Wednesday, 14 May
Monty makes it!
Despite the energy expended by all the day before, sleep was hard to come by on Tuesday night. Perhaps that was due to nerves about what was to come; perhaps it was the altitude; perhaps it was the dorms, bunk beds and sleeping bags that seemed a long way removed from the comfort of Monday night’s luxury seaview rooms. No matter; we were awake at 1:30am when activity outside the dorm suggested our departure was imminent. After a quick snack of toast and peanut butter, we headed out into the cold, dark mountain air.
With the trail lit by head torches we slowly made our way up the remaining stepped trail that led to the mountain’s first rope section. From here, the climbing got serious as we hauled ourselves up the steep slabs of granite that lead onto Mountain Kinabalu’s iconic summit plateau.
Our final stop before the push to the summit was to be the Sayat Sayat Hut roughly seven kilometres from Timpohon Gate. That left a little under two kilometres to the top of Low’s Peak and to achieving Mr Monty’s Marvellous Mission.
Though the terrain flattened slightly after Sayat Sayat Hut, the climbing seemed to get harder. A combination of the altitude (at over 3,600 metres at the hut, we were well into altitude sickness territory) and fatigue from the previous day’s effort made each block of ten or 20 metres a challenge. But with regular stops and some much needed encouragement from Joe and the other guides, we made it to the base of Low’s peak. As crowds descended from the mountain’s highest point we prepared for our final push and our group photo on the summit.
All that was left was for Mr Monty to suit up and scramble up the final rocky metres.
That was no small challenge of course in a full body monitor lizard costume but Mr Monty made it, standing proud for Hospis Malaysia and creators Gail Featherstone and Mollie Jackson at the summit of Malaysia’s highest mountain. It took weeks of planning and two days of hard physical effort but Mr Monty’s Marvellous Mission could be officially declared a success!
Expatriate Lifestyle would like to thank all involved in Mr Monty’s Marvellous Mission, including the sponsors, the mountain guides, Gail Featherstone and Mollie Jackson, creators of Mr Monty’s Treat, and the team from the British High Commission. For more information about the cause or to donate to Hospis Malaysia, please visit www.hospismalaysia.org/bhc-fund-raiser or look out for Mr Monty’s Treat at selected MPH Bookstores, Cold Storage, Jasons Food Hall, Mercato, Debenhams and Hamleys.
Mr Monty's Mission - Day 1
Mr Monty's Mission - Day 2