It was Friday morning, 5th June 2015...
I was at Hall 9, PICC listening to opening speech for ITS briefing from DOMS while my hand scrolling down the FB's timeline. My fingers stopped when i read the status of my friend at Facebook. Sabah was hit by earthquake, 5.9 scale ritcher at 7.15am. It hit Ranau and can be felt nearby areas.
First thing in my mind is how is my Tuaran friend? Is he and his family affected? I listened back to the briefing. However, once a while I checked on FB and Twitter to get more info. I tweeted to ask my friend's situation. All climbs are cancelled that morning. 100++ climbers stranded at the summit.
My heart broke! Ya Allah, dugaan apakah ini? Lawrance, Arnold, Jarod n another porter and mountain guide..our guide during our climbing during CNY, were they there at the summit? Are they safe?
Some might relate the earthquake with the uncivilised action by few climbers of being nude at the peak. Their actions has made the ancestors at the mountain aka Aki Nabalu angry for not being respected. For the Dusuns, the mountain is sacred.
One of the seven peaks at the mountain felt; the donkey's ears. The tremors has changed the surface. The trail will be different. Aki Nabalu will not be the same as the time i went there during CNY. Via ferrata might be just a dream to catch.
I feel sad for what had happened. Mount Kinabalu always has a special place in my heart. The experiences climbing it is one of the best experience in my life. The view, the mountain itself, the guides, the porters everything is so beautiful.
As i am writing this, the SAR (safety and rescue) team has found all the dead bodies. Most of them are school kids aged 12 from Singapore on their school trip. 4 are malim gunung aka mountain guide (2 Mountain Torq's are staffs and 2 are from Amazing Borneo's). How the bodies are found are so..horrified (i don't know the right word to describe. Forgive me). They were the heroes to some until their last breaths. You can read more on the news in internet.
Again, i am so sad of what had happened. The porters will be jobless for three weeks due to the closure of the Kinabalu Park.i am not sure how long will the authorities stop the climbing activity. To the future climbers of Mount Kinabalu, please respect the mountain. Please obey to the instructions given by your guide. Though you are an outsider but please at least learn the culture and beliefs of the locals.
I can't imagine if i am one of the stranded climber. 9 hours up there without any foods and drinks with some rains. Thanks to the unsung heroes which is the mountain guides, they agreed to bring them down. They helped the climbers to ensure that they reach Timpohon Gate safely. Honestly, i am not surprise at all because i still remember how our mountain guide treated us during our climb. Very patient and very kind. Only Allah could repay them.
My colleague asked me, do I dare to climb the mountain again. I said yes while smiling. The earthquake will not change my plan to visit Mount Kinabalu again. But i know being there will not be the same as it used to be. For now, Aki Nabalu can have its own time and sleep. Please don't be angry anymore.