Journey to Mt Trusmadi


MT TRUSMADI is situated in the district of Tambunan and at its height of 8,669ft; it’s the second highest mountain in Malaysia. The main features of Mt Trusmadi is from its summit;one can see the view of Mt Kinabalu said to be the best in Malaysia and the other feature is the endemic specy of pitcher plant called Nepenthes Trusmadiensis can only be found here,nowhere else in the world.

The rare specy of Nepenthes Microphylla is also found in Trusmadi apart from it’s already home of Nepenthes Lowii and Nepenthes Tentaculata. More than ten species of Rodedendrons and many species of orchids can also be seen in Mt Trusmadi.

A journey to Mt Trusmadi nowaday starts from Tambunan driving on a 10Km “government – maintained” off-road to Kg Kaingaran; then on a private abandon logging track about 15km to the vehicle’s drop-off point where a walking journey will take about one hour 30 minutes to the starting point showing a distance of 4,900m to the summit of Mt Trusmadi.

In December 1989 when I first climbed Mt Trusmadi, we started our walking journey from Kg Batu Lapan in Tambunan and it took a whole day to reach to today’s starting point. When logging was very active in the 1990s, Mt Trusmadi was easily accessible through logging road and today, after logging had stopped since 2000; the logging road became abandon and most of the bridges had callapsed.

The vehicle’s drop-off point was getting further away from the starting point to ascent Mt Trusmadi, therefore causing trekkers needed to walk a bit further away from time to time.

To trek Mt Trusmadi, one needs to get a forestry permit from the Forestry Department in Tambunan. Both the permit fee and entrance fee need to be paid before you start your journey as there’s a check point before you reach the vehicle’s drop-off point that you need to show the entry permit. There is a basic mountain hut at 1,500m before the summit that you can stay for the night. It was not far from “Taman Bunga” where we used to camp in my past more than hundred times of guiding groups to the summit of Mt Trusmadi. A worst night at “Taman Bunga” I had experienced was a windy night that its temperature dropped to 5 degree celcius!! It’s freezing…..

At Dawn, do not miss to see the view of Mt Kinabalu and at the same time; you start to hear more noises of animals and birds seem like giving you a morning call !!

Within the distance of 2,000m from “Taman Bunga” to the summit of Mt Trusmadi, you can discover it’s a botanical heaven and is really a natures paradize !!

Mt Trusmadi is permenantly protected under the Sabah Forestry Department and it will bring a great tourism potential to the district of Tambunan as well Sabah as a whole.

THAM YAU KONG – 12 Feb 2008