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Advance into the unknown at Mount Kinabalu. A travel report about Borneo

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Advance into the unknown at Mount Kinabalu

A travel report about Borneo

Chapter 1: The mystical mountain

They connect with the Southeast Asian island of Borneo Imagination of impenetrable, dark rainforests, where on a thousand Square kilometers comes a single village on the bank of a river. Because loses The imagination would much rather than rely as a single traveler on the Venture into adventure, lose yourself. Dreams should come true that shouldn't turn into nightmares. Thought and done! Man sees himself following a cool, damp path, up a mountain slope and a ravine descend. You catch the first different moods in be triggered when you discover the realm of shadows and greens, gets to know where the eye expects the light guides and the Look lost again in the crown area, to where the foggy one Moisture rises to immediately bead down again, floor up Floor to hang on to ferns or to soak up the moss that gives off the excess to small rivulets that are swampy seep away or grow into babbling brooks. You can still do it skip, rivers are wading across. They mostly flow flat wind around overgrown, slippery clay hills, tumble over rocky outcrops, Dead trees and roots that you have to climb over everywhere if you want to want to get away. Much musty, decaying - everything mortal becomes instant transformed and somehow lives on, but as a human you don't find any in it Consolation, but becomes one's own vulnerability and impermanence deliberately. In the large, inhuman forest, one becomes small and feels insignificant. And one is kept silent and becomes silent oneself. Nothing and nobody has anything to say to you. The jungle is quiet, then individual Animal noises, chirping, whistling, groaning, distant screams, no birdsong. Central European forests are flooded with light and appear busier and more friendlier. They have also long been visitor-friendly and forestry opened up. You don't last long cross-country, because you usually meet in any direction back onto a forest path. Human traces everywhere, even if it can only be recognized by the symmetry of the replanting. Humans have only left friendly animals in these forests. The Forests swarm with birds, which especially in spring a resounding concert organize.

All of that will be missed in the forests of Sabah, and you will understands very quickly why people from our cozy latitudes do this Described the forest as a green hell. Of course this forest isn't hell, however you have to approach it with great care and understanding, otherwise all will reverse what one has experienced in him as fascinating and enriching to a nightmarish permanent burden. Nothing that was beautiful and contemplative beforehand was, then still like. The beauties of the jungle have a thousand deserts Producers and beget a thousand wild offshoots that have long been overlooked and can pass. The fear, and even small missteps, wakes her up, and she claim the dedication with relentless severity. The great thing now creates a different resonance. The swaths of enthusiasm are long gone "Woe! Woe! "- shouts gave way to which the rustling of leaves condenses Has. One only wishes that the long night gives way to the light of day and that the smell of fire means human closeness.

You get into that with romantic ideas Woodland. The inhabitants still hunt half-naked with spears and collect for roots and plants unknown to us. And when the area is harvested, pulls the clan on to the next bend in the river.

And indeed it was at least in the western part of the city Island up until not so long ago mostly like this. In the still In rare villages today you can occasionally find old shotguns in the houses discover. A Joshua from the Lundaye tribe answered my question as to whether the locals because hunting is still approved by the Malaysian government would be that the authorities in the jungle were not present. That you are still with Hunting spears still applies to many natives, but to the tribes who do two generations ago or even earlier with so-called civilization who came into contact in the 19th century mainly from pirates shotguns have long been used. This is the precursor to achieving the Prosperity, if you mean with hunting the food or at least the profit still to have to enrich.

You can see for yourself if you look at most of the large families or the clans in the longhouses of Sarawak or the stayed in high huts in the villages of Sabah. And yes, quite There are also wild savages. But they'll start soon have to greet visitors in shorts and blue jeans.

But not everyone is dedicated to hunting anymore Heads of family in this state of Malaysia. There are many immigrants meanwhile, Chinese and Malays who have never hunted.

The residents of Sabah, the Malaysian state, the do not belong to Indonesia, like most of Borneo, have one outstanding feature. You are about to meet the rest of the residents of Malaysia in To overtake progressiveness and education. That would be the Muslim Malays still deny. What they cannot question, however, is that one Most of Sabah's indigenous people are nominally Christian. In this part of the Island evidently the missionaries had their successes. And they came in the 20th Century from Germany. In the 19th century, Sabah was even close to to become a German colony. The Sultan's moderate selling price was however, the German government for a fever-infested Jungle landscape too high.

The guns of the Borneo locals are not the problem the government. The Christians of Sabah are the thorn in the flesh. Malaysia is a Islamic state and, like other Islamic states, also pursues a restrictive policy towards non-Muslims, especially towards Christians. According to the Malaysian Constitution forbids Malaysians to join other religions convert. The natives of Sabah were never Muslims, but before the European missionaries came, animists. They lived dependent on the Forces of nature and worshiped the old gods in order to make nature better in the To get a grip. So one was wise enough to deal with the personified To want to care for the causers of nature. The God of Christians brought the undeniable advantage of having sole power within himself. He was Creator God, so lord of nature, and also something about nature belongs to it, Lord of life and death.

The Malaysian constitution also restricts that Spread of non-Muslim religions. Muslim political Parties, the ruling and opposition Muslim parties, see theirs Task in promoting and protecting Islam. As a result, the Islamic Influence on society increased and it felt right to others To suppress influences. That there are non-Muslim minorities to be disadvantaged is a matter of course. But "Islam" also means "submission" and between submission and oppression there is a logical one Continuation context. For one thing, there will be Islamization campaigns staged, for the other discrimination campaigns. Through appropriate Propaganda and actions up to the use of force become conscious and unabashed fueled ethnic unrest that could further spread or unfold Christians are supposed to prevent them because they are supposed to threaten the Islamic Society.

Christian converts experience the worst persecution since every ethnic Malay is considered a Muslim. Anyone who deviates from it Not only is it against the Constitution, but it is also against the Constitution Society as a whole and of course against the family and neighbors. That can not be tolerated. This is where Malaysia differs from no other Islamic State. Own family members become murderers, not the Respect freedom of belief.

There are Catholics and Methodists on Sabah, as well many Protestant free churches that are more strongly opposed because of their Missionaries are considered more successful. The government and the authorities are supported by their anti-Christian efforts are not supported by the Malaysian people left alone. On the one hand, the Muslim population only lives that Believe as their imams represent, and that means being with Christians does not have to be friendly if you do not benefit from it. On the other hand, it benefits from the government's funding policy. Muslims, i.e., Malay, are first class citizens, are Christians, i.e., non-Malay Second class citizen. The natives of Sabah, who are predominantly Christians, are third class citizens. For example the large tribal group of Bumiputra, the "sons of the soil". Or the Kadazan-Dusun, the Bajau and Murut.

Since the very own population has made great strides in the Education and prosperity and that in connection with Christianity is brought, one accuses the Christians of a conspiracy that Islam from Malaysia. This is also a common phenomenon in Islam. The idea that your own failures must be due to conspiracies.

On the Malaysian mainland, the Malays are also “sons des Boden ", which is why it is used in housing, schools as well other government projects are preferred. But towards the indigenous Sabahs, in line with the constitution, is more likely to pursue the policy “We are Malay the Putra, the sons who rule over the Bumi, the soil. "These Like the idea: Muslims who are above Christians? Or rather on trample them around? The reality in Sabah is more indicative of the latter.

I've lived in Indonesia's part of the island of New Guinea for years later made the same observations and the same reports from Heard by locals. There, too, the natives became Christians. Also Since then, they have made great strides there and register their rights under the Suspicion of the Muslim government, which does nothing if the Muslim Indonesians dispelled their aversion through pogroms. By the way this happens under the complete disinterest of the West and the UN. Man believes that Christians are allowed to be fair game while opposing Israel endlessly Drafts resolutions. It is enough if any Palestinian from If an Israeli was allegedly disadvantaged, then there will be a charge across the board.

What can be said of the Palestinians applies to them Residents of Sabah not to. You don't want to fight the "occupiers" or terrorize or even wipe out, they just want to be left alone and have a chance to make their way in Malaysia's society, like everyone else other Malays. However, that is not the case either with the Constitution or with Islam arrange.

For the residents of Sabah, the jungle and his do not harbor them Climate and the wild animals the dangers and hardships, but the handling and the treatment by the Muslim Malays.

From all of this, tourists get, who are only after nature Sabah come, nothing with me. The residents are predominantly apolitical and will Do not start out on your own, about politics or the harassment and Talking about discrimination against the authorities. They come to theirs Exploring nature, hiking through forests to waterfalls and lakes, swimming in rivers, look out for exotic birds and butterflies, visit the orangutan reintroduction station in Sepilog or the proboscis monkeys in Kinabatangan. Maybe you want to feel this peculiar atmosphere in Expose a jungle ambience where you expect one of the rare Elephants running over the jungle path or one of the even rarer ones Shows rhinos in the thicket. At most you travel to the Primeval forest villages to get an impression of the original. That was not different with me.

And then finally, to top it off, the trip to Mount Kinabalu with its towering height. They move up to the clouds Clouds of mist high up on its steep slopes, completely forested. Down there hummingbirds and parrots buzz through the branches, mammals sneak around either do not want to be hunted by predators or to the hunters themselves belong. The vegetation of the soil grows bigger than anywhere else. The moss swallows the sounds, the beard lichen and epiphytes scatter the remains and form also a curtain that filters the light. They also grow in this biotope Ground dwellers larger than anywhere else: amphibians, insects and worms with amazing proportions.

A world of its own, some in a lost paradise an as yet undiscovered island, makes others think of a found hell. It but it is an uncomfortable, damp world if you are not in a hut sit by an open fire with a cup of tea in hand.

And you will often sit alone with a local because Sabah is not overrun. Sabah is a little bigger than Bayern has but the difference is a 1,400-kilometer coastline with many unused Sandy beaches and diving sites. Sabah is because of its location south of the Pacific typhoon belt "negeri di bawah bayu", the country under the wind ”. A place of rest? We will see!

My plan in the Malaysian part of Borneo was first that To climb Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, second the Asian one Spotting great apes in the woods and thirdly a blooming rafflesia Find. I did not succeed in the latter, although I made some effort undertook. As a consolation, I rewarded myself with a dive in the coral reefs off the coast of Sabah. But I needed this relaxation from another Reason. There was this mission in Low’s Gully. But one after anonther.

Of all the lands of Borneo, Sabah seemed to me that northernmost province of Borneo to be the most interesting. It has density impenetrable forests and coral reefs, but above all one of the strangest elevations in the tropical latitudes, Mount Kinabalu which may not have more legends than other majestic ones Summit of this earth. However, one does not seem to be so sure here that they are not true when one is in the country for some time. Maybe that's because of it the aura with which this mountain seems to surround itself and the whole surrounding area. Man thinks she can feel it, and if one examines what is still imprecisely sensed, one realizes that there are actually still secrets and There are peculiarities that no one has yet revealed. And you are already wondering whether this is not necessarily a task that the curious adventurer and ludicrous Researcher should indulge. And if he thinks he's already on a useful one Having encountered a track, he suddenly realizes that even a new challenge has been added. In a sense, you are on your own behalf and have to where it is not possible to get to the bottom of it, get so much closer that you can at least go home with a good feeling. Between Demand and reality - that's where the adventure lies.

And that's what this story is about, which is very real and but it is very strange. Is it strange? That would take someone certain worthiness, which is more likely to be left to the judgment of the reader must become. After all, this story will show that the People who are normally little challenged in their everyday life to pursue ordinary activities, to surpass oneself, if it have to be. New situations challenge people's intellectual potential, especially when it comes to somehow having to prove oneself. you require to be treated in a special way, and man has that Chance to move from reacting to acting until he has everything under control. Whether it then slips away from him again is a different matter. But at least he would like to can say: “So far, so good!” And nature, which humans do not always do under control, often has an important say. That is true especially in Borneo, the western and northern parts of which are far more natural is as the Indonesian.

The infrastructure is still at the end of the twentieth Century not advanced so far that all native villages would be connected to each other by drivable paths. Still there vast forests. Especially the area around the Kinabalu massif is closed Still at the end of the twentieth century, to which this story takes place largely undeveloped.The status of a national park can protect. Centuries Researchers, explorers and adventurers were drawn to the search for a long time Exotic and extraordinary come here. There were always only a few who did everything were at the same time, for this they also drove trade, if necessary or out of calculation, To reach your goal. Many left the country again without reaching their destination to have come. Others have come who weren't looking for adventure but bring their understanding of civilization with them. They are all about that Business. As a result, nature is “cultivated” and everything that is attached to it Natural beauties and peculiarities still cast a spell over travelers today serves as a livelihood for the traditionally living natives, will be destroyed become. You can buy something with money, but not with nature, unless you turns them into money. A precarious closeness between money and nature becomes established, with which in the long run maybe only the weaker one goes down. It's the Muslim Malays and the enterprising Chinese, for whom nature is only beautiful in connection with money. You too give nature a special treatment. But with them it's special treatment. This is a prejudice that I have unfortunately found confirmed all too often. And the increasing destruction of forests certainly does not refute it. One must not be a prophet to say that the forests of Borneo are doomed will fall victim to.

I first toured Borneo before I was up for a few more weeks the Malaysian mainland. The observations were that same. The people I met in the civilized part of the country had everywhere a rather reserved, if not to say indifferent, relationship to Nature. Exceptions seemed to confirm the rule rather than many exceptions did not exist and most of them lived by being exceptions. A park ranger Kinabalu National Park is not going to encourage deforestation of primary forests get excited. I'm by no means sure if his a few dollars Preference could not help and reveal his cool pragmatism. Man just have to tell a modern Asian his price.

The Kinabalu is said to be the youngest non-volcanic Mountain of the world. The name is derived from Aki Nabalu. That's what they call indigenous Dusun the venerated place of the dead. Other peoples hold that Summit of the high mountains for the throne of the gods, with the Dusun it is Noticeable desire to have their deceased as far away from the village as possible to know inaccessible heights. If it's not heaven, it should at least not be the underworld to which mortals are closer. The The idea of ​​Dusun is understandable and testifies to practical thinking. you but also shows that the Dusun are not a mountain people. When you go to the Kinabalu When you see it for the first time, you think you understand that there is no Volk felt so comfortable to move his residence further up. Mountain peoples only move slowly up through valleys anyway. Leisurely there is no at Kinabalu.

The sight of the mountain is quite the opposite awesome. If its summit then also from an army of clouds is besieged, and that is mostly the case, then one keeps the belief of Dusun to the dwelling place of faded spirits is no longer so absurd. I when approaching from the coast, I could very well imagine what the first white, Captain Edward Belcher of the Royal Navy may have thought of as he in front of Kota Kinabalu, today the capital of the province, at the same time next to Kuching the main port city in Malaysian West Borneo, the mountain for the first time became prudent. It's just 90 kilometers from the coastal city. The Foreland is flat. The massive mountain rises out of the tropical forest majestically 4,200 meters into the sky, suddenly it rises almost threatening steep up. Since he is free, he sees all the more powerful and bigger out. It is actually the northernmost extension of the ever lower than the 2,000 meter high Crocker Range. To the north of it, the terrain flattens out again off to pathless jungle that ends after 50 kilometers at the South China Sea.

The Kinabalu lies, rather it stands there like a giant. As like this he shows himself far and wide and does not hide like other high mountains behind foothills and foothills, as if too posh to be seen at any time demonstrate. In itself he represents a majesty, a sovereign, as if he were one Testimony to self-confidence, as if he imagined himself to be in his optical proximity but physically inaccessible. High mountains “know” that the short dwell time of the few who come close to them is like a breath that quickly evaporates. And in addition, people who previously thought a lot of themselves will be affected by the laborious and often dangerous upward movement, mostly meek and humble. A mountain can take that.

There is still no convincing explanation as to why Animism is so common among people. Mountains, rivers and others objective inanimate accumulations of matter have no life of their own and nobody can invoke the natural sciences if he wants to say that Trees have a soul. And yet there are people who are convinced and many others who do not believe it, but often do not believe it To avoid the impression that there is still a world beyond gross sensory perception. A world of fine sensory perception. But unfortunately we don't have any fine sense organs, or at least we do not practice skillful use, that we know a lot about their existence. Where does this impression come from when he has no real, material cause?

Even if you don't believe that mountains have a soul, so therefore one does not know for a long time whether they are a completely mind-free zone. There are a lot that influences our thinking and feeling, which is not or not yet with can be measured by our measuring instruments. Whether it is atmospheric vibrations called or aura or electromagnetism or any other way, that lifts that Phenomenon in and of itself does not arise as long as the cause has not yet been found has gone. The human mind has a wide spectrum of self-activity. But there are causes for his actions that were not born in himself.

Borneo has always evoked adventurous associations: unexplored jungle, green hell, wild native tribes, hiding places of Pirates, strangely enough sunken temple cities, which probably never existed there, instead raging rivers, imponderable swamps, rare animals, many still to be discovered Natural wonders. One thinks less of high mountains.

The sight of this tall one hit me all the more surprising Mountain, which was so incredibly high that you couldn't even see its summit. All around the sky was uncovered, only the Kinabalu had its head hidden. Immediately one feels the attraction to look behind this curtain of clouds. I was yes Not hampered by the scary notion of the locals that there the spirits of the dead dwelt above. This cloud cover demanded the Curiosity out in a way that is just as irrational as the admirers of the Keep dead spirits away from the mountain out of awe. Reason is always very good clever, but not always in demand! She can also get her reference a fragile reason why one could aim so high, save up. It's easy to look up a picture in a book that shows the showing cloud-free summit. But pictures only show a snapshot that Things change. And so the spirit often says to the soul: “What are you like restless in me, soul! ”And does not notice that he is also the restlessness with her and is preparing to do something about it.

The Kinabalu usually has nothing but rocks and rocks up there to offer bad weather. The temperatures rarely drop below zero Degree, but it feels like in connection with the strong wind and the Precipitation extremely uncomfortable freezing temperatures. Then it hardly lets itself in imagine a more inhospitable place. No wonder the locals still do never felt like visiting their ancestors. You are practical thinker. It were of course whites who got to the top first. That means you can actually just guess, because even today you won't find a Dusun who's about or his ancestors claimed there was a preference for climbing the Kinabalu among the locals or there ever would have been. He sees yes not only aloof, he is too. He's a steep boulder that vertically rejects any hesitant attempt. If you want to get to the top, you have to go climb anyway. Is there anything more nonsensical than with a lot of effort somewhere to go up when one has to go down again with as much effort without being did some important business upstairs?

Already the Arab traveler Ibn Batuta had in the 14th Century called the Kinabalu as the "Great Mountain of Clouds". He wrote: “Black clouds form at the foot of the mountain, which are raised by the sea winds to be driven…". The Kinabalu, like any great mountain, creates its own Climate. Because it stands so free and from sea level from a hot and humid climate protrudes, it is particularly prone to violent cloud formation.

Hugh Low was the first to attempt the summit in 1851 to reach. Nowadays, at least the journey to the foot of the mountain is not Problem. Back then you had to struggle through the jungle and was dependent on the help of the locals. Low achieved that too Summit plateau. There are, however, several peaks that keep a secret from it make, which is the highest now. The tallest among them will though Today it is called "Low's Peak", but Low did not climb it, although he did easiest to climb of all Kinabalu peaks. That's probably why. Low had other worries after arriving at the top. He had porters from the Kadazan tribe, who felt increasingly uncomfortable in the supposed Sanctum Sanctorum Ancestors. The offerings, according to tradition, did not help either a place below the summit plateau, which is now known as Panar Laban : white chickens, rice, betel nuts, sireh and tobacco leaves.

A few years later, Low came back. This time he had his friend St. John there. He lacked the appropriate one for that Equipment. When one can climb over slippery rocks, wade through rivers and Having to fight through the tangle of vegetation in the jungle, you need at least sturdy shoes. The two didn't have that, at some point they went barefoot, which was made difficult because of the bubbles. Eventually Low had to give up. Be Freund went on and reached the same spot with a few helpers the summit plateau as in the past Low.

The massive block throws such a shadow that everything is around it around looks dwarfed.

The Kinabalu is a world of its own, maybe one too Underworld for itself. He is prominent in every way. That's why he is to be seen on the national flag of Sabah. The Kinabalu has long been the focus of the national park of the same name, which covers 745 km². He has many special features to offer. I would meet some of them in the future. The park is at an altitude of 150 meters, which means that it includes all vegetation zones has, from the tropical lowland rainforest up to the alpine zone. So you can make a long journey within a day - botanically speaking - and smell more than 6000 types of plants, visibly differentiate you can't do them all. As many species as there are in the Kinabalu it does not in North America and Europe together. But it doesn't rain that much there and it's not that warm either. Cambridge University Professor Corner said the park has the richest and most remarkable collection of plants in the world World. He was employed at the Singapore Botanical Gardens in the 1940s and led several excursions to the Kinabalu in the 1960s. He should so know it.

The main attraction of the park, however, remains the mountain itself. Nowadays it is much easier to climb than in the times of Lows or Enriques, when you had to laboriously find your way through the dense vegetation, which reaches up to an altitude of about 3700 meters. You have one for a long time Path laid out under the rocky summit structure. From there it goes over Ladders and fixed ropes are exhausting, but technically not difficult, the last 800 Altitude meters up to the summit. Before that, you can rest in a mountain hut and strengthen. You don't need to go outside like the previous aspirants to the summit camping or for the multi-day company the corresponding amount Bring food and equipment with you. Anyone who is reasonably fit can do it Ascent, if the altitude as such does not bother him too much. After all, you have to conquer 4000 meters in altitude in two days. This is for everyone Circulation a burden. The organ of thought even says this as immediate Affected. There is a good chance you know altitude sickness from personal experience to learn.

But the biggest problem is the weather, because that's like all high, free-standing mountains unpredictable. It used to take one Expedition to get that far up. Today one stamina is enough is only slightly above the average willingness to torture oneself. And Serious problems only arise in adverse conditions. But that's everyone who has been to the mountains before. An inviting mountain landscape becomes extremely inhospitable when the weather changes. But who does it anyway to the company if the weather doesn't cooperate? The only problem is then, to be accommodated in the refuge as soon as possible.

You can see how much the mountain has lost its horror also because of this: a climbathon has been held every year since the 1980s. The competitors run to the summit and back in a few hours. The normal mortal needs two days, because on the first day he reaches Panar Laban Hut climbs to 3344 meters and only sets off for the summit at night, to experience the sunrise there the next morning. For a one-day Tour you wouldn't do your knees any favors, especially since you mostly still do planning further activities afterwards, in which you can work your legwork needed. So that no customer gets lost, the guide is more of an obligatory companion Boy Scouts as useful to anything else.

The local Kadazan and Dusun live around the mountain as long as you can remember. It is telling that it is with them there is no climbing tradition. Also in the European Alps were In the 19th century the locals did not climb high mountains. There were British sportsmen who began conquering the useless. The Locals certainly had more important things to do than their lives for a species To risk “gaining prestige”. You get such unusual thoughts probably only after the steam train was invented. There is still very many contemporaries who, basically, with dangers associated, climbing a high mountain cannot make much sense. And there are just as many who cannot contradict them. In fact because they have never been high up themselves. When you've been up you know that the up and down is a profound human experience that it enables one to be better at everything that goes up and down in life cope with. But what the locals can't resist at Kinabalu either Myth-building was also an exercise of people who were not undivided is thought to be evocative. Also wrongly. It always makes sense to yourself to hold on to something. Even a stumbling mountaineer reaches for you Straw when he can't get hold of anything better! But often there is also here something real behind it, straws are real like hemp ropes, but they are suitable less than a lifeline.

People's beliefs are very real. The Kinabaluesen share with many peoples of the world the belief in a special species of Gods who distinguish them from the rest of the gods. While the last named, those gods with whom they are familiar, because they make sacrifices to them every day and they make sacrifices for their personal fate blame, there is still a class of gods that is very old and almost forgotten. You can see that in the stories that you are still told about them, mostly origin stories. Here closes also the circle with the stories of creation of the high religions.

There is Kinohiringan and his female counterpart Umunsumundu, who already shared the work, because Kinohiringan created the airspace and the clouds in it, Umunsumundu, however, will be considered the causer of the earth seen. Apparently the Kinabaluesen also went away in the distant past from the fact that the complex is something even more complex and not something less complex must have been created. They made creator gods for responsible for the creation of the world, not blind chance and the unintentional matter as modern humans practice.And they knew even the names of these polluter gods.

In addition, the Kinabaluesen were so smart that they knew that the unreachable, expansive sky was not the main interest of people, but the earth, at least as long as you are still with both feet on her. So they made the cinema hiringan jealous when he saw what his godess had created, because you are not allowed to forget that the earth was not desolate, but filled with all kinds of living things and landscapes that are pleasant to look at. That was something! For your To calm the man of the gods, the goddess of creation re-modeled the earth. There it also seems to have built in mechanisms that ensure nothing more works perfectly and smoothly. With that, Kinohiringan has closed his satisfaction every reason to believe that heaven is the is a more perfect place than the earth and people are also allowed to accept that, because they are imperfect beings themselves who want to go to heaven wherever it is known to be nicer and where, above all, no longer worked so hard must become. They should not stop on the Umunsumundu earth.

What Umunsumundu on the occasion of the reduction measure Mount Kinabalu was also created as the last retreat of the originally majestic, a small throne as an image for the heavenly throne. The goddess couldn't help but remember, a reminiscence of better ones Times to get.

There is a similar story from Sri Lanka. Over there a similarly outstanding mountain, the Adams`s Peak, that of pilgrims of three Religions being climbed. It is the Muslims who believe that God is Adam wanted to make more bearable when he drove him out of the Garden of Eden by he left him near the mountain in the middle of a paradisiacal landscape enthroned. Since there were no Muslims in Sri Lanka before the 7th century, and it only became known as a power in Malaysia from the 12th century onwards are, I rather trust the Kinabaluesen that they are with this story have started. Muslims could then transfer them to Sri Lanka and have remodeled.

Anyway, the fact is there were enough people who were so impressed by both mountains and the nature around them, as one could wish for the people who live in these areas today occupancy. In Sri Lanka, unfortunately, has the importance as a religious pilgrimage center the clear excess weight. It is not about nature conservation, but religious Self-discovery or enlightenment. But what else is there in humans? enlighten when he has destroyed the nature around him? May a religion who do not care about creation are taken seriously? Even that Darwinism has put it in the family book that it doesn't care what is out of it Orangutan and the rafflesia will, because only survives in evolution Fittest. That is the religion that must approve of the biodiversity has no value, because if one species manages to outdo everyone else, is she right about that. The god of evolutionists is the cockroach, for them will all survive!

The fact is that they are arrested in their natural religion The remaining Kinabaluesen had no religiously disguised summit ambitions. Maybe they just didn't think they were worthy enough. That would be a Indicate humility that goes well with the idea of ​​preserving nature would, but not for their exploitation. The English did not have any Concerns. The first summiteers don't always seem very honorable to have acted, even if they pretended to be up for fame want. There is little credit for being hostile to competitors and at it To lack gratitude towards the local mountain guides. The more sporty attitude that camaraderie is more important than the summit victory, was only introduced into the new movement upwards by the Alpine inhabitants and cultivated.

It was the British John Whitehead who first appeared on the in 1888 Mount Kinabalu. He had Kadazan porters with him. Without that traditional sacrifices to appease any ghost - if only you own worried mind - it did not expire. There is one on the summit plateau Place, a depression in the rock that was traditionally used as a sacrificial site. Kadazan have been animists for centuries and have also been nominal Catholics do not give up their superstitions. Whitehead was also the first to join added a collection of native animals. In those days you weren't out to preserve nature, but to show it off and to exploit. That is why the animals were allowed to be dead. And so they led Researchers also always have an arsenal of stuffed and mummified animals or dried plants with.

When I first saw the mountain in the distance, I knew not much about him. It was clear that he was me, the climber and Would be an irresistible attraction for jungle hikers. But he did that on one strange manner that unsettled me and at the same time curious made, namely as if the initiative lay with him and as if there was something what I still absolutely had to find out without me now suspected something of it. It was a strange feeling that crept into me, that crept into me but was not entirely alien. There was something to do, it was imminent it had to be done, it was something extraordinary with an unknown outcome and with an undeniable risk potential. There may not be anything to it win only lose! I didn't know what. Everything was still in the Dark. It offered a threat to the leisurely, civilized ones Way of life. There was the prospect of a daring foray into the unknown. And that's why the pulse rushed at the idea of ​​not just being able to do it but actually doing it. That was probably the "Explorer mode" that is now was retrieved. It was not activated for a long time, but was fed by countless numbers Taking note of adventurous endeavors that others had undertaken more or less dreamy reflections and saved hearted Resolutions with immature plans for someday. How daring and how uncertain it would be! Had I known that, I'd be in a sweat of fear Help rushed so I could abseil in front of a company, its Requirement to be as well versed in the art of abseiling as in that The art of high wire would have made me think hard. But you don't live in subjunctive!

Now it was my turn. It was inevitable. D-day expectation, Zero hour resolution, taking note of the fallen die, a real adventure knocked, demanded entry into the otherwise deliberate life that was just in again had arrived at a leisurely pace. And different than back then in Egypt, when I dutifully refused to accept the plan that a few antique dealers were trying to do came up, I decided this time to go on the adventure to allow me to let it happen, to let me got involved.

Oh, with an adventure you never really know what you get involved! That it is like opening Pandora's box who thinks on that already! But what had to be done had to be done to keep calm to get. Because an adventurer always carries the latent "One day I will ..." with himself around. That day had now come.

Not quite. I got to grips with the environment first familiar. The reception center of the national park is located in the middle of the mountain rainforest at about 1500 meters and offers a beautiful view of the in good weather higher regions of the mountain. But since then I've been to the park except for a few Kilometers the serpentines had approached, was nothing at all to see him. A dark wall of cloud had built up, a veil of Water vapor had almost settled on the treetops. It The only thing missing was for it to start raining.

I expected it, but made the first explorations through the rainforest after I moved into my quarters. There are created Paths that give visitors a glimpse of the lush on circular courses To provide mountain rainforest vegetation. Apparently it had recently already rained extensively, because the vegetation was oozing wet and the paths were slippery. However, the streams weren't muddy. The water flowed clear. A clear sign that it couldn't have rained much. Should this unfriendly moisture is the normal condition on the mountain?

Because of its exposure, Kinabalu is a mountain of fog and clouds. And of course the rain. That makes the area more inaccessible, however also more mysterious. When a rainforest is in its element, it works repellent and one looks for protection under a shelter. Pull through one Mountain forest fog you also get difficulties with orientation.

A mountain rainforest has a special characteristic Beard lichens, ferns, mosses and epiphytes all do their part to make the special Backdrops that contribute to the imagination of storytellers and Story writer encourages. Whether so also the magicians, elves, trolls and Forest spirits have arisen? Just through too much imagination? Rather not. The The scenery in the mountain rainforest of Kinabalu changes constantly. There is still sunshine just now, the next moment a cloud, a wisp of mist, moves through the forest, who perceives one as a damp, cold breath.

The world of clouds and fog is fascinating, even if it isn't other than botanical or zoological secrets. And treasures! Medical useful plants that cure cancer and other nasty diseases - and certainly one or the other valuable rock vein under the moss layer. Perhaps the natives up here had theirs somewhere long ago King set a tomb that has long been overgrown.

I didn't feel called to be the treasure hunter. On One hundred serious treasure hunters come along and find something worth mentioning. The relationship is not promising enough for me. I had one as a child Eye cast on explorers like Stanley or an archaeologist like Carter. But reason intervened and noted that it was the sources of the Nile no longer to be discovered and pharaohs tombs only after years Open excavation campaigns - if at all. Although I looked at a lot close by to make sure I was right and it doesn't work for me there was work to do, what justified the effort. Alone, the reassurance never succeeded right, the restlessness remained, the desire to plan something that no one had done before had, on a small scale, in private, almost for my own amusement. But it stayed mostly doing the planning.

As I walked through this cool cloud forest not far from the Visitor Stomping into the center, I wasn't aware that I was very close to one still unexplored corner of this earth, on which no one has set foot Had set.

That sounds spectacular, but it wouldn't actually be if I didn't mean a specific place to which I was still heading speak will come. What is interesting about forest areas is that there are some There are angles that are still undiscovered, but which are not particularly different from one another distinguish. That is why some people are drawn to the woods. You are constantly searching according to the indistinguishable. Others on mountains, because that's why there are too among the mountaineers those with a thirst for research who are not satisfied with to stand on a summit that others have already been to. It has to be A new ascent or at least a new route, a new wall, another one unprecedented tour.

Everything you do is something new for you themselves. And the tours are given names, which draw conclusions about the resourcefulness of the Allow namesake. I did not have such claims. The new stimulates until one is fed up. And then the search for the next new one begins. Here can the enthusiasm for what you are doing can very quickly go to zero. A All it takes is a fall, a twisted ankle, a bite from a reptile. A little Error in finding the way or in assessing the weather situation. In these Forests that are pervaded by wafts of mist and only rarely used paths have, one also loses orientation when one closes wanders lost in thought.

It is advisable to always have a compass with you. What the climber the altimeter, which he needs more often for orientation than for Reading the altitude is the jungle trekker's compass. Knowing where the sun is is not enough, since a deviation from the course by only a few degrees that Misses the target by far. There are no others in the dense forest Distinguishing features, the distinctive trees are not where you have them wanted. One then becomes acquainted with a sudden shock when you realize that you really don't know where you are at the moment. And you get the uncomfortable feeling that you are in trouble is serious in nature.

Once I had to sleep over it for a night before I got on tried to find out where I was next morning. A night in the jungle can be very uncomfortable. She is definitely uncomfortable if you are not properly equipped. At night all are snakes too gray, but unlike big cats, they are attracted to warmth. Experienced jungle campers stay in hammocks for a reason. The thought Sleeping in a hammock in the Kinabalu Forest would by no means be been tempting. But most of the time you are engaged in other mind games than those about what might happen. The Kinabalu Forest offers many Suggestions for completely different considerations.

In my case at Kinabalu, for example, it was about consider whether, as a designer, one single functional part of the here could omit numerous pitcher plants or fly traps without endanger the nutrition of the plants. I came to realize that it was was excluded. These highly intelligent constructions were mousetraps far superior, but the basic principle was the same, the trap had that Purpose to catch and therefore it was built the way it was built. No Component was superfluous, each highly functional. If this plant species by Should evolution have come about, then it had to be all from the beginning these parts as functioning components for the purpose of the functioning of the Have had whole. So there was only a small left for the variability Scope, for example for color or size variations. I found many and also other plant communities that caught my attention. Just no rafflesia, the largest of all flowers - and maybe that most foul smelling. If I had already discovered one at Kinabalu, I would be sitting now not here to write this story. So it happens sometimes, a flower a little plant changes the course of the tide.

The Kinabalu area is a meeting place for various people Plant genera that can also be found in the Himalayas, China, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and even America. Especially in the zone over 1200 meters, exactly where I was for my excursion. Below dominated the Dipterocarpacea tree species that bloom in the park all year round. To There is a wide variety of crops that the area is also suitable for Makes natives attractive. Rambutan, mango, durian, figs as Cosmopolitans, but also regionally specialized types of fruit such as taraps (Artocarpus odoratissimus), which is similar to jackfruit and Mawang (Mangifera pajang) that tastes like mango. Palms and ginger species are common (Zingiberaceae), of which the most common Etlingera elatior, the on Markets across Malaysia being sold. And bamboo, which goes far into the higher Zones grows. Over 52 species of palm and 30 species of ginger can be found in the park. There are also six types of bamboo. They belong to the climbing plants. The rattan has it Made it to our apartments.

These are also characteristic of the cloud forests on the Kinabalu Ferns. The Kinabalu has more fern species than all of Africa, namely 608 registered. You can find them in all vegetation zones of the park. Tree ferns, Shrub ferns, shadow ferns, light ferns, thicket ferns, epiphytic ferns and Summit plateau ferns. And everywhere there are the nest ferns (Asplenium nidus), that take root on tree stumps and branches. And orchids! Kinabalu is Orchid domain! The botanist couple Beaman estimated the population of over 1000 species, including some like the Paphiopedium rothschildianum, which can only be found here. Their flowers are twelve inches apart and look like that Outstretched arms of the local Dusun dancers when they do their Sumazau dance To run. The orchids are very diverse in their appearance. The Coelogyne species hang like collars from the branches of the trees. The Kinabalu is a world travel destination for orchid lovers. The locals also know what is not necessarily conducive to conservation. Fortunately most of them are Orchid species rather inconspicuous and small.You can't do that from Rafflesia say when it blooms.

The Rafflesia, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the Founder of Singapore, is the largest flower in the world. The fourteen kinds of Rafflesia are very rare. You can only find them in Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand the Philippines, Java and Sumatra. Two species (R. Keithii and R. Pricei) grow at Kinabalu. Finding them is a difficult endeavor. Have the flowers only existed for a few days, then they disintegrate. I looked for them in vain. I didn't want to give up anytime soon and decided to go to Kinabalu Tour to visit the Crocker Range.

Not everything you see on Kinabalu is so strange and eye-catching like a rafflesia. Dive in the area around the park headquarters tree species that play an even greater role further up and can be found up to 2200 meters. It's because of the increasingly moderate Climate Trees that we know from European countries:

Oak, walnut, myrtle, laurel, eucalyptus, tea bushes and some conifers. Add to that the tropical plants, that seems like one to give a strange picture. But my main interest was that carnivorous pitcher plants. Kinabalu, that was recognized as the place for this. There are ten species of Nepenthes in the park, preferably in the Montanzone. They can also be found in abundance along the ascent path to Summit.

When I got back to Park Headquarters, I found that I wasn't the only one who had ambitions to climb the summit. Was in my accommodation an Australian couple moved in who greeted me warmly. You too wanted to go up the next morning. They went for a tour of the park too tired though.

A British army unit is completely different, but it does actually did rappelling at the New Fellowship Hostel. Mine Malaysia had not been British for several decades, so the uniforms irritated me. I didn't think of the green stuff either suitable for the mountains. I took no further notice, except that some of the Abseiling was not very clever. You should still be the British give it a few special rights in their former sanctuaries they no longer find it so difficult, no longer the fate of the islands below To be able to determine the wind. Later in the main building I ran across a soldier Path.

"You are exploring the mountain ?! " asked I am a bit ironic. He seemed grateful for it. His mine lightened to. And yet, only now did it seem to me that he had a few Worry lines on the face. No wonder, as they do when rappelling had! On the other hand, where was there something to rappel down?

“You could say that! You go on top? ”He asked back. I nodded. Then he asked the somewhat outlandish question of whether I was feeling good. Me, yes. Maybe he was nervous. I said alluding to hers Roped party, the mountain is high and we only have in "good old Europe" a few higher mountains, but as far as I know you could do without them Climb up in alpine style and even without a rope.

He wasn't impressed by my cheeky wit. He said only that they wanted to go down the Low’s Gully. That was the first time I had heard that name. That was this undiscovered place. So as not to be naked give, I didn't ask. There was no reason to. Certainly Was it an alternative route to the summit? And on top of that did you need rope, or the exercises with the rope. I got the impression that he wanted to take a break from the stress with the troop. Hence he had himself away from her for some time. I had no idea how much these low's me Gully would deal with soon. I didn't even know that "Gully" meant a ravine. Not yet.

"Isn't it a little late for abseiling?"

"But. But we all had no other option before to train together. We have some with us, that's only now highlighted, they can't ... "

Suddenly two more soldiers appeared, apparently Malaysians in British uniforms. Malaysia's lands were British Been colonial territory. It was not until 1963 that the British crown colony of Sabah became part of the incorporated into the new state of Malaysia. In the 1963 defensive war against Indonesia, who also claimed the territory, fought British and Malaysian troops side by side against Indonesians.

The two soldiers had apparently been looking for the British because they sat in a corner with him. I sat in the group of seats in the another corner of the room and read a little more. It was more comfortable in the room than in my Spartan accommodation. The uniformed men were certainly doing as well. They had chosen the simplest of all accommodations, as is appropriate for members of the army belonged to. Every now and then I looked over. It was easy to guess that the three of them had some problem. They discussed and waved with them Poor around. How would it be on the mountain? I knew it from experience What is eminently important is a well-coordinated one for difficult mountain journeys Having a team with mountaineers of roughly equal strength. What is the least need are quarrel and disagreement. I kept looking to the Window out. In the meantime it was dark. That works in the tropics, yes fast. Within half an hour you glide from dusk to darkness. There were still wisps of clouds floating over us, what can be seen in the emerging and could easily make out disappearing stars again. I had the park ranger asked about the weather forecast for the next day. The next days, he said, it would be changeable. I almost thought so.

The three soldiers went out, the Briton raised his hand to me Greeting. I said hello back. One of the Chinese came back and got another one Can of an American drink. Apparently that wasn't his Basic equipment. When he passed me I said:

"Does the abseiling work now?" He didn't understand, hence I repeated the question. He made a serious face and then said, “Ours Boss says you can learn abseiling in 5 minutes, but we trained for 4 hours and I still can't. ”He turned and walked away.

I was a little perplexed because I didn't know if he im Seriously had said. If so then it was questionable why you weren't at home had already prepared so far. You have to go climbing or abseiling Have security. You can't allow yourself to make mistakes, otherwise it will work relentlessly downwards. But maybe that was part of the company. The British are sometimes "very optimistic" when it comes to ventures, theirs Career is still unknown. There must be some kind of compensation for her verbal Give understatement. Because doing things can never be really difficult for you British troops, wouldn't it be illogical for the things that are to come to look forward to with serenity!

Chapter 2: Grotesques of Up and Down

From the power station, where the paved road ends, up to the Panar Laban huts are only five kilometers away. But it is a To cope with a difference in altitude of 1450 meters. That is for an experienced one Mountain hikers nothing special. So I didn't mind the extra a few kilometers from the headquarters of the park administration to the power station to run. I decided to take very little luggage as I was going to Studying the route map came to the conclusion that the ascent of the summit was easy to accomplish in a short time. I didn't even have one Brought sweater to Sabah. But I didn't see that as a neglect, there Besides a T-shirt, I also wear a long-sleeved shirt and a rain jacket was equipped. To be clear: you shouldn't go up a four thousand meter high mountain! I don't have it anymore either done again.

One of the results of my ascent to Kinabalu was that I would never again tackle such a high mountain without a sweater. It posed it turned out that I underestimated the project. Such mistakes are made mostly beginners. But not only. The British with the far too heavy Army clothing weren't the only ones over-optimistic about something approach.

The obligatory guide given to me by the park administration had been assigned, showed up through my request to the Power Station run, not at all enthusiastic. He advised me against it. Nobody does that everyone would let themselves be driven there and only start the ascent from there. Obviously he saw no point in being on the road with me longer than indispensable.

We were the last to climb in that morning Attacked. Perhaps that was also the reason why Martin insisted to take a vehicle. Perhaps he feared I was slow and man would only arrive at the accommodations at 3300 meters when it was dark. He then persuaded the driver of an off-road vehicle who had the assignment, two to bring Japanese students to the power station to take us with them. I Payed so nothing for it. The two Japanese understood almost no English.

Martin was a local, small and sinewy, light built, maybe 30 years old. Or maybe much younger. Asians usually look older than they are. He always had a friendly one Expression that didn't always seem appropriate to me, as if it wasn't Reason gave the 180th customers to take more seriously than the next hundred. For it was a boring routine for him, for his customers maybe that Mountain climbing of a lifetime. He didn't have to worry about that. The payment was always the same. He wasn't very talkative, probably because he wasn't spoke English particularly well. He's been to the Kinabalu many times, how many times he couldn't tell me because he had long since stopped counting. The one from him I assumed walking laziness was on weak feet, since he was at least with had participated in the Climbathon for a time of less than four hours and was doing so from over a hundred starters, most of them local guides and porters, and not a single one who doesn't sprint away from every occasional mountaineer would have turned fortieth. In less than four hours to the summit and down again! The record was just held by a professional runner from the Mediterranean, who had managed the whole thing under three hours.

It should turn out that as far as Panar Laban, before the real difficulties of the ascent begin, just under three Took hours. And I was on the move fast as it should show. The one couldn't say of Martin that he dawdled, and that extensively! He said me, I should go my pace, the trail cannot be missed. I waited one or two times on him, but then I found that he was after we overtook a group of Australians whose guide got stuck. He preferred his company. As lame as he was with me, so he was entertaining with his colleague. So I went on alone and only saw Martin again in Panar Laban's quarters. My guess was that for the ascent to the summit of Panar Laban you had to use the guide needed. So far it has been nothing more than a strenuous walk. The smart thought that you can only meet the locals with one constant Wanted to provide a source of income, I refused.

On the way I had the opportunity to see the changing To consider vegetation zones. I already knew the initial lower part from my excursion the day before. The higher I got, the more inhospitable it got. Of course, that wasn't the reason why the plant cover kept getting lower has been. This is caused by altitude, wind and temperature.

The zone between 2200 meters and 3300 meters will be on Kinabalu is characterized by stunted trees, moss, liverwort and Rhododendrons grow everywhere. They dominate wherever it is damp and is cool, and where is it not on Kinabalu? 24 kinds of rhododendron grow on Kinabalu, five of which are only available here. They provide variety in the dark green-brownish Forest of leaves with their red, scarlet, pink, yellow, orange and white Bunches of flowers.

Apart from a squirrel, I got no mammals to face, although sometimes they also use people's mountain trails. It at Kinabalu there are bearded pigs, collar bears, sambar deer, muntjac, Deer piglets, flying and more down-to-earth croissants, porcupines, Armadillos, badgers, civets, weasels, leopard cats and even the orangutan has been sighted up to an altitude of 1450 meters. There are others in the forest Primates. Langurs, the Borneo gibbon and the almost invisible slim loris. These animals are mainly found at lower altitudes on the Kinabalu.

Of course, this also applies to most of the bird world. 326 One wants to have counted bird species. I might be in the first three days come in 60 ways, in addition to the ubiquitous dark olive-green Blackeye. The most visible and at the same time audible are the Black and Red Mountain Blackbirds, a modification of our blackbird, one of those species that deal with their close relatives around the world. I wondered if the Blackbirds at Kinabalu with whom we could communicate. Maybe they have the basic vocabulary in common.

The small, brownish ones are common in the sub-alpine zone Sunda Bush-Schwirl and the Short-tailed Bush-Schwirl, which are often found in the undergrowth sees jumping around at an altitude of over 2000 meters. Further up, beyond the Tree line, there is a bird that the relative exposure to please seems, otherwise the “blue and white-browed shortwing” would not be so common there to be found. He knows nothing of the unimaginative British name. Ornithologists aren't very resourceful when it comes to color and color Expressing wealth of forms.

Fortunately, they still have tens of thousands of visitors every year are only on the trail, the bird species are not out of their natural habitat can drive away. Presumably this is because the birds notice something with what for harmless people, constantly gasping for breath, they do it up there to have. And the local bird traders don't bother to go that far to rise to the top. Mountain birds innocently eat out of exhausted mountaineers Hand. In 1888 they had to be John Whitehead, the first to conquer Low’s Peak Shoo away because they were so naughty.

There are still 22 species of birds around Panar Laban observe. Including the short-toed eagle, which circles high above, but certainly no longer gets any food that gave it its name. But he would probably not agree with the name at all. See you shortly In front of the Berghaus I also have a small brownish-yellow butterfly see staggering around. And another guest told me that he didn't do much would have discovered one of 40 frog species that are found at Kinabalu below. The is called height adjustment!

As I went on my way lost in thought - I had maybe just halfway behind me - I met a surprise Team member of the British Army Unit and then two more.

It was the two officers and another Briton who went to had tied a yellow box to his huge backpack. He was the slimmest and smallest and apparently carried the most. They all seemed three to be pretty exhausted. That surprised me. I had myself already mastered difficult mountain tours with up to 25 kg of luggage. Had this burden I dragged up and downhill for several days. For average mountain aspirants this is part of normal performance when you are on a longer tour has prepared. Not only is it not a bad idea to prepare, but of course. Others prefer to believe that they are Get to the level of fitness you need for the tour on the tour. But that only works if the tour starts easily and continues continuously increases and when the beginning is in a reasonable level of difficulty Relation to what is still to come. And only then is it the most economical Way of getting to his destination. But it is also the riskiest because you do not know whether the training will succeed. Do you have enough time? Rise the Demands only gradually, so that you are not overwhelmed during training becomes?

I know one Everest aspirant who uses this method failed. The more difficult a company is, the less you are allowed to do it Already left to chance or "good luck" during the preparation. These Army unit did not make a good impression on me during the abseiling exercises made. They didn't have well developed technical skills, apparently there were also team members who were lacking in physique. There was a little a lot of incompetence in one place. But well, in sport climbing you lay your own Backpack off, here they dragged him up a mighty mountain. That was something other. With the right technique, you can create a lot of strength when climbing save on.If you can carry a low total weight, you don't have to be a bad climber. I was allowed to assume that they would camp upstairs and then try different climbing routes. What i dont know could was that what they were up to was not intended for Leaving backpacks behind.

I couldn't help but comment when I answered prancing past the puffing and sweating group. "Where are the others?" and: “An army should stay together!” that was meant less critically than funny. I have always found the British penchant for militarism impressive. Maybe I should have bothered to change my accent to suppress. Germans are supposed to be humorless. I'm trying in occasionally counteracting this prejudice when talking to the British. None the British laughed. And in my attempts I often get the impression that it is the British who often have no joke. But it also seemed to them not going so well. Maybe it was that!

One said: “Advance command!” Aha, they covered the retreat. I would have thought it possible to give them some of the heavy burden to lose weight as I carried almost nothing with me, but that was natural unthinkable for members of the army and also no sense of the exercise to get away from to have a civilian helped. I was also not a relative of a former Colonies that could easily be recruited. I therefore offered them not to give my help.

A marching order wasn't exactly what this one British army unit pre-practiced there! But that was part of their plan. Much I later learned that the commander and his team were hours ahead of me had started. He had told his people everyone should go their own pace walk. A rule that is all too easy to understand, as they are heavy on their backpacks had to bear. Still, I didn't expect to catch up with them. It It didn't take long before the next surprise awaited me. I passed one of the army men I thought were Malays. I found out above then that they were Chinese from Hong Kong, those from British Army served.

"Where are the others?" I asked him. He seemed apathetic. I now expected to catch up with the others soon. At the very end I passed the soldier I talked to yesterday. He made one good physical impression. But it wasn't with the huge backpack makes sense to race with light-footed tourists. At the same height The symptoms of altitude sickness begin at 3300 meters above sea level to make noticeable, but this all the more the more one expends oneself beforehand Has.

When I got to Panar Laban, the guide spoke to me asked a group of tourists whether I had seen the soldiers on the way. He, who seemed to be British himself, seemed to have a personal interest and sounded a little worried. I said yes and told him it was going to be a tough day for her would. He shook his head.

I was assigned to my chamber. She was already with one Australian who just seemed to have been waiting for me because he was very talkative. He had already climbed the summit behind him.

He was happy to tell me that he was 66 years old and happy about having climbed up such a high mountain again at this age to be. He was fairly exhausted, but clearly happy. I said him, what I thought, namely, that I would be very lucky with that 66 years to add. His joy inspired me to be confident Thoughts that I could at least make it these days. He wasn't Mountain-man and besides, he hadn't descended again in the morning. He had decided to stay here an extra day. The place of his Triumphes seemed to him to be savored even longer. His decision wasn't absolutely right, because altitude sickness only arises with a certain one Dwell time at altitude. So it was entirely possible that he would be his I would regret that decision. But he could get off at any time.

I ate soup in the canteen and then went out for one Excursion in the area. Maybe I would find the Kinabalu giant leech can do. There are also endemics among the animal species at Kinabalu. The the strangest representative is probably the red Kinabalu giant leech. He becomes 30 cm long and feeds exclusively at an altitude of about 3000 meters from the Kinabalu giant worm, which is twice as large. A double curiosity so. I suspect that this couple can only be found in other places in Borneo has not found. The highest mountains or ridges on the island are still largely unexplored. It wouldn't surprise me either on the other Sunda Islands to find similar representatives of this species.

The sub-alpine zone begins at Kinabalu at about the height of the Panar Laban Lodgings, at approximately 3,300 meters, or 11,000 British feet, and extends to the summit plateau. The saplings only have a grotesque one, because Wind-ruffled appearance, conifers and rhododendrons predominate, further up Only grasses and cabbage, eyebright, buttercups, cinquefoil, sedge grow and gentian potentillas.

The accommodation itself is built in front of the rock face. From there you have to climb if you want to go up to the summit plateau 400 meters higher. The sight of this rock face that appears to be the whole width of the mountain ingested and seemed to block access to the top, helped me achieve this Idea that every inexperienced observer should immediately see that here The final destination of his peak ambitions and that one was alive up there was nothing to do with had to look. In other words, the natives were now understood. they had submitted to their reasonable deliberations. You could get the cookie still to be seen as dead up there when they gathered to their ancestors.

It is the European who keep pushing boundaries wants and with it, unfortunately, always the natural order, the millennia worked, messed up. Although the mountain here differs from his seemed to show the most rugged side, there was an ascent route. Previously had you have to look for it. You can only see steep, bare rock. Here and there there is a bush that has nested itself in a crack in the rock and the rigors of the Weather defies. Otherwise repulsive steepness. Today you follow the path to to the steep face and climbs up iron ladders. Without these ladders one would have have to climb. And that would have been 95% of today's Kinabalu climbers discouraged from even daring to try.

When I got back to the hut it was late afternoon and some of the soldiers had arrived, but not yet all. I tried to lie down as the climb to the top was at 2:00 am was planned at night. But I couldn't find peace. The thin air left me none Find sleep. I wasn't really tired either. The British in green are different waiting for their commanding officer and the others. It was around 6:30 a.m. dark and there were still some missing, namely the ones I passed first would have. The soldiers who were there showed no concern about this. Why also, the army also fights at night. Perhaps they had their camp on the way pitched. They had everything they needed for camping with them! There was no need to worry about the British Army.

The local guides, including Martin, were there a table in the canteen and looked neither tired nor hungry, they talked and were in a good mood. Time for dinner. I ordered a Malaysian dish.

It was already dark when I saw the Colonel stumble in. Our eyes met. I, the German easy going, sat comfortably at the Table and had dinner. I only noticed it marginally, it was a little cheerful Exchange of words with the others.

It was probably about the fact that the logistics didn't quite work out was. The second British officer, a major, had also arrived. He was the oldest of the independently operating army unit and looked ready to go out. He was accompanied by the tour guide I already knew, who was with his group of Asians in the accommodation a few meters below Panar Laban was staying. He, himself a Brit and a representative of a travel agency Based in Kota Kinabalu, didn't look very happy with its performance Compatriots out. Apparently two men were still missing. Three of the fittest were sent back down to come to their aid. The men not only looked exhausted, but also in a bad mood. The mood seemed to be quite tense.

There were the guides at their table enjoying themselves their customers lay in their beds. The three Hong Kong residents sat at another table The Chinese and the officers were also seated separately from the men. Mountain camaraderie is different!

I sat down with the soup that I used to get on high had ordered advisable fluid intake in addition. One felt internal discrepancies were the reason for the extensive radio silence among themselves. I suspected that the officers were responsible for this Had imagined everything easier. Then at some point on the way everyone just had still trying to get to the top as best as possible, "save yourself if you can!". And the Colonel must have expected the stronger to take the weaker would stand by when trouble arose. But the weak don't help Weaker ones when they have to struggle with themselves. I only got a few Scraps of conversation with me and made my own rhyme. After all, they had given up to advance to the summit during the night. One would have a day off insert. One thing had quickly become clear, it had already become visible that the demands were in a blatant disproportion to the feasible or had confessed.

I asked the Colonel, a tall, slim man in his 50s with somewhat aristocratic facial features, albeit under the strain had suffered somewhat, whether he had noticed that his men were not very seemed confident. I tried every ironic undertone to avoid.

He gave me a reproachful look, but it was Immediately replaced by a smile with a trace of disdain around the corner of the mouth. A civilian making observations! After all, we had peace, didn't we absolutely the field of activity of an army! But why not the target area? I shouldn't worry me, he said patronizingly. Yes, I granted him that also that he got no worries. But better to worry than that Get worried!

I didn't give up. I still had an arrow in the Quiver. A native Dusun had given it to me, with the hint that the Poison at the arrowhead only kills monkeys, it is too weak for humans. The The time of the manhunt was long gone. I told the Colonel that one of his soldiers would have told me that they really don't really know where to go the journey would go. I said “journey”, regardless of the ropes and of the heavy material they carried with them and which less one pleasant journey than a difficult mountain tour suggested.

"We go into Low’s Gully!" Thought about it and added, while he turned to me, almost with an interest:

“Have you ever been there? "

"No," I said and promptly introduced it to myself almost baffled the counter-question whether he had ever been there. Then said he, and that sounded slightly triumphant again, no one had been there before, that is precisely the reason why they wanted to go there. I saw him an unspoken “Do you understand, tourist hiker!” on the lips would have.

I took a sip of my tea, then fell another another question. I've always loved maps. The I asked Park Ranger downstairs if he had a map of the mountain. What he had to offer me was just a rough map showing the peaks and the trail that led to them. Geological Special features nil. But there was the originally British survey Departments in the capital with good, if not the newest Maps of how I got from my excursions in Indian mountain and mountainous areas Jungle areas knew. The army had everything there was to know about terrain formations had to know.

The army does not go without a map and a compass. And I am just like when I head out into the wilderness. For me they are something like a life insurance. Anyone who goes into the unknown without a card is reckless. "To have Do you have maps? ”I asked him more curiously than reproachfully. He responded a bit rough. No, there was no map material for this location.

That seemed to me to be a remarkable corner. I told him that too. He nodded with a touch of friendliness. Now I had apparently got it, the British Army had set out for something extraordinary to accomplish while briefly strolling to the insignificant Kinabalu peak. It it was so remarkable, the major intervened, that no one was yet because I had ever climbed down into this Low’s gully.

I nodded approvingly, and a question came to mind Sense that I didn't want to keep to myself. But then I formulated it not as a question, but stuck to my respectful tone and asked firmly:

"Then you don't even know what to expect!"

But suddenly there were more questions. Could that be Be the reason his people were so insecure? Knew from experience I, the more difficult the tasks are that you have to tackle together, the more difficult it is More important is group cohesion. When one then for the solution of the task must also have special knowledge or skills, and only these are inadequate, a group that does not harmonize quickly falls apart. I philosophized about it a little to get more out of the Colonel To tease out information. He took the position that one Good organization and subordination can also compensate a lot for what civilians do Companies would have to adopt other qualities. I spoke again what I found most remarkable.

“But you don't know the exact location. I understand I. Unexplored areas have it that way. "

“What is certain is that the gorge from the Penataran River is drained. We know the beginning and we know the end of Low’s Gully and we will close the gap in between. "

That sounded promising and determined. I heard no signs of uncertainty from these words. So it was just a question nor what between the beginning, the summit plateau, and the end, the Penataran River was 3500 feet deeper. What would she expect there? Nobody seemed one To have a clue. It slowly dawned on me that this inconspicuous Low’s Gully namesake might contain something that is bizarre enough that it should be studied a little more closely.

So here there was indeed new territory, that is still the Discovery awaited. A slight feeling of disappointment rose up in me that it wasn't I was the one who came up with this great idea, in this low's To go down the gully, as the first person. At least I'd have the idea can come. The difficulty of execution could be whatever it wanted. The was to be explored. Of course, I would never have thought of such a thing To tackle business alone. The British expedition came with me once as something enviable. It was easy for them. You sat just set a goal and go for it. Now the British Army would do this which I hadn't even considered. And probably would too no one will take notice of it from them.

"Do you have a press officer?" I asked. The Colonel didn't quite understand. I did not repeat the question. She would have sounded a bit too snappy. And besides, it was superfluous. Instead I said:

"Let's hope that what happens between the beginning and The end is worth it. "

It had to be pretty steep when the mountain was on the The back side was just as steep as on the south side and a gentle ascent route like the trail to Panar Laban one would certainly not gully or Call it "throat". Nor would it be a task for this army unit to do one Proper training combined with a self-placed research assignment. But I didn't think of that at those moments. I just found it was brave to set such a goal, to dare to venture into the unknown, with equipment, of which one could therefore not know whether it was correct. This task presented himself in front of every expedition whose course one did not exactly know.