Two new routes to scale summit


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  • Saturday, 31 Oct 2015

Masidi (right) and Nhazlisham (left) launching the state’s Google Maps Street View of Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Those trekking up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu can now choose between two equally challenging routes from the Laban Rata resthouse area, state Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said.

He added the first trail called the Ranau route was scheduled to be opened by Dec 1 and takes an easterly course from Laban Rata located at an altitude of 3,270m.

Hikers would be able to see parts of the scenic Ranau valley before reaching the Sayat Sayat hut area at 3,668m.

The second trail called the Kota Belud route would take a westerly course from Laban Rata, also ending at Sayat Sayat.

“Hikers would then trek from Sayat Sayat to Low’s Peak like before,” he said after launching Google Maps Street View for Sabah here.

He said the new routes which replace the old summit trail that had become impassable following the June 5 Mount Kinabalu earthquake were more challenging but did not require climbers have special mountaineering skills such as abseiling.

“We were fortunate to have mountaineering experts from Japan and Canada help carve out the new trails,” Masidi added.

He said not more than 100 climbers would initially be allowed up the summit when the Ranau trail opens.

“We will look at the situation and take into account the mountain’s carrying capacity which is 192 people,” Masidi added.

The June 5 magnitude 6 earthquake resulted in avalanches that killed 18 people including four mountain guides.

Sabah Parks had closed the mountain trail following the quake and carried out extensive repairs including to accommodation facilities at Laban Rata.

Among the Google Maps Street View images of Sabah was of the trail to Mount Kinabalu prior to the earthquake.

Google Street View Operations Lead Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand Nhazlisham Hamdan said they intended to update the images of the mountain.

Street View began recording images around the main roads of Sabah including scenic locations like the islands of Kapalai, Mabul and Mantanani.

The availability of Street View for Sabah’s beautiful natural attractions for the first time makes Google Maps more useful, comprehensive and enjoyable for anyone interested in discovering more about the state’s natural heritage, he said.

Nhazlisham said Street View now covers 80% of Sabah and Sarawak as well as 90% of the peninsula’s public roads.


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