Published: Jul 18, 2018

Best Season to Climb Mount Kinabalu

Best Season to Climb Mount Kinabalu


A breathtaking view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu!A breathtaking view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu!


Mount Kinabalu, Sabah in Malaysia stands high and mighty as one of Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain. It is a very popular tourist destination because of its majestic view at the peak of the mountain. However, due to its nature of an outdoor activity, climbing the Mount Kinabalu is prone to be susceptible to bad weather. Thus, one of the most frequently asked questions about Mount Kinabalu is when will be the best months to climb Mount Kinabalu.

As Sabah is located just below the typhoon belt, rain falls frequently everyday regardless of the season. This is also followed by its tropical forest climate which contributes to the region’s high humidity. Although the weather is fairly unpredictable, there are months in Sabah which appears to be much dryer. The best months to climb Mount Kinabalu is February, March and April where the rainfall is much lesser than the other months.


Nimbus clouds surrounding the Mount Kinabalu summit.


There are two main wet season in Sabah which rains frequently, they are the South West Monsoon from May to July and the North East Monsoon from October to January. Among the two seasons mentioned, it is the North East Monsoon that brought frequent and heavy rain to the region. It is the worst time to climb Mount Kinabalu due to heavy rains.


A misty hiking trail towards the peak of Mount Kinabalu.


There are a few reasons to avoid attempting the climb of Mount Kinabalu during wet and rainy seasons. One of them is that the summit climb might be cancelled due to the bad weather. As there is a limited amount of beds in the Laban Rata Resthouse that requires early booking. If the climb to the summit is cancelled due to heavy rains or any bad weather, visitors will need to stay at the Laban Rata Resthouse instead of climbing to the summit until the next morning as the summit climb usually begins at 2.00 am in the morning. Then, visitors will need to descent down the mountain to Kinabalu Park Headquarter without reaching the summit. This is due to the restriction of 135 climb permits issued per day by Sabah Parks.


The climb towards the summit through rocky terrains and slippery after rain.


Next, climbing the Mount Kinabalu in rainy seasons or bad weather can be very dangerous. During heavy rainfall, the trails to the summit of Mount Kinabalu might be very slippery. Water will also flow through the walking trails which is very dangerous to the climbers. During bad weather, dead branches along the trail can also be swept up by the strong wind and might hit the climbers.


The view is amazing from Laban Rata Resthouse and it is not even near the top of Mount Kinabalu yet!


Other than that, it is important to keep yourself dry at Laban Rata because of the low temperature. As Laban Rata has a high altitude, its temperature is much lower averaging from 6°C to 14°C and it can even drop down to 0°C at night. It is important to stay dry because if your clothes are wet, it will reduce your ability to hold in warmth.

In a nutshell, the climb to the peak of Mount Kinabalu is still available all year round where the most advisable period to climb it would be during February, March and April which is considered as dryer season. However, as the mountain is located in a tropical rainforest climate, rains are to be expected all the time. Moreover, the weather is unpredictable nowadays. Nevertheless, the beauty of Mount Kinabalu will still remain and offers you a memorable sight.


Who wouldn't be mesmerized by the scenic view of the lush green tropical rainforest landscapes below?


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