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能高越嶺古道 (Neng gao cross-ridge trail)

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:02

What I expected to be the next rainy opportunity to climb one or even two of Taiwan's highest mountains turned out to be quite the opposite; a sunny but sleep-deprived hiking trip with no peaks to bag.

Since my own company apparently mainly employs unhealthy and/or lazy people, and therefore lacks a hiking club, I once again joined another company's hiking trip. The goal was to climb 南華山 (Nan hua shan) after hiking the 能高越嶺古道 (Neng gao cross-ridge trail).

The weather was great and took my experience-based pessimism by surprise. My waterproof pants were overkill and my rain clothes and umbrella went unused. Unfortunately, so did my sleeping bag, unless you deem hours of lying awake at night an appropriate use of a sleeping bag.

With all the money the government spent on rebuilding the mountain hut they could have installed some slightly softer mats, so that bony people like me don't feel sore whichever way they try to lie down. On top of that the snoring of my fellow hikers was so loud that my earplugs failed to do their job. I know I won't leave the house again without my inflatable sleeping mat, no matter what the mountain hut advertises, but I'm still researching ways to beat the snoring. Ideas are welcome!

As a result I didn't exactly feel like getting up at 0330 to climb any peaks and stayed in the hut instead. (I was finally able to catch an hour or two of sleep after figuring out that putting my hands under my buttocks was slightly more comfortable than anything else I had tried up to that point.)

While I was lying awake at two in the morning I was frustratedly contemplating the end of my hiking career. A few hours later in the car back I already made plans for the next hike. And so, these photos are unlikely to be the last hiking photos you'll see from me.


The start of the 能高越嶺古道 (Neng gao cross-ridge trail), shortly after the 屯原 (Tun yuan) trail head.

The start of the 能高越嶺古道 (Neng gao cross-ridge trail), shortly after the 屯原 (Tun yuan) trail head.

The east-west power line for which the cross-ridge trail was developed by the Japanese occupation forces.

The east-west power line for which the cross-ridge trail was developed by the Japanese occupation forces.

A 金針花 (Jin zhen hua), a type of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemerocallis_fulva Daylily].

A 金針花 (Jin zhen hua), a type of Daylily.

A beautiful tree in front of the 雲海保線所 (Yun hai line maintenance station).

A beautiful tree in front of the 雲海保線所 (Yun hai line maintenance station).

百子蓮 ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agapanthus Agapanthus) that were apparently planted near the maintenance station.

百子蓮 ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agapanthus Agapanthus) that were apparently planted near the maintenance station.

One of the rock slides along the trail.

One of the rock slides along the trail.

The view back.

The view back.

Another slide along the way. Just a few days after our trip a biker fell down in this area.

Another slide along the way. Just a few days after our trip a biker fell down in this area.

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The view towards 能高主峰 (Neng gao main peak).

The view towards 能高主峰 (Neng gao main peak).

The 能高瀑布 (Neng gao waterfall) shortly before the mountain hut.

The 能高瀑布 (Neng gao waterfall) shortly before the mountain hut.

Finally arrived at the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) which has just been rebuilt from the ground up.

Finally arrived at the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) which has just been rebuilt from the ground up.

The common room of the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut).

The common room of the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut).

View from 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao) towards 花蓮 (Hua lian).

View from 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao) towards 花蓮 (Hua lian).

The 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao) monument which was erected after completion of the east-west power line.

The 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao) monument which was erected after completion of the east-west power line.

南華山 (Nan hua shan).

南華山 (Nan hua shan).

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The beautiful view from the mountain hut.

The beautiful view from the mountain hut.

Twilight at the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut).

Twilight at the 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut).

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Below are the GPS logs for the three segments of the trip:

屯原登山口-天池山莊 (Neng gao ridge trail: Tun yuan entrance - Tian chi mountain hut)

Distance: ca. 13.5 km
Time: 5:50

天池山莊-光被八表 (Neng gao ridge trail: Tian chi mountain hut - Guang pi ba biao)

Distance: 5.4 km
Time: 1:45

天池山莊-屯原登山口 (Neng gao ridge trail: Tian chi mountain hut - Tun yuan entrance)

Distance: ca. 13.5 km
Time: 3:50


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