Martin's personal blog – June 2016

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A frog goes hiking: 桃山 (Tao shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:45

It took a long time for us to actually make up our minds whether we should go or not. The weather forecast had been bad for several days and the chance for rain rather high. But because the actual precipitation had been low for days we ended up giving it a try.

And luckily we did try! Despite the absence of sunshine and the occasional drizzle we stayed almost dry. Also, thanks to the high cloud cover we still saw most of the surrounding mountains.

As I always do when the weather forecast is bad, I left my camera at home and took photos with my toy phone instead. The result wasn't half bad and where it was a little bit of retouching did the trick.

Here is 單攻桃山, a single-day trip to Tao shan and back.


Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

武陵吊橋 (Wuling suspension bridge) to 桃山 (Tao shan) and back



GPS track


The night before: Dinner at the 武陵國民賓館 (Wuling hostel).

The night before: Dinner at the 武陵國民賓館 (Wuling hostel).

All-you-can-eat buffet, just what you need to load up for a day of hiking.

All-you-can-eat buffet, just what you need to load up for a day of hiking.

Rhododendron along the way.

Rhododendron along the way.

Notice the forest in the background. The right side has apparently been reforested.

Notice the forest in the background. The right side has apparently been reforested.

The view back down towards 武陵農場 (Wuling farm).

The view back down towards 武陵農場 (Wuling farm).

黑水塘 (Hei shui tang), a small pond along the hiking trail.

黑水塘 (Hei shui tang), a small pond along the hiking trail.

The trail has a great view of the surrounding mountains. The tallest peak in the left half of the photo is 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan), the pointy one in the right half is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The trail has a great view of the surrounding mountains. The tallest peak in the left half of the photo is 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan), the pointy one in the right half is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

A little further up you can actually see the whole length of 武陵農場 (Wuling farm).

A little further up you can actually see the whole length of 武陵農場 (Wuling farm).

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Close to the top the always easy-to-recognize 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) pops out above the forest.

Close to the top the always easy-to-recognize 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) pops out above the forest.

And a little to the West you can see 池有山 (Chi you shan) in the front and 品田山 (Pin tian shan) in the back.

And a little to the West you can see 池有山 (Chi you shan) in the front and 品田山 (Pin tian shan) in the back.

Looking back towards 雪山 (Xue shan). If you look closely you can see a little white blot; that's 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut).

Looking back towards 雪山 (Xue shan). If you look closely you can see a little white blot; that's 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut).

The steeper parts of the mountains are riddled with rhododendron.

The steeper parts of the mountains are riddled with rhododendron.

The last few hundred meters.

The last few hundred meters.

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And finally at the top! That was about five minutes before it started raining.

And finally at the top! That was about five minutes before it started raining.

Time to dress up in rain gear ...

Time to dress up in rain gear ...

... and snap a few last photos.

... and snap a few last photos.

In this direction another peak would have been waiting to be conquered: 喀拉業山 (Ke la ye shan). But it's another 5-6 kilometers to go and come back and I hear the view is rather disappointing. Maybe next time!

In this direction another peak would have been waiting to be conquered: 喀拉業山 (Ke la ye shan). But it's another 5-6 kilometers to go and come back and I hear the view is rather disappointing. Maybe next time!


A frog goes hiking: 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 07:48

羊頭山 (Yang tou shan), literally translated "Goat head mountain" is located a few kilometers off 台8 (Highway 8), which links 合歡山 (He huan shan) with 花蓮 (Hua lian). With a trail length of only 7-8 kilometers (depending on whether you trust the milestones or your GPS) it can easily be done in a single day.

We left around 0635 from the 滑雪山莊 (Hua xue mountain lodge) where we had spent the night and drove for almost an hour East to the trailhead. The hike itself took a bit over seven hours, including breaks, which meant we were back at the trailhead by 1505.

The weather was dry and mostly sunny, which made for a nice training hike for our upcoming hike of 桃山 (Tao shan). Ironically, the training hike turned out to be slightly more strenuous than the one we were training for, but that's a story for another blog post.


Overview

The yellow track is the drive from the mountain lodge to the trailhead. The green track is the hike.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation charts

羊頭山登山口 (Yang tou shan trail head) to 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) and back



GPS tracks


The road up from 滑雪山莊 (Hua xue mountain lodge) where we started our day.

The road up from 滑雪山莊 (Hua xue mountain lodge) where we started our day.

Can you spot the trailhead? It's right next to the entrance of the tunnel ...

Can you spot the trailhead? It's right next to the entrance of the tunnel ...

... where you have to climb the roadside fence to actually start hiking. By the way, here is where I lifted my legs high enough to see my shoes and noticed I was still wearing my sandals.

... where you have to climb the roadside fence to actually start hiking. By the way, here is where I lifted my legs high enough to see my shoes and noticed I was still wearing my sandals.

The view back towards the road.

The view back towards the road.

The sign at the trailhead says 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) is the lowest of the 百岳 (Taiwan's 100 Highest Peaks) with its 3035 meters elevation but, depending on the age of the list you consult, the ranking looks a little different. On [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Peaks_of_Taiwan Wikipedia] it ranks 96th.

The sign at the trailhead says 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) is the lowest of the 百岳 (Taiwan's 100 Highest Peaks) with its 3035 meters elevation but, depending on the age of the list you consult, the ranking looks a little different. On Wikipedia it ranks 96th.

The trail leads you past beautiful trees ...

The trail leads you past beautiful trees ...

... several metal stairs ...

... several metal stairs ...

... and a few flat areas that allow your legs to take a break.

... and a few flat areas that allow your legs to take a break.

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Thanks to our good weather we saw quite far towards 花蓮 (Hua lian), which was covered by a sea of clouds.

Thanks to our good weather we saw quite far towards 花蓮 (Hua lian), which was covered by a sea of clouds.

In the right third of this photo you spot can a pointy peak, which is 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak), as well as the forest-covered 屏風山 (Ping feng shan).

In the right third of this photo you spot can a pointy peak, which is 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak), as well as the forest-covered 屏風山 (Ping feng shan).

The last section of the trail is very nice to walk. If you look back you see the beautiful view ...

The last section of the trail is very nice to walk. If you look back you see the beautiful view ...

... and if you look left and right you see 杜鵑花 (Rhododendron).

... and if you look left and right you see 杜鵑花 (Rhododendron).

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Close to the ridge line is the crossroad towards 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan), today's destination, and 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan), which with its 3371 meters elevation, didn't fit into today's schedule (or mindset).

Close to the ridge line is the crossroad towards 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan), today's destination, and 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan), which with its 3371 meters elevation, didn't fit into today's schedule (or mindset).

Here you can see 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) again, just left of the tree, as well as the grassy hill on its right, which is where 滑雪山莊 (Hua xue mountain lodge) lies.

Here you can see 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) again, just left of the tree, as well as the grassy hill on its right, which is where 滑雪山莊 (Hua xue mountain lodge) lies.

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Once again the beautiful view back towards 花蓮 (Hua lian).

Once again the beautiful view back towards 花蓮 (Hua lian).

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On the left is 無明山 (Wu ming shan) and the pointy one in the back is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

On the left is 無明山 (Wu ming shan) and the pointy one in the back is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The round peak on the right is 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). Further in the background you can see – from right to left – 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak), the wide grassy one, 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak), the one with the cloud above it, and 合歡山東峰 (He huan shan east peak), the grassy one left of the cloud. The rocky one on the far left is, once again, 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

The round peak on the right is 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). Further in the background you can see – from right to left – 合歡山北峰 (He huan shan north peak), the wide grassy one, 合歡山主峰 (He huan shan main peak), the one with the cloud above it, and 合歡山東峰 (He huan shan east peak), the grassy one left of the cloud. The rocky one on the far left is, once again, 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak).

The triangulation point at the top of 羊頭山, 3035 meters above sea level. In the background you can see 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan), the impressive pointy one, and 無明山 (Wu ming shan), covered by a branch.

The triangulation point at the top of 羊頭山, 3035 meters above sea level. In the background you can see 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan), the impressive pointy one, and 無明山 (Wu ming shan), covered by a branch.

The view from the top towards South East.

The view from the top towards South East.

And finally the mandatory group photo, as always with my flags. :-)

And finally the mandatory group photo, as always with my flags. :-)