Hiking the Pinnacles was honestly one of the most challenging but yet fun climb that we’ve ever experienced before! Most people also say that this hike is tougher than Mt Kinabalu! Read on to find out why!
The trek started off with a “relaxing” boat ride, thankfully our boatmen were strong enough to pull us across the shallow waters! But we heard that during low tide season, it’s worse than this! And you will have to be prepared to get out of your boat and help pull the boat. We could practically hear the bottom of the boat scraping the rocks!
After the 30 minutes boat ride, we reached the start point of the trek. Apparently there are no other routes to this start point besides taking the boat. From here, it’s a 9km jungle trek to Camp 5.
The trek was fun as it’s not just a boring, straight and flat road but instead, there are shaky nerve wrecking bridge crossings, undulating surfaces due to protruding overgrown tree roots or rocks and vertical rock faces that we had to climb using all 4 limbs.
It took us around 3 hours to get to Camp 5. When we arrived, the first thing that we did was to jump into the freezing cold river! That was one of the best feeling ever, definitely a must after a tiring, hot and sweaty trek!
Tip: Swim at the far end nearer to the bridge, the water there is deeper and cleaner. We were too lazy to walk there though and simply just swam where it was closest to our room.
If you’re planning on trekking the pinnacles without a guide, do note that you will have to pack your own food. There’s a kitchen available for you to cook your own food. Alternatively, you can also order food from the staff to cook for you. You can also refill your bottles with drinkable for free at Camp 5.
Tip: Bring your own snacks to camp 5, they have a small store there but their selection is extremely limited and of course much more expensive.
For us we were on a tour with Amazing Borneo and our guide prepared our food 🙂 Feeling so pampered and loved!
As for sleeping facilities, the rooms were very basic and bare. Basically the only thing provided was a thin mat, which was sufficient actually. If you’d like you can bring your own sleeping bag, but that would also mean extra weight while trekking. You can choose to rent a mosquito net too but we can’t be bothered to. The sandflies there were nasty though!
Tip: A must bring – insect repellent! Poor Daniel had sandfly bites all over his arms and legs!
We forgot to take photos of the shower facilities, but we were very impressed by the cleanliness and the infrastructure of the toilets at Camp 5! Way better than a lot of the other jungle trek camps that we’ve been to!
If you’re not too tired at night, do check out the stars at Camp 5! There was hardly any light pollution and the milky way was really obvious that night we were there!
And the next morning, try to catch the sunrise if you can!
We woke up at about 5.30am to get ready for our pinnacles trek the next day. While others were simply having tea and biscuits for breakfast, we were having freshly handmade roti prata that will fuel us for the upcoming challenging trek!
From Camp 5 to the viewing point of the Pinnacles, the trail is about 2.4km in length and around 1,200m ascend in altitude. It’s a one day trek where you will head up in the morning, view the Pinnacles and then head back down to Camp5 before it gets dark.
The first hour will be to the mini pinnacles and if you can’t reach in 1 hour, your guide will likely ask you to go back down. I was pretty stressed out by this at first as I’ve heard from the other trekkers that it’s really not that easy. Thank god we made it in less than 45 minutes!
Of course being a jungle trek, there was so much of nature and wildlife to appreciate! Personally I hate creepy crawlies, but these little cuties were so pretty that they don’t disgust me as much anymore!
The second half of the journey was even more challenging with a lot of vertical rock faces that we had to climb using ropes, ladders and our 4 limbs.
You have to be really careful when hiking up as there are a lot of booby traps and you could easily sprain your ankle! Furthermore with such a steep ascend in one day, it’s no surprise that you already feel like your legs no longer belong to you.
Tip: Wear a pair of light trek shoes with good grip! TNF trek shoes never fail to disappoint us. The grip is excellent and perfect for rough terrains like this! We were both wearing the TNF Ultra Hike II Mid GTX. High cut shoes are always better as they provide better support for your ankle. Also they’re waterproof! Can’t imagine how slippery this trek would be if it rains!
After 3 hours of hardcore steep ascend and 16 vertical ladders, we’re finally here at the top to get the best view of the Pinnacles! No regrets! According to our guide, apparently only 30% of the people get to make it to this point!
Tip: Wear light weight clothes when climbing the Pinnacles and preferably long pants to avoid getting your legs scraped by the razor sharp rocks! We really love the TNF Trekker II Pant-AP long pants as it’s very stretchy and it dries really quickly! Despite us sweating like crazy while climbing, our legs don’t feel stuffy at all.
We had about 30-45 minutes to enjoy the Pinnacles view and to have our lunch at the same time before making our way back down to camp 5. Heading down was actually tougher than going up! Our knees and thighs were really screaming in pain after we were done with this trek.
Where we stayed at Mulu
Our first night was at Mulu Marriot Resort which was nicely tucked deep inside the greens! The night we were there, the sound made by the cicadas was deafening! It was sooooo loud! Apparently it’s the mating season now for the cicadas. Thankfully you can’t really hear them when you’re in the room. For the rest of the nights during the pinnacle trek, we were staying at Camp 5.
Tip: Dinner isn’t provided as part of the room package though. If you’re hungry and on a budget, you can check out the cheaper cafe located right opposite the river of Marriot Resort.
How did we get here
We took the MAS flight from Miri to get to Mulu. It was a really short 30 minutes flight.
How to book the above tour
The above Pinnacles trek is actually part of a 4D3N tour with Amazing Borneo at Mulu. The first day was to see the Show Caves (namely the Deer Cave and the Lang Cave) and the second day was to see Clear Water Cave and Wind Cave before heading for the pinnacles trek. This tour included a one night stay at Marriot too! If it’s possible, try to arrange Marriot on the last night instead of the first night so that at least you can have a well deserving night stay after your arduous pinnacles trek.