Camp Assorted Huts Heated Or Include Sleeping Bags?

There are no longer heated facilities in Panalaban assorted huts, including Laban Rata Resthouse private room 1, 2 & 3 (ABK-MK02VIP climb packages), due to power cable breakdown on 1st April 2019. Anyway, the temperature inside the huts (Approx. 12-15 degrees Celsius) is still comfortable enough for stay as bed linens and blankets are provided. Sleeping bags are not required. Pendant Hut provides sleeping bags for Via Ferrata climbers.

6. Is There Any Water Heater For Shower In Panalaban Base Camp Assorted Huts?

There are currently no water heaters for shower available in Panalaban Base Camp Assorted Huts.

7. What is the temperature like?

The temperature inside Panalaban/Pendant Huts is approx 12-15 degree Celsius and at Low’s Peak Summit approx -3 to 5 Degree Celsius. It is advisable to have at least 4 layers of clothing including windbreaker for summit ascend.

8. What is the cost of hiring a porter?

Porter Fee (OPTIONAL)

Timpohon - Laban Rata - Timpohon 10.00 RM 140
Timpohon - Sayat-Sayat - Timpohon 10.00 RM 180
Timpohon - Summit - Timpohon 10.00 RM 200

** Minimum weight is 10 Kgs and additional weight will be charged based on daily rate per Kg
** All rates are inclusive of 0% GST.
** Rates stated are for reference purposes only. Please confirm with porters on their day of services.
*** All payments are made directly to the porters in cash.

9. Will the porters trek along with me?

No. Porters, unlike mountain guides, will carry your belongings and walk non-stop to Panalaban and wait for your arrival. Therefore, please do not ask them to carry items that are considered handy to you during your climb. The tip is to pack 2 separate bags; one is for the porter to carry straight to Panalaban, the other personal bag containing your necessities (e.g. water, lunch pack, energy bars) will be carried by you throughout the climb.

10. How much water should I bring?

Most climbers actually need about 1.5L-2L from Timpohon to Panalaban. It may be less than you think you would need. This may due to the humidity and passing shower along the trek. Anyway, a 500ML drinking water will be provided in your packed lunch.

11. Can I refill water at the shelter/pondok along the trails?

Yes. The water stored in the tank is natural spring water. However, the untreated water may not be suitable for weak stomach. You can consider bringing your own water purification tablets or simply stick to your bottled water.

12. Is the food halal?

Yes, the food served at Laban Rata Resthouse and Pendant Hut is halal.

13. What can I expect in the packed lunch?

The packed lunch may differ periodically but usually, it includes – sandwich, egg, local snack, fruit and a bottle of 500ml mineral water.

14. Can I have vegetarian menu?

Our standard vegetarian menu is mostly based on ovo-lacto vegetarians. It can be easily accommodated in most areas, options typically leave out the meat rather than adding vegetarian mainstays such as tofu, beans, or nuts. Vegetarianism is a concept our country is still learning to comprehend. Please note that unfortunately, cannot guarantee that special requirements can always be met for other types of vegetarians. In tour packages where meals are served buffet/set menu style, we suggest that you leave out the meat or other things you do not eat.

15. Are there prayer facilities available for Muslim guests?

Yes, a prayer room (surau) is available at Panalaban Base Camp for Muslim guests.

  1. We Use Licensed Land Tour Operator in Malaysia
  2. Our Licensed Land Tour Operator Is Supported By MATTA, SABAH TOURISM BOARD & MALAYSIA TOURISM BOARD.
  3. Our Licensed Land Tour Operator Is ISO 9001 certified for Quality Management System – this Guarantees that YOUR Booking and Climb is handled with Proper Procedures of the Highest Standard.
  4. We use Legal & Licensed Climb Permits by Sabah Parks Authority.
  5. We Are the Mount Kinabalu Mountain People.
  6. We Handle Thousands of Climbers from Around the World Every Year.
  7. We Have Multiple Daily Departures To & Fro between Kinabalu Park and Kota Kinabalu City Centre.
  8. We Have our Head Office In Kota Kinabalu City Centre, Contingency Base In Kinabalu Park and At The Foot Of Mount Kinabalu, and our Sales Office in Singapore.
  9. We Have A Strong Network with the Locals, Hoteliers, & Suppliers in Borneo.
  10. Your Safety is Always our Highest Priority.
  11. We Are Able To Handle Crisis & Emergencies Efficiently.
  12. We Dedicate Mountain Guides for Your Group Only – No Co-Sharing With Other Climbers So You Can Trek At Your Own Pace.
  13. Our Mountain Guides are Carefully Selected and First-Aid trained.
  14. We Provide Clean and Reliable Vehicles for You to Travel Comfortably.
  15. Our Climb Packages Rates Are Most Competitive With High Standard Service Quality.
  16. No Hidden or Extra Costs in Our Pricing.
  17. We Provide the Latest Updates Of Mount Kinabalu’s Weather Conditions Accurately.
  18. We are Committed to Responsible Tourism.
  19. We Provide Personalized & Dedicated Services – your Mount Kinabalu climb trip can be tailor-made to include Other Tours & Accommodation in the Whole of Sabah.
  20. Come Join Us & Start Your Mount Kinabalu Adventure With Us Today!

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Questions On Via Ferrata Climb

1. Is Via Ferrata the same as rock climbing?

No. Via Ferrata is not the same as rock climbing. Although they both occur in the same area and the same environment, via ferrata climbing is easier than rock climbing and do not require you to have any previous experience.

2. Who can climb a Via Ferrata?

Almost anyone. Climbers and non-climbers aged between 10 and 70 who are fit and healthy, not afraid of heights, and want to experience the mountain in a whole new way. Oh and by the way, you also have to be at least 1.3m tall.

3. Do I need any climbing experience?

Absolutely not! If you can climb a ladder, you can climb Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata.

4. Walk The Torq or Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata activity is more suitable for me?

Walk The Torq will be the best option for beginners. If you would like to participate in the world highest Via Ferrata which is the Guinness World Record holder, Low’s Peak Circuit will surely be the choice.

5. Can I miss the pre-activity briefing conducted the day I arrive?

All Via Ferrata climbers are required to attend the mandatory pre-activity briefing and familiarization session. The sessions start between 3pm and 4pm. Late arrivals will not be considered eligible to participate in the activity the next morning. This is for your own safety, be it if you are a first time climber or an experienced mountaineer.

6. Do I get a refund if I miss or skip the Via Ferrata activity?

No, there will not be any refund/compensation given if you miss or skip the Via Ferrata activity due to various reasons such as personal, health, bad weather, summit closure & etc. does not and never profit from such situations.

7. Timpohon for Via Ferrata climb package?

Timpohon trail is the best choice. Kindly note that no reimbursement will be accorded, if guests miss the cut off times for the safety briefing & is not able to proceed with the Via Ferrata.

8. Is there someone to guide me?

Yes! You and your group will be assigned a Via Ferrata trainer. The trainers are there to give you a full safety briefing and training on how to use the safety devices. They are also there to climb with you, provide tips on how to negotiate the more difficult obstacles, as well as highlight some of the spectacular sights along the way.

9. Can I climb the Via Ferrata without a trainer?

No. Due to Sabah Parks’ regulations, Via Ferrata climbers are to be accompanied by a Via Ferrata trainer at all times.

10. Is the Via Ferrata trainer only for me / my group?

Depending on the size of your group, you will have to be prepared to join other Via Ferrata climbers.

11. What is the maximum number of people who will be climbing the Via Ferrata with me?

There will be a maximum of 6 climbers for Low’s Peak Circuit and 10 for Walk the Torq.

12. What time do I start my Via Ferrata activity?

The start time is between 5:30am to 7:30am.

13. Where do I meet my Via Ferrata trainer for the activities?

On the day of your arrival, the trainers will meet you at Pendant Hut where you will undergo a mandatory briefing and familiarization session starting between 3pm and 4pm. There, you will be told the exact meeting point and meeting times for the activities that you’ve signed up for and a practical session with the full Via Ferrata safety gear will be provided.

14. What does the Via Ferrata activity package include?
  • Free rental of all safety devices: harness, lanyard and helmet
  • Via Ferrata familiarisation for all participants
  • Guiding services of the Via Ferrata trainers
15. Are the activities safe?

Yes! Via Ferrata activities are carried out under a safe and controlled environment. With a proper system of routes, devices and an experienced trainer to guide you, Via Ferrata climbing allows anyone to experience the exciting challenge of this sport under the safest of conditions. Regular safety checks and maintenance are also conducted on the Via Ferrata equipment. So all you need to do is focus on enjoying yourself.

16. Can I bring my own camera?

Yes of course! But remember to keep your camera inside a backpack as you run the risk of dropping onto and injuring fellow climbers below. Your trainer will advise you on areas where it is safe and ideal for you to bring out your camera to take photos. We also suggest that your camera is fixed to a safety sling or cord at all times.

17. Where is the accommodation for Via Ferrata climbers?

All Via Ferrata climbers will stay in the well managed Pendant Hut @ Panalaban area. It will be in dormitory style with individual sleeping bags provided.

Please take note that all guests are required to wear a face mask at Pendant Hut. Guests must bring their own supply and wear them consistently, except when eating, drinking or sleeping.

18. Where do we have our meals?

You will have your continental breakfast & supper in Pendant Hut. Day 1 buffet dinner in Laban Rata Resthouse. Day 2 lunch will be provided on descending arrival in Kinabalu Park.

19. I want to climb Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata. How do I book this activity?

To ensure that you get a guaranteed space, we strongly encourage advanced bookings. You can make a booking for Via Ferrata activity by sending an enquiry to We will endeavor to reply to your enquiry within 48 hours where possible.

20. What do I need to bring?

Mountain Torq will provide all technical safety equipment required for its activities. As for personal items, please refer to “Things to Bring” for a checklist of what you will normally bring for mountain hiking.

Please take note that all guests are required to wear a face mask at Pendant Hut. Guests must bring their own supply and wear them consistently, except when eating, drinking or sleeping.

21. What shoes should I wear for the Via Ferrata activity?

Mountain Torq recommends the following shoes for the Via Ferrata activity:

  • Hiking Boots
  • Walking Shoes (good grip)
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Sneakers / Running shoes with laces

You are NOT ALLOWED to use the following shoes for Via Ferrata activity:

  • Open Toe Shoes
  • Slippers
  • Slip In Sneakers
  • Boots / Rainboots
  • Gardening Boots

For more information, click HERE.

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Questions about Mount Kinabalu Climb after the 5 June 2015 Sabah Earthquake

1. When will the Mount Kinabalu trail be fully opened?

The Mount Kinabalu summit climb has reopened on 1st December 2015.

Due to the earthquake that hit Sabah on 5th June 2015, Mount Kinabalu was closed until 31st August for restoration works. On 1st September 2015, the Timpohon trail was opened but climbers could only ascend until Panalaban. As of 1st December 2015, the summit trail climb resumes as usual.

2. Will there still be tremors when I am climbing the mountain?

Yes, there may be slight tremors. However, Geologists has confirmed that the residual tremors are weak and can only be felt once every few weeks or months. Tectonic plates take up to few years to stabilize after an earthquake.

3. Will there be any falling rocks endangering my safety, should the slight tremor occur?

The current weak tremors should not be strong enough to move the rocks. Furthermore, international mountaineering experts and geologists have studied the new trail routes to ensure that it does not fall within the perimeters of falling rocks, should there be any further movement detected around the area.

4. Is the Mesilau Trail still accessible for climbers?

Unfortunately, No. The Mesilau Trail is closed indefinitely due to the quake damages. No fixed date has been set for reopening of the Mesilau Trail. To view the latest Mount Kinabalu Trail Map, click HERE.

5. Is the route to the summit still the same?

The Timpohon Trail that begins at Timpohon gate leading towards PanaLaban remains the same. However, damaged trails leading to the summit has been restored, this new trail is called ‘The Ranau Trail’.

6. Is there an age limit for climbers?

There is no age limit set for Mount Kinabalu climbers. However, the mountain guide ratio has been changed and new safety rules for children have been implemented as of 1st December 2015.





Climbers aged 16 years and above.

1 : 5

Climbers aged below 16 years.

1 : 2

Example 1:

If you are a group of 2 adults and 1 child (15 years old and below), you will require 2 mountain guides.

Example 2:

If you are a group of 6 adults and 3 children (15 years old and below), you will require 4 mountain guides.

7. Is the Via Ferrata activity still available?

Yes, the Via Ferrata Activities for both Walk the Torq and Low’s Peak Circuit are opened to the public since 18 January 2016. Climbers can get to experience the new breathtaking scenic view of climbing Mount Kinabalu via Ferrata, first of its kind in Asia.

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