There are actually 2 options to get up to Laban Rata.
- Timpohon to Laban Rata - 6.5km (3hrs to 10hrs, depending on your fitness level)
- Mesilau to Laban Rata – 8.5km (4hrs to 12hrs, depending on your fitness level)
What I would recommend is that you take the Mesilau route up to Laban Rata and take the Timpohon route down. Although it is 2km longer, it is worth it as you will see some beautiful scenery along the way.
It took me about 7hours to get to Laban Rata via Mesilau. I started with our group of 11 at 830am, then we sorta break out into smaller groups as some people are faster and some are slower. We took our own sweet time, stopping a lot to eat, waited for some slower members, take photographs and chit chat along the way. It was quite a relaxing climb. I reached Laban Rata at about 315pm and was the fourth in our group and first woman in our group to arrive. YIPPIE!
Our lodge at Laban Rata, which is 500meters away and uphill from the restaurant. So you get a good exercise after your dinner.
It was about 9 degrees when I reached and the temperature dropped throughout the night. So make sure you have your full winter clothing and gear.
Then we spend a night at Laban Rata. Hot water is very limited but I was lucky as I reached Laban Rata early and managed to shower in hot water. Room is much smaller than Mesilau. No attached bathroom. No heater. We slept at 800pm and woke up at 130am (Actually a friend of ours is snoring all the way and I didn't get much sleep). At 230am we started the journey to the peak.
- Laban Rata to The Peak – 3km (2hours to 5hours, depending on your fitness level)
The journey was very tough for me, mainly because it was very cold and windy. The air is also very thin, being so high up above sea level. I had difficult breathing and was panting very hard. In certain areas, it was also very steep. I stopped a lot of times to catch my breath, drink and eat. A friend of mine had difficultly keeping awake due to the lack of oxygen. I reached the peak at 545am and managed to see the sunrise.
Then we snapped some photos and continue with the journey down to Laban Rata. I reached Laban Rata at about 9am (took about 2 hours from the peak), had breakfast, then started the journey to Timpohon at 10am. We covered the first 2.5km in half an hour (we ran down!) then we slowed down as our knees and legs are beginning to get tired. So again, we took our own sweet time down the rest of the way and reached Timpohon at 1pm.
The amazing view is worth all the effort. In fact, I am looking forward to going back there again!