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Training ideas for Mt. Kinabalu

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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    Good point, jgl. I've used poles on and off again. We only have one set, but I guess for this one, we might both need sets? (Grrr, don't want to do a big Mong Kok trip!). And yes, I don't really know how to use them properly, and I'm always fiddling around with them. But there are moments when I feel like I'm flying with them.
    No need to go to MK. Overlander on HK island sells Black Diamond for example. So does Racing the Planet.
    If you are on Lantau am sure Lantau Base Camp sell them too.

  2. #32

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    I don't know how generic my "stick" advice is... but I use them extensively so here goes.

    Firstly - get a GOOD QUALITY stick. To be useful on Kinabalu (or elsewhere) you need to have faith it will take your weight and not snap.

    Secondly - straps are useful. They are NOT there to hang the pole on a hook; they are there to support the weight of your arm on the uphill sections, taking the stress and allowing the arm to be used for force, not just to maintain the stick. Good straps are therefore important, you should be able to fit your hands easily into them (with GLOVES ON - you will have gloves on Kinabalu).

    Thirdly - for downhill I usually hold my sticks from above. That is, I put my hand flat on the top of the stick and put my weight on it. For many years I therefore used sticks with "old person handles" (i.e. not the "ski stick" handles) but have since found that provided the ones with ski stick handles are big enough, they are ok to use in this way too. So try putting your weight downwards from the top of the stick and see if it's comfortable. Remember, you may end up with blisters on your palms if it's not!

    Finally - length and weigh. I used to go for sticks that varied in length - short for uphill; longer for downhill. These days I have a single length pole (the very lightweight z-poles by Black Diamond - superb design) and I just hold it on the side for uphill and on the top for downhill. This is very much personal choice. The lighter the pole, the less hassle it is to use (or carry when not in use).

    shri, Elegiaque and jgl like this.

  3. #33

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    Some more advice.... ITS BLOODY COLD ON THE TOP OF THAT MOUNTAIN!

    Do not be fooled by the fact it's in a tropical country. Once you go above 3000m it starts to get cool; at the top it can (literally) be freezing. If it's raining, even worse. On our first trip we didn't linger at the top for more time than it took to snap one (awful) photo before turning around and going down as fast as possible, we were so cold.

    Layers are good because it's hot the bottom and gets cooler as you climb (and very cold at night when you do the final ascent). So - think about this in your packing.

    You also need a GOOD head torch. The brightest you can afford. It will make a huge difference to your enjoyment of the night climb up to the summit. (and take spare batteries).

    shri, Cho-man and Elegiaque like this.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine:
    Some more advice.... ITS BLOODY COLD ON THE TOP OF THAT MOUNTAIN!

    Do not be fooled by the fact it's in a tropical country. Once you go above 3000m it starts to get cool; at the top it can (literally) be freezing. If it's raining, even worse. On our first trip we didn't linger at the top for more time than it took to snap one (awful) photo before turning around and going down as fast as possible, we were so cold.

    Layers are good because it's hot the bottom and gets cooler as you climb (and very cold at night when you do the final ascent). So - think about this in your packing.

    You also need a GOOD head torch. The brightest you can afford. It will make a huge difference to your enjoyment of the night climb up to the summit. (and take spare batteries).
    Yes, it was darn cold on the summit.

    In line with the falling temperature the higher you ascend, you gradually move from tropical, subtropical, temperate, tundra and finally almost polar climate of lifeless rocks. Its interesting to see how the vegetation changes as you move from one climate zone to another. The thick and rich rainforest gradually thins out and the trees begin to grow shorter and sparser. I found that fascinating to observe.
    Elegiaque likes this.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat:
    No need to go to MK. Overlander on HK island sells Black Diamond for example. So does Racing the Planet.
    If you are on Lantau am sure Lantau Base Camp sell them too.
    Last year we got a great deal on a pair of poles at Charmonix. Don't want to pay full price for them. I think we might just make do with one pair, so one stick each. Can be nice to have one hand free.

    HK_Katherine -- don't you risk injuring your wrist like that going down?

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    I think we might just make do with one pair, so one stick each.
    Two sticks are way better than one in this circumstance.
    Elegiaque and HK_Katherine like this.

  7. #37

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    Two poles are more than twice as good as one pole.

    If you use two poles properly, you get into a very effective gait going up, using a lot of your upper body. Probably less so going down. But if you watch someone use a single pole, it usually wrecks their gait and they look like they're hobbling along, it really seems to slow them down. Especially on downhills where the pole is used more for stability over power.

    You can get some really cheap hiking poles in bargain bins. You don't need them to last for more than a trip in this case, if you're inclined to save money.

    That said, it's a single weekend and the hike should be doable without poles anyway so one each would be completely workable.

    Elegiaque likes this.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl:
    Two poles are more than twice as good as one pole.

    If you use two poles properly, you get into a very effective gait going up, using a lot of your upper body. Probably less so going down. But if you watch someone use a single pole, it usually wrecks their gait and they look like they're hobbling along, it really seems to slow them down. Especially on downhills where the pole is used more for stability over power.

    You can get some really cheap hiking poles in bargain bins. You don't need them to last for more than a trip in this case, if you're inclined to save money.

    That said, it's a single weekend and the hike should be doable without poles anyway so one each would be completely workable.
    Completely disagree. First time I did it was with a young fit guy who poo - pooed the whole idea of poles. Halfway down the guide gave him his pole as he could barely walk. By the bottom he was a wreck. Hubby and I with our poles were fine. One pole is USELESS. Two poles are far more than double. Free hands not required.
    The steps are very big. Think Lantau to Nong Ping times five.....

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    Last year we got a great deal on a pair of poles at Charmonix. Don't want to pay full price for them. I think we might just make do with one pair, so one stick each. Can be nice to have one hand free.

    HK_Katherine -- don't you risk injuring your wrist like that going down?
    No. I align my wrist so it's in line with my arm. Gets tired triceps. And sore palms.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine:
    Completely disagree. First time I did it was with a young fit guy who poo - pooed the whole idea of poles. Halfway down the guide gave him his pole as he could barely walk. By the bottom he was a wreck. Hubby and I with our poles were fine. One pole is USELESS. Two poles are far more than double. Free hands not required.
    The steps are very big. Think Lantau to Nong Ping times five.....
    Uh, this is largely what I'm saying. Though I wouldn't call one pole useless, just nowhere near as useful as half of two poles.

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