Things to Bring
Any body who plan to climb any mountains in Borneo, need to prepare with physical. A basic training, twice a week jogging on flat road at distance 10Km per session is just perfect to increase your endurance. Doing steps will be highly recommended or any thigh and calves workout during your preparations will be very helpful.
It is recommended that all climbers should have themselves medically checked before attempting any mountain climb. If you have a history of suffering from all the following ailments, its highly recommended that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, diabetes, palpitation, arthritis, heart disease, severe anemia, peptic ulcers, epileptic fits, obesity, chronic asthma, muscular cramps, hepatitis(Jaundice) or any other disease which may hamper the climber.
Climbing the mountain is very interesting, provided the climber is on good shape of their physical. Unlike in the 90’s, the mountain now is easier to climb and only required 2 days 1 night actual climb. Most sections of the ascent route is walking on the ridges and sometimes very narrow. The starting point of the climbing is now accessible to a 4WD vehicle and only 1 hour from Tambunan town. We will pas through 2 peaks before reach the actual summit a total 4.9Km route.
The first day of our climb start from Tambunan town about an hour drive, sometimes it will be delayed due to the road condition. Unlike before 2009, climbers need to hike about 1 to 1 and a half hours through old logging road to the actual starting point but thanks to the effort by the forest department to upgrade an alternative logging road that reach until to the starting point. The one hour drive will lead us to the Forest Department check point gate and here we are mandatory to provide the officer our entry permit and register our full name at their log book. About half and hour from here, through a steep road we will reach the starting point. From here, we will start ascend through a thick montane forest and our destination for that day is our cabin located 3.4Km with an estimation about 4 to 5 hours hiking. We will be greeted with a steep route through a well-defined route about 900 meters until we reach the first shelter. We will halt for a couple of minute, before continue trekking to Taman sulaiman the second shelter. The next couple of meters, we will through to steep route until we reach the open space, we will have our first sight of the trusmadi’s ridges if weather is permitting. The route will now become narrow as we are now will climb through a prominent ridge for the rest of the climb. Approaching to Taman Bunga, a section about 100 meters just before the next camping site, the route turn to be extremely steep until to the summit. If weather is clear we will be greeted with spectacular view and we will have our first sight of the Mount Kinabalu from far away. Taman Bunga area is also the first place that we can see the Nepenthes lowii. From Taman Bunga, we will trek through a narrow ridge until to the cabin. About 80 meters from the Taman Bunga a steep down hill await us, your guide will keep remind you to be extra careful and always alert to our step. This route will leads us through a small hill with a scenic view but most dangerous sections for the Trusmadi route. We need to be slowly down hill with the aid of root and rope to past through it. Not far from here we will find the junction on the left to leads us to the cabin. We will halt here for the night before we continue to the summit the next morning.
The second day will be our final climb to the summit and start as early as 4 in the morning through mossy forest. The first section of the route will leads us through, a steep route until to the summit of the hill. The route will now descend through the prominent ridge until we ascend again until to the repeater station located at the top of the hill. Along this sections, will be our surrounded with Nepenthes macrophylla a spectacular nepenthes. Near to the repeater in an exposed area, we will be greeted with an awesome view of villages in Keningau. We are still 200 meters from the summit through a flatter route from the repeater. The summit is the best place to view the Mount Kinabalu, the shape of the mountain is differently from others view. After spending our time here we will descend to the cabin before we continue to the base camp. Going down in generally is less challenging compare to ascent yesterday, we will find it much easier even though we are through the same obstacles. We will transfer to the Tambunan town before we continue journey to Kota Kinabalu on the same day, if our timing is on schedule we estimated that we will reach before 7pm.
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Here are the items that, we recommend a must to bring for this expedition. We also, recommend any equipments that you think is useful for the expedition however we highly recommended you to travel light as you can. You can hire porters at MYR 220.00 for the 2 days expedition with advance booking needed (MYR100.00 per day (less than 20Kg) plus MYR20.00 for their permit coverage as required by the forest department )
insect repellent – (we strongly recommend “Mosi-Guard” -www.mosi-guard.com as it is very effective to protect from leech and other tropical insects– you can easily find at any pharmacy in Kota Kinabalu city) sleeping mat, sleeping bag, personal medicine, toiletries, camera, extra shocks, snack and energy bar, enough clothing for 2 days, head lamp or torch light, comfortable trekking shoes, comfortable backpack, rain coat, sandals, water proof bag, water bottle.
|Location||:Malaysia, Sabah, Trusmadi Forest Reserve|
|Organization Governed||:Sabah Forest Department, Tambunan Forest Department|
|Duration of expedition||:2 Days 1 Night|
Mount Trusmadi, at 2,649m, is Malaysia’s second highest mountain after Mount Kinabalu (4905.2m or 13.433ft). It lies approximately between the districts of Tambunan to the north and Keningau to the south (in the state of Sabah in Borneo). Located about 70KM south-east Kota Kinabalu, in a small town called Tambunan, approximately 2 hours driving through Crocker Range Park from Kota Kinabalu.
Unlike Mount Kinabalu, which is climbed by hundreds of people every day, Mount Trusmadi, one the early stage is not a tourist mountain and is rarely climbed.
The summit is reputed to have the best dawn view of Gunung Kinabalu, which lies over 40km to the north. A unique pitcher plant, called Nepenthes x trusmadiensis (a natural hybrid between Nepenthes lowii and Nepenthes macrophylla) is endemic to this mountain.
In early 1990’s the ascent route to Mount Trusmadi took a week to complete but today with some facilities available and trek which enable trekker to climb more easily, it only takes around 3 days to 2 days to complete. In the earlier 2007 until 2010, a significant effort had been done by the Tambunan forest department to make the Mountain to be more accessible by climbers. Many areas such as road, enforcements, accommodation and basic facilities are far better than years ago. The logging road, connecting Tambunan town to the Trusmadi forest, had been upgraded and now the road is accessible until to the starting point. The main ascent route, is much better now, most of the dead log blocked the trail had been removed by the forest rangers and make it more convenient and safe to hike. One basic cabin with basic facilities provided by the forest located 1.5Km from summit makes the Trusmadi climbing more friendly to climbers. Not like before, climbers must carried their own water and camping equipments until to camping site 2.9Km called Taman Bunga.
It was very sad that the forest surrounding Mt.Trusmadi was not at its pristine condition, since it was been widely logged for many years until mid of 90’s. That was the main reason why it was not gazette under the State Park. However, the Sabah Forestry Department has designated Mt.Trusmadi are as a forest reserve, which now required individual to apply entry permit trough the Sabah Forest Department office in Tambunan. In 2007, the Tambunan Forest Department has came out with new regulations with immediate effect whereby, each groups of climber must be accompany with at least one officer from Forest Department with restricted not more than fourteen (14) people in a group per day. The new regulations, is part of their enforcements to prevent the area to avoid more destruction. Before the new regulations enforced many climbers wish to camp at summit allowed staying but with the new regulations no one is allowed to camp at summit without any black and white approval from Forest Department,
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Basically they are four camping sites that provided by the forest department and other earlier climbers. The first camping site is located 900 meters from the starting point with a complete of one toilet, one shelter and water tap. The next camping site located not very far from the earlier camping site with the same basic facilities. The third camping site is located 2.9Km from the starting point called Taman Bunga and used to the main camping site before to the summit. This camping site is situated at the top of the first mountain shaped like camel’s hump and quite small where only 4 to 5 camping tent can be set up (size 3-6 person camp tent). Unlike the previous camping site, there is no water or other facilities available in this camping site. The nearest water is only available 500 meters where the cabin located. The final camping site is located at the summit of the Trusmadi, even though climbers not encourage to camp, climbers still can camp if they obtain the approval from forest department. Like the Taman Bunga, there is no basic facilities provided here, make it not a friendly camping site.
In Mid year of 2007, forest department had built a very basic cabin located 3.4Km from the starting point and 1.5Km from the summit. They are 14 bunk beds altogether but only 10 beds are ready to use. These beds are very basic and only covered with thin-layered zinc. There is only one toilet available, near to this cabin and just enough to cater the necessity for climbers. Next to this cabin, is a small hut use as a kitchen and only supplied with one portable stove. The cabin is supplied with one solar power lamp, but sometimes not working especially during raining and cloudy.