|Porters walking up a trail at Mount Kinabalu.|
Their strength and patience are legendary to those who make the 4,095m climb, but to the guides, it's just another day at work.
There are about 170 mountain guides at the Mount Kinabalu National Park and most of them started as porters in their younger days.
The services of mountain guides (one for six climbers) are compulsory for every attempt to scale the summit. Porters are optional.
Kamaludin Jefren, a 10-year Kadazandusun guide, said guides led every climb and always made safety their priority.
|Aling Kimping (left) and Kamaludin Jefren climbing up |
the mountain trail, each laden with bags.
He was among four guides, two porters and a park ranger who led a group of climbers in an expedition themed "Climb of Hope" recently.
In the group of 15 climbers were Miss Malaysia/World 2009 Thanuja Ananthan and her twin sister Anuja.
At one point, Kamaludin offered to carry one of the climbers on his back 6km down from Laban Rata.
|For a life.|
|Most of them only this kind of shoes|
Guides also double as porters to earn extra income and the sight of them carrying three or fours bags up the steep trail is common.
Aling Kimping, who normally worked with Kamaludin, said the most they could get were three climbs in a week.
"We try to earn as much as we can because there are times when we cannot get any climber for days."
A guide is paid between RM85 and RM120 for every climb, which takes two days. Porters earn RM8 for every kilogramme of weight.
Porters Soleha Napisin and Mestika Henry, both Form Five students, earned the respect of the beauty queen and her twin in the expedition.
Soleha and Mestika carried bags weighing 22kg brought by Thanuja and Anuja for the climb up and down the mountain.
Soleha said: "We try to get a climb or two during school holidays at the park headquarters."
Mestika said both of them started working part-time as porters last year.
Read more: Risking their lives is just another day at work http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/12aling/Article#ixzz1XlGRoI4T