Mount Kinabalu Preparation

Before & During Your Climb

Preparation & Packing

  • Do not bring valuable items
  • Overnight in Kinabalu Park or Kundasang Highlands (1500m a.s.l) prior to climb allows you to acclimatize to altitude changes and reduce AMS while climbing.
  • Have enough warm clothing for the summit climb.
  • Try to pack your climbing bag at around 4-8kg (Do not bring too many unnecessary things).
  • For any special meal dietary requirement such as vegetarians, please inform our Mount Kinabalu Booking Centre consultants for arrangement.

Before Climb

  • Engaging a mountain guide is compulsory for yourself or your group (Ratio of Max 5 climbers to 1 mountain guide).
  • Wear comfortable trekking or running shoes with a good grip.
  • Make sure to trim your toe nails to prevent your nail bumping the front of your footwear that can cause toe nail bruise and blister.
  • Do not have a heavy breakfast prior to the climb.
  • Pack some energy bars to keep you energized and to keep hungry tummy at bay.
  • Bring extra Cash in Ringgit Malaysia (No Credit Card available at Panalaban).
  • Trekking Pole is available for sale (MYR 45 each) at Help Desk @ Kinabalu Park. Please request with us in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • There will be no health checks conducted by any authorities during climb registration, so climb at your own risk.
  • Remember to wear your ID TAG at all times (important!)
ID Tags

During Climb

  • You should feel comfortable and be able to move freely in what you’re wearing (Denim jeans is not recommended).
  • It’s is ideal to finish eating you lunch (preferably within 30 minutes) before starting your climb to reduce some bag weight.
  • You can eat your packed lunch after about 2 hours into your climbing, preferably at Mempening (4th Shelter) or Layang-layang Shelter (5th Shelter).
  • Trek at a normal steady pace (Too fast may result high altitude sickness & vomiting, too slow will drain out your energy). One step at a time.
  • Rest longer at 4th or 5th KM mark – about 10 mins for high altitude acclimatization.
  • Should you feel too tired to carry on, try not to sit or lay down on high altitude, just stand and walk around.
  • Be extra careful with your steps during the wet spell.
  • Do not run at any time while ascending the mountain.
  • Untreated fresh mountain water is available at every shelter; you may refill them at these stops (Bring some water purification tablets) but it’s not recommended for anyone who have sensitive stomach.
  • Free boiled water for drinking or refill is available at Pendant Hut. However, it is not available at Laban Rata Restaurant.
  • Cover your nose (and mouth) with a scarf in windy condition on high ground.
  • Estimated trekking time from Timpohon Gate to Panalaban Base Camp based on different fitness level of climbers:
    Fitness level of ClimbersEstimate time of trekking
    Fit Climbers3-4 hours
    Average Climbers5-6 hours
    Unfit Climbers7-8 hours

In Panalaban

About Laban Rata Resthouse (Restaurant & Groceries Counter) & Pendant Hut:

  • Laban Rata Restaurant operation hours are from 07:30hrs to 19:30hrs (No food available after 19:30hrs).
  • Laban Rata Grocery Counter closed at 19:30hrs (Sells à la carte foods, beverages, chips, chocolate bar, batteries, etc).
  • Laban Rata Restaurant’s staffs will start cleaning and clearing the tables, chairs, utensils and drinking water pot between 19:45hrs – 20:00hrs.
  • Laban Rata Non-Heated Dormitory Rooms will provide - Blanket, bed, bed Sheet and pillow.
  • Pendant Hut Non-Heated Rooms will provide - Sleeping bag, bed, bed sheet and pillow.

Getting Ready for Summit Attack

  • Double check to ensure that you are wearing your ID Tags before leaving Panalaban.
  • Drink salt water to avoid getting cramps.
  • If you are able to withstand the coldness, try to have a shower once you have reached Panalaban or before the summit attack. (*note : summit attack = the act of climbing to the top of the mountain after spending a night in a particular post)
  • Before summit attack, you can have decent meal during supper but it is advised to not take it too heavy.
  • For summit attack, you can bring snacks (e.g. energy & chocolate bars), small backpack (compressed & lightweight), and a suitable clothing to keep yourself warm & protected. Click here to have some ideas how to pack for Day 2 Climb / summit attack.

Ascending To Peak

  • Start as early as possible to meet the ‘cut off time’ arriving Sayat-Sayat checkpoint (between 04:30-05:00hrs) and Mount Kinabalu KM8 (around 07:00hrs). (*note : cut off time = the given time to arrive at a particular place)
  • Make sure you have your headlamp and gloves on. Do not forget your climbing permit.
  • Start the hike slowly to warm up your body. You can do some light stretches after that.
  • Watch your steps as you ascend – the stairs surface can be slippery.
  • Follow the ropes and do not go off path.
  • Make sure you and your group are within close proximity with each other (if possible).
  • Do not run at the summit especially around the 7.4 KM mark (Most dangerous point).
  • Do not stop too long for a rest, as your body will cool down quite quickly.
  • Trek in a steady pace and control your breathing. Make sure to fully exhale the air from your lungs. This method is to prevent you from getting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
  • Please make sure you have registered your climbing permit with the Ranger at Sayat-sayat checkpoint. Reminder again, please wear your ID tag at all time.
  • Make extra sure your feet and hands are warm and dry during the final ascent.
  • Don’t forget to look up at the sky, the stars and Milky Way are visible to the naked eyes.

At Mount Kinabalu Summit

  • Catch the magnificent Sunrise View (if you reach summit by 06:00hrs, subject to weather condition). Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
  • However, the weather on Mount Kinabalu Summit is around 4°C or lower (39.2°F or lower). So, do not stay too long at the peak. It can be very windy and cold up there. If you arrived before sunrise, you can protect yourself by going several metres lower and use the boulders to cover yourself from the wind.
  • Please do not block the path to the Summit Signage or stay there. Give way to other climbers to take pictures.
  • Please do not make any loud noises and public nudity is strictly prohibited. Respect your surrounding and the local’s belief.


  • When descending, try to walk sideway or in a zig-zag pattern to prevent from slipping and to reduce joints pain.
  • Descend as early as you can. Suggestion is by 07:30hrs.
  • Descending from the summit is the best time to enjoy the scenery. Do take many photos as you head down towards Panalaban Basecamp.
  • Don’t forget to check out with Sabah Park Rangers when you reach Sayat-Sayat checkpoint (Important!).
  • Check-out time at Laban Rata and Lemaing Hostel is at 10:30hrs.
  • Breakfast buffet will end at 10:30hrs.
  • Do not run at any time while descending the mountain.
  • Please do not take any stones from the summit.
  • Use your trekking poles while descending, it will minimize the impact on your knees and legs (if used properly)
  • Cut-off time for climbers to reach Timpohon gate is at 16:30hrs. Later than 16:30hrs, additional charges are required for mountain guide fee.
  • As you finished your climb, do some cooling down stretches.

After Climb

  • Finally, you did it! Enjoy your lunch at Balsam Restaurant. Buffet lunch ends at 16:00hrs.
  • Receive your climbing certificate from your assigned Mountain Guide.
  • Have a good rest to recover your energy.
  • Tips to lessen the soreness & fasten muscle recovery :
    • Dip your legs into a bucket of ice water
    • Take a cold shower
    • Eat adequate protein based food, to strengthen your muscle.
  • Post your awesome experience on social media, and don’t forget to tag @mountkinabalu or give us a good review! ;)


To ensure your own safety and that of the team, and to make the climb an enjoyable and fulfilling one, it is advisable to bear in mind the following:

Learn More

Things To Bring

Things to bring

Are you well prepared and equipped for the climb?

Find out about things you should bring

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ of Mount Kinabalu

Get answers to your questions about Mount Kinabalu

Read the FAQ

Climbers Real Life Experience

Climbers Experience

Be inspired by story of those who completed the climb.

Read their experience

Our Packages

Our Packages

Are you ready to conquer the great Aki Nabalu?

Check out packages

Mount Kinabalu Weather

The best period to climb the mountain is from March to September, as the weather during these months are considered dry. The temperature at the summit of Mount Kinabalu (4,095.2m) drops to freezing 0 °C , Timpohon to Panalaban ranges from 6 °C - 14 °C and Kinabalu Park (foot of mountain) is around 15 °C - 24 °C. Expect passing showers in the mid afternoon as you climb the mountain as it is after all a tropical rainforest and tends to receive several rainfalls.


Engaging A Porter For Your Climb
Timpohon - Laban Rata - Timpohon 10.00 RM 140
Timpohon - Sayat-Sayat - Timpohon 10.00 RM 180
Timpohon - Summit - Timpohon 10.00 RM 200

** Maximum weight is 10 Kgs and additional weight will be charged based on daily rate per Kg
** All rates are inclusive of 0% GST.

Engaging A Mountain Guide For Your Climb

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 16 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 Adults + 2 Child)
    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

Different Scenarios
4 Pax 4 Adults
3 Adults + 1 Child
2 Adults + 2 Children
1 Adult + 3 Children
4 Children
5 Pax 5 Adults
4 Adults + 1 Child
3 Adults + 2 Children
2 Adult + 3 Children
1 Adult + 4 Children
5 Children
6 Pax 6 Adults
5 Adults + 1 Child
4 Adults + 2 Children
3 Adult + 3 Children
2 Adult + 4 Children
1 Adult + 5 Children
6 Children

** Updated as of June 2017

Important Notes for Climbers on Mount Kinabalu
  • Your mountain guide will display an identification card to make it easier for you to identify them.
  • Travel together in your own group and stay with the Mountain Guide at all times.
  • Follow the instructions by your Mountain Guide.
  • Alert your Mountain Guide if you face any difficulty.
  • DO NOT SHOUT, SCREAM or CURSE at any point during your time on the mountain.
  • Display your climbing permit and show it to Park Officials at the check point at Timpohon Gate, Panalaban and Sayat-Sayat on your way up and down.
  • If for any reason, you are separated from your group or the Mountain Guide, please follow the white rope that marks the summit Trail. If visibility is very low or in the dark please hold onto the rope and follow it. (There is a thick white rope leasing all the way from the vegetation belt above Panalaban to the summit. Use this rope to help climbing up and prevent falling when walking down. PLEASE FOLLOW and USE THE ROPE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.
  • The weather on the Summit area can deteriorate in a matter of minutes. Thick mist may reduce visibility to only 3 meters, and both rainstorms and wind of up to 120 km/hr may occur at times. Please hold on to the ROPE, which will lead you to safety.
  • If you are separated from your Mountain Guide and lose sight of the ROPE, STOP IMMEDIATELY, stay where you are and blow your whistle to attract attention. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO FIND YOUR WAY OUT. HELP is definitely on the way. The Park Officials at Sayat-Sayat check point will notice that you are missing.
  • While climbing to the Summit please make sure to carry with you the followings:-
    Wear enough warm clothing Temperature can be freezing at times
    A head torchlight To light your way during pre-dawn climb and to signal for help when needed
    A rain coat To protect you from rain and wind, and it will slow down the loss of body heat
    A whistle Only to be used when help is needed. Three short blasts to attract attraction, long continuous blasts for emergency and serious injuries
    Some energy food and water
    (e.g. extra chocolate, glucose tablets, biscuits)
    For emergency-use when you are waiting for help to arrive
Health Preparation for Climbers

It is recommended that all climbers should have themselves medically checked before attempting any mountain climb.
DO NOT CLIMB If you are suffering from or have a history of the following ailments:-
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Palpitation
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Severe Anemia
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Epileptic Fits
  • Obesity (Overweight)
  • Chronic Asthma
  • Muscular Cramps
  • Hepatitis (Jaundice)
  • Any other sickness or disease that may be triggered by severe cold, exertion, and high altitude.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is usually a “once in a lifetime” experience for most people, so it is vital that proper preparations are made beforehand. With superior information and sufficient time to prepare, you stand an extremely good chance of reaching the summit.

Although the majority of routes leading to the summit of Kinabalu require no technical climbing skills, some kind of training beforehand is important. It is important to remember that you will be hiking on surfaces with varying angles which may put lots of stress on your ankles and knees. It is also worth remembering that most of the injuries which occur on Mount Kinabalu happen on the way down. When climbing Mount Kinabalu, take a slow pace to allow your body to acclimatize to the altitude, as at 3000 meters, you only have 70% of the oxygen you would normally have at sea-level.
To climb Mount Kinabalu:
  • You need to be in decent physical condition.
  • You must not have heart or lung problems.
  • You need healthy knees and ankles.
  • Take your time and know your physical limitations.
Consult your personal physician if:
  • You are taking any kind of medication.
  • Take your time and know your physical limitations.
If you plan to take any medication during your climb, you must consult your doctor prior to departure. The effects of medications may vary with altitude and stress. All climbers should consult their doctor or a specialized travel clinic well in advance of their trip.
Grocery Counter (Laban Rata Resthouse)
À la Carte All Day Dining

Food and beverage items are available at the Grocery Counter.
The menu and price list is provided below for your reference.
Food Categories Food Menu Price (Nett)
Soup Cream of Mushroom
Cream of Chicken
Tom Yam Soup
RM 19.00
RM 19.00
RM 19.00
Fried Rice Chinese Style RM 19.00
Porridge Choice of chicken or egg RM 19.00
Noodle / Mee Hoon Choice of dry / wet or soup RM 19.00
Instant Noodle Choice of chicken, curry or laksa flavour RM 12.00
Sandwich Variety Choice of tuna, egg, cheese
French fries
RM 19.00
RM 19.00

Buffet Categories Food Menu Price (Nett)
Buffet Supper (02:00hr-03:30hr)
Breakfast (07:30hr-10:30hr)
Dinner (16:30hr-19:00hr)
RM 40.00
RM 55.00
RM 75.00

Beverage Categories Beverage Menu Price (Nett)
Hot Drink Tenom Coffee
Sabah Tea
Lemon Tea
Hot Ginger Tea
RM 12.00
RM 13.00
RM 13.00
RM 11.00
RM 13.00
RM 13.00
RM 13.00
Soft Drinks 100 Plus
Light Coke
Soya Beans
F&N Strawberry
F&N Orange
Drinking Water 500ml
Drinking Water 1.5L
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 11.00
RM 7.00
RM 14.00

** All items are available from 10.30 am until 7:00 pm.

Other Items Available at Laban Rata Grocery Counter include:
  • Batteries
  • Cigarettes
  • Oral Medications such as Paracetamol
  • Eye Drops & Ointment
  • Chocolates, Biscuits & Chips
  • Sanitary Pads
  • Tissue Paper
  • Combs & Toothbrush
  • Disposable shavers
  • Body Lotion
  • Lip Balm
  • T-shirts
  • Gloves & Beanie/Winter Hat
  • Disposable Raincoat/Ponchos
  • Portable Oxygen Inhaler

** Please note that the items in this list are not comprehensive and not always readily available. This list serves as a guideline only. Please ensure you bring your own necessary items up the mountain if that is considered important to you.