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Climbers Witness ‘Snowfall’ On Mount Kinabalu, 29 Years After Last Recorded Occurrence

Snow falls over Mount Kinabalu

The weather in Malaysia goes back and forth between torrential rains that often causes massive floods and blistering heat that has us reaching for iced drinks. Rarely do we get to experience anything beyond this. 

However, that wasn’t the case on the peak of Mount Kinabalu. Several climbers experienced a weather phenomenon that’s likely left many scratching their heads – snow, which fell on parts of the mountain early this morning. But it wasn’t the first snow sighting either on the mountain, with snowfall reported back in 1993. 

Climbers in awe over snow on Mount Kinabalu

Several climbers were astonished to find fluffy snow falling over the peak of Mount Kinabalu on the morning of 28th February 2022.

Snowfall on Kinabalu - mountains
Image credit: Free Malaysia Today

A video taken and uploaded by Hajiris Sulomin, a Mountain Torq Via Ferrata trainer, on Facebook showed him exclaiming excitedly about the snowfall and the beautiful view he was experiencing on Mount Kinabalu. 

Snowfall on Kinabalu - man
Image credit: MOUNTAIN TORQ

The short footage showed thin blankets of snow on the grounds of the mountain, and small flakes of what looks to be snow falling and landing on his bright red top.

Snowfall on Kinabalu - snow on outfit
Image credit: @ivnurjonns

Another video uploaded on a TikTok account @ivnurjonns, also showed several climbers marvelling at the snowfall, with speckles of snow on their hiking outfits.

#salji #GunungKinabalu #fyp #malimgunungkinabalu

#salji #GunungKinabalu #fyp #malimgunungkinabalu

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According to the Assistant Director of Kinabalu Parks Justinus Guntabid via Astro Awani, the location where the climbers managed to witness snow falling was at Sayat-Sayat hut, the highest shelter on the mountain. The weather phenomenon took place at around 6.40AM.

The temperature of the unusually cold morning was said to be approximately between 6.8 to 12.3 Celsius.

He also mentioned to the Malaysian news channel that this is a rare occurrence, but that it’s not the first time it happened. The last time snow had reportedly fallen over the mountain was in 1993, and also in 1975.

In a report by The Star, he also confirmed that the most recent snowfall on Monday lasted for two-three minutes, and was initially thought to be sleet. A total of 154 climbers and guides witnessed the weather phenomenon.

Snowfall on Kinabalu - mountains 1Image credit: MOUNTAIN TORQ

The Facebook video shared by Hajiris Sulomin has gained nearly 400,000 views, 10,000 likes, and 2,000 comments, at the time of writing. Netizens have been expressing their astonishment over the event witnessed in Sabah, with many sharing their amazement and some even wishing that they could have experienced the snow as well.

A rare phenomenon on Mount Kinabalu

It’s a far-fetched dream of many Malaysians to be able to experience snow falling in our normally hot-and-humid country. So this weather phenomenon witnessed atop Mount Kinabalu must be a strange sight to witness, but one that reminds us all to keep warm and safe while conquering mountains in Sabah and beyond. 

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Cover image adapted from: @ivnurjonns & Borneo Calling