Martin's personal blog – September 12, 2017

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A frog goes hiking: 志佳陽大山 (Zhi jia yang da shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:37

志佳陽大山 (Zhi jia yang da shan) has a reputation of being one of the more difficult day-trip mountains to hike in Taiwan and it certainly didn't let us down. After the first three kilometers of forest trail awaits an uninterrupted steep ascent of almost 1600 meters over about 4.6 kilometers (average slope of ca. 35%).

While the way up is quite bearable given the light backpack the long hike back down takes its toll on thighs, knee, and toes.

The weather forecast had been pretty awful, so I left my camera at home and took pictures with the phone. Apologies for the bad quality. In my naïveté I also forwent sunscreen and a hat, which garnered me a bit of a sunburn. It just goes to show that mountain weather is hard to predict and you should always prepare for all eventualities.


Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

環山 (Huan shan) to 志佳陽大山 (Zhi jia yang da shan) and back



GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0300: Wake up
0410: Departure from the 四季朗溪吊橋 (Si ji lang river suspension bridge), 1550 m
0425: Spent about 25 minutes looking for the way along the river
0535: Break at 3.2 km, the end of the flat forest trail, 1700 m
0545: Continue
0825: 賽良久營地 (Sai lang jiu campsite), 2710 m
0935: 瓢簞山屋 (Piao dan mountain hut), 3140 m
0955: 志佳陽大山三角點 (Zhi jia yang da shan triangulation point) at 7.8 km, 3289 m
1100: Short trip to 志佳陽大山最高點 (Zhi jia yang da shan peak) at 8.2 km, 3350 m
1120: Back at 志佳陽大山三角點 (Zhi jia yang da shan triangulation point)
1145: Departure
1405: Break at 3.2 km
1455: Continue
1605: Back at the 四季朗溪吊橋 (Si ji lang river suspension bridge)


Photos

The steep trail to the top after the forest slowly clears.

The steep trail to the top after the forest slowly clears.

The view back onto a beautiful sea of clouds and 桃山 (Tao shan) on the far left.

The view back onto a beautiful sea of clouds and 桃山 (Tao shan) on the far left.

The continuation of the previous picture if you will. 桃山 (Tao shan) is the treeless peak far away in the center and on its left are 池有山 (Chi you shan) and 品田山 (Pin tian shan), the rocky one on the far left.

The continuation of the previous picture if you will. 桃山 (Tao shan) is the treeless peak far away in the center and on its left are 池有山 (Chi you shan) and 品田山 (Pin tian shan), the rocky one on the far left.

Looking back you can see 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). On the left is 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan) and on the right are 甘薯峰 (Gan shu feng), a.k.a. 中央南山 (Zhong yang south peak) and 無明山 (Wu ming shan).

Looking back you can see 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). On the left is 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan) and on the right are 甘薯峰 (Gan shu feng), a.k.a. 中央南山 (Zhong yang south peak) and 無明山 (Wu ming shan).

At the center is the village of 環山 (Huan shan) where we had started our hike a bit more than five hours earlier.

At the center is the village of 環山 (Huan shan) where we had started our hike a bit more than five hours earlier.

Finally at the top (sort of) with some Swiss snacks ...

Finally at the top (sort of) with some Swiss snacks ...

... and a butterfly that was very fond of my frog-blue jacket.

... and a butterfly that was very fond of my frog-blue jacket.

From the triangulation point you also get a nice view towards 大劍山 (Da jian shan), the peak of which is just blocked from view on the right.

From the triangulation point you also get a nice view towards 大劍山 (Da jian shan), the peak of which is just blocked from view on the right.

The triangulation point is where everybody likes to take pictures because of the little pillar.

The triangulation point is where everybody likes to take pictures because of the little pillar.

(untitled)
However, if you continue a few hundred meters you get to the real peak. Unfortunately, the trees there block the view of the surrounding peaks, which explains why the triangulation point is further down.

However, if you continue a few hundred meters you get to the real peak. Unfortunately, the trees there block the view of the surrounding peaks, which explains why the triangulation point is further down.

Reading this sign makes you think what else you could possibly make faint using this plant. ;-)

Reading this sign makes you think what else you could possibly make faint using this plant. ;-)

On the way down you spot all the things you walked past a few hours earlier in the darkness like fungi ...

On the way down you spot all the things you walked past a few hours earlier in the darkness like fungi ...

... or fields of cabbage.

... or fields of cabbage.

The last meters of the hike. On the other side of the bridge is the trail head and the conveniently located hostel where we could take a shower before heading back.

The last meters of the hike. On the other side of the bridge is the trail head and the conveniently located hostel where we could take a shower before heading back.

The view from the suspension bridge is a good sample of the area: Rock slides ...

The view from the suspension bridge is a good sample of the area: Rock slides ...

... and orchards.

... and orchards.