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2D/1N Via Ferrata – Lows Peak Circuit (Advanced)

//2D/1N Via Ferrata – Lows Peak Circuit (Advanced)
  • Via Ferrata Climber
  • Pendant Hut Mount Kinabalu
  • Via Ferrata Walk the Torq
  • Nepenthes Kinabalu Park Trails
  • Rivers of Kinabalu Park
  • Via Ferrata Climber
  • Birds of Kinabalu Park
  • Mountain Shrews Kinabalu

2D/1N Via Ferrata – Lows Peak Circuit (Advanced)

If you have climbed Mt. Kinabalu before, you really need to climb it all over again, just so that you can attempt The Low’s Peak Circuit! Traversing the mountain in this manner means that you get to see an entirely different and immensely beautiful side of the mountain plateau that the current summit trail will never have the chance to reveal to you.

The ascent follows the same route as all other climbs along the Timpohon summit trail.The difference is how you descend.

Package Includes

  • Return Land Transfers Kota Kinabalu – Kinabalu Park
  • 1N Pendant Hut Rest House – 3272m ASL. Dorm Share/Communal Bathroom
  • Private Mountain Guide
  • Via Ferrata – Lows Peak Circuit & Via Ferrata Guide
  • Climbing Permit, Entrance Fee & Insurance
  • Meals: 1 x Packed Lunch, 1 x Dinner, 1 x Supper, 1 x Breakfast, 1 x Lunch.
  • Climbing Certificate & Lanyard Souvenir
  • Support Team

You can also add on 1 night accommodation at our very own Adventure Lodge in Kota Kinabalu City starting from MYR 40.00 per person per night (subject to 6% GST).

Category:

Low’s Peak Circuit – Advanced Level Via Ferrata

The Advanced Level Via Ferrata route, Low’s Peak Circuit, is a certified Guinness World Records holder for the being the highest Via Ferrata in the world. After hiking to the highest peak of Mt. Kinabalu, Low’s Peak at 4,095m, you take a detour on your descent at 3,776m to take the Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata route.

Low’s Peak Circuit route

This route is designed for the brave among us, those of above average fitness who like to do it all. Participants must be above 17 years old for this challenging 4 – 5 hour course. Frequent rest stops allow you to catch your breath and enjoy the unbeatable views of Sabah far below. Highlights on the Low’s Peak Circuit include the starting point at 3,800m, the world’s highest suspension bridge at 3,600m and one of the world’s highest 3 cable Nepalese bridges at around 3,580m. The length of the route is 1.2km and ends at 3,411m altitude, with a vertical height traverse of 365m.

Itinerary:

Day 1:
06:30 – Pick-up from hotel & transfer to Kinabalu Park HQ.
09:30 – Arrive, register for the mountain climb before transfer to Timpohon Gate ( Starting / ending point).
10:00 – Climb begins. Approx. 5-6 hours journey. Packed lunch enroute.
16:30 – Arrive Laban Rata (3272.7M). Proceed to via Ferrata safety briefing. Check in to accommodation, free at leisure. Dinner is provided.

Day 2:
02:30 – Depart from your accommodation for Low’s Peak (4095 m).
05:30 – Aim to reach the summit in time for sunrise. Descend to Lows Peak starting point for via Ferrata mountain climbing activity, and arrive at Laban Rata for breakfast, free at leisure.
09:00 – Continue descent to Timpohon Gate.
13:00 – Meet and transfer to nearby restaurant for lunch before transfer back to Kota Kinabalu.
Times are approximate and will depend on your pace and progress.

    • 1 night in Pendant Hut Dormitory
    • Dinner buffet-style at the Laban Rata Restaurant
    • 1 pre-breakfaster continental breakfast / supper @ Pendant Hut
    • 1 American breakfast @ Pendant Hut
    • Via Ferrata certificate for successful climbers
    • return transfer from KK – Kinabalu Park
    • return tranfers from Kinabalu Park HQ to Timpohon Gate
    • mountain guide, park entrance fees, insurance & climbing permit

Optional upgrade to a private room (subject to availability & pre-booking)

  • Meals and items not stated
  • Porter Fees – if required
  • Video or Camera Fees.

Clothing

  • Wear lightweight clothing and layer up so you can put on and take off the layers as you sweat. T-shirts & lycra sports wear are good options
  • Fleece jacket, long sleeves shirt or jumper, thick trousers/hiking trousers, thick socks.
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Change of clothes and extra socks for sleeping.
  • Warm hat or balaclava mask.
  • Gloves, ideally waterproof.
  • Suitable walking / hiking boots with good angle support and a good grip. Training shoes can be worn if you do not have walking boots.

Essentials

  • Waterproof backpack or buy a waterproof cover to keep items inside dry as the chances are it will rain at some point.
  • A small lightweight towel.
  • Lightweight rubber sandals/slippers incase you do not want to wear your heavy boots at the accommodation.
  • Refillable 1 – 1.5 litre water bottles that can take very hot water. (Most climbers need only about 2-3L to reach Panalaban).
  • Head torch so that your hands are free to climb and hold onto the ropes when required.
  • High energy food such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars.
  • Personal toiletries such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Headache tablets or required medication
  • Toilet roll
  • Sunglass, sunblock lotion, SPF lip balm, plasters
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera with waterproof bag
  • Bags for wet clothes
  • Trekking/Hiking Pole
  • Sleeping bags are provided at Pendent Hut only. Bedding (blankets) are provided at Laban Rata Resthouse.

Many climbing essentials can be rented or purchased in our Dive & Adventure Shop.  For a stage by stage list of things to bring please refer to our “Climbing Preparation” tab below.

Road Transfers

Return road transfers between Kota Kinabalu Hotels and Kinabalu Park are provided by Downbelow in our licensed mini-vans on a shared basis with other climbers that day (for our clients only). This is a door-to-door service with multiple pickups & drop-offs throughout the journey. Do expect some short waiting time. We may change the pick up time the day prior to your climb to minimize waiting time so please ensure you are contactable for such notice. We suggest buying a local SIM card while in Sabah, please advise us your contact telephone number.Our group rates are quoted with one pick up and one drop off point, meaning the group is transferred at the same time.

The standard pick up time from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park is set at 0630hrs. Therefore, climbers are encouraged to stay a night in Kota Kinabalu City before departure transfer to Kinabalu Park the next morning. Should climbers not be ready during the standard pick up time, a private transfer from Kota Kinabalu Hotels only no later than 1400hrs can be arranged with prior notice at MYR 300 per vehicle (Pick up at Kota Kinabalu International Airport is subject to surcharge).

For your shared transfer from Kinabalu Park to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu, after your climb you may have to wait for other climbers to descend the mountain before we bring you back. Our last shared transfer from Kinabalu Park to Kota Kinabalu departs at 1800hrs we keep waiting times to a maximum of 2 hours. Should you or other climbers not be ready to depart by 1800hrs a private transfer fee of MYR 250.00 must be paid by the late climbers.

Should you prefer to not wait for other climbers that day and have a private transfer for your return from Mt Kinabalu back to Kota Kinabalu City Hotels only this can be arranged at a cost of MYR 250.00 per vehicle. Please state which option you require upon booking. (Drop off at Kota Kinabalu International Airport is subject to surcharge).

Single supplement transfers are not classified as private transfers and are subject to the standard pick up times and private transfer charges stipulated. Should a single traveler with single supplement transfers not be ready to depart the park by 1800hrs, a private transfer fee of MYR 250.00 must be paid.

*** All rates under Road Transfers information are inclusive of 6% Goods and Services Tax.

Mandatory Briefing – for via Ferrata Activity

Should you wish to complete the Via Ferrata activity, there is a mandatory Via Ferrata briefing session that you must attend at Pendant Hut between 1500hrs – 1600hrs on your first ascend day. Do make sure you arrive at Pendant Hut and attend this briefing at the mentioned time as you will not be allowed to take part in the Via Ferrata activity the next day if you miss it.

Check out Time at Mountain Huts

For stays at Lamaing Hut, Laban Rata Resthouse, Gunting Lagadan Hut, Panar Laban Hut and Waras Hut at Panar Laban Plateau (mid-way accommodation on Mt. Kinabalu), please note that the check out time is at 1030hrs. A fee of MYR 50 per hour at Lamaing Hut and MYR 50 per half hour at Laban Rata Resthouse, Gunting, Panar, Waras Huts will be levied for late check outs and is to be paid directly to the Resthouse / Hut.

Your Mountain Guide

Your booking includes a private mountain guide for the Mt Climb, you will not have to share your guide with other climbers, this way you may climb at your own pace. However, during peak season, there may be a possibility that you would need to share your mountain guides with other climbers (maximum of 6 climbers to 1 Mountain Guide), should this happen we will refund the difference for the shared mountain guide accordingly and we ask that you stay with your Mountain Guide at all times.

The mountain guides are compulsory and are with you to keep you safe, ensure that you stay on the correct summit path and should visibility reduce due to rain or fog, ensure that you do not become lost or disorientated. Also should you need assistance or evacuation they will summon it for you. We have our own licensed mountain guides. However on occasion especially at peak times our own mountain guide may be with other climbers and it may happen that your guide can not speak English very well. Rest assured however all mountain guides that we use are fully licensed and are expert mountain guides and your safety remains their priority. Children 16 years and below require a 2:1 ratio of climber to mountain guide. Therefore a child surcharge will apply.

For the Via Ferrata activity, you will be sharing the Via Ferrata Trainer with other climbers who will be taking part in this activity (maximum 10 climbers to one trainer for BASIC level / maximum 6 climbers to one trainer for the ADVANCED level).

Climbing Conditions

The government authority of Sabah Parks will assess the weather conditions for your summit ascent in the early hours whilst you are at the rest house. Should they deem the summit to be unsafe due to strong wind, rain or storms they will not permit climbers to attempt the summit ascent. Should this be the situation there will be no refund in part or full for your climb.

Food

Full board meals are included for your trip and provided by the mountain operator. The food is basic and probably not what you are used to eating, mostly simple Asian buffet style with a packed lunch for your first day ascent. We suggest taking extra sources of food such as nuts and energy bars.

Water

Boiled water is available at your mountain hut. We suggest that you prepare yourself by ensuring that you have 2-3 litres of water at the beginning of your climb. Should you wish to re-fill your water container ensure that it can take very hot boiled water. Alternatively you can purchase mineral water at Laban Rata Resthouse for MYR 14.00 per 1.5 litre bottle.

Your Passport

Please remember your passport. It is required to validate your climbing permit applied for by us on your behalf.

Physical preparation for my Mt Kinabalu Climb.

Although you do not need to be super fit, you do need to be in good physical condition.

Here are some suggestions from the Alpine Guides Association:

  • A good amount of outdoor cardiovascular exercise  (power walking, cycling, running, mountain biking etc) and getting out for long days in the hills whenever possible is great preparation for your climb.
  • We recommend all climbers take cardiovascular sports at least twice a week, with each session being a minimum of 2 hours in duration at a medium intensity.
  • Fitness training should begin 2-3 months leading up to your trip, this way you should be well prepared.

Ensure you are medically fit too

It is recommended that all climbers should have themselves medically checked before attempting any mountain climb. If you have a history of suffering from the following ailments, it is highly recommend that you should refrain from climbing: Hypertension, Diabetes, Palpitation, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Severe Anemia, Peptic Ulcers, Epileptic Fits, Obesity, Chronic Asthma, Muscular cramps, Hepatitis (jaundice); or any other disease which may hamper the climb.

Packing List

You will not need your bikini ! Here is our suggested packing list.

With good preparation your mountain climb will be more enjoyable and packing plays a key role in preparation, we suggest you keep your backpack around 6kg in weight. This 6kg will feel like 16kg after 1 km !
To make your packing easier we have split the requirement into the climbing sections. Panalaban (waiting point in the local Dusun language) is the location of the overnight waiting huts.

Ascent from Timpohon Gate  (1800m) to Panalaban Plateau  (3,200m) 
Time: 1st Ascent 10:00 hrs – 15:00 hrs

Temperatures at Kinabalu Park range from 15°C to 24°C

Timpohon Gate along the Summit trail and up to Pana Laban range from 6°C-14°C and can reach 2°C.
  • Wear lightweight clothing and layer up so you can put on and take off the layers as you sweat. T-shirts & lycra sports wear are good options
  • Suitable walking / hiking boots with good angle support and a good grip. Training shoes can be worn if you do not have walking boots.
  • Waterproof backpack or buy a waterproof cover to keep items inside dry as the chances are it will rain at some point.
  • A small lightweight towel.
  • Refillable 1 – 1.5 litre water bottles that can take very hot water. (Most climbers need only about 2-3L to reach Panalaban).
  • High energy food such as chocolates, nuts, biscuits, sweets, energy bars.
  • Personal toiletries such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Change of clothes and extra socks for sleeping.
  • Waterproof jacket or disposable raincoat.
  • Note: Sleeping bags are provided. You must bring your own for stays at Pendant Hut.

 

Ascent from Panalaban Plateau  (3,200m) to Lows Peak Summit  (4,093m) 
Time: 2nd Ascent 02:00 hrs – Sunrise

The Summit itself is around 2°C but the wind chill can make it feel below freezing.

  • Waterproof wind breaker
  • Fleece jacket, long sleeves shirt or jumper, thick trousers/hiking trousers, thick socks and your hiking shoes
  • Head torch so that your hands are free to climb and hold onto the ropes when required.
  • Warm hat or balaclava mask.
  • Gloves, ideally waterproof.
  • Re-fill your water container with boiled water at the mountain huts OR buy mineral water. 2Ltr is enough for most people. There is no water available en-route from Panalaban to the Summit
  • Waterproof jacket or disposable raincoat.

Your overnight bag can be kept at your room without additional charges since you will return to the accommodation after the summit climb.

Additional general items.

  • Headache tablets or required medication
  • Toilet roll
  • Sunglass, sunblock lotion, SPF lip balm, plasters
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera with waterproof bag
  • Lightweight rubber sandals/slippers incase you do not want to wear your heavy boots at the accommodation.
  • Bags for wet clothes
  • Trekking/Hiking Pole

 

Extra Baggage & Porters 

There is a luggage store at the Kinabalu Park HQ reception area where you can safely leave any items not required for the climb, the rate is currently MYR 10.00 per case and subject to change.

Porters are available and can be organised at the KNP HQ. The minimum weight required is 10kg. Should your bag weigh less than 10kg, the charge will still be calculated based on 10kg. On average you can expect to pay MYR 100.00 per round trip Timpohon – Laban Rata – Timpohon for a 10kg bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

1Q. What happens if the weather prevents me from climbing, do I get a refund.

A. No. Unfortunately we are bound by the climbing operators T&C and there is no refund offered for climbs cancelled due to weather. Usually you will still manage to climb to the Panalaban Rata Rock Face at 3,200m which is still a great achievement. It will be the final ascent that may be cancelled due to poor weather and strong winds. You will only know this in the early hours of the morning when the mountain guides conduct their final environmental check. The policy is “Safety First”

2Q. What is the suggested time to begin my climb?

A. If possible, its a good idea to stay overnight at Kinabalu park the night before your climb. This way you avoid the 2 hour drive from KK to KNP the day of your climb and can begin climbing at your leisure. If you are unable to stay overnight at the park HQ the night prior then we will pick you up from your accommodation in KK City between 07:00 – 07:30 hrs. This means that you will begin your climb around 09:30 hrs.

3Q. Do you include insurance for the climb?

A. Basic Climber’s Personal Accident Insurance is provided by Sabah Parks who is a state governing body for national parks in Sabah. This covers accidents only between your ascent and descent from Timpohon Gate (the starting point & the Summit). Accidents that occur through climber negligence are not covered. In addition to this climbing insurance, you are advised to purchase personal injury and travel insurance prior to your trip as mentioned in our Terms and Conditions which covers for cancellation, lost money, personal baggage, medical coverage, trip interruption, emergency travel service and provides coverage for all incidentals.

4Q. Can i request an English speaking Mountain Guide ?

A. The mountain guides are compulsory and are with you to keep you safe, ensure that you stay on the correct summit path and should visibility reduce due to rain or fog, ensure that you do not become lost or disorientated. Also should you need assistance or evacuation they will summon it for you. We have our own licensed mountain guides. However on occasion especially at peak times our own mountain guide may be with other climbers and it may happen that your guide can not speak English very well. Rest assured however all mountain guides that we use are fully licensed and are expert mountain guides and your safety remains their priority.

5Q. Will i be sharing a Mountain Guide with other climbers that day ?

A. No, your booking includes a private mountain guide for your booking only, you will not have to share your guide with other climbers, this way you may climb at your own pace. Occasionally your pre-arranged mountain guide may be sick or unable to climb and we will then need to arrange another mountain guide at short notice. Sometimes then we will ask you to share a guide and we will refund you the difference between a private guide and shared guide. The mountain guides are compulsory and are with you to keep you safe, ensure that you stay on the correct summit path and should visibility reduce due to rain or fog, ensure that you do not become lost or disorientated. Also should you need assistance or evacuation they will summon it for you.

6Q. Are full board meals included ? 

A. Yes, full board meals are included for your trip and provided by the mountain operator. So for example per overnight stay you will enjoy 1 x Lunch, 1 x Dinner, 1 x Breakfast. The food is basic and probably not what you are used to eating, mostly simple Asian buffet style with a packed lunch for your first day ascent. We suggest taking extra sources of food such as nuts and energy bars.

7Q. Is water provided ?

A. En-route, there are rest stops with water tanks however water held in these tanks are not purified (un-treated) and taken directly from natural resources – Hence, we do not recommend drinking from them.

We would suggest bringing your own stock of 1 or 2 (1.5 litre) bottles of water per person on your ascent day. At Panalaban where you will have your meals during the climb, boiled water is available however this might not be suitable for some people. Therefore, as an alternative, mineral water is available to purchase at your own cost at around MYR 14.00 per 1.5 litre bottle.

8Q. What is the weather like at Mount Kinabalu ?

A. At Kinabalu Park HQ day time temperatures range from 20 – 26 degrees, night time 18 – 22 degrees. At Layang Layang (the halfway climb point) 15 – 20 degrees. At the Panalaban Plateau 8 – 12 degrees, on the summit around 2 degrees, however the windchill on the summit can make it feel quite a few degrees colder. Daily from around 11am the mountain tends to cloud over and rain can be expected, however the majority of the time the cloud & rain will have dispersed by around 5pm.

9Q. Do i need to bring my passport or will a copy of my passport be sufficient ? 

A. You must bring your passport, a copy will not be sufficient.

The following FAQ is specific for those climbers taking part in a Via Ferrata Activity which on many of our packages is optional.

Q1: Do I need to bring any additional equipment?

A. No. All technical & safety equipment is provided by Mt Torq.

Q2. Must I attend the Via Ferrata briefing at Pendant Hut ?

A. YES, if you wish to complete the Via Ferrata activity (either Walk The Torq or Lows Peak Circuit) you must attend the briefing which is conducted between 3pm to 4pm at Pendant Hut. If you do not attend this briefing you will not be permitted to complete the activity but you may still climb to the summit in the same way.

Q3. Where do I meet my Via Ferrata trainer for my Via Ferrata familiarisation when I arrive at Panalaban level?

A. Your trainer will be waiting for you at Pendent Hut between 3pm and 4pm for your familiarization session.

During the session, you will be:

  • Familiarised with the via ferrata equipment
  • Walked through an initial via ferrata practice round
  • Informed of the actual meeting point for your chosen activity and
  • Reminded of the cut off meeting time for your activity (7:00am–Low’s Peak Circuit, 7:30am–Walk the Torq)

Q4. Where is Pendant hut?

A. Pendant hut is located at 3,289m on the Panalaban Plateau rock face. When you arrive at the Laban Rata rest house, you will see Pendant hut on your right hand side perched above a rock path. Please refer to our Panalaban Plateau Accommodation page for more information.

Q5. What time will I start my climb ?

A. We highly suggest that you stay overnight at Kinabalu park the night before your climb. This way you can begin climbing at your leisure. If you are unable to stay overnight at the park HQ the night prior then we will pick you up from your accommodation in KK City between 07:00 – 07:15 hrs. This means that you will begin your climb around 09:30 hrs.

Q6. If i have booked the Via Ferrata climb because the standard climb is not available. Can i choose whether to complete the Via Ferrata activity during the briefing. 

A. Yes, we suggest that you attend the briefing to see how you feel after your accent and your comfort level to undertake the additional activity. Please note that there is no refund available for not completing the activity. Should you decide not to complete the Via Ferrata Activity you will descend using exactly the same route as the standard climb which is the same route you follow on ascent to the summit.