Borneo Three PeaksMount Kinabalu, Trus Madi and Mulu
Mount Kinabalu, Trus Madi and Mulu peak
This is a remote and challenging mountain adventure climbing three beautiful peaks in Borneo. It is an unusual journey spanning 19 days trekking and climbing that will take you far off the beaten path in the jungle and to the peaks of Malaysian Borneo. It includes climbing Mount Kinabalu, Mount Trusmadi and Mount Mulu.
Peak heights: Mulu: 2377m, Trusmadi 2650m, Mt Kinabalu 4095m
The adventure begins with a classic Borneo experience travelling upriver and inland by boat. We begin near the mouth of the mighty Baram River in Sarawak and finish in the crystal clear tributary that leads us into the World Heritage site of Mulu. Home to the biggest cave chambers on the planet this incredible natural history outdoor museum was first surveyed by the Royal Geographic Society in 1977. Even now only a fraction of the park has been explored and new discoveries are made each year.
For the next 6 days we explore the park including the biggest cave chamber on Earth and scale Mulu summit, at 2377 m, the second highest in Sarawak and one that few visitors tackle. This climb will be a great introduction to trekking and climbing in Borneo and is memorable for the virgin rainforest, prolific orchid and pitcher plant diversity and spectacular summit views. This is a near 50 km round trip and is one of the toughest treks that Borneo has to offer.
Suitably acclimatised we head to Sabah where the two highest peaks in Borneo await. First is the rarely climbed Trusmadi (2650m), where on a clear morning the views to our final conquest, Mount Kinabalu, are truly breathtaking. Upon descending, our efforts are rewarded with a two day climbing break near Poring Hot Springs. Here we hope to see Orangutans as well as the prolific lowland bird, insect and plant life that Poring is famous for.
We then begin our final climb to the summit of the 4095 m Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in south east Asia.
After all the challenges we end our journey with two days at a friendly beach resort near Kota Kinabalu where we will celebrate our adventure with a sunset cruise and a variety of optional activities.
Borneo Three Peaks Itinerary
Mount Kinabalu, Mount Trusmadi, Mount Mulu
Borneo Three Peaks - Trusmadi, Mulu and Kinabalu is a 19 day trekking holiday in Borneo, however there are plenty of opportunities to extend your trip and you may choose to visit the islands off the coast of Semporna including world famous Sipadan or spend a couple of extra days at a hideaway beach location close to Kota Kinabalu. Please enquire for more details.
|1||Arrive Kuala Lumpur and transfer to connecting flight to Miri in Sarawak. Meet leader at airport and transfer to hotel for welcome briefing. Time for shopping for any last minute supplies.|
|2||An early start as we begin our journey inland. We change ferries at the small district town of Marudi and two hours later we change vessels once more, this time into 4 person local style longboats. We reach the World Heritage Mulu National Park in the early evening where comfortable chalets await.|
|3||Today we will experience some of the parks famous natural wonders and acclimatise to the equatorial heat and humidity. With luck we will get to view the sunset exodus of millions of bats from Deer Cave as featured in a 2009 BBC documentary.|
|4||Our first day of trekking begins in earnest as we head for Camp 3, a distance of 11 km and a gain of altitude of nearly 1300 m. The first two hours is through lowland seasonally flooded forest with giant strangler figs. As we start to climb the forest changes noticeably and the true forest giants emerge. Stunning surroundings and with luck we will have red leaf monkeys and gibbons for company. We expect to arrive at the simple camp with time to freshen up and enjoy the forest sights and sounds after what will have been a tough day.|
|5||Our second day sees us climb 6 km towards 1,800 m where the trees are shorter and a vast array of epiphytes starts to emerge. Orchids, pitcher plants and strange fungi and mosses are everywhere and it will be noticeably cooler when we stop for breaks. A series of fixed ropes and ladders are in place to assist the climb in the more tricky areas. Be prepared for a cold night at Camp 4.|
|6||A pre-dawn wake up and breakfast ensures we can reach Mulu summit before the clouds roll in. This 6 km should take us between 2-3 hours. With luck we will treated to a magnificent 360 degree view that stretches into Brunei and unveils the striking Mulu limestone outcrops. After some refreshments we start the long descent to Camp 1 collecting our belongings from Camp 4 as we pass. An exhausting but unforgettable day.|
|7||From Camp 1 it is short trek back to park HQ where there is time to wash and pack before our afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah. We will transfer to a small beach resort where we can do laundry and leave any gear no longer required as we will return here at the end of the trip.|
|8||After breakfast we transfer to the Crocker Range hills, heading to the interior of Sabah. En-route we will stop for a picnic lunch by a 20 m waterfall before we arrive at the Tambunan Village Resort Centre (TVRC), the base for any trek up Trusmadi.|
|9||An early start by 4x4 to Kampong Kaingaran, the start of the trek. Today will be walking for between 6-8 hours and we aim to be in camp by 4 pm, in time to set up the tents and prepare dinner. Along the way there will be plenty of time to enjoy the rare and endemic flora that the mountain is famous for including orchids and pitcher plants found nowhere else in the world.|
|10||Early start for the spectacular sight and sounds of the forest awakening and in the distance the sun rising on the majestic Mt Kinabalu from the summit of Trusmadi, a truly unique and unforgettable experience. A leisurely descent back to the village and then TVRC.|
Drive through a winding river valley to reach Poring Hot Springs. Here we will spend two nights in a bamboo eco-camp, surrounded by primary forest, rivers and waterfalls - spectacular and very relaxing. Explore and look for Orang-utans, monkeys, hornbills and other rare birds and with luck the worlds biggest flower, the Rafflesia, will be in bloom nearby.
|12||Trek one hour to a private 30m waterfall, try out the nearby hot-springs and canopy walkway or simply relax on the veranda by the river.|
|13||After a leisurely breakfast we head out of Poring and make the short drive to Mesilau Nature Resort in Mt Kinabalu national park. At 2000 m the air is noticeably cooler and thinner. There is time to watch an informative movie about the park and a short guided walk will bring us to the site of the biggest pitcher plant in the world.|
|14||Climb to Laban Rata (3300m) the resting point before the next day summit climb. We will follow the normal route which takes about 7 hours to the hut.|
|15||Early summit for sunrise and back to Laban Rata, a total of 4.4 km round trip. It is possible to descend to the park gate on this day if you wish.|
|16||Descent to park gate.|
|17||Day near park gate exploring the area and seeing the flora and fauna and then a transfer by road 2 hours to beach resort just south of Kota Kinabalu.|
|18||Option to kayak and snorkel nearby islands or just relax by the pool and reflect on our great adventure. Sunset cruise included before celebratory dinner.|
|19||Depart evening flight from Kota Kinabalu|
Borneo Three Peaks cost £2,495.00
Mount Kinabalu, Mount Trusmadi, Mount Mulu based on minimum of two people. Single person supplement for this trip would be £350.00.
- Accommodation throughout in a variety of local hotels, lodges and also camping
- Private transport throughout expedition
- Park fees, camping fees and park rescue fees
- Park certified guides and assistant guides
- Meals throughout expedition (excluding lunches and dinners in Kota Kinabalu & Miri)
- International flights in to Miri and out of Kota Kinabalu
- Lunches and dinners in Miri & Kota Kinabalu
- Optional rental of kayaks
- Vaccinations / Anti-malarials
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Personal Spending Money
- Visa (if needed)
A deposit is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 8 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own online profile to edit your booking, add flights, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. Therefore you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
We advise you to take out your insurance as soon as possible to cover potential events that might cause you to cancel your trip.
You need to ensure that you have a policy which covers trekking to 4095 m, but it does not need to cover technical climbing. You should bring with you a copy of your policy. It is also worth bringing a photocopy of your passport and to keep it separate to your own documents just in case you lose your passport.
Borneo Three Peaks- Mount Kinabalu, Trusmadi and Mulu
Fitness and terrain
The rainforest is actually a very clean and pure place to visit. The canopy offers excellent shade from the intense sun and traps moisture, however it can be very humid and a lot of water will need to be continually drunk. We travel using trails which have been the jungle arteries for the local native residents for hundreds of years.
Sometimes the paths can be muddy and slippery, and there are logs to clamber over, streams to cross and it is always up and down. Movement in the jungle is generally very slow, about 10km per day, and it is easy to feel exhausted after just a few hours. Keeping rehydrated is paramount and looking after yourself from natural dangers such as thorns or tripping over moss-covered rocks.
It is unlikely you will see much wildlife while on the move, unless you keep very still and quiet, in which case the jungle is full of wildlife! Just a short while spent listening and watching carefully will yield some tremendous sights of indigenous mammals like the red leaf monkey.
Crossing streams is an ideal time to have a quick cooling down in the water, get some liquid on board and take a rest. Some of the streams become minor cataracts after a heavy downpour. You will be walking in hiking boots or you can buy locally made jungle shoes. For the tops of the peaks you will need good trekking boots with good tread.
A good level of physical fitness is recommended for this program and it is suggested that a structured programme of hill walking or equivalent is undertaken beforehand. Whilst none of the peaks offer too many problems with altitude and no technical obstacles, the trekking can be steep and very hot at times. However, there is time to acclimatise and certainly by the second and third mountains you will be noticeably fitter already!
Where will we stay?
On all three peaks, we will be using fly camps, mountain clearings and huts for accommodation. Mount Kinabalu has excellent facilities with wonderful food, water and showers. But Trus Madi and Mulu are remote, and the expedition will be travelling self-sufficiently, using tents or even hammocks enroute.
Do I need experience for the Borneo Three Peaks?
You do not need to have any previous technical experience for the Borneo Three Peaks as our guides will show you everything you need to know. However you do need to be fit! A training programme should include regular hill walking with a small pack of around 10kgs, and regular visits to the gym or the swimming pool for the final two months before departure.
Clearly this trip is quite challenging and will require patience, teamwork and a willingness to work with Mother Nature! Sometimes the heat and humidity can be debilitating, and sap even the most positive of minds. Mental preparation for a tough trek is important.
What support will I have?
Adventure Alternative supplies excellent guides and where appropriate local porters. Our team has a lot experience in Borneo and can manage any situation and help teach you any skills which you may not already have. On Trus Madi and Mulu there is very little external support, as it is quite remote, but on Mt Kinabalu there is plenty of support because this is a very popular and well-visited mountain.
The expedition is self-sufficient and the leader will have communication, but there is no doubt that this trip requires common sense and teamwork.
Borneo Three Peaks- Mount Kinabalu, Trusmadi and Mulu
- Strong, waterproof duffle bag or rucksack for your main gear
- Waterproof day sack of about 30 -40 litres for carrying your daily needs
- Variety of waterproof/zip lock bags - for dirty clothes, sleeping bag and things to keep dry
- Full length closed cell sleeping mat/therm-a-rest
- Sleeping liner or lightweight sleeping bag (1 season)
- Lightweight trekking boots with ankle support, and a sole that does not bend too easily
- Waterproof windbreaker and trousers, preferably breathable
- Base Layer (top & bottoms) for sleeping and Mt Kinabalu
- Pair of lycra style cycling shorts to wear whilst trekking (keeps leeches out!)
- Trekking clothes - lightweight trousers and shorts, shirts and T-shirts, jumper or midlayer fleece, underwear and several pairs of hiking socks, trainers or sandals
- Warm hat, lightweight and mid-weight gloves for Kinabalu
- Clothing for travel, dining in restaurants, and the heat and humidity of the coast
- Sun hat, sun lotion, SPF lip screen and sunglasses
- Swimming costume and small trek towel
- Sarongs x 2
- 2 x Water bottles and/or camelbak (take a protective cover for the mouthpiece) and water purification tablets (iodine-based is fine)
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Camera with spare batteries
- Personal wash kit - include a nail brush, moisturising cream, a small towel, tweezers, soap, nail clippers and wet wipes
- Personal first aid - include aspirin, Nurofen, plasters, Germolene, Immodium, strepsils and prescription medicines for possible gastric problems
- Passport, insurance papers, spending money, air tickets, reading books, diary, pen
The cycling shorts help to keep the leeches out and there are other leech deterrent products on the market including leech proof socks which you may find useful. Mosquito nets will be provided throughout the expedition and you may prefer to wait until reaching Kota Kinabalu before buying Sarongs, they are a better style and much cheaper.
Sandals are useful for camp but if you don't bring them with you then you'll be able to pick up a pair of local 'rubbers' on arrival.
Note that anything delicate, absorbant or electronic is likely to suffer from the damp atmosphere, all such items should be housed in a good quality waterproof stuff sack or pouch.
Borneo Three Peaks- Mount Kinabalu, Trusmadi and Mulu
- We offer small scale, authentic adventures, which you can tailor at no extra cost.
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Borneo in a real way.
- Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains.
- Financial security guaranteed as we are AITO bonded.
- We are members on Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
Choose a scheduled date or ask about private dates and itineraries.
The minimum deposit is £100 with the balance in instalments and final payment six weeks before travel.
- Duration 19 days
- Numbers 2 - 10
- Altitude 4095m
- Distance 130 km
- Challenge Strenuous
- Comfort Camping/huts