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90-Year-Old Great Grandpa Summits Mount Kinabalu For The 8th Time

90-Year-Old Great Grandpa Summits Mount Kinabalu For The 8th Time

Buatin was active in many sports throughout his life, including cycling and boxing.

Fernando Fong

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The Chinese have a saying that a treasured knife does not age (宝刀未老), which means to still be in top form despite ageing.

The proverb certainly rings true for 90-year-old Sabahan, Buatin Belandong.

The nonagenarian from Papar has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

But Buatin’s endurance shows no signs of slowing down despite his advanced years.

And recently, he has been touted as the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

Eighth Time’s A Charm

The retired boilerman has climbed Mount Kinabalu seven times and reached the peak for the eighth time on Monday morning (5 September).

@iceeminn123 #mtkinabalu ♬ bunyi asal – iceeminn123

His son Andrew Buatin said family members accompanied him during the latest climb.

We are not worried at all about his fitness. He has always been active in sports since he was young. He plays many sports, including boxing. You can say he is like Rocky.

Sabahan Andrew Buatin to TRP on his father’s fitness and endurance, drawing comparison to Rocky Balboa, a fictional boxer played by Hollywood’s biggest action stars, the legendary Sylvester Stallone.

Andrew added that his father also carried his backpack during the climb

The recent climb was supposed to be in 2022 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Buatin also summited in 2015, just two weeks before the earthquake that struck Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia, with a moment magnitude of 6.0 on 5 June.

Family members surround Buatin Belandong (centre) at the peak of Mount Kinabalu. (Pix: TikTok/@iceeminn123)

Harder Than It Looks

The mountain peaks’ air has less oxygen than at sea level, while the extreme cold and wind can cause exhaustion and altitude sickness known as acute mountain sickness (AMS).

Hikers making their way up to Mount Kinabalu. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Because of these factors, scientists say that a person’s “physical body age” at high mountains can add additional years to their actual age.

When Buatin reached Low’s Peak, which sits at 4095.2 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level, he could have easily felt more than 100 years old.


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