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Things To Prepare For Your Mount Kinabalu Climbing 2020


Photo @fidelisfrancis 

The re-opening of the Mount Kinabalu climbing activities since 16th May 2020 has been good for the domestic tourism in Sabah. However, all climbers are advised to follow the strict procedures of climbing that has been set up by Sabah Parks. Before we jump to the SOPs, below are things to bring or prepare for your next mount climbing activities: 


Please get a proper training before climbing the mountain. It is not a joke. You need to be ready mentally and physically! There are so many places that is suitable for training purpose. 

So what to prepare? 


(Day 1 Climb / Weather: Usually Warm & Sunny)

  • Wear lightweight clothing like t-shirts and track pants.
  • Wear covered walking/hiking shoes with good grip. (Sports shoe is adequate).
  • Waterproof backpack to store your items. (If not, buy a rain cover for your backpack. Try to limit it to less than 6 kg. It would be a burden for you to bring more than that).
  • A small lightweight towel.
  • Trekking / Hiking Pole (can be purchased at Kinabalu Park at MYR 45/pole, simply inform our staff)


(Day 2 Climb / Weather: Usually Cold & Windy)

  • Warm clothing is essential.
  • Waterproof Wind breaker
  • Fleece jackets, long sleeves shirts, thick trousers/hiking pants, thick socks and good shoes.
  • Head Torch. (Head torch is necessary as most of the time you have to hold the rope in the dark).
  • Cap / Beanie / Head Scarf /Balaclava mask. (It will keep warm and protect your head and face from the cold wind).
  • Gloves. (Waterproof gloves is the best, It will protect your hands from rope burn and cold).
  • Ponchos or Disposable raincoat or waterproof jacket in case of rain.

Temperatures from Kinabalu Park to the Low’s Peak Summit can vary throughout the climb.

Kinabalu National Park - 15°C - 24°C (59.7°F – 75.2°F)

Timpohon Trail to Summit Trail / Kota Belud Trail - 6°C - 14°C (42.7°F – 57.2°F)

Mount Kinabalu Summit-  4°C or lower (39.2°F or lower)


The most important rule in packing for a mountain climb is – travel light. Decide on the things that one may want to bring up the mountain and then halve it.

As you will need to carry your own packed lunch with you during the climb, we suggest you to reserve some space in your backpack to store your packed lunch. Otherwise it might not be a good idea to hand carry it along as you climb. What to pack? 

  • Waterproof Backpack (or for non-waterproof bags, pack a Rain Cover).
  • Lightweight Clothing.
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes.
  • Change of Clothes.
  • Warm Clothing.
  • Waterproof Wind-breaker.
  • Fleece Jacket.
  • Head Torch for night climb.
  • Cap, Beanie, Head Scarf or Balaclava Mask.
  • Gloves.
  • Ponchos or Disposable Raincoat.
  • 1.5L Drinking Water.
  • 500ML Isotonic Drink.
  • Energy Food such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars.
  • Personal Toiletries such as soap, toothbrush & toothpaste.
  • Socks.
  • Sunglasses, Sunblock Lotion, SPF Lip Balm, Plasters (Band Aid).
  • Small Towel.
  • Trekking / Hiking Pole.
  • Medication such as Painkillers or Altitude Sickness Tablets
  • Camera & Waterproof Camera Bag.
  • Waist Pouch or Smaller Bag for Summit Ascent.


  • Toilet Tissue Papers.
  • Flip Flops / Sandals (for use in wet bathroom).
  • Insect Repellent (to keep creepy crawlies away).
  • Extra Plastic Bags.
  • Small Water Bottle

NOTE: Sleeping Bags are not needed for a Mount Kinabalu Climb.

For more info, please go to :

Below are the SOPs as per 7th July 2020: 

After months of the Movement Control Order (MCO), Sabah is slowly reopening businesses around the state as we try to recover from COVID-19 and practice the new norm. For Sabah Parks, which includes Mount Kinabalu, operations have resumed for a while now with a strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) visitors must follow.

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing, there will be regular updates to the established guidelines. On 17th June 2020, Sabah Parks has issued a statement listing the following SOP which will be enforced until 31st August 2020 during Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO):

1. The climb to Mount Kinabalu’s Gurkha Hut is only permissible to climbers alongside their direct family members to make sure climbers are still compliant to social distancing

2. Usage of the hot springs in Poring is not allowed due to difficulty in enforcing social distancing

3. Entry to each Sabah Parks’ stations and sub-stations remain at 100 people/day

4. Mount Kinabalu climbs:

i. The daily quota for climbers remains as follows until further notice: 

Kinabalu Parks: 40 people

Sutera Sanctuary Lodges: 40 people

Mountain Torq: 20 people

ii. Climbers aged 12 years old and below are not allowed to climb Mount Kinabalu

5. Camping activities are permitted in limited numbers to groups that have familial ties with each other

6. The operations of the following facilities remain to adhere to established SOP:

i. Restaurants and cafés inside Sabah Parks

ii. Galleries, meeting rooms and Sabah Parks exhibits

iii. Accommodations and gardens

7. Research activities and enforcement can be carried out as usual

During the RCMO, the operation time for Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs is as follows:

8.00am - 3.00pm (Monday-Sunday / Public Holiday)

The main entrances will be closed off to the public at 2.00pm to allow for disinfection and cleaning works for the facilities and the recreation area.

All the activities are still subject to the SOPs by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, such as social distancing, body temperature check, and personal protective equipment (PPE) usage.

Please note that the stated SOPs are subject to changes and updates based on the Sabah Parks stations’ needs, the safety of visitors, and the orders from the authorities.

Thank you and Enjoy your Climb! 


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