Martin's personal blog – A frog goes hiking

Blog content

Latest posts

Active categories:

More tags ...

By date:

    (No recent posts)

Blog calendar

October 2018
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
 << Sep Nov >>
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 31

A frog goes hiking: 合歡山 (He huan shan) - Day 1

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:02

As regular readers of my blog will have noticed we have been hiking quite a bit in the last months. After a bunch of smaller afternoon hikes to break in the shoes it was finally time to take our equipment - and our legs - to the next level: some of Taiwan's highest mountains.

The list of Taiwan's 100 highest mountains is pretty famous here but only few people are adventurous enough to complete it. Some mountains are only accessible after days of difficult hiking and the weather is a factor not to be underestimated.

Luckily some of these 100 mountains are quite easy to conquer. The easiest ones are all part of 合歡山 (He huan shan), so that it's perfectly possible to climb five of them in a good weekend of relaxed hiking. We managed to do four of them - two per day. On Saturday we hiked 北峰 (north peak) and walked up (it can't be called hiking ...) 主峰 (main peak).

So, what's with the frog you ask? Well, you'll see it in the photos below. Let's just say that green wasn't the color of my choice but now that I look like a frog I figured I might as well make this the motto of my Top-100 attack! :-)

Enjoy the photos! (If you liked them, there's a link to more at the bottom.)


The view from our homestay at night. Not too bad you think? Wait for daylight! :-)

The view from our homestay at night. Not too bad you think? Wait for daylight! :-)

The balcony of our homestay.

The balcony of our homestay.

Daylight shines an interesting twilight on the 清境 (Qing jing) area. On the one hand there's the amazing mountain scenery that has also led to the area endearingly being called 小瑞士 - "Little Switzerland". On the other hand it displays the touristic and kitchy nature of anything human-built in the area.

On the right side you can see one of the countless "European-style" buildings in the area. What makes these homestays so ugly is not only the fact that the architect has likely never visited Europe but also that they try to combine all kinds of different styles into one.

But despair not! We had higher things in mind than joining city people staring at the origin of milk and eggs on the 清境農場 (Qing jing farm): Climbing several of Taiwan's 100 highest mountains!

Daylight shines an interesting twilight on the 清境 (Qing jing) area. On the one hand there's the amazing mountain scenery that has also led to the area endearingly being called 小瑞士 - "Little Switzerland". On the other hand it displays the touristic and kitchy nature of anything human-built in the area.

On the right side you can see one of the countless "European-style" buildings in the area. What makes these homestays so ugly is not only the fact that the architect has likely never visited Europe but also that they try to combine all kinds of different styles into one.

But despair not! We had higher things in mind than joining city people staring at the origin of milk and eggs on the 清境農場 (Qing jing farm): Climbing several of Taiwan's 100 highest mountains!

View from the road that leads up to 合歡山 (He huan shan).

View from the road that leads up to 合歡山 (He huan shan).

At the trail head ready for the hike up to 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak). The spirits are still high!

At the trail head ready for the hike up to 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak). The spirits are still high!

Hiking up to 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak). Joe and I were carrying heavy backpacks to train for more strenuous trips to come.

Hiking up to 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak). Joe and I were carrying heavy backpacks to train for more strenuous trips to come.

The male alpine version of the common image of city girls carrying umbrellas to escape the feared sun tan.

The male alpine version of the common image of city girls carrying umbrellas to escape the feared sun tan.

Looking eastwards and one kilometer to go.

Looking eastwards and one kilometer to go.

I was rather stunned to see this. A huge reflector panel has been installed on the hill, apparently to make 合歡山 (He huan shan) clearly visible from other peaks in the area. I haven't seen it in action yet but trips to said other peaks are in planning! :-)

I was rather stunned to see this. A huge reflector panel has been installed on the hill, apparently to make 合歡山 (He huan shan) clearly visible from other peaks in the area. I haven't seen it in action yet but trips to said other peaks are in planning! :-)

Group photo at the top of 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

Group photo at the top of 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

Ivy posing with a backpack that she can hardly lift ...

Ivy posing with a backpack that she can hardly lift ...

... and for comparison the real backpack. :-)

... and for comparison the real backpack. :-)

Apparently hiking makes some people more tired than others. Then again, it does look inviting to take a nap in the sun at the top of a mountain!

Apparently hiking makes some people more tired than others. Then again, it does look inviting to take a nap in the sun at the top of a mountain!

At the top of 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

At the top of 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

Back at the trail head. The spirits are tired but happy. :-)

Back at the trail head. The spirits are tired but happy. :-)


(If your computer doesn't display Chinese: The shadow looks like the Chinese character for 'Mountain'.)

山
''(If your computer doesn't display Chinese: The shadow looks like the Chinese character for 'Mountain'.)''

At the top of 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak), the 34th highest mountain in Taiwan with 3416 m above sea level. Given how easy it is to walk up there it's really not much of an achievement but hey, a list is a list. :-)

At the top of 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak), the 34th highest mountain in Taiwan with 3416 m above sea level. Given how easy it is to walk up there it's really not much of an achievement but hey, [http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/台灣百岳列表 a list is a list]. :-)

Cooking noodle soup at the top of a mountain is the best way to lift spirits and warm you up!

Cooking noodle soup at the top of a mountain is the best way to lift spirits and warm you up!

Sunset from 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak).

Sunset from 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak).

There are more photos in my gallery, so be sure to check it out as well.

Part two will be coming up soon ...


« Previous | 1 2 3 4 5