How It All Began…
A year before this expedition, me and two other adventure-enthusiasts girlfriends went to an inspiring sharing session by two women from the Singapore Everest Team called +50/-50 degrees. One of them shared about her trip to the Mongolian Desert (hence the +50) while the other one shared about her trip to icy Denali in Alaska (hence the -50). At the end of the session we had a chat with them and asked for advice on the next mountain we should embark, having previously climbed Mount Ophir (Gunung Ledang) and Mount Stong in Malaysia together. And guess what, she recommended climbing Mount Kinabalu!
“Climbing Mount Kinabalu” discussions started soon after…
We then started planning, researching and looking for members. However, we can only plan but Allah decides. The time had come for both the original members of the 3-girl clan to get married, as well another member who had expressed interest in joining. Expenses for other than wedding and marriage had to be put aside (being engaged now, I can relate to how they had felt then). This of course resulted to planning being stalled…
By then the team had lost all girls in the team and the few guys we had in it had conflicting schedules as well as other issues. Also, I did not want to continue with no girls in my team so I was prepared to call it a day. No doubt I was disappointed, but that’s the reality of planning an expedition. People come, people go. You gotta be really strong to stay.
A Miraculous Opening
But then something interesting happened. One of the guys in my team had a cousin from KL who was planning a climb to Mount Kinabalu with some of his colleagues. This cousin was also a seasoned climber/mountaineer and had climbed Kinabalu twice. So, he had apparently shared this with his cousin and had asked me if I wanted to join them. MashaAllah, another door to climb Kinabalu opened. Truly, Allah is the Opener of all things. However, excited as I was I still had some doubts (naturally) and did solat istikharah to ask God to show me if I should go. I also asked around for any fellow girlfriends interested to join (I had a “no girls, no trip!” personal principle).
What happened next was truly God’s will, Alhamdulillah. Found my answers. Found my girl. Found my team. Confirmed booking. Set the date.
And excitedly anticipate.
mardmood: This will be the start of the new series on “My Kinabalu Story” based on my expedition to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia on 26th September to 1st October 2012. Stay tuned for the next chapters!