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A Walk In The Clouds

It's name is not as ubiquitous as Mount Kinabalu but just a mere 40 kilometers away from the highest peak in South East Asia stands a stealthy peak that puts many mountains in Malaysia to shame. At the very first mention of its name, though commonly mistaken for Terus Mati (Straight Die in colloquial terms), the presumptive fact is actually self evident; Trus Madi is a force to be reckoned with.

Figure 1 Trus Madi peak.

The undulating roads right up to the 200 kilometer mark of Sinua village where the trailhead starts is one of the many scenic routes in Sabah. At every turn, the lush and untouched Borneo rainforest shrouded us, giving off a sense of complete isolation from the habitual world.

Figure 2 Paddy fields along Kimanis route.

The Sinua route to the peak is considered the toughest out of the 3 trails given its perpetual distance, a whopping 25 kilometers in totality and its unforgiving terrain.

It was nightfall and after 4 hours on the road coupled with an eerie 2 kilometer stretch through the pitch black paddy fields and rugged gravel laden road, we had finally arrived at Camp 1.

Figure 3 Camp 1 at dawn.

Figure 4 Accommodation at Camp 1; Comfortable beds and fleece blankets were provided.

We were expecting a bigger crowd but little did we know that we were the only 3 individuals trekking on that particular weekend. Our guide showed us to our resting place for the night; a basic wooden stilt house and an outdoor toilet connected by a verandah, for us to settle in before the briefing.

I was awoken by a stream of light that reflected off my face. Dawn began to break and I looked at the clock to see it timed at 6.30am.

Figure 5 The early morning awakening at Sinua village.

We scrambled off bed and began to pack all equipments needed for 2 days. Breakfast was promptly served at 7am and our trusted guide sat with us for one final briefing before the ascent.