Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Endex to end all Endexes? (or Climb every mountain...)

It was an excited but slightly wistful group of us who gathered at the Borneo Paradise Hotel a few days ago. Excited because we were all getting together as a team once more after three weeks of hard work across the lengths and breadths of Sabah, but wistful because it meant that Expedition 12K was drawing to a close.
The sunshine greeted us and everyone made the most of the hotel's pool area to catch up with each other and also do a bit of relaxing. Skits were held (congratulations to Alpha 6, who finally won something!) and we all watched the official Expedition 12K music video (to Shakin Stevens' Merry Christmas Everyone, nonetheless).
Alpha 6: Skit winners

After two nights of sleeping in the hotel's comfy beds (some for the first time in 10 weeks!) we set off early to head towards the mountain and what would be the perfect way to end Expedition 12K - all 75 of us climbing 8.7km to the top of Mount Kinabalu!


The first day saw us climbing 6km to Laban Rata, a mountain lodge with the most incredible views. After being used to the 33-degree heat you could say we were rather shocked at the cold, but the sunset views over the lodge veranda made everyone forget any chilly fingers and toes.
Then it was off to bed at 7pm for the most ridiculously early morning start at 2am for breakfast, before we set off, armed with head torches and multitudes of layers, up the rest of the mountain.

It was a 2.7km climb to the peak. Some made it right to the top for sunrise and some enjoyed it on the way up. It's fair to say it was easier and quicker for some than others, but we at Fieldbase are glad to say that everyone is feeling the full effects on their legs now we've been down for a day or so!!
All in all it was the most incredible way to end the expedition.
Later that night everyone's stamina was tested to the limits as the closing ceremony and Raleigh 10-year anniversary took place at Kinabalu Park. Everyone was treated to a slap-up meal, courtesy of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sabah, some pretty spectacular dances by the Sabah Dance Troupe and a 10-year anniversary slideshow showcasing Raleigh Borneo's 200-plus projects over the past decade.

Country Director Mac receives a gift from Datuk Jahid Jahim,
Assistant Minister for the Ministry for Youth and Sports
The next day we headed to the airport to wave off those who were heading home and, needless to say, there were some emotional goodbyes and see you soons.

Goodbye, and thank you for following the blog. We now declare Expedition 12K officially over.

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