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Don’t believe the lie stated in masses of T-shirts and tourist brochures. Mt Kinabalu , at 4095m, is Borneo’s highest peak, but is NOT the highest peak in SE-Asia.This was a popular myth, and helps tourism immensely. The highest peak in SE-Asian is Hkakabo Razi, at 5881m, located in the northern tip of Burma, and has been climbed just once.

Mt Kinabalu is a pluton of granitic rock thrust upwards, and scoured by icesheets in an ancient time. You can still see the marks left by the retreating glaciers. It is also one of the few high mountains in SE-Asia that is not volcanic. One of the most interesting aspects of climbing it is that within a space of a few hours as you climb up, you experience 4 types of vegetation zones : equatorial forests, mossy forests, alpine shrubs, and then bare rock as you go above thetreeline. Nearly 250,000 visitors visit each year, and maybe 50,000 attempt the peak annually. The tourist trail is well marked and has shelters and toilets every few hundred vertical metres. You start the hike at 1800m and finish at the collection of alpine huts and lodges at around 3300m. The newest hut, built by MountainTorq is the comfy Pendant Hut, styled after a European Alpine hut with lots of wood features, framed pictures of climbers, a little library, hot water on tap etc.

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