Borneo, Malaysia, Wednesday 30/09

Today we attempt an ascent of the ‘The Pinnacles’. We started early as it has been known to take some groups a long time to complete, especially the descent. Left the camp at 0630 prompt. Trail begain to climb immediately. The track was well cutback, but lots of tree roots and limestone rock maybe going a little tricky. Told the distance to the top was only 2.4km, but with 1175m of ascent, it was steep all the way. This combined with high temperatures and humidity meant it was energy sapping stuff.

Made the ‘Mini-Pinnacle’ at about 900m ascent at 0820. Sally decided to turn back. We had to reach the ‘Via Ferrata’ by 1100 to have time to get down, but made it with some time to spare. The mixture of ladders, walkways and ropes ran from about 1.8km distance to the top and allowed us to scale the limestone outcrops that littered the area.

The jungle thinned to smaller scrub as we approached the top, but the heat did not abate much. Some scrambling skills and a descent head for heights were needed to get past the most difficult parts of the route. Several points provided us with hazy views across the jungle.

The Pinnacles

Me and the Pinnacles

Tired crew make the top of the Pinnacles

On the reach the highest point we were rewarded with views across the jagged limestone spikes that protruded above the trees, and then on to higher parts of the ridge. Our packed lunch tasted good after the climb and attracted a squirrel out of the trees.

Started the descent at 1130. Henry said one guy took 12 hours to get down after losing his bottle. Our was group was good  and it down in about 5.5 hours. Drunk all the 3 litres of water I was carrying well before the end. All in all I was pleased with myself given that I had both picked up a cold and cut my toe open the night before. The swim in the river when back at camp felt brilliant!

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