On June 5 2015, the whole world was shocked to hear that a 5.9 magnitude earthquake had hit Sabah, and the epicenter was in Ranau area, a news that was not easy to grasp since this region is outside the Ring of Fire. The earthquake claimed 18 lives and damaged properties in the
district of Ranau and surrounding areas. All climbing activities were stopped because the trails were severely destructed. Since then, restoration works have been on going by the Sabah Parks.
Just six months after the earthquake, climbing activities on Mount Kinabalu will be fully operational by 1st December 2015. The trail from Timpohon to Laban Rata has opened since 1st September 2015 and the trail from Laban Rata to Summit will open on 1st December 2015. The number of climbers per day has been revised from 190 to 135.
According to Sabah Parks website, the new trail was advised by Japanese mountaineering experts and geologists, and claimed to be safer. The old trail is badly damaged and will not be restored since there are boulders and rocks and restoration team could experience the danger of falling debris.
Mount Kinabalu is located on the east Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo. It is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia with 4,095.2 metres height. Cloaked in swirling mists, puffy clouds, golden sunsets and rich flora and fauna, Mount Kinabalu is ever-changing in its sights and sounds.
Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding park has a wide collection of habitats, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and heath on the higher elevations. In 2000, Mount Kinabalu was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list to preserve and protect its natural environments. It has also been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia.