KOTA KINABALU: Worry gripped many climbers scaling Mount Kinabalu early yesterday when the fair weather gave way to a heavy downpour.
However, as they were led safely down the mountain amid gushes of rainwater that crossed their paths due to the rainfall, the mountain guides’ professionalism helped allay their concerns.
Sabah Parks director Maklarin Lakim said prior to the downpour, which lasted over an hour from 5.40am to 7am, the weather had been good and climbers were allowed to start going up to the summit at around 2.30am.
“However, rain started to fall at around 5.40am and water started to gather from the mountaintop before flowing in strong currents down to Panalaban and Sayat-Sayat,” he said.
He said there were a total of 115 climbers with 37 mountain guides taking care of them at that time, and these guides were calm and administered high professionalism when bringing them down to safety in the heavy rain.
“We had quite a substantial number of guides handling the climbers, with an average ratio of one guide to three climbers at that time.
“All managed to stay calm and got down safely. The situation got under control very quickly,” said Maklarin.
He added that there was one guest who twisted his ankle during the climb down Mount Kinabalu, but he was brought down to safety as well.
“Such injuries or incidents are normal on every climb,” said Maklarin.
Earlier, Sabah Parks shared a short clip on this incident, explaining that the heavy rain saw strong water flows rushing down to the Panalaban resting area, down to KM7.2, near the Sayat-Sayat checkpoint.
It said all climbers were safe in the incident, while a short clip of the incident was also attached on their Facebook page.A group of people believed to be climbers and their mountain guide could be seen scaling down the mountain while holding onto a rope amid the strong rush of water.