Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Via Ferrata - Low's Peak Circuit

So we decided to amp up our Mount Kinablau experience, which you can read about here. And what is the best way to do that? By completing the Guinness World Record certified World's Highest Via Ferrata. Via Ferrata is Italian for iron road, which basically means a mountain route which can be climbed due to the positioning of cables, bridges and ladders. 

Mountain Torq is responsible for the ropes course, which at 3776 meters is the highest in the world, and is the first of its kind in Asia. The circuit was made more enjoyable by our lovable guide, Jon.

After our 2:30 am ascent to the summit, and a short one kilometer hike down, we were ready to get harnessed for the circuit. 

We completed a short course on the knots, ropes and pigtail hooks the previous day at Pendent Hut with our Mountain Torq guides. It was hard to be nervous with such crisp, clean air and amazing views. We abseiled down the face of the mountain, climbed down impossibly spaced ladders and even tightrope walked across a thin cable. All the while Jon was playing paparazzi, taking these fantastic photos of us, and the view. 

The circuit also includes an hour long hike through the brush, which quite frankly, I would rather have avoided. It was a good thing that we were told to keep our helmets on, as my legs buckled beneath me more than a couple of times, and then my knees didn't bend when I wanted them to, which resulted with my helmet hitting a branch, also more than a couple of times. 

After completing one more section, we were on our way back to the Pendant Hut, 9 hours after having woken early that morning. Then with jellied legs, a  mountain and the world's highest via ferrata conquered, we made our way back down the seemingly steeper stairs at record speeds, straight to Kota Kinabalu, and a much deserved massage. 

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