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A frog goes hiking: 北大武 (Bei da wu)

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:21

It was a busy National Day weekend for my legs. After running the Hsinchu Post Office "23km run" (which was about four kilometers short thanks to the organizers' inability to count) on the morning of the tenth I took a quick rest before packing my bags and leaving again for a two-day/two-night hike in the South of Taiwan. The destination was 北大武 (Bei da wu), the highest mountain in Southern Taiwan.

This time we had hired two drivers with small all-wheel-drive buses because of the long trip to 屏東 (Ping dong) and the poor state of the mountain road. We stayed one night in a homestay about 45 minutes from the trail head, which allowed for a pleasantly reasonable wake-up time. It used to be possible to drive further up, but after a landslide a few years ago the trail head had to be moved down by about 2.7 kilometers.

Most of the hike is in the forest, which is not a big surprise given the relatively low altitude of the peak (3092 meters). That, and the rain the day before, made for a somewhat slippery walk, but at least it was another perfectly dry hike where my umbrella and rain jacket stayed where they should – at the bottom of the backpack.

Technical information and photos follow. If the photos seem a little substandard this time I apologize; the weather forecast was a bit uncertain and my backpack a bit full, so my trusted D-SLR had to stay home this time and make way for the waterproof pocket camera. Weather permitting I'll try to make up for it next time. :-)


Map


(Click the image for a larger version.)


(Click the image for a larger version.)

Elevation charts

北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head) to 檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut):


(Click the image for a larger version.)

檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut) to 北大武 (Bei da wu) and back:


(Click the image for a larger version.)

檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut) to 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head):


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

Day 1:

0840: Departure from 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head), 1200 m
1015: Arrival at 北大武舊登山口 (Old Bei da wu trail head), 1540 m
1045: Continue
1505: Arrival at 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut), 2110 m

Day 2:

0130: Wake up
0225: Departure from 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut), 2110 m
0355: 神木 (Divine tree), 2450 m
0550: 嶺縣 (Ridge), 2870 m
0635: 大武祠 (Da wu memorial), 3010 m
0705: Continue
0750: Arrival on 北大武 (Bei da wu), 3092 m
0855: Start descent
0930: 大武祠 (Da wu memorial)
0955: Continue
1130: 神木 (Divine tree)
1225: Arrival at 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut)
1400: Continue
1545: Arrival at 北大武舊登山口 (Old Bei da wu trail head)
1650: Continue
1810: Arrival at 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head)


Photos

The end of the road and therefore the new trail head. Until a few years ago the road continued a few more kilometers, which poor hikers like us now have to walk.

The end of the road and therefore the new trail head. Until a few years ago the road continued a few more kilometers, which poor hikers like us now have to walk.

View from the point where the road was swept away by a landslide caused by torrential rainfalls.

View from the point where the road was swept away by a landslide caused by torrential rainfalls.

Group photo before the start. The guy who's not carrying a backpack is the one who took longest to get ready. ;-)

Group photo before the start. The guy who's not carrying a backpack is the one who took longest to get ready. ;-)

A parking lot in the middle of the forest. The sign looks quite new, which is rather surprising given that there's not much more left of the road than a narrow trail.

A parking lot in the middle of the forest. The sign looks quite new, which is rather surprising given that there's not much more left of the road than a narrow trail.

The first section until the old trail head is pretty flat, but if the fog allows it you can see the steepness lying ahead.

The first section until the old trail head is pretty flat, but if the fog allows it you can see the steepness lying ahead.

The old trail head.

The old trail head.

After a few hours of walking in the forest and the fog finally a little bit of view.

After a few hours of walking in the forest and the fog finally a little bit of view.

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檜容山莊 (Kuai rong mountain hut). While it does look old and shabby from the outside it is one of the more convenient mountain huts in Taiwan. There's plenty of water (even for flushing the toilets!) and the cooking and sleeping areas are well designed.

檜容山莊 (Kuai rong mountain hut). While it does look old and shabby from the outside it is one of the more convenient mountain huts in Taiwan. There's plenty of water (even for flushing the toilets!) and the cooking and sleeping areas are well designed.

Early morning on the next day.

Early morning on the next day.

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Even the moon stayed around to make for nicer photos.

Even the moon stayed around to make for nicer photos.

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(untitled)
Finally at the top of 北大武 (Bei da wu).

Finally at the top of 北大武 (Bei da wu).

The view is not as breathtaking as other high mountains in Taiwan but I was told that you can see a great sea of clouds if you're lucky enough to get the timing right.

On the left in the far back you can see 關山 (Guan shan), the tallest one on the picture, and 玉山 (Yu shan), the tallest one in reality. The twin peak on the right is 美奈田主山 (Mei nai tian zhu shan).

The view is not as breathtaking as other high mountains in Taiwan but I was told that you can see a great sea of clouds if you're lucky enough to get the timing right.

On the left in the far back you can see 關山 (Guan shan), the tallest one on the picture, and 玉山 (Yu shan), the tallest one in reality. The twin peak on the right is 美奈田主山 (Mei nai tian zhu shan).

A curious bird also visited us while we were taking photos.

A curious bird also visited us while we were taking photos.

Apparently you're not even safe from photobombers on the highest peak in Southern Taiwan!

Apparently you're not even safe from photobombers on the highest peak in Southern Taiwan!

The forest on the ridge on the way down.

The forest on the ridge on the way down.

The view towards 屏東 (Ping dong) where we had started the day before.

The view towards 屏東 (Ping dong) where we had started the day before.


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