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Training ideas for Mt. Kinabalu

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  1. #11

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    Come to think of it, if you quickly need to ramp up for a big *uphill* hike I'm not convinced that hiking is really the best way to do it if you've already got a semi-regular hiking baseline to start with.

    I think that a gym workout of squats/lunges/deadlifts is far more intense on your muscles than any normal hiking you could do around HK.

    I found that my normal gym routine made hiking up some pretty big mountains fairly easy, but conversely a return to the gym after a month of strenuous hiking was very difficult. I think the difference is that each hiking step is pretty low-stress (even if there are a lot of steps they don't add up in anything like a linear fashion), and also very limited from a range of movement perspective.

    So if you already go to the gym, maybe just hit legs harder.

    Last edited by jgl; 15-12-2014 at 11:25 PM.
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  2. #12

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  3. #13

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    I've done it twice and i know you - so I know your capabilities. You will not have a problem on the uphill, especially with a bit of training. Just take it slow. You will be hiking up with hundreds of other people whose idea of training was to go and walk about 5km on the flat... and most of them will make it! The hardest part by far is the downhill. For two reasons... 1). you do it all on the same day (whereas the uphill is split over two days) and 2) the steps are huge and it's absolutely killing on the knees. So bring sticks! And painkillers - ideally ibuprofen.

    You need very grippy shoes for the final ascent. I used 5-10's - and they were perfect. I was walking around upright while other people where hanging on to the rope with their feet sliding all over the place. However, for the downhill 5-10's were terrible. So it's up to you - carrying an extra pair of shoes is a heck of a weight, but may be worth it! Something comfortable for the downhill that won't kill our toes (normal trainers would be fine).

    As to training - Sunset and Lantau are perfect. You get the elevation. You get the steps (including the very big steps on Lantau Peak, which are what you need to get used to, coming down). Plus it's a nice hike so you enjoy it. I would do Mui Wo to Nong Ping at minimum a couple of times before you go. QB to Parkview is a great night hike to fit in mid-week to keep the training up, but I would not make it the main event.

    Finally - it's a lovely hike. It's tough but not impossible, the views from the top are stunning, the whole area of the top is an amazing landscape. Start early, take it slow, enjoy yourself.

    EDIT - I saw the comment about Hoka's. I love my Hoka's. They would be absolutely perfect for the downhill and they are very light. They will be completely useless for the top - the surface of the rock is what Hoka's don't grip on (I have both Hoka's and 5-10's and I know exactly what they are each good at!). However, Hoka's may well be light enough to consider carrying .... (of course you can always hire a porter anyway if you want to take the kitchen sink up!).

    Last edited by HK_Katherine; 16-12-2014 at 07:33 AM.
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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat:
    Comfy shoe with goos grip...try Hoka maybe? Gigasport in admiralty sell them. Else RTP in sheung wan or Escapade in CWB.
    Or see Shane at Lantau Base Camp in Mui Wo - he wears Hokas himself!
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by emx:
    Or see Shane at Lantau Base Camp in Mui Wo - he wears Hokas himself!
    As do I. I wish they had been around when I did Kinabalu a few years ago. If they had, I would have worn them on the first day and the downhill, but no way would i have worn them on the top. The top section is akin to "stream trekking". It's a very smooth surface of (usually) wet rock which is very greasy. And basically on a steep angle with no ridges for footholds, so you (if not in 5-10's), hang onto a rope and use that to gain grip. In my 5-10's I let go of the rope and just walked up the slope - with guides yelling at me to come back and hold the rope (there is a long queue on the rope, it's horrible, it was FAR easier just to let go and walk, knowing I was not going to slip).

    What I would ABSOLUTELY avoid under any circumstances is heavy boots with Vibram soles. They would be an utter disaster on both the slippery top (I saw people in those unable to stand up, literally their feet looked like they were on ice) and on the downhill (murder on toes) plus so heavy as to be really tiring!

  6. #16

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    I'm curious- what's wrong with goind downhill in 5.10s?


  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl:
    I'm curious- what's wrong with goind downhill in 5.10s?
    They are basically heavy and uncomfortable with no cushioning (so hurts knees) and the foot easily slides meaning you bump toes a lot. (More than normal anyway). The second time I did this I used my 5-10's the whole way. Uphill was fine. On the top was superb. Downhill was horrible.

    The first time I did it I used "normal hiking boots" - not heavy ones, but pretty sure they had vibram soles. I had no grip on the top at all, hung onto the rope for dear life, and then on the way down (even while holding the rope) slipped so badly that I lost control and was tumbling head-over-heels down the slope (it's a LONG slope with a HUGE drop at the end of it). My guide threw himself on top of me and stopped me sliding - but I was battered and bruised and vowed I would not set foot on that summit again unless I found different footwear. And I did. Second time up was completely different.
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  8. #18

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    I'm using the Savant model, the seem to be pretty comparable to usual trail walking shoes. A lot of the other 5.10 models do seem a bit heavier though and less breatheable. I guess the foot sliding around thing is down to foot shape.

    Sounds like you had a bloody good guide!


  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl:
    I'm using the Savant model, the seem to be pretty comparable to usual trail walking shoes. A lot of the other 5.10 models do seem a bit heavier though and less breatheable. I guess the foot sliding around thing is down to foot shape.

    Sounds like you had a bloody good guide!
    First time up we had a great guide. Second time, not so good. I am also using Savant. Hold a Savant in one hand and a Hokka in the other... you'll see what I mean.

  10. #20

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    I guess we have different ideas on what shoes should weigh- off memory my 'proper' hiking boots (which are complete overkill for HK) are 1.6KG and my serious 'mountain' boots are closer to 3

    I think I weighed my 5.10s once and they were 800g.


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