THE Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry is still looking into several proposals for a second route up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, its assistant minister, Datuk Pang Nyuk Ming, said.
The evaluation of the proposed routes takes into consideration cost effectiveness, the steepness of the route and also its ability to fulfill the capacity needs so as to reduce the congestion at Laban Rata, he said.
Pang said this when replying to Kadamaian assemblyman Jeremy Malajad’s question on whether the government is considering opening up a second route up Mount Kinabalu from Kota Belud via Kampung Kiau.
“Initial study showed that the route from Kampung Kiau is too steep and dangerous for climbers. The route is also too close with the current one up to the summit,” he said.
However, Pang added Sabah Parks is always open to accepting applications to climb Mount Kinabalu via Kampung Kiau under the Extreme Expedition category and the number of climbers will depend on the availability of accommodation at Laban Rata.
“My ministry is also considering opening up a more suitable route in Kota Belud. The route identified is via Kampung Melangkap-Kapa. At the moment this is an appropriate starting point but the trek to the summit of Mount Kinabalu will take seven days,” he said.
“We are however looking further into the risks and readiness of Sabah Parks in the aspect of search and rescue, the preparation of basic infrastructure such as accommodation, toilets and water supply,” he said.
Pang added that the proposal would be included in the Kinabalu Park Management Plan which is scheduled to be completed by the middle of this year.