Training to climb Mount Kinabalu

I'm going to climb Mount Kinabalu at the end of September. I've got one month to train, excluding one week of rest before the trip. I don't have a trainer or a partner to keep me motivated so I'm planning and logging my training here instead. I'll be updating this as I go along. After my trip I will post my comments as to whether my training plan was effective and how it can be improved.

The climb
Day 1: Need to ascend 1473m from park headquarters (1800m) to guest house at Laban Rata (3273m)
Day 2: Need to ascend 822m from Laban Rata (3273m) to Low's peak (4095m), then descend to Laban Rata then park headquarters.

Note: 1 storey is about 2.5m.

So this means on day 1, I need to climb 590 storeys and on day 2 climb up 330 storeys!!!

I've climbed up to Laban Rata several years ago. I didn't climb to the peak because my friends didn't want to. This time I'm planning on reaching the peak. That time I trained at Bukit Timah once a week and climbed 40 storeys twice a week. I don't think I need to train that hard to reach the peak but I would like to make the climb as *easy* as possible.

Exercise tracker
I'm training by climbing stairs at a 28-storey residential building. I walk up, then take the lift down, and walk up again. The reason for not walking down is: I do not want to give my muscles a chance to rest. 112 storeys is quite the norm for me. I can complete it in less than 30 minutes and not get any muscle aches from it. But I feel so far away from the 590+330 storeys :( I really need to step up my training!
9 Aug: 112 storeys
11 Aug: 112 storeys
14 Aug: 6km trail run, grade: difficult
15 Aug: Rock climbing
20 Aug: 3km walk, flat road
21 Aug: 9pm run, flat road (1hr 11min)
24 Aug: 112 storeys
26 Aug: 2.4km run, stadium circuit (14:56)
29 Aug: Rock climbing

---Updated on 1 Sep---
Training plan scrapped! My friend has to work that weekend so we won't be climbing.


Anonymous said...

Go girl!!!

David said...


An ambitous climb.
Have you climbed any other peaks?

At 4,095.2 metres high, Mount Kinabalu will be a challenge.

Take lots of photos!

Wishing you a safe climb!


Anonymous said...

you need to train down hill as well. Down hill seems easy but its very straineous to your knee and uppe thigh muscle.
I hv climbed numerous mountain including to Base Camp 1 of Everest on Tibet route. Trust me.

David said...


I am impressed with your stair climbing. That will build stamina and endurance.

Have you practiced on rock climbing walls?

I am not familiar with the route the Mount Kinabalu's summit, and the footing on any mountain can vary from solid rock to nearly vertical.

Looking forward to your report to the world in September!


Anonymous_CB said...

The first day to Laban Rata, take it easy. Don't rush. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. Keep some juice for 2nd day climb. I guess you are taking Timpohon Gate route ?

Get acclimatise on higher level at Laban Rata. The air is thinner -> less oxygen. Sleep early, rest well. Wake up 2am. Start climb slowly at your pace. Don't rush.

Good luck.

Yu-Kym said...

Thanks David! I've not climbed other peaks yet. I do rock climbing too. Just had a session yesterday :P

Thanks for the tips CB! The last time, I could feel that the air is thinner even from before Laban Rata. Needed to breathe harder.