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Year 8 pupil Tali Cunningham climbs Mount Kinabalu raising £1,445 for charity

Posted: 10th December 2014

My Walk Up Mount Kinabalu

On the 14th of November my step father and I were lucky enough to climb up Mount Kinabalu, which at 4096 metres is the highest mountain in South East Asia.

I did this in aid of the Robert Poulton Foundation, which aims to bring singing lessons to primary schools.

We started off the day at sea level leaving our hotel at 6:30am; two hours later we got to Kinabalu park headquarters, where we registered and set off carrying our own rucksacks, through the Timpohon Gate, already at 1866 metres above sea level.

This section of the walk was dense rainforest; we passed many unusual plants such as Tree ferns, orchids and rat eating Pitcher Plants. After the first 2 hours of humid sunshine we were rained on repeatedly for 6 hours, as it was monsoon season. At last we arrived at the Laban Rata resthouse at 4:30pm. I was soaking wet, cold and extremely tired. This is at 3273m. I was very well fed although I felt ill and lightheaded with the altitude. We met many different nationalities, such as Americans, Canadians, Russians, Malaysians, Indonesians and Swedes.

We slept in a dorm and were rudely awoken at 2:00am to start the final ascent. We had to wrap up warm as it was freezing and wear head torches. The last thousand metres were very challenging. We used ropes to climb up the steep granite slope. The air got thinner and the temperature dropped to 4c, which was a big change from the 30c we were used to on sea level.

Finally at 6:00am we reached Low’s Peak, which is at 4095m.

I was so pleased with myself; I felt proud that I had made the peak and I also made it in time for the sunrise, which was unlike any other I have ever seen, which by the way has not been many because I am normally asleep.

Next the even harder walk down. After stopping at the rest house for a big breakfast, we started walking down and down and down for 8 long hours which ended with an awful massive staircase and when I saw it, I was not happy, at all.

Finally after 19 hours of walking we had done it!!!!!! I was exhausted beyond exhaustion but seriously happy to find out that I had raised £1,445!!!!

It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Ever.

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