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A frog goes hiking: 奇萊主北 (Qi lai main and north peaks) (Day 2)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:33

The second day started with a collective lack of motivation to get up. Several people had slept little to nothing because of tent-induced discomfort, loud snoring, or high altitude. So instead of getting up at 0230 it was already past sunrise when our tent woke up. The weather report from the insomniacs outside about fog was hardly motivation to get out of bed. Only breakfast finally did the trick.

As the fog started to lift some of us felt it would be a shame not to climb 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak) as planned, despite the delay in schedule. So, three of us started preparing light backpacks and cameras and went on our way, leaving the large backpacks behind.

The weather got better by the minute and everything but the summit was fog-free, which allowed for great views along the ridge trail.

The fog did start to rise again during our descent but the weather stayed mostly sunny and completely dry for the rest of the hike. Even the way back up from the valley didn't turn out to be as bad as I had feared. Personally, the most tiring part was the last kilometer, probably because once you know that you're almost there your body starts to wind down. Luckily, the 100m-stones passed quite quickly and before we knew it we were back at the parking lot.


Overview

The red track is the first day, the green track is the second day.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart


GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0620: Departure from 奇萊山屋 (Qilai mountain hut), 3350 m
0730: 卡羅樓奇萊主峰叉路 (Ka luo lou and Qilai main peak crossroad), 3410 m
0750: Arrival at 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), 3560 m
0815: Departure from 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak)
0830: 卡羅樓奇萊主峰叉路 (Ka luo lou and Qilai main peak crossroad)
0930: Arrival back at 奇萊山屋 (Qilai mountain hut)
0950: Departure from 奇萊山屋 (Qilai mountain hut)
1030: 叉路 (Trail fork), 3160 m
1115: Break at 成功山屋 (Cheng gong mountain hut), 2860 m
1140: Continue
1215: Break at 黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut), 2735 m
1225: Continue
1325: Break at 小奇萊 (Xiao qi lai), 3150 m
1345: Continue
1420: Arrival at 奇萊山登山口 (Qilai trail head), 3040 m


Photos

View from 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut) towards 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), the "twin-peaked" mountain in the far distance. (To the top and slightly left of the blue tent.)

View from 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut) towards 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), the "twin-peaked" mountain in the far distance. (To the top and slightly left of the blue tent.)

Three kilometers to 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), the first destination of the day. In the background you can see the second destination: the 合歡山 (He huan shan) area, 6.6 kilometers away.

Three kilometers to 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), the first destination of the day. In the background you can see the second destination: the 合歡山 (He huan shan) area, 6.6 kilometers away.

The view back towards 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut), the small white square, and the pointy 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) to its right.

The view back towards 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut), the small white square, and the pointy 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) to its right.

Most of the trail towards 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak) is on the ridge line and therefore makes for fairly relaxed hiking with the best possible view!

Most of the trail towards 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak) is on the ridge line and therefore makes for fairly relaxed hiking with the best possible view!

Clouds building up near 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

Clouds building up near 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

Nice to see from a distance but not so nice when you're there: Clouds at the top of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

Nice to see from a distance but not so nice when you're there: Clouds at the top of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

The beautiful ridge line leading to 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

The beautiful ridge line leading to 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

合歡山 (He huan shan) from a distance. The tallest one in the middle is 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak), the grassy one to its lower right is 小奇萊 (Xiao qilai) where we passed through the day before on the way down into the valley.

合歡山 (He huan shan) from a distance. The tallest one in the middle is 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak), the grassy one to its lower right is 小奇萊 (Xiao qilai) where we passed through the day before on the way down into the valley.

Alpine flowers and 清境 (Qing jing) in the background (the hill that is now mostly covered in farmland and illegally erected homestays).

Alpine flowers and 清境 (Qing jing) in the background (the hill that is now mostly covered in farmland and illegally erected homestays).

杜鵑 (Rhododendron) in all their beauty.

杜鵑 (Rhododendron) in all their beauty.

Clouds looming over 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

Clouds looming over 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak) in the distance.

奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak) in the distance.

Once again the view back towards 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) that we climbed yesterday. In the center you can see the 雪山山脈 (Xue shan mountain range) in the far distance.

Once again the view back towards 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) that we climbed yesterday. In the center you can see the 雪山山脈 (Xue shan mountain range) in the far distance.

卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan), the impressive mountain between 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak)and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak).

卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan), the impressive mountain between 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak)and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak).

The last relaxing section before the ascent to the peak.

The last relaxing section before the ascent to the peak.

The crossroad between the trail to 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and the one to the peak of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

The crossroad between the trail to 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and the one to the peak of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak).

A sign warning of the dangers of the trail to 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak). And for a change the sign isn't lying; large parts of the route consist of rockslides without an actual trail that's visible.

A sign warning of the dangers of the trail to 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak). And for a change the sign isn't lying; large parts of the route consist of rockslides without an actual trail that's visible.

Once again the view towards 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak).

Once again the view towards 卡羅樓山 (Ka luo lou shan) and 奇萊南峰 (Qilai south peak).

Finally at the top of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak). Which begs the question ... If the north peak is higher than the main peak, why are the names the way they are? Shouldn't north peak be called "main peak" and main peak be called "south peak"?

Finally at the top of 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak). Which begs the question ... If the north peak is higher than the main peak, why are the names the way they are? Shouldn't north peak be called "main peak" and main peak be called "south peak"?

The clouds only lifted briefly when we were getting ready to descend. That's why apart from this one there are no nice summit photos this time!

The clouds only lifted briefly when we were getting ready to descend. That's why apart from this one there are no nice summit photos this time!

On the way back the fog started to rise over the ridge line. Good thing we had taken our time to shoot photos on the way up.

On the way back the fog started to rise over the ridge line. Good thing we had taken our time to shoot photos on the way up.


A frog goes hiking: 奇萊主北 (Qi lai main and north peaks) (Day 1)

posted by Martin Rubli at 07:27

Third time's a charm: After two attempts of climbing 奇萊山 (Qi lai shan) that got canceled because of bad weather the third time finally worked out. And it's well worth to wait for good weather. For one thing the view is obviously only as good as the weather and for another 奇萊山 (Qi lai shan) has a reputation for being dangerous in bad weather conditions. As a matter of fact, it has even received the nickname 黑奇萊 (black Qi lai), not only because of the dark appearance of its cliffs, but also because it has claimed numerous lives over the years.

We stayed the night before in the 合歡山 (He huan shan) area, so that we could start early without having to get up too early and still have enough time to make it to 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) and back to the 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut). For the second day we had planned an early return trip to 奇萊主峰 (Qilai main peak), followed by the return journey.

One of the things that make 奇萊山 (Qi lai shan) feared amount hikers is the fact that there's a valley between the trail head and the peak. This means that on both ways you "lose" about 350 meters of altitude that you then have to hike back up. Also, water is rare near 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut). Luckily we had organized a helping hand who helped us put up the tents and prepared dinner. That easily took a few kilograms off everyone's backpacks.

A word of warning: 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut) doesn't lend itself as an example of good hiking infrastructure. It is small and therefore notoriously hard to book, the "toilet" doesn't deserve the name and is more of a big pile of excrement that drives everyone into the bushes, and there's no such thing as rain water collection. It's sadly obvious that the Taroko National Park administration funnels most of the money into Taroko Valley. Bottom line: If you plan to hike 奇萊山 (Qi lai shan) prepare to be on your own.

After a little more than six hours of hiking we finally found ourselves relieved at the top of the Qi lai ridge. That's a good place to switch to light backpacks and attack the last kilometer to the peak. It's about a two-hour round-trip from there to 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak) and once you get back you're only left with a relaxing 15-20 minute walk to 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut).

The weather was good for most of the trip, but unfortunately the fog reached the summit around the same time we did. Despite the lack of view climbing the peak involves a bit of climbing fun. And we still had the outlook of day two, with a slightly better weather forecast ...


Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart


GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0750: Departure from 奇萊山登山口 (Qilai trail head), 3040 m
0940: Break at 黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut), 2735 m
1000: Continue
1050: Break at 成功山屋 (Cheng gong mountain hut), 2860 m
1140: Continue
1230: Break at 叉路 (Trail fork), 3160 m
1320: Continue
1425: Break at 嶺線 (Ridge), 3440 m
1455: Continue
1550: Arrival at 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak), 3607 m
1630: Departure from 奇萊北峰 (Qilai north peak)
1715: Break at 嶺線 (Ridge)
1725: Continue
1740: Arrival at 奇萊山屋 (Qilai mountain hut), 3350 m


Photos

松雪樓 (Song xue lou) with 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) in the background, our destination for the day.

松雪樓 (Song xue lou) with 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) in the background, our destination for the day.

The trail head is right next to the 滑雪山莊 ("Skiing mountain hut"). Of course it's been a long time since anyone has been able to ski in this area but the name has stuck.

The trail head is right next to the 滑雪山莊 ("Skiing mountain hut"). Of course it's been a long time since anyone has been able to ski in this area but the name has stuck.

The trail head. From here it's around 7 kilometers to the top of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak), a little less if you hike directly to the 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut).

The trail head. From here it's around 7 kilometers to the top of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak), a little less if you hike directly to the 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut).

In order to get to the other side you have to hike down into the valley first, a fact particularly dreaded on the way back.

In order to get to the other side you have to hike down into the valley first, a fact particularly dreaded on the way back.

Looking back towards 小奇萊 (Xiao qi lai).

Looking back towards 小奇萊 (Xiao qi lai).

The area is filled with beautiful 山杜鵑 (Rhododendron), here mostly with purple ones but in higher altitudes with white ones, too.

The area is filled with beautiful 山杜鵑 (Rhododendron), here mostly with purple ones but in higher altitudes with white ones, too.

黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut) near the bottom of the valley.

黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut) near the bottom of the valley.

The inside of 黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut), which is now rarely used except as a weather shelter.

The inside of 黑水塘山屋 (Hei shui tang mountain hut), which is now rarely used except as a weather shelter.

3.7 kilometers from the trail head and 1.1 kilometers to the next stop ...

3.7 kilometers from the trail head and 1.1 kilometers to the next stop ...

... 成功山屋 (Cheng gong mountain hut), the nicest and most convenient place to sleep. A small creek flows right next to it, so water is readily available.

... 成功山屋 (Cheng gong mountain hut), the nicest and most convenient place to sleep. A small creek flows right next to it, so water is readily available.

This is where the trail forks off in two directions: The right one directly heads to the 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut) while the left one brings you closer to 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

This is where the trail forks off in two directions: The right one directly heads to the 奇萊山屋 (Qi lai mountain hut) while the left one brings you closer to 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

The view back towards 合歡山 (He huan shan).

The view back towards 合歡山 (He huan shan).

The trail from the junction towards 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) starts off easy ...

The trail from the junction towards 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) starts off easy ...

... but then rapidly becomes challenging.

... but then rapidly becomes challenging.

Flowers like these make the steep hike a little more enjoyable ...

Flowers like these make the steep hike a little more enjoyable ...

... especially when there are entire patches of them.

... especially when there are entire patches of them.

Finally on the ridge. Behind this little hill awaits 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

Finally on the ridge. Behind this little hill awaits 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

Even though it's only 1.2 kilometers to the north peak we switched to light packs. There's quite a bit of climbing on the last few hundred meters, so it's a lot safer and less tiring that way.

Even though it's only 1.2 kilometers to the north peak we switched to light packs. There's quite a bit of climbing on the last few hundred meters, so it's a lot safer and less tiring that way.

This is where the ascent to the top of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) starts.

This is where the ascent to the top of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) starts.

Almost there ...

Almost there ...

Finally at the top. Enjoy the view because ...

Finally at the top. Enjoy the view because ...

... just a few minutes later the fog had taken over and there was little else to be seen than gray and a bit of sky.

... just a few minutes later the fog had taken over and there was little else to be seen than gray and a bit of sky.

The north side of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) is a precipitous cliff.

The north side of 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) is a precipitous cliff.


A frog goes hiking: 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak)

posted by Martin Rubli at 04:38

A frog goes hiking: 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak)

Five years after the last time I finally managed to go to 合歡山 (He huan shan) again to bag the elusive west peak. And because of the constant wind there my frog-colored wind jacket that gave the series its name is back, too! :-)

We arrived early in the morning and first hiked to the 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite), which is less than half an hour away from 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak). There's even a shortcut, so that you don't have to carry your luggage all the way to the peak first.

After a quick break putting up the tents I set off for an afternoon hike to 合歡山西峰 (He huan west peak), the only somewhat challenging mountain among the other rather easy-to-reach ones in the 合歡山 (He huan shan) area. It's not that the trail is particularly long or difficult, but the endless series of hills you have to cross to get there. Also, the actual west peak is hidden behind one last hill, so that you can't see your destination until you're almost there. All in all the little hills add up to about 1000 meters of elevation and a bit over 11 km of distance.

Normally, this wouldn't be a big problem with a light backpack but because I wasn't able to eat much for most of the day I felt exhausted on the way back. Luckily I still made it back to the campsite just before sunset and without having to resort to my headlamp.

The second day we only had to get back to the trail head but that proved a challenge for different reasons. Because it happened to be the wildflower season there was an endless stream of people going in both directions, let alone the traffic jam on the road caused by idiots parking their cars along the road with complete disregard of other people. 合歡山 (He huan shan) really is a beautiful area but you might want to avoid it on the weekends in May.


Overview

The red track is the first half of day one, the green track the second half of day one, and the blue track is the second day.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation charts

合歡北峰登山口 (He huan north peak trail head) to 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite):


小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) to 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak) and back:


小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) to 合歡北峰登山口 (He huan north peak trail head):


GPS track

合歡北峰登山口 (He huan north peak trail head) to 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite):

小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) to 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak) and back:


Hiking log (day 1 only)

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0825: Departure from 合歡北峰登山口 (He huan north peak trail head), 2950 m
0855: Break near 1.0 km
0955: Continue
1025: Break near microwave reflector, 3340 m
1110: Continue
1140: Arrival at 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite)
1240: Departure from 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite)
1300: 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak), 3422 m
1335: Lowest point, 3110 m
1420: Highest point, 3230 m
1445: Arrival at 合歡山西峰 (He huan west peak), 3145 m
1510: Departure from 合歡山西峰 (He huan west peak)
1545: Highest point
1645: Lowest point
1805: 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak), 3422 m
1830: 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite)


Photos

The entrance to 太魯閣國家公園 (Taroko National Park). It took me over five years since [local:/blog/2010/04/19/a-frog-goes-hiking-he-huan-shan-day-1/ the last time] to return to this lovely place.

The entrance to 太魯閣國家公園 (Taroko National Park). It took me over five years since the last time to return to this lovely place.

The view from 昆陽 (Kun yang) at just over 3000 meters altitude.

The view from 昆陽 (Kun yang) at just over 3000 meters altitude.

The view from 武嶺 (Wu ling).

The view from 武嶺 (Wu ling).

View back to the trail head after just a few steps up towards 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

View back to the trail head after just a few steps up towards 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak).

The pointy rock in the foreground has no name but the one in the back is called 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). :-)

The pointy rock in the foreground has no name but the one in the back is called 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). :-)

On the way up you can soon see the huge [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_repeater microwave reflector].

On the way up you can soon see the huge microwave reflector.

The view towards the north peak. The ridge on the left is the trail to the west peak.

The view towards the north peak. The ridge on the left is the trail to the west peak.

The view back towards the trail head. On the right you can see 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak).

The view back towards the trail head. On the right you can see 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak).

Hiking with the beautiful 奇萊山脈 (Qi lai mountain chain) in the background.

Hiking with the beautiful 奇萊山脈 (Qi lai mountain chain) in the background.

You can see there are quite a few people hiking already. But this was nothing compared to the second day!

You can see there are quite a few people hiking already. But this was nothing compared to the second day!

Taroko valley in the background.

Taroko valley in the background.

The microwave reflector near the north peak.

The microwave reflector near the north peak.

At this point we took a shortcut directly to the 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite), so that we didn't have to carry our backpacks all the way to the top first.

At this point we took a shortcut directly to the 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite), so that we didn't have to carry our backpacks all the way to the top first.

The trail towards the 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) ...

The trail towards the 小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) ...

... and looking back.

... and looking back.

If you look really closely you can see the campsite with a green tent. That's where we were going to stay the night.

If you look really closely you can see the campsite with a green tent. That's where we were going to stay the night.

杜鵑 (Rhododendron) along the way.

杜鵑 (Rhododendron) along the way.

小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite).

小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite).

Three hours later, a very tired hiker on the top of 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak). But the worst was yet to come ...

Three hours later, a very tired hiker on the top of 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak). But the worst was yet to come ...

4.7 kilometers back to the north peak and all you have to do is cross the few hills in between.

4.7 kilometers back to the north peak and all you have to do is cross the few hills in between.

North peak is the one with the rocky slope in the far back!

North peak is the one with the rocky slope in the far back!

The view back from the first hill. 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak) is the one on the left.

The view back from the first hill. 合歡西峰 (He huan west peak) is the one on the left.

You know you're walking but it just doesn't look like the destination is getting any closer.

You know you're walking but it just doesn't look like the destination is getting any closer.

The trail back from the west peak to the north peak.

The trail back from the west peak to the north peak.

(untitled)
One of the (but not the last) hills to climb on the way back.

One of the (but not the last) hills to climb on the way back.

The sunlight fading over 合歡山 (He huan shan).

The sunlight fading over 合歡山 (He huan shan).

小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) the next morning.

小溪營地 (Xiao xi campsite) the next morning.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
A small pond on the way back down.

A small pond on the way back down.

Scores of people queuing to get to the top of north peak. It's a good thing we were already on our way down.

Scores of people queuing to get to the top of north peak. It's a good thing we were already on our way down.

This why I will never come here again during flower season!

This why I will never come here again during flower season!

A short peaceful segment of the trail.

A short peaceful segment of the trail.


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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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.


貓空 (Mao Kong) at last

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:52

It took a while for me to take the incident-plagued Mao Kong gondola, but after a few years without major malfunctions I finally felt brave enough to try it. So brave, in fact, that we decided to take the "crystal cabin", where the floor is made of nothing but a thick pane of glass.

We hiked up from 政治大學 (Chengchi University) to 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) and then took the gondola from there instead of the final station since the second half of the hiking trail we had planned to take was nowhere to be found.

Here are some photos from this high-temperature, high-humidity day trip:

指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple)

指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple)

The view from 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple).

The view from 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple).

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指南宮大雄寶殿 (Zhi Nan temple Mahavira hall)

指南宮大雄寶殿 (Zhi Nan temple Mahavira hall)

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A glass floor cabin of the Mao Kong gondola.

A glass floor cabin of the Mao Kong gondola.

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The 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) station of the Mao Kong gondola.

The 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) station of the Mao Kong gondola.

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View through the glass floor of the Mao Kong gondola.

View through the glass floor of the Mao Kong gondola.

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