Of elusive sunrises and summits

It was September 8, 2014, 1am. It was raining hard outside our cottage. Our roommates were getting ready to ascend the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, not minding the heavy rains and strong winds that kept pounding on the doors and windows. Our group, on the other hand, didn’t bother to even get up. Our guide didn’t come to fetch us for the hike. We knew it was impossible to take on the summit with that weather. After about an hour, the group that left came back. We waited until 7am and still there was no clearance to climb. No summit that day.

The elusive sunrise – and summit. I thought it was only the sunrise that usually eluded me. In Mt. Pulag, I never saw the sunrise. Climbers would usually take photos of the sea of clouds and the sun as it peaks through the vast mountain range. I never had that photo. But I will. 🙂

So yeah, I would think that summits could be escaping from me, as well.

I actually felt more sorry for the climbers that traveled halfway around the world for the climb than I felt disappointed for my group. I could go back anytime.

But even though I didn’t get to the summit, I enjoyed the entire 6-hour trek. The view was simply stunning.





I can’t wait to go back.

Most beautiful morning blur. Laban Rata with the breathtaking Mt. Kinabalu in the background.

Most beautiful morning blur. Laban Rata with the breathtaking Mt. Kinabalu in the background.

“You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.” –Lito Tejada-Flores

P.S.     I guess this quote was always true. A strong earthquake hit Sabah on June 05, 2015 around 7 am. It must have been terrifying for the hikers and guides alike to be there. At 7am, it was either you were starting your hike, or climbing down from the summit/ Laban Rata. Mount Kinabalu’s iconic Donkey’s Ear Peak was destroyed by the intense shaking. I will never get to see that. But still I will come back. Mount Kinabalu will never be the same, but it will remain there – striking and strong as ever.


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