Blog for 2009-07-01

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Undisputed King of the Mountains

Day 1 on Mount Kinabalu


The day began for a few lucky people (including myself) at 12:00 am. We awoke to the sound of altitude sickness (groaning and vomiting) by our fellow hostel mates. This brilliant wake-up was followed by a spectacular song of packing and talking at 2:30 am (probably from the same group) lasting until about 3:30 am. These fine people were preparing to climb the last two kilometers of the tallest peak in Borneo, something we will do in tomorrow’s blog. Speaking of which, I would like to point out (in case the blogger fails to do so) that I was triumphant in climb up to the hostel (6km) and took second on the last 2km (to Rindwan who left before me) up to the peak and have thus proven myself to be the undisputed king of the mountains.

Fortunately, the morning was not lost to the misfortunes of the night. The lodge had a fantastic breakfast of French toast, eggs and various other foods. Breakfast was followed by a beginning lecture on mountain ecology where we were able to learn some of the explanations for the differences in plants and animals at differing heights on the mountain. The lecture location was quite a treat; we were stationed on a wet slab of rock. A couple of us tried to climb the wet rock like spider-man and failed miserably. Near the end of the lecture we were challenged to find any animals or insects which proved somewhat difficult to do.

We were given the rest of the morning and early afternoon to explore the mountain. Most all made an attempt to explore (after some words from Cam). I myself decided to do some taxon work. However, in order to do this I needed to find a partner to accompany me. This proved surprisingly difficult considering how boring it is to sit with someone taking notes on ferns. So, to find a partner and still follow the rules, I bribed Molly with half a bar of Frutella. Problem Solved.

View from the hostel
Subekti (a course TF) gave her first ever course lecture on Rhododendrons in the later afternoon – it was a smashing success. The ended prompted a variety of questions including the changes in morphological characteristics across different environments. We finished off the night with an uneventful dinner and an early bedtime in order to prepare for the hike to the summit. Tomorrow’s blog should be very exciting!

Afterthoughts: Molly is Queen of the Mountains. Andrew is a troglodyte. Ross was grumpy.