Mulu Pinnacles Climb

After a night at Camp 5, finally I am here to make my finale of my Mulu trip which is to climb the Mulu Pinnacle! The above picture already telling you all the warnings and time that you will take. As early as 8.00am in the morning, we started this adventure. I have brought myself 3 liters of water, 4 chocolate bars, dozens of biscuit packs and a lunch box which is included in this tour package. If you are not signed up with any tour agency, you need to pack your own lunch box. Total distance is 2.4km, it may sound easier than 9km jungle trekking walk but you are wrong if you do think like that. 
Not a well made road like you can see in Mount Kinabalu (for those been there). All are rocks and roots. Actually I prefer this trail more than the ladder type of trail in Mount Kinabalu. The reason is I can adjust the height that I would like to put my step onto. For Mount Kinabalu, it is a fixed height.
The terrain on this mountain is very spiky. It has a lot of spiky rocks everywhere. You really need to be careful because they are really sharp and able to cut you easily. I lost my footing once in this climb and cut my thigh. Not really deep cut but it made a big bruise on my wounded area.
I have to cut short the amount of pictures so here we are at the halfway off the peak. This is the place you will have to put 1.5 liter water and continue to the summit. The reason is to reduce the weight and also you able to conserve your water supply well. Please do not take any other water bottles that you see lying over there. They are belongs to other climbers which are already ahead of you. 
Time for some picture. I did not bring my bulky DSLR camera for this hike. Only Canon Powershot S100 which is just nice enough not realized the weight of it. I know myself very well that I do not have a good stamina and especially I hurt my both toes very bad after the 9km jungle trekking.
They may look dangerous but somehow they are your stepping stone that help you to climb and hold onto. If you having a walking stick, that will be very helpful otherwise you may need gloves to hold on to these spiky rocks. If you forgot to bring any gloves with you, you may use your socks too. If you do not like to wear socks, so you just pretend your hands have a pretty thick and rough skin. LOL
After 2km climb, your walking sticks basically useless here and you will find them very troublesome so just put your walking stick by the side of the ladder and continue.
I am standing above the cloud now! I like this feeling a lot. You will only get that when you are on the plane. Well, the feeling is truly different than in a plane of course because you got to feel the chill air and see the mist of the cloud around you.
It is getting challenging after 2km climb because the trail becomes extremely steep. Almost 90 degrees climb and every bit of your strength is highly required here.
Look at how our guide climb. Your both hands and legs are required. For your information, if there is rainfall on the day before you climb, your Mulu Pinnacle adventure will be forced to cancel. The reason is this...the rock will be very slippery and it is extremely dangerous. Just for your note, there were an accident here before which caused casualty of one person's life. We were very lucky because it did rained just right after we finished this climb.
We were lucky again because our guide is still recovering from his leg minor injury so he was climbing in a very slow pace which is just fine for us.
If you are going to ask me if there is any special or beautiful plants up there, my answer is no. Not really. Basically you are just taking the cameras for the pinnacle and the climbers.
You will be crossing a lot of holes like this which is quite scary at times when you can't see the bottom of it. It is like a labyrinth.
Right now, we are clearly on top of the clouds. This scenery is so beautiful for us. At that moment, I just hope that clouds are the cotton bed that I can lie on and sleep before I continue the rest of my journey. How I wish that dream comes true!
Ropes ropes and more ropes! But this is the final one!
Here we are!!! Believe it or not, the word "give up" has been playing on my mind over and over again ever since I reached the 1.2km mark. I just couldn't believe it I able to make it here. It is awesome achievement for me when my both toes started to bleed internally. For your information, here is the only place you will get the good phone signal if it is less cloudy. The signal is just strong enough for you to make call back home to report about your achievement. Not for you to online and update your achievement in the Facebook. Sorry, I know you are disappointed by now.
Now I can enjoy the fruit of my hard work. I hope you can enjoy with me too along with these bizarre pinnacles. You probably asking how can rocks spike out from the ground like that?? Obviously they are not spiking out from the earth. There are actually limestones!
Limestone, particularly hard limestone is very brittle. In the process being uplifted by the movement of the tectonic plates it develops a lot of vertical cracks. Plate tectonic is a scientific theory of a large scale movement by our Earth.
Rainwater soaking into the soil enters these cracks and dissolves the walls, making them steadily wider and deeper. 
Then the softer topsoil is washed away, the basic pinnacle forms are exposed to the rainfall which continues to carve them into the classic tall, blade like formations called "pinnacles".

It is important to understand that the process which created the pinnacles didn't happened long time ago - it's happening now! This on-going process started about 40 millions years ago but it hasn't finished yet!
The side of the pinnacles continue to be dissolved but only when they are exposed to rain. Just imagine one day that even the mountain that we are climbing now to watch this scenery might become one of the pinnacles like that! Well, that will be after few thousand of generation though.
The soil-filled cracks in the limestone continue to get deeper and wider as they are in constant contact with water in the soil. There are many different types of limestone which vary in color , texture, purity and hardness. The Melinau Limestone of Mulu is very finely and uniformly grained, very pure and very hard - and like all limestone it is soluble in rainwater!
It is an unforgettable experience for me that will leave as a great memory for the rest of my life. Well, if you were going to ask me if I am going to climb this mountain again? I will say..."HELL NO!!! I am not going to climb this freaking mountain for these few pieces of rock!" Sorry, I may be over-reacted but I have to be honest that I do not enjoy the process of it but only on the fruit of it.

Because we were really slow and the sun already shining hot at the peak. We just stayed about 20 minutes for pictures and food to replenish our energy. We have been told by the guide that we must stay off this mountain by 4.00pm. So time is not at our side to enjoy the scenery.
When climbing down, this view does not looks like climbing down...it is more like falling down! I know it was very steep when I climbed up but I do not know it is actually this steep. I can't believe I climbed up from here.
Where you climb up is where you go down, there is no alternative road like some other mountains might have. If you think climbing down is easier than climbing up, you are very wrong. It is way harder!
Especially when my toes were bleeding, I can use them to stop my tracks anymore. So in the end I have to reverse myself and climb down all the way using both hands and legs. It is like how you climb down from a ladder. We took 30 minutes more than climbing up so you can imagine how tough it is. The total hiking time we took throughout this adventure was almost 7 hours consider faster than the regular time of 8 hours.
There are hard times and there are sweet times in this adventure. Well, it is a norm in life too. So overall, I really treasure this experience so much even though I will not come again and I am happy I accomplished this Mulu trip which I have always wanted to for many years ago. Everyone should come, I really do recommend this! Why foreigners appreciate and envy what we got here in our country but our own citizen doesn't even want to make an effort for it? Do ponder about it!
Things to Bring:
1) Good pair of shoes (try not to buy a new shoes specially for this trip. Not because you will dirty it but your leg might not get used with a new shoes. So you will hurt your leg easily)
2) Old clothes
3) Towel for bath and hiking
4) Torchlight
5) Insect Repellent (I do not get insects throughout this trip but who knows you are more delicious than me. After all we are in the jungle!)
6) Disposable Raincoat
7) Torchlight
8) Sleeping bag
9) Own drinking bottle - 3 liter
10) First aid kit - their plaster sold at Camp 5 cost RM5.00 for one. So it is better you bring a box for yourself.
11) Swimwear if you are planning to swim in the river beside Camp 5.

Total Damage: RM1030/pax (includes meals, accommodation, entrance fee, guide fee, boat transfer and land transfer)
Freakout Level: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Recommended?: Yes

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