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A frog goes hiking: 郡大山 (Jun da shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:16

Not too far away from 玉山 (Yu shan), Taiwan's highest mountain, is 郡大山 (Jun da shan), the 61th-highest mountain. While that isn't spectacular I like this mountain because most of the trail isn't buried under a dense forest with no view, but along the ridge, so you can enjoy the view for almost the entire time.

It's also not a difficult mountain to hike. The tiring part is getting to the trail head: 32 kilometers of windy concrete and gravel road with potholes that send your head bumping against the ceiling! And when you're exhausted it's the same ordeal in reverse.

Regardless, it's well worth the trouble and when I go back there I'll try to make sure it's not after a weeklong flu that left me with enough energy to hike to the top but not enough to hike comfortably down. :-)


Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

32k工寮 trail head to 郡大山 (Jun da shan) and back



GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0800: Departure from the 郡大林道 (Jun da forest trail) 0 km mark.
0955: Arrival at the 32k工寮 trail head, 2860 m
1005: Departure from the trail head, 2860 m
1025: 望鄉山 (Wang xiang shan), 3007 m
1150: 郡大山北峰 (Jun da shan North peak), 3241 m
1230: 郡大山 (Jun da shan), 3265 m
1410: Departure
1455: 郡大山北峰 (Jun da shan North peak)
1600: 望鄉山 (Wang xiang shan)
1615: Back at the trail head


Photos

The entrance to 郡大林道 (Jun Da Forest Road) where everyone gets stuck until the official in charge peels himself out of bed and presses a button.

The entrance to 郡大林道 (Jun Da Forest Road) where everyone gets stuck until the official in charge peels himself out of bed and presses a button.

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The newly built 台21線 (highway 21) towards 望鄉 (Wang xiang) where we had spent the night.

The newly built 台21線 (highway 21) towards 望鄉 (Wang xiang) where we had spent the night.

Finally through the gate it's a bumpy ride.

Finally through the gate it's a bumpy ride.

Every so often the forest clears up a bit and you can see the beautiful view.

Every so often the forest clears up a bit and you can see the beautiful view.

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Shortly after the 22.5 km mark we took a little break.

Shortly after the 22.5 km mark we took a little break.

The obligatory temple along the way. :-)

The obligatory temple along the way. :-)

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Apparently I was too shaken to take a picture of the trail head but about an hour later we got off the bus and started hiking. The first landmark on the way is this little weather station.

Apparently I was too shaken to take a picture of the trail head but about an hour later we got off the bus and started hiking. The first landmark on the way is this little weather station.

Most of the trail leads through shrubs and tall grass.

Most of the trail leads through shrubs and tall grass.

The absence of trees on the ridge makes for great views all around.

The absence of trees on the ridge makes for great views all around.

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In the distance you can already see 玉山 (Yu shan).

In the distance you can already see 玉山 (Yu shan).

The trail ahead ...

The trail ahead ...

... and behind.

... and behind.

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(untitled)
Every so often the path leads through patches of bamboo.

Every so often the path leads through patches of bamboo.

Finally at the top, about an hour before the flu from the previous few days caught up with me and made me feel rather miserable.

Finally at the top, about an hour before the flu from the previous few days caught up with me and made me feel rather miserable.

But that won't stop me from snapping another photo with 玉山 (Yu shan) in the background!

But that won't stop me from snapping another photo with 玉山 (Yu shan) in the background!