Adventurers opting to hike Southeast Asia’s highest and most accessible mountain, Mount Kinabalu, during October will also have the chance to witness the biggest annual event on the 4095-metre Malaysian peak.
On October 15, runners from around the world will take part in the 30th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, reaching the summit in as little as four hours via a route that takes regular visitors about 10 hours over two days. Tourists are welcome to watch the start at the invitation-only race in Kinabalu Park and cheer on racers to the finish.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu, considered a bucket-list activity by many, is also promoted as one of the best workouts in Asia: the average trek from Kinabalu Park to Panalaban on day one takes about five hours and is estimated to burn more than 4000 kilojoules (1000 calories).
What’s more, it is not difficult. Participants need be healthy and fit enough to walk five to six hours uphill on the first day, then three hours to the summit the next after a hearty meal and overnight rest. No rock climbing skills are required, just good shoes.
The climb is popular and booking up to six months ahead is recommended to secure prime spaces in rest houses. The non-monsoon season through February, March and April is the best time to go. See mountkinabalu.com