Life is Beautiful / Pictures Taken from Low’s Peak

For millions of years, there is an innate desire within generations of mankind that compels us to explore new places …

… to climb the next highest mountain.

No one teaches us ambition nor bravery …

… but yet when we see something as majestic as the peak of a mountain …

… our desire guides us to find a route to reach the top.

All of us are attracted by the beauty of nature …

… and just for that very moment to feel how tiny we all are …

… or to experience the vastness of the Universe …

… or to attempt to grasp something as ethereal as the tempo of the Earth …

… we are compelled to take that one extra step in getting one stone closer to the peak of the mountain – however heavy that one extra step is.

How not to be mesmerized by the beauty of nature?

One moment we are standing underneath a sky full of glittering stars marvel at a glimpse of our Galaxy …

… another moment, the first ray of light bursts from the east reminds us which is the one true star that rules our world …

… that one true star that made life a reality.

Dramatic as the moment of the daybreak is, there is no thundering sound to grab our attention …

… nor any movement coming from the ground …

Yet, we – like our ancestors before us – are awed by this magical moment when the darkness above us is cast away, shadows bestow upon us …

… and colors are made visible – like the stones underneath us …

… the plants that manage to adapt to this high altitude …

… the faces of our companions …

… and the color of our skin as we hold out our hands to coincide with the shining Sun.

Life is beautiful.

The same way as we hold our hands together to traverse the slopes of the mountain like the way our ancestors did …

… thousands and millions will stand on the same stone we stand …

… seeing the same scenery we see …

… and they will ponder upon the millions of mankind who have reached the same peak as they do, and the millions after them.

For in every one of us, there is a traveller inside.

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12 thoughts on “Life is Beautiful / Pictures Taken from Low’s Peak”

  1. Great blog. My girlfriend and I just climbed Kinabalu and enjoyed it all so much. We did not do a summit attempt as we felt it a little to challenging for us and we were a little out-of-breath from our first days ascent.

    I would love to go back some day and do the summit then.
    Cheers,
    Wilfried

    1. Wilfred – Thanks for dropping by! And glad you enjoy reading this entry as much as I was writing it. I still read this entry regularly.

      Yes, you should go back some day and climb the summit 🙂 Do come back and tell us what your experience is like. Just need more training and you can do it!

  2. Hi ! First of all i must say your pictures are really encouraging for me since i will be climbing in may this year, i am more determine to reach the peak and snap some good pictures. Just wondering what camera are you using because i am intending to bring my canon 500D but afraid that i will damage it in the midst of climbing?

    1. Molly – Hi, thanks for your kind words. Back in 2007, I was still using my point-and-shoot. That was a Fuji Film camera.

      I think if I was to climb there again, I would bring my Nikon D700 with me. I would probably carry light with no battery pack and with a small 50 mm lens. Having said that, back then, I have seen a German climber who carry a long zoom lens to take pictures of the plants! So, depending on your confidence in climbing. I did fall a few times as the road can be slippery. But nothing major. I would keep the camera inside a bag at all time when I am not taking pictures.

      Another thing to look out for is the battery life. I read that the battery life often gets affected when the temperature is low. Then again, it is not that cold up there. Still above zero 🙂

      Best of luck and take some great pictures!

  3. I love your blog, I love your Pictures, I love the way you describe the place. Now my friends and i will be on my way to climb KK next month. Thank you for such a wonderfull expirence that you have shared and i wish you all the best in you next conquer… All the best Giles

    1. Giles – Thanks for your kind words. And best of luck with your climb! To be frank, these days my “conquest” is more in line with climbing up the domes of churches and cathedrals and bell towers 🙂 I think my knees are not as good as before.

  4. HI! I’m SO happy to have found your website. While reading your posts on the climb, my hands have been sweating like crazy. I’m 17 and will be climbing KK in two weeks with my 4 other friends. We’re been training at Bukit Gasing (KL). I’m not sure if thats enough training for us or not. I’d like to know how you trained for the climb? And I noticed on some of your pictures that some people wore gloves, should we have gloves for the climb? And for the hike down, is it better to wear sandals that won’t cram your toe? I’m really nervous and thought maybe you’d be the best person to ask 🙂 I’d really love to reach the summit prepared. Thank You!!

    1. Sonia – And I am so happy for you to visit!

      You are young. You should be able to climb up the mountain 🙂 Just remember to respect the mountain and pace yourself out. The air does get a bit thinner at the peak. In case if you have not read the “Tips and Gears” section, here is the link:

      http://www.wilfridwong.com/articles/our-mount-kinabalu-experience/tips-and-suggested-gears/

      Yes, you will need the gloves. Especially when you need to hold the ropes for the last leg of the climb. As for shoes, any comfortable shoes would do, really.

      Best of luck! Keep me in the loop on your success story 🙂

  5. Thank you, Wilfrid. I enjoyed reading about your experience climbing up Malaysia’s highest peak. And I love this page especially, when you shared the thoughts that stirred in you as you faced the wonder of nature. It is awesome – this world God created for us, isn’t it?

    Btw, I am the mother of one of the four friends that Sonia mentioned. She passed your link through to us. Very helpful tips you have included. Mount KK is one item on my wish list. At 47 and very unfit, I doubt that I am ever going to make it. Reading your blog brought me up the mountain. Thanks again, sb

    1. Swee Bin – Thank you for your comment. Yes, nature – God’s creation – is indeed beautiful. It is through experiencing with nature that reminds us that there is a higher being elsewhere.

      If you wish to visit the peak, I think through training, it is still possible. I have seen different types of people up at the peak – from the very young to the very old. I am unsure how unfit you are. Yes, it does get harder as one gets older. I don’t think I can go back up there again, now that I have weak knees. It can be such a pain going down slope at times. To overcome that, I would need a pair of good walking sticks!

  6. Well done. Great and detailed blog. We are going to climb mt Kilimanjaro in August for charity. Thinking of climbing mt Kinabalu as part of training. May do it in April or May. Would like to get some tips frorm you later on. Heading to Singapore for a conference today, have to pack now. Bye for now.

  7. Great blog Wilfred, it is truly inspiring how your ending comments lent so much more perspective to the beautiful pictures you took. I hope to climb Mt K one day too and experience what you have shared.

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