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'Kota Belud trail' to Mt Kinabalu peak now opens

Kota Kinabalu: The second new trail to the summit of the 4,095m Mount Kinabalu called 'Kota Belud Trail' now open to climbers starting on Dec 9. The new trail which has been launched by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun with the flag-off involving the Mount Kinabalu Restoration Team, members of the media and climbers at the Timpohon Gate in Kinabalu Park that day.

The 1.1 kilometre trail will be the alternative route in addition to the 'Ranau Trail' which was opened to climbers in December last year. A total of 32,550 have climbed Mount Kinabalu since January to October this year, namely 14,502 Malaysian climbers and 18,048 international climbers. Sabah Parks hope that this new route will be a new attraction to climbers with a challenge as well as views of Mount Kinabalu from an angle different from the existing route.

Last year, Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin said part of the Kota Belud route utilised the original summit trail but avoided the rockfall areas following the June 5 earthquake in 2015. The magnitude 5.9 earthquake which triggered rock and boulder avalanches killed 18 and left over 150 people stranded in the summit plateau. The move to set up the Kota Belud trail as an alternative to Ranau trail was initially aimed at providing an emergency escape route for climbers in the event of any emergencies due to natural disaster.

(Source : Borneo Post, edited by : Sabah Parks)