KOTA KINABALU: Mount Kinabalu is set to gain more traction within the mountaineering circles.
The 4,096m mountain, which is trekked by thousands of people annually, is becoming a high-altitude training ground for those planning to scale some of the world’s highest peaks such as Mount Everest, thanks to Malaysian Everest climber T. Ravichandran.
Ravichandran, who heads the Global Expedition Club Malaysia, brought 31 mountaineering enthu-siasts from Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, South Korea and Australia recently as the pioneering batch of mountaineers to undergo high-altitude training on Mount Kinabalu.
“It makes sense for climbers to acclimatise themselves on Mount Kinabalu since they are able to reach 4,000m in just a day,” he said.
Until now, most climbers would usually do such training at the Himalayas, and it would take them about two to three weeks to reach similar altitudes, he added.
Ravichandran said he had used Mount Kinabalu for high-altitude training on many occasions for climbing higher mountains elsewhere.
Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood said Mount Kinabalu’s prominence was growing among the mountaineering community which is rapidly expanding in Asia.
“The word is out that our mountain has all to offer for those who want to undergo high-altitude acclimatisation training safely and comfortably,” he said.
He said for such groups, various types of accommodation were available, including the Panalaban rest house.