Mount Kinabalu is not a private mountain and it should be made affordable for everyone and not just the rich to visit and climb this wonderful nature of God.
If I can, I would want to climb it again. My one and only climb up Mount Kinabalu was in August 2006 and it was affordable than.
Getting more costly to climb up Mount Kinabalu
I FULLY agree with “Expensive to climb Mount Kinabalu now” (The Star, Dec 20) and “Uphill task to climb Mount Kinabalu now” (The Star, Dec 23).
I have climbed Mount Kinabalu four times, the first in 1985 (when Laban Rata was being built) and the last time in June 2008.
Ever since Sabah Parks privatised the accommodation at Mount Kinabalu to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, costs have gone up drastically.
Now, every individual climber is forced to pay package prices which include a few basic meals, when before part of the thrill was cooking our own food (Gunting Lagadan) or ordering reasonably-priced food at the canteen (Laban Rata).
In addition to this, it would seem that Sutera Sanctuary Lodges’ guests are given the privilege to climb up the mountain over non-hotel guests because the guests are offered packages which include a climb up Mount Kinabalu.
Budget, but avid, climbers like me have to book six months in advance, and even then bookings are taken up within one hour as only a few seats are allocated for non-hotel climbers.
Preference is given to guests who can afford the pricey Sutera Sanctuary Lodges’ packages which compel one to stay a night at either Kinabalu Park or Mesilau Resort.
I have travelled widely and seen many well-managed sites, yet Mount Kinabalu is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately it is getting expensive.
If Sabah Parks is aiming for conservation by limiting the number of people, then they should do just that, but not by allowing a monopoly to increase the lodging rates in the name of conservation. The mountains are for all, not just the paying few.
I do hope that the Tourism Ministry and Sabah Parks will look into this problem.
Earlier letters to The Star
David Says: Expensive to climb Mount Kinabalu now
Someone Agrees With What David Said
Check the cost of accommodation at Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.