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Kimanis – Keningau Road

January 5th, 2009 Posted in environment, General, Sabah

When one hears of the Crocker Range, the image that comes to mind is a rainforest covered mountain range that makes up the main high ground of northern Borneo.  It has an average height of 1800 metres.  The highest point being Mt Kinabalu, part of a world heritage site, at 4,095 metres high.

The new Kimanis – Keningau road cuts across the southwestern part of the range bypassing a longer road to Keningau town via Penampang and Tambunan.  This bypass cuts travel time to Keningau by at least an hour or more depending on the speed and traffic.  But there’s a catch… you need some nerve of steel to navigate the steep slopes from point A to point B (see image below).  Or better still bet start to compare auto insurance if you are a frequent traveller to Keningau. I’m not kidding…as the slopes are mostly above 10% gradient.  I think there’s one at almost 20%.

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I’ve gone through this stretch a few times already but I’ve always had an adrenaline rush everytime.

However today was something more…  My family started our journey at about 11.30am and arrived at Keningau at about 1.30 pm via the bypass.  It was okay as the weather was clear and sunny.  We journeyed on to Nabawan to pick our son’s babysitter. We made our way back from Nabawan at about 4 pm, then reached Keningau at 5.15pm.  The sky was getting darker by then as it started to rain. But it was still bright enough, so we decided to go back the same route we used..through the bypass.

As we progressed up the hill…it started get darker and it started to rain.  About halfway through it was pouring heavily, then we reached the cloud/fog zone or whatever cos’ the road lines is yellow colored rather than the usual white (also there’s a sign that warns you are entering this zone).  Imagine driving through rain, fog that limits visibility to about 3 metres, 10% ~20% gradient road, oncoming traffic and a bad astigmatism.  That’s the experience I had for at least 45 minutes.

Funny thing though…my wife tried to shine through the windshield with her handphone’s in-built flashlight..lol.  I told her it was no use…but asked her to pray instead…haha. Perhaps due to her prayers and mine (silently)..the rain started to subside after the peak on the bypass…so that helped a lot.

Anyways, here’s some pictures of the stretch taken a few months back.

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The climb from Keningau towards Kimanis (Point B)

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From this angle the road suddenly drops off the edge.
This was the site of a major landslide a few months ago.

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The fog zone. Midway through but at the highest points.

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A welcome site at point A (see map), flat land.

Having had the experience today, the bypass is still beautiful as it goes through an environment protected range.  One of these days I might just stop and enjoy the refreshing sights.

  1. One Response to “Kimanis – Keningau Road”

  2. By Jonathan on Apr 27, 2009

    You didn’t mention of one particularly very steep climb… the angle must be more than 70%. This is the part where there was a big erosion a few years back.

    Reply

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