K. RAVI MANDALAM, G.W.H. DAVISON, & PATRICIA REGIS
This Sabah Society Monograph is devoted to commemorating 40 years since the Royal Society Expeditions to Mount Kinabalu. which was declared a national park in 1964. The Royal Society Expeditions (RSE) of 1961 and 1964 took place when Sabah was in transition from a British administered colony to an independent state within the Malaysian Federation. The First RSE was the last of a long series of major scientific expeditions undertaken during the colonial era. The First RSE was also the first team to undertake an exploration of the long and difficult Eastern Ridge of Kinabalu. All previous explorations of the mountain had focussed on its western side. The same Expedition was also the first to explore the Pinosuk Plateau, on which thrived a unique forest at 5000 ft, on rocky detritus washed down from the mountain. Sadly, this forest does not exist any more, as it was cleared in the 1980s to make way for the Agricultural Station and the Golf Course. Kotal, a Dustin hunter hailing from Kg. Kundasang, was the first to pioneer a route to King George V Peak-the summit above the Eastern Plateau-in June 1963. Corner engaged his services as the chief guide for the Second RSE in 1964. It was he who guided John Corner and, later, Gathorne Medway (now Earl of Cranbrook) to the summit. Kotal was a silent and enigmatic personality. In Corner's words, "He is the class of Dusun as silent. rugged and detached as a granite pinnacle". Kotal guided many subsequent expeditions through the same route that now bears his name. He passed away in 1998. The names of many peaks and pinnacles on Kinabalu East-the Eastern Plateau and the North and East Ridges, such as Gully Peak, Outpost, North Peak, Lion's Rock, Echoing Rocks, Rhino Horn, etc., were given by John Corner himself which are in current use in mountaineering literature on Kinabalu and referred to by climbers who frequent this mountains.