Apr 30, 2012

Best-Kept Secrets for Adventure Destinations

World-class rock climber Yuji Hirayama set up four new routes on Oyayubi and Donkeys Ears peaks on Mt Kinabalu in Sabah. – Photo by Kenji Iiyama
Most outdoor enthusiasts have their “best-kept secrets” for adventure destinations, but not all would be willing to share it.  It’s only natural that they would want to keep his or her Shangri-La untouched for as long as possible.

So, keep the masses out!
However, here are a couple of examples:
Known as a caving destination, Gua Tempurung is apparently also a great mountain biking spot, according to outdoor operator Steve Khong.
With over 120km of trails, Gua Tempurung offers a variety of terrains and technical and endurance rides. Cyclists traverse rubber and oil palm estates, old mining and logging roads, river crossings, Orang Asli villages and Malay kampung with stunning limestone crags for backdrop.
“It’s not easy to find any other area in Malaysia where you get such diversity in a day of riding,” says Khong. Mt Kinabalu is visited every year by thousands of trekkers but only a few rock-climb its massive granite walls.

“For me, Kinabalu offers the best combination of bolted (sport-climbing) and unbolted (traditional climbing) routes, and long multi-pitch routes all the way to the summit on many of the peaks on the western and eastern plateaus,” says Wilfred Tok, founder of Mountain Torq, South-East’s Asia’s first mountaineering training centre, and the world’s highest via ferrata in Kinabalu.
“The element of weather and altitude also make it a complete package as far as what mountaineering is supposed to be.”
Mt Kinabalu is the only place in South-East Asia where rock climbers can get a taste of alpine (above tree-line) rock-climbing. The downside (for some) is you need to trudge above 3,300m, just after Laban Rata, before you hit the walls!

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