KOTA KINABALU: A second new trail to the summit of the 4,095m Mount Kinabalu promises more adventure for climbers when it opens by August.
Kinabalu Park rangers continue to check and recheck the more or less completed new Kota Belud route on the western side of the mountain for safety before Sabah Parks decides to open it to the public.
Kinabalu Park manager Yassin Miki, who checked out the second route known as Kota Belud – as climbers can see part of the Kota Belud district – said the route was “slightly shorter” than the Ranau trail.
“We are now rechecking the trail for safety and may also have to change certain rules for those using the trail,” he said yesterday.
The Kota Belud trail is an alternative to the Ranau trail that is on the eastern side where climbers get breathtaking views of the Ranau area.
Yassin said there was a possibility of the second trail being opened by as early as middle of July.
The trail where climbers would move on a westerly direction from Panalaban, is a tougher route involving some steep climbs with help of ropes. Ranau trail, also from Panar Laban, is more picturesque.
Both trails end at Sayat-Sayat (3,668m) before climbers head for Low’s Peak, the summit.
Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin said that part of the Kota Belud route utilised the original summit trail but avoided the rockfall areas following last year’s June 5 earthquake.
The magnitude 6.1 earthquake triggered rock and boulder avalanches killed 18 and left over 150 people stranded in the summit plateau. The move to set up the Kota Belud trail as an alternative to Ranau trail was initially aimed at providing an emergency escape route for climbers in the event of any emergencies due to natural disaster.