Martin's personal blog – A frog goes hiking

Blog content

Latest posts

Active categories:

More tags ...

By date:

    (No recent posts)

Blog calendar

April 2018
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
 << Mar May >>
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30

A frog goes hiking: 武陵雙秀 (Wu ling shuang xiu) (Day 1)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:16

武陵四秀 (Wu ling si xiu, or "Wuling's beautiful four") is a group of four mountains in the area around 武陵農場 (Wuling Farm): 桃山 (Tao shan), 喀拉業山 (Ke la ye shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 品田山 (Pin tian shan). Our trip was the light version, only going to two of the four, therefore making it 武陵雙秀 ("Wuling's beautiful two").

Our car left early on Friday and arrived at 武陵農場 (Wuling Farm) late in the afternoon, which gave us enough time to put up everyone's tents on the camping site and then go enjoy the buffet at the hotel nearby. By the time the last of our group arrived I was fast asleep in my snuggly sleeping bag. Since last time my hiking equipment had gained a super light inflatable pillow, making my sleep even more comfortable. I might even enjoy camping one day. ;-)

The next morning we set off with a bit of delay but our schedule had enough buffer, so that we made it to 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) well in time before dusk. There was even enough time to bag the first peak of the trip, 池有山 (Chi you shan). By the time we were there the weather wasn't quite what you would hope anymore, but luckily two of us decided to go there again the next day on the way back, and we were not disappointed.

This post covers day 1. Day 2 is here.


Overview

The red track is the first day, the green track is the first half of day two before returning along the red track.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0430: Wake up
0610: Departure by car from 武陵農場營地 (Wu ling farm camping site)
0620: Arrival at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut)
0630: Start hiking at 武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), 1860 m
0735: Arrival at trail head, short visit to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan water fall) to fill up water, break
0840: Departure from trail head, 2230 m
1030: Arrival at lunch site, break, 2960 m
1310: Departure from lunch site
1410: Arrival at 三叉營地 (San cha campground), 3200 m
1420: Arrival at 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head), break, 3200 m
1505: Departure from 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head) towards the peak
1520: Arrival at 池有山 (Chi you shan), 3303 m
1540: Departure from 池有山 (Chi you shan)
1555: Back at 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head)
1600: Departure from 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head) towards 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut)
1725: Arrival at 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 3180 m


Photos

Getting ready on the parking lot at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut).

Getting ready on the parking lot at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut).

武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), behind which lie the trail heads to 品田山 (Pin tian shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 桃山 (Tao shan).

武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), behind which lie the trail heads to 品田山 (Pin tian shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 桃山 (Tao shan).

In our case, we had to walk for about 3.5 km first before getting to the trail head.

In our case, we had to walk for about 3.5 km first before getting to the trail head.

One of the informational signs. ([http://rubli.info/gallery/data/a-frog-goes-hiking-wu-ling-shuang-xiu-day-1/images/original/20140705-065103_MR7318_D90.jpg Click here for a larger version].)

One of the informational signs. (Click here for a larger version.)

The start of the trail to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) and 池有山 (Chi you shan). The concrete road continues on to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall) for about ten minutes.

The start of the trail to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) and 池有山 (Chi you shan). The concrete road continues on to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall) for about ten minutes.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall), the last water source before the mountain.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall), the last water source before the mountain.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall).

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall).

This rather misleading elevation chart makes the hike look easier than it really is. Especially after 三叉營地 (San cha campground) there's a fair amount of tiring ups and downs.

This rather misleading elevation chart makes the hike look easier than it really is. Especially after 三叉營地 (San cha campground) there's a fair amount of tiring ups and downs.

A 山羌 ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeves's_muntjac Reeves's muntjac], a kind of small deer) that I was lucky enough to get in front of my lens before it disappeared in the undergrowth.

A 山羌 (Reeves's muntjac, a kind of small deer) that I was lucky enough to get in front of my lens before it disappeared in the undergrowth.

The lower part of the hiking trail is mostly in the forest, so there isn't much to see.

The lower part of the hiking trail is mostly in the forest, so there isn't much to see.

Once you get out of the forest, though ...

Once you get out of the forest, though ...

... the view gets more and more spectacular. The pointy mountain here is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

... the view gets more and more spectacular. The pointy mountain here is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The forest also gets lighter in this area and grass is more common.

The forest also gets lighter in this area and grass is more common.

Looking to the left you get a great view of 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut), 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

Looking to the left you get a great view of 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut), 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

Cooking 羊肉爐 (Lamb hot pot), a typical winter dish, half-way up the mountain. Personally, I was already warm enough, so I stuck with my sandwich.

Cooking 羊肉爐 (Lamb hot pot), a typical winter dish, half-way up the mountain. Personally, I was already warm enough, so I stuck with my sandwich.

Clouds forming in the direction of our target.

Clouds forming in the direction of our target.

The view back.

The view back.

A sea of clouds over 宜蘭 (Yilan), apparently a common occurrence because it already looked like that [local://blog/2013/09/13/a-frog-goes-hiking-xue-shan-day-1/ last time I was hiking in that area].

A sea of clouds over 宜蘭 (Yilan), apparently a common occurrence because it already looked like that last time I was hiking in that area.

There's quite a number of interestingly shaped trees in that area.

There's quite a number of interestingly shaped trees in that area.

桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tai shan mountain hut) on its left. Three people of our group added another day to the trip to visit these.

桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tai shan mountain hut) on its left. Three people of our group added another day to the trip to visit these.

The start of the trail to 池有山 (Chi you shan) leads up this rock slope. According to the sign next to it, the rocks are broken into pieces by temperature fluctuations.

The start of the trail to 池有山 (Chi you shan) leads up this rock slope. According to the sign next to it, the rocks are broken into pieces by temperature fluctuations.

Nice flowers are also plentiful up here.

Nice flowers are also plentiful up here.

Walking up to 池有山 (Chi you shan).

Walking up to 池有山 (Chi you shan).

Close to the top the fog started to rise, rather abruptly ending the nice weather we had had during the first half of the day.

Close to the top the fog started to rise, rather abruptly ending the nice weather we had had during the first half of the day.

Still, there was just enough blue sky left to take a nice photo at the top!

Still, there was just enough blue sky left to take a nice photo at the top!

The last part of the trail isn't quite as easy to tackle because it involves climbing up and down over rocks. Nevertheless, some people did so very swiftly, even with the weight of an extra backpack.

The last part of the trail isn't quite as easy to tackle because it involves climbing up and down over rocks. Nevertheless, some people did so very swiftly, even with the weight of an extra backpack.

Finally, 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) came into sight where we would spend the night. Our arrival there also coincided with a bit of rainfall as it often happens in the afternoon.

Finally, 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) came into sight where we would spend the night. Our arrival there also coincided with a bit of rainfall as it often happens in the afternoon.


A frog goes hiking: 雪山 (Xue shan) (Day 2)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:35

The second day started with three hours of hiking in the dark. There's an obsession in Taiwan with watching the sunrise on mountain tops that I can't quite comprehend. For me the whole point of hiking is to enjoy the scenery while doing some slightly challenging exercise. Hiking at night takes that most important part away from that. Be that as it may, thanks to a final ten minute sprint we just made it to the top in time to see the red sun rise above the horizon.

Even the rising sun didn't help much with the temperature, though. It was rather cold at the top and I was seriously considering unpacking my down jacket. But the view could almost make you forget about the cold. The three-sixty view at the top is very impressive and you can even spot Taiwan's highest mountain, 玉山 (Yu shan) in the distance.

On the way down it got warm pretty quickly and by the first rest stop it was high time to put on sunscreen again.

Back at the 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) we had an early lunch before we switched the light daypacks for our heavy backpacks again and started heading down. The weather held up very well the entire time and just like on the way up we could see the sea of clouds above the flatlands.

This post covers day 2. Back to day 1.


Overview

The red track is the first day, the green track is the first half of day two before returning along the red track.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0130: Wake up (no, the time is not a typo ...)
0240: Departure from 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut), 3140 m
0525: 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), 3886 m
0610: Descent
0855: Back at 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut), 3140 m
1005: Departure from 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut)
1040: 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak), 3201 m
1110: Arrival at 哭坡觀景台 (Ku po view platform), rest break, 2976 m
1150: Departure from 哭坡觀景台 (Ku po view platform)
1300: Arrival at 七卡山莊 (Qi ka mountain hut), break, 2506 m
1320: Departure from 七卡山莊 (Qi ka mountain hut)
1400: Arrival at trail head, 2139 m


Photos

Question: Is this a sunset or sunrise?

Answer: Okay, it was a trick question. It's neither. This photo was taken at 2 am and the red light are atmospheric reflections of the city lights. :-)

Question: Is this a sunset or sunrise?

Answer: Okay, it was a trick question. It's neither. This photo was taken at 2 am and the red light are atmospheric reflections of the city lights. :-)

北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), 雪山's little step brother. It's only a few meters shorter but didn't get the title of 百岳 ...

北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), 雪山's little step brother. It's only a few meters shorter but didn't get the title of 百岳 ...

雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), 3886 meters above sea level, just before sunset.

雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), 3886 meters above sea level, just before sunset.

Me at the top of 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), raising my usual 百岳 (Taiwan's 100 highest mountains) flag, wearing my usual frog-colored jacket. :-)

Me at the top of 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), raising my usual 百岳 (Taiwan's 100 highest mountains) flag, wearing my usual frog-colored jacket. :-)

大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the distance, but still clearer than [local:/blog/2012/06/01/a-frog-goes-hiking-big-failure-mountain-day-2/ when I actually went there last year].

大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the distance, but still clearer than when I actually went there last year.

The peak in the middle is 玉山 (Yu shan) and, ironically, also clearer than [local:/blog/2011/05/05/a-frog-goes-hiking-yu-shan-oneday-trip/ when I went there]!

The peak in the middle is 玉山 (Yu shan) and, ironically, also clearer than when I went there!

The view towards 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) and 品田山 (Pin tian shan).

The view towards 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) and 品田山 (Pin tian shan).

This was quite an interesting sight with the mountains casting shadows at sunrise.

This was quite an interesting sight with the mountains casting shadows at sunrise.

The 樂山 (Le shan) radar station near 觀霧 (Guan wu).

The 樂山 (Le shan) radar station near 觀霧 (Guan wu).

About 50 meters away from the main peak somebody built a little stone heap.

About 50 meters away from the main peak somebody built a little stone heap.

Dead trees on the side of the path on the way down.

Dead trees on the side of the path on the way down.

Another look at 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

Another look at 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

The view back up towards 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak). It's a shame that it doesn't quite look like a peak from this angle.

The view back up towards 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak). It's a shame that it doesn't quite look like a peak from this angle.

Cliffs are visible from the 黑森林 (Black forest).

Cliffs are visible from the 黑森林 (Black forest).

The 黑森林 (Black forest), which is about as black as your run-of-the-mill forest. :-)

The 黑森林 (Black forest), which is about as black as your run-of-the-mill forest. :-)

As soon as you get out of the forest you can spot 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) again.

As soon as you get out of the forest you can spot 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) again.

This used to be forest many years ago but burned down in a large forest fire.

This used to be forest many years ago but burned down in a large forest fire.

三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) on the way down.

三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) on the way down.

And 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) again, a little later from 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak). You can see the windy trail that leads up to the 黑森林 (Black forest) and 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak).

And 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) again, a little later from 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak). You can see the windy trail that leads up to the 黑森林 (Black forest) and 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak).

Just like the day before you can see the sea of clouds covering the lower areas.

Just like the day before you can see the sea of clouds covering the lower areas.

The peak on the left is 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak) where we had just been a few hours ago. The rocky peak (third one from the left) is 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

The peak on the left is 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak) where we had just been a few hours ago. The rocky peak (third one from the left) is 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

A few tired but happy members of our hiking group back down at the trail head. This picture was taken by the park ranger.

A few tired but happy members of our hiking group back down at the trail head. This picture was taken by the park ranger.

After he had taken our group shot he asked me if he could borrow my camera for a bit. So he went back to the normally inaccessible area behind the water tank and started shooting a few great pictures like this one. :-)

After he had taken our group shot he asked me if he could borrow my camera for a bit. So he went back to the normally inaccessible area behind the water tank and started shooting a few great pictures like this one. :-)


A frog goes hiking: 雪山 (Xue shan) (Day 1)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:07

Apparently my 雨神 (rain god) spell has been lifted. This was the second hike in short succession that I had great weather on a multi-day hiking trip! And this wasn't just any mountain - it was 雪山 (Xue shan, or Snow mountain) which had been on my list for quite a while.

After gathering in Taipei on Friday night we drove to 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm) where we stayed in tents for the first night before starting the actual hike the next morning.

This was my first time joining a more organized hiking group. Now, if you know me you know that things can't be too organized for me, but on the mountains that's a whole different story. Hiking single file at snail's pace on a well-established trail isn't exactly exercise, so after a little back and forth with the guide we were finally able to walk at a more natural pace. That has the added benefit of being able to take photos anytime it's worth it without stopping the people behind you dead in their tracks. With the sunny weather and the awesome scenery that was most necessary.

The only goal of day 1 was to get to the 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut) where we would spend the night. On the way, however, you can already climb the first 百岳 (a name given to Taiwan's 100 highest mountains), namely 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak).

We had to get up super early the next morning (ordinarily I would call it "the same night"), so after dinner I went straight to bed to catch as much sleep as possible. If I've learned anything from the last hike it's that sleep is probably the most important thing while hiking, so I was equipped with my trusted inflatable sleeping mat and earplugs. Even the latter ones worked well this time, and while I didn't sleep quite as well as the first night (I blame the lack of a good pillow), I was comparably well-rested the next day.

This post covers day 1. Day 2 is here.


Overview

The red track is the first day, the green track is the first half of day two before returning along the red track.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0600: Wake up
0715: Departure by bus from 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm) to the trail head, coffee break near the campground
0750: Arrival at trail head
0840: Start hiking at trail head, 2139 m
0945: Arrival at 七卡山莊 (Qi ka mountain hut), 2506 m
1005: Departure from 七卡山莊 (Qi ka mountain hut)
1135: Arrival at 哭坡觀景台 (Ku po view platform), rest break, 2976 m
1205: Departure from 哭坡觀景台 (Ku po view platform)
1245: 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak), 3201 m
1435: Arrival at 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut), 3140 m


Photos

The night sky over 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm). Well, either that or maybe it's just sensor noise.

The night sky over 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm). Well, either that or maybe it's just sensor noise.

Tearing down our night camp in 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

Tearing down our night camp in 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

Bears welcoming visitors to the 雪霸國家公園 (Xue Ba National Park). In reality you're much more likely to ...

Bears welcoming visitors to the 雪霸國家公園 (Xue Ba National Park). In reality you're much more likely to ...

... encounter these little creatures.

... encounter these little creatures.

The campground in 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

The campground in 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

Preparing for the hike in front of the 雪山登山口 (Xue shan trail head) at 2140 m altitude.

Preparing for the hike in front of the 雪山登山口 (Xue shan trail head) at 2140 m altitude.

The view is already beautiful before you start hiking.

The view is already beautiful before you start hiking.

I actually thought this butterfly was fake but was reassured that it's really just asleep - and that it's a moth, not a butterfly.

I actually thought this butterfly was fake but was reassured that it's really just asleep - and that it's a moth, not a butterfly.

A water tank right at the trail head. This was previously used for watering the plantations in the area and is now one of the campground's water sources.

A water tank right at the trail head. This was previously used for watering the plantations in the area and is now one of the campground's water sources.

It's nice to see the sea of clouds coming in as long as you're on the upper side and not hiking down.

It's nice to see the sea of clouds coming in as long as you're on the upper side and not hiking down.

桃山 (Tao shan), another of Taiwan's highest peaks in the area.

桃山 (Tao shan), another of Taiwan's highest peaks in the area.

(untitled)
The so-called 哭坡 (Ku po), freely translated the "Slope of pain".

The so-called 哭坡 (Ku po), freely translated the "Slope of pain".

But luckily walking up isn't half as bad as the name suggests. I am therefore renaming it the "Slope of slight discomfort".

But luckily walking up isn't half as bad as the name suggests. I am therefore renaming it the "Slope of slight discomfort".

The higher we climbed the better the view got.

The higher we climbed the better the view got.

The view back.

The view back.

雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak) is conveniently located along the trail. All it takes to reach the top is a 20 meter detour!

雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak) is conveniently located along the trail. All it takes to reach the top is a 20 meter detour!

And from the same point you can already see 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut).

And from the same point you can already see 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut).

Raising the Swiss flag at the top of 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak).

Raising the Swiss flag at the top of 雪山東峰 (Xue shan east peak).

But because I like Taiwan at least as much as Switzerland I always bring a Taiwanese flag too! :-)

But because I like Taiwan at least as much as Switzerland I always bring a Taiwanese flag too! :-)

三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut).

三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut).

The interior of 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut). Maybe somebody should carry up a new mirror one of these days, but then again, looks aren't the biggest of your worries when you haven't showered for a day or two.

The interior of 三六九山莊 (San liu jiu mountain hut). Maybe somebody should carry up a new mirror one of these days, but then again, looks aren't the biggest of your worries when you haven't showered for a day or two.

(untitled)

A frog goes hiking: 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) (Day 3)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:57

If I had to summarize the third day in one word it wouldn't be "exhaustion" but "rain". From the moment we got up until we got into the car it was raining virtually non-stop. Below are the cumulative rain charts for our three days. The little white circle marks our hiking area:

So, as you can see, this is not exactly the best weather for hiking but a great chance to test my rain gear.

At this point I have to make a little advertisement for my Rab Demand pull-on eVent jacket. Worn on top of only a thin, long-sleeved Merino wool shirt it kept me dry for the entire day. My fellow hikers in plastic and Gore-Tex all got wet - either from the humidity building up on the inside or from the rain seeping in, or both. In terms of breathability and water resistance eVent really beats the heck out of Gore-Tex. I've experienced it for myself numerous times and there's research that suggests the same.

Before we get to the photos of the day let's look at a little bird's eye view of the area:


(Click on the picture for a larger version.)

On the far right you can see 雪山 (Xue shan), the second highest mountain in Taiwan. On the far left is our mountain hut. It's entirely possible to attack 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) from the other side, but that would be a much longer and even more exhausting trip.

We had originally planned to go to 雪山 (Xue shan) and 雪山北蜂 (Xue shan East peak) but because of difficulties booking the mountain hut we ended up going to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). After all, 雪山 (Xue shan) isn't going anywhere anytime soon.


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

04??: Wake up
0600: Departure from 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut), 2699 m, 10 °C
0815: 馬達拉溪登山口 (Ma da la river trail head), break time in the mountain hut
0945: 大鹿林道 (Da lu forest trail), 17 km
1440: Arrival back at 觀霧 (Guan wu)


Photos

Six o'clock in the morning: Ready to leave 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) in the pouring rain.

Six o'clock in the morning: Ready to leave 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) in the pouring rain.

Back down at the suspension bridge over the 馬達拉溪 (Ma da la river).

Back down at the suspension bridge over the 馬達拉溪 (Ma da la river).

Given the heavy rain at the time we didn't want to take the shortcut for fear of having a "one step forward, two steps back" experience. So we walked the 2 km up to the 17 km milestone. When we got there it already looked different than two days earlier - they were doing some construction with a backhoe. With any luck there will be a little hut or at least a rest stop here in the future.

Given the heavy rain at the time we didn't want to take the shortcut for fear of having a "one step forward, two steps back" experience. So we walked the 2 km up to the 17 km milestone. When we got there it already looked different than two days earlier - they were doing some construction with a backhoe. With any luck there will be a little hut or at least a rest stop here in the future.

Five hours, seventeen kilometers, and a lot of rain later we're finally back in 觀霧 (Guan wu).

Five hours, seventeen kilometers, and a lot of rain later we're finally back in 觀霧 (Guan wu).

Can you see the expression of relief in my face?

Can you see the expression of relief in my face?

Joe wringing out his socks.

Joe wringing out his socks.

Ann with the same relieved expression on her face.

Ann with the same relieved expression on her face.

[http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AF%9B%E5%9C%B0%E9%BB%84%E5%B1%9E 毛地黃] ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitalis Foxgloves]) along the way.

毛地黃 (Foxgloves) along the way.

It looks much worse than it really was, but the bruise explains why I felt pain for the last 9 km of the hike. I probably have some work to do in the shoe tying area.

It looks much worse than it really was, but the bruise explains why I felt pain for the last 9 km of the hike. I probably have some work to do in the shoe tying area.


Back to day 1 or day 2


A frog goes hiking: 大失敗山 (Big failure mountain) (Day 2)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:34

We are now on the day two, the green part of our hike:


(Click the image for a larger version.)

There had been a short but intense thunderstorm overnight, so the others were a bit worried about the weather. Why not me? Thanks to earplugs and my superhuman sleeping powers I had missed it entirely. :-) Still, I was positively surprised by the clear morning sky and, for the first time in days, actually had high hopes of standing at a mountain top in good weather.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Once the entire mountain range was covered in fog we figured it wasn't worth it just going to the top for the heck of it, so we turned around.

On the way down Max and I still took two little detours to 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan) and 加利山 (Jia li shan). After all, I had come to climb some of Taiwan's 100 highest mountains and I wasn't going to leave without having done so!

It was barely lunch time by the time we got back to camp, so, besides eating and practicing his Chinese with his hiking friends, what can a bored hiker do? That's right: Run around the mountain hut with the GPS around his neck to be able to get a few tracks for OpenStreetMap. Here's the before and after:

Pretty, isn't it? :-)

Below are the charts and photos for day 2.


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

0330: Wake up (well, as awake as you can be at that time of day)
0430: Departure, 2699 m, 10 °C
0555: Crossroad to 加利山 (Jia li shan), 3100 m
0800: Crossroad to 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan), 3245 m
0820: 中霸山屋 (Zhong ba mountain hut), 3295 m
0925: 中霸平 (Zhong ba ping), 3400 m
1000: 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan), 3297 m
1145: 加利山 (Jia li shan), 3112 m
1300: Back at 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut)


Photos

Sunrise on the way from 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Sunrise on the way from 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

A beautiful sea of clouds minutes after sunrise.

A beautiful sea of clouds minutes after sunrise.

The trail up to 3050高地 ("3050 plateau").

The trail up to 3050高地 ("3050 plateau").

Six more kilometers to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Six more kilometers to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Views like this (almost) make it worth getting up at three in the morning.

Views like this (almost) make it worth getting up at three in the morning.

The crossroad to 加利山 (Jia li shan), the peak that's easiest to reach from 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut).

The crossroad to 加利山 (Jia li shan), the peak that's easiest to reach from 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut).

The view towards 加利山 (Jia li shan).

The view towards 加利山 (Jia li shan).

And the view back from where we just came from. Luckily people with D-SLRs tend to walk slower (I know I do when I carry one), so it leaves compact shooters more time for breaks. :-)

And the view back from where we just came from. Luckily people with D-SLRs tend to walk slower (I know I do when I carry one), so it leaves compact shooters more time for breaks. :-)

A little snack break at the top of a hill.

A little snack break at the top of a hill.

It would be nice to have a D-SLR to capture the true beauty of the scenery, but 1.5 kg is a lot of weight!

It would be nice to have a D-SLR to capture the true beauty of the scenery, but 1.5 kg is a lot of weight!

Looking back ...

Looking back ...

... and looking south. Near the left border of the picture you can see 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), one of the highest peaks in Taiwan. It is only a stone's throw away from the famous 雪山 (Xue shan) which lies right behind it.

... and looking south. Near the left border of the picture you can see 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), one of the highest peaks in Taiwan. It is only a stone's throw away from the famous 雪山 (Xue shan) which lies right behind it.

The impressive peak of 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). Too bad that neither the lighting nor the fog made for good photo conditions.

The impressive peak of 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). Too bad that neither the lighting nor the fog made for good photo conditions.

From left to right: 中霸尖山 (Zhong ba jian shan), 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan), and 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan).

From left to right: 中霸尖山 (Zhong ba jian shan), 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan), and 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan).

The view back. At the end of the trail lies 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan) that we hadn't climbed yet but which was on the list for our way down.

The view back. At the end of the trail lies 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan) that we hadn't climbed yet but which was on the list for our way down.

中霸山屋 (Zhong ba mountain hut), an abandoned hut that now merely serves as an emergency shelter.

中霸山屋 (Zhong ba mountain hut), an abandoned hut that now merely serves as an emergency shelter.

I forgot to take a picture of that but if you slip here you're unlikely to ever see the light of day again. On the left side the stony slope goes down far enough to disappear in the fog.

I forgot to take a picture of that but if you slip here you're unlikely to ever see the light of day again. On the left side the stony slope goes down far enough to disappear in the fog.

Some beautiful flowers along the way.

Some beautiful flowers along the way.

Finally at the top!

Finally at the top!

Unfortunately it's the top of 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan) and not our original destination. The fog had gotten worse towards the top, so that we only continued to 中霸平 (Zhong ba ping), a great spot for photographing 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). It would only have been another 40 minutes to get to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) but without the view it's just not worth it.

Unfortunately it's the top of 伊澤山 (Yi ze shan) and not our original destination. The fog had gotten worse towards the top, so that we only continued to 中霸平 (Zhong ba ping), a great spot for photographing 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). It would only have been another 40 minutes to get to 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) but without the view it's just not worth it.

Traces of mountain goats in the dirt.

Traces of mountain goats in the dirt.

Taking a break to eat a few carrot sticks and nuts. (Apparently hiking turns me into a rabbit/squirrel.)

Taking a break to eat a few carrot sticks and nuts. (Apparently hiking turns me into a rabbit/squirrel.)

And the second peak for the day ...

And the second peak for the day ...

... 加利山 (Jia li shan). Normally the view from here would be great but not today.

... 加利山 (Jia li shan). Normally the view from here would be great but not today.

By the time Max and I got back to 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) from climbing our two little peaks Joe and Ann were already back down again and resting.

By the time Max and I got back to 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) from climbing our two little peaks Joe and Ann were already back down again and resting.

The kitchen and community room of the mountain hut.

The kitchen and community room of the mountain hut.

九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut).

九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut).

The spartan toilets.

The spartan toilets.

The mountain hut does have some electricity thanks to a huge solar panel.

The mountain hut does have some electricity thanks to a huge solar panel.

Parts of 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) seen from the top.

Parts of 九九山莊 (Jiu jiu mountain hut) seen from the top.

Cooking our well-deserved dinner.

Cooking our well-deserved dinner.

Back to day 1 or continue to day 3