This waterfall was nice and mellow while we ascended up the mountain.. 1 day later and after a few hours of rain, this waterfall was gushing. . and so were the trails. (My feet and pants were completely soaked through, but I trudged on.)
The uphill climb (stairs, dirt, wood planks, granite rocks, clay) vary in terrain. The last 2km to Laban Rata rest stop are quite steep as you clamor over boulders. See the person in the photo? He’s a local porter, carrying about a dozen or so metal corrugated sheets up to Laban Rata. (The next day, we also saw him ascending as we descended, which means he does this climb every day!) Impressive.
There are km markers along the trail and rest stops at every 1km. It seems excessive when you think about it, but when you are climbing, it is extremely necessary. Taking a break is good as the pace and elevation are quite intense to those who are not used to it. Also, the warm weather, though wet at times, really makes you start shedding layers of clothes. I started noticing more climbers at this point as many don’t even really make it to the Laban Rata.
These spigots are non-potable water sources. There are toilets at each stop and a covered area to shelter climbers from rain or sun. Bring your own tissue paper / toilet paper as no one replenished the stops we passed. I survived the first climb with about 2000 ml of water. The park package included a packed lunch, so I carried a small 500ml bottle and replenished it with my CamelBak bottle every few rest stops.
Dinner was not served until 5 and we made the climb up relatively quickly: a little less than 4 hours. We celebrated by sitting for 2 hours in one spot, having warm Milo’s (hot chocolate) and hot French fries with Thai chili sauce and tomato ketchup from the a la cart menu.