Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A year filled with many ‘first records’

A Piece Of Hope Chapter 4 Mt Kinabalu Charity Trek has been completed. It was a trek that saw many ‘first record’ created.

On the books, we had 140 trekkers (1st record) this year surpassing any other year. With so many trekkers from so many different places, we also had many challenges in organizing such a large group. Thanks to the tireless organization efforts of Jimmy Lim and his team, this year’s trek went on smoothly without any untoward incidences. There were a total of 4 buses (2nd record) used in transporting the trekkers from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park.


The trek up Mt Kinabalu had to be broken into 2 days, one going up on 18th July consisting of 100 trekkers and the other on 19th July consisting of 40 trekkers from the Hash Hound Harrier group. From the onset, the organizing committee tried their best to keep the trekkers together but to no avail as the park management could not give the 140 beds at Laban Rata. Nevertheless, the spirit of the trekkers were high. So it was the first that A Piece Of Hope trek had to be done in the span of two days (3rd record).


A Piece Of Hope trek in previous years had children trekkers but not as many as this year. There were a total of 5 children (4th record) below the age of 12 years old who took part. Most came from the Pang family who had 3 children, one of them had a hole in the heart.


One of the first to arrive at the peak of Mt Kinabalu is Mok Jee Sang. Here is an excerpt from his climb to the peak, “We started the trek to the summit at about 2.30am. I was given the task of carrying the Sunbeams banner to the summit by some smart fellow. I was asked to come back with some photographs taken with the banner at the Low’s Peak. Guess that was the motivation for me to hit the summit. A failed mission will not be too pleasing. We were stopped by the ranger at the Sayat Sayat check point as our guide has not arrived and he just made us wait in the chilling weather (about 4 deg. Celsius) for about 15 minutes or so and finally he allowed us in. This last 1.5km trek up to the summit was quite demanding not so much on the stamina but due to the thin air at that altitude. We somehow managed to reach the summit with the photographs taken and so mission accomplished”.


With this year’s exceptionally good weather at the peak, many made it to the peak for the sunrise before 6am. At last count, 102 trekkers (5th record) out of 140 trekkers made it to the peak. The rest had either tried but went only half way in the night climb due to Air Mass Sickness or just rested at Laban Rata after a tiring day’s trek. There were several trekkers whom on the way down from the peak or Laban Rata took on leg injuries. They had to virtually ‘limp’ their way down and some had to be ‘portered’ down. So the latest arrival time at base camp was at 9pm! (6th record).


One of the greatest story have to be this. Lisa while resting during the trek, mentioned about A Piece Of Hope charity trek to a British couple. To her surprise, the couple after hearing the noble cause pass her some cash for donation. This goes to show that there are many charitable people, even in the most of unlikely situations.


To cap off a year of many ‘first records’, the total collection for A Piece Of Hope Chapter 4 Mt Kinabalu Trek has reached the RM130,000 mark as informed by Alvin Tan of Sunbeams Home. With some other cheques not sent to Sunbeams Home yet, the figure could easily surpass RM135,000 (7th record), the highest of all the 4 years.


Finally, a word of million thanks to all of YOU who have helped to collect donations and donated in some way or the other.


Statistics:
18 July – 97 trekkers (14 Timpohan and 83 Mesilau); 25 didn’t make it to peak
19 July – 39 trekkers (9 Timpohan and 30 Mesilau); 8 didn’t make it to peak