KUNDASANG: Fifty-five foreign tourists were among 135 climbers today to be the first group to scale Mountain Kinabalu using the new route after the activity was ceased following the June 5 earthquake here.
Sabah Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun flagged off the group at the Timpohon gate around 8.30 am.
He also disclosed that the rate for services provided by mountain guides had been increased from RM150 to RM230 per trip and Sabah Parks would cover the latter’s insurance.
“This is in appreciation of their contributions; they have given a lot of assistance to climbers,” he told reporters after the flag off.
Masidi said the pit stop for the climbers would now be known as ‘Panalaban’ and no longer Panar Laban or Laban Rata.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Mount Everest solo climber Ravi Chandran was also in the group.
Last June 5, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale claimed 18 lives including five mountain guides and Mountain Torq trainers here.-BERNAMA