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畢羊縱走 (Bi lu Yang tou ridge trail)

posted by Martin Rubli at 06:43

Here's another trip report from 2020. We had actually planned this hike for 2019 but had to cancel because of an approaching typhoon at the time. A year later we were luckier with the weather and the middle of summer is quite suitable for such a one-day challenge because there's not a lot to bring along.

We stayed the night before in 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling) which is just a few walking minutes away from the 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) trail head. Because we were going to come back down from a different trail head about 15 km away we booked a shuttle that would pick us up and take us back to 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling).

You'll notice that there are large stretches without photos and a few smartphone photos are mixed in. I had my DSLR stowed away in my backpack for most of the trip because with all the ups and downs it's nice to have your hands free. Also, it was fairly cloudy for most of the day, which reduces the motivation to have a camera dangling from your neck. Still, I hope you get an impression of what the route was like.

I had hiked both of the two mountains separately about four years earlier. Here are links to the corresponding posts:

2016: 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan)
2016: 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan)

Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)

The bottom left is 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling) where we started our hike (the short straight line there is the tunnel). The lower right is 慈恩登山口 (Ci en trail head) where we finished and were picked up by the shuttle.


A different perspective with the car ride back in blue.

大禹嶺 (Da yu ling) – 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) – 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) – 慈恩登山口 (Ci en trail head)

0505: Departure from 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling), 2450 m
0735: Begin ascent at 8.4 km (waterfall), 2442 m
0900: Rope climbing
0945: Ridge trail fork, 3340 m, short break
1000: Arrival at 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan), 3371 m
1035: Departure
1040: Ridge trail fork
1105: Dry valley, 3270 m
1230: 鋸山 (Ju shan), 3275 m
1235: Continue
1305: 2.1 km campsite, 3162 m
1355: Ridge trail fork towards 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) and 慈恩登山口 (Ci en trail head), 3040 m
1410: Continue
1450: Arrival at 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan), 3035 m
1520: Departure
1600: Ridge trail fork
1605: Continue towards 慈恩登山口 (Ci en trail head)
1750: Arrival at 慈恩登山口 (Ci en trail head)

Total: ca. 18.9 km, 12h40min (incl. 1h40min breaks)

Peakfinder

畢祿山 (Bi lu shan)


(Full screen version)

羊頭山 (Yang tou shan)


(Full screen version)

Photos

The caterpillar of a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calliteara_pudibunda tussock moth] we encountered the night before the hike.

The caterpillar of a tussock moth we encountered the night before the hike.

The famous climbing section on the way to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) where you have to pull yourself up on roots and ropes for a few meters.

The famous climbing section on the way to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) where you have to pull yourself up on roots and ropes for a few meters.

At the ridge close to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). We first turned left to the peak and later returned to continue our way to 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan).

At the ridge close to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). We first turned left to the peak and later returned to continue our way to 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan).

The view here is great but you do want to watch your step ...

The view here is great but you do want to watch your step ...

合歡北峰 (He huan north peak) to the south west.

合歡北峰 (He huan north peak) to the south west.

The last few meters to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan).

The last few meters to 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan).

無明山 (Wu ming shan) to the north east with its prominent scree slope. Hiding in the clouds behind it would be 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

無明山 (Wu ming shan) to the north east with its prominent scree slope. Hiding in the clouds behind it would be 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The usual celebratory peak jumping ...

The usual celebratory peak jumping ...

... at the top of 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan).

... at the top of 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan).

Birds aren't shy here and have become accustomed to sharing snacks with hikers.

Birds aren't shy here and have become accustomed to sharing snacks with hikers.

鋸子連峰 (Ju zi lian feng or "sawtooth hill chain") between 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) and 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan). While the ridge trail doesn't pass through every hilltop there is a fair bit of up and down, and this is the exhausting part of the hike.

鋸子連峰 (Ju zi lian feng or "sawtooth hill chain") between 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan) and 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan). While the ridge trail doesn't pass through every hilltop there is a fair bit of up and down, and this is the exhausting part of the hike.

The trail down a dry valley behind the first hill which would be way too steep to scale head on. After about 150 meters the valley trail leaves to the right but the signage is poor (looking at you, Taroko national park administration!), which caused three hikers to get lost a few months later, requiring a rescue operation.

The trail down a dry valley behind the first hill which would be way too steep to scale head on. After about 150 meters the valley trail leaves to the right but the signage is poor (looking at you, Taroko national park administration!), which caused three hikers to get lost a few months later, requiring a rescue operation.

View back up the dry valley.

View back up the dry valley.

The short climb to the top of 鋸山 (Ju shan), the only one peak in the hill chain with a name (translating to "saw mountain").

The short climb to the top of 鋸山 (Ju shan), the only one peak in the hill chain with a name (translating to "saw mountain").

On top of 鋸山 (Ju shan).

On top of 鋸山 (Ju shan).

The view towards 無明山 (Wu ming shan), now also enshrouded in clouds.

The view towards 無明山 (Wu ming shan), now also enshrouded in clouds.

無明山 (Wu ming shan) once again, this time just below the cloud cover.

無明山 (Wu ming shan) once again, this time just below the cloud cover.

Finally at the other end of the ridge trail. Again, we would climb 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) first before heading down to the other trail head.

Finally at the other end of the ridge trail. Again, we would climb 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) first before heading down to the other trail head.

Our arrival on 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) concided with the weather suddenly improving and the cloud cover lifting to reveal not only 無明山 (Wu ming shan) on the left but also 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan) in the far center.

Our arrival on 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan) concided with the weather suddenly improving and the cloud cover lifting to reveal not only 無明山 (Wu ming shan) on the left but also 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan) in the far center.

A close-up of the majestic 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

A close-up of the majestic 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The view back to the ridge along we had hiked from 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). The grassy mountain on the left side is 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak).

The view back to the ridge along we had hiked from 畢祿山 (Bi lu shan). The grassy mountain on the left side is 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak).

The view towards 武嶺 (Wu ling). If you look closely you can see part of the road leading from 武嶺 (Wu ling) to 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling) where we had started our hike in the morning. On the right-hand side is 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak) with its prominent microwave reflector half-way up.

The view towards 武嶺 (Wu ling). If you look closely you can see part of the road leading from 武嶺 (Wu ling) to 大禹嶺 (Da yu ling) where we had started our hike in the morning. On the right-hand side is 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak) with its prominent microwave reflector half-way up.

奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) just beneath the clouds.

奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) just beneath the clouds.

Celebrating at the top of 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan).

Celebrating at the top of 羊頭山 (Yang tou shan).


奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) and 南華山 (Nan hua shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:12

I'm starting 2021 by catching up with last year's hikes that I hadn't posted yet because of the sad demise of GPSies where I had been hosting my tracks. I've finally found time to switch to Leaflet, so here we go: A hike from June 2020 to 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) and 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

This marked my third visit to the apparently cursed – for me anyway – 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut). After having little luck the first two times round (due to insomnia and weather) the third time turned out to be the proverbial charm. The weather was great and so was the hike.

The trail was quite busy on that weekend, presumably due to the pandemic that sent people outdoors instead of abroad. Also notable were a number of young kids (early elementary school I'd guess) who walked an impressive distance for such a young age.

The two-day/one-night trip took us to 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) on the first day. The second day we climbed the two peaks nearby and then made our way back down to the trail head.

Another trip report is coming up soon but for now please enjoy!

Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)

Day 1: 屯原登山口 (Tun yuan trail head) – 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut)

0925: Departure from 屯原登山口 (Tun yuan trail head), 1926 m
1050: 雲海保線所 (Yun hai power line maintenance hut), 2360 m
1210: Continue
1430: Arrival at 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut), 2860 m

Total: 13.6 km, 5h05min (incl. 1h20min break)

Extra:

1500: Departure from 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut), 2860 m
1530: 天池 (Tian chi), 3097 m
1535: Departure
1555: Back at 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut)

Day 2: 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) – 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) – 南華山 (Nan hua shan) – 屯原登山口 (Tun yuan trail head)

0710: Departure from 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut), 2860 m
0755: 天池 (Tian chi), 3097 m
0825: Trail fork to 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) and 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan), 3126 m
0930: 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak), 3358 m
1015: Departure
1045: Trail fork
1055: 天池 (Tian chi)
1030: 南華山 (Nan hua shan), 3184 m
1050: Departure
1240: Back at 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut)

Leg total: 8.7 km, 5h30min (incl. 1h05min breaks)

1315: Departure from 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut), 2860 m
1500: 雲海保線所 (Yun hai power line maintenance hut), 2360 m
1505: Continue
1555: Arrival at 屯原登山口 (Tun yuan trail head), 1926 m

Leg total: 13.5 km, 2h40min (incl. 5 min break)

Day total: 22.2 km, 8h45min (incl. 1h45min breaks)

Peakfinder

奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak)


(Full screen version)

南華山 (Nan hua shan)


(Full screen version)

Photos

The view of 能高山 (Neng gao shan) from 天池山莊 (Tian zhu mountain hut).

The view of 能高山 (Neng gao shan) from 天池山莊 (Tian zhu mountain hut).

Green hills partway up to 天池 (Tian chi).

Green hills partway up to 天池 (Tian chi).

The campsite at 天池 (Tian chi) with 南華山 (Nan hua shan) in the right side of the background.

The campsite at 天池 (Tian chi) with 南華山 (Nan hua shan) in the right side of the background.

Most people who had to carry their backpacks up here the night before because they couldn't get a space at 天池山莊 (Tian zhu mountain hut) didn't look too happy. No wonder because it's about an extra kilometer of steep stairs.

Most people who had to carry their backpacks up here the night before because they couldn't get a space at 天池山莊 (Tian zhu mountain hut) didn't look too happy. No wonder because it's about an extra kilometer of steep stairs.

Looking towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan), which isn't visible from this perspective.

Looking towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan), which isn't visible from this perspective.

The trail towards 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) which is towards the left out of frame. On the far right is 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan) which is on the way to 奇萊主峰 (Qi lai main peak).

The trail towards 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak) which is towards the left out of frame. On the far right is 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan) which is on the way to 奇萊主峰 (Qi lai main peak).

Another look back with 南華山 (Nan hua shan) on the left and 能高山 (Neng gao shan) on the right in the far back.

Another look back with 南華山 (Nan hua shan) on the left and 能高山 (Neng gao shan) on the right in the far back.

A small but harmless creek to cross on the way.

A small but harmless creek to cross on the way.

Looking back after crossing the creek.

Looking back after crossing the creek.

A dark spot gentian along the way ([http://kplant.biodiv.tw/%E9%BB%91%E6%96%91%E9%BE%8D%E8%86%BD/%E9%BB%91%E6%96%91%E9%BE%8D%E8%86%BD.htm 黑斑龍膽, Gentiana scabrida])

A dark spot gentian along the way (黑斑龍膽, Gentiana scabrida)

Looking back towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

Looking back towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

A steep climb ahead. There are two paths but most people seem to choose the one on the right.

A steep climb ahead. There are two paths but most people seem to choose the one on the right.

The trail fork in the background is where we came from. A right turn takes you back to 天池 (Tian chi), a left turn to 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan).

The trail fork in the background is where we came from. A right turn takes you back to 天池 (Tian chi), a left turn to 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan).

花蓮 (Hua lian) in the distance.

花蓮 (Hua lian) in the distance.

This is where the path starts to zigzag.

This is where the path starts to zigzag.

(untitled)
Another gentiana, this time presumably a Gentiana arisanensis [http://kplant.biodiv.tw/%E9%98%BF%E9%87%8C%E5%B1%B1%E9%BE%8D%E8%86%BD/%E9%98%BF%E9%87%8C%E5%B1%B1%E9%BE%8D%E8%86%BD.htm 阿里山龍膽].

Another gentiana, this time presumably a Gentiana arisanensis 阿里山龍膽.

The last few hundred meters ...

The last few hundred meters ...

Cairns near the top of 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak).

Cairns near the top of 奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak).

Looking back down one last time.

Looking back down one last time.

能高山南峰 (Neng gao shan south peak) in the center and 能高山 (Neng gao shan) to its right.

能高山南峰 (Neng gao shan south peak) in the center and 能高山 (Neng gao shan) to its right.

埔里 (Puli) to the west.

埔里 (Puli) to the west.

Looking north there's also a great view of the road to 武嶺 (Wuling). The peak on the left with the visible road is 合歡主峰 (He huan main peak), on the right is 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak). On the far right in the background the microwave reflector half-way up to 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak). The tall peak in the left background is 雪山 (Xue shan).

Looking north there's also a great view of the road to 武嶺 (Wuling). The peak on the left with the visible road is 合歡主峰 (He huan main peak), on the right is 合歡東峰 (He huan east peak). On the far right in the background the microwave reflector half-way up to 合歡北峰 (He huan north peak). The tall peak in the left background is 雪山 (Xue shan).

Looking north east we can see 奇萊主峰 (Qi lai main peak) and 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) to its left.

Looking north east we can see 奇萊主峰 (Qi lai main peak) and 奇萊北峰 (Qi lai north peak) to its left.

Great views all around at the top of ...

Great views all around at the top of ...

奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak).

奇萊南峰 (Qi lai south peak).

Raising the usual flags ...

Raising the usual flags ...

... before heading back down.

... before heading back down.

The only thing the bureaucrats at the Taroko National Park office are good at: coming up with rules and having them printed on oversized signs that some poor sod then has to carry up the mountain.

My favorite: "Forbidden are ... other things that are forbidden in the National Park." 👍

The only thing the bureaucrats at the Taroko National Park office are good at: coming up with rules and having them printed on oversized signs that some poor sod then has to carry up the mountain.

My favorite: "Forbidden are ... other things that are forbidden in the National Park." 👍

The trail fork near 天池 (Tian chi) with the trail we had just come back down from.

The trail fork near 天池 (Tian chi) with the trail we had just come back down from.

The trail towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

The trail towards 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

A little further up.

A little further up.

Looking back. 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan) on the right.

Looking back. 奇萊裡山 (Qi lai li shan) on the right.

The peak of 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

The peak of 南華山 (Nan hua shan).

On top of 南華山 (Nan hua shan) with the top of 能高山 (Neng gao shan) just covered in clouds.

On top of 南華山 (Nan hua shan) with the top of 能高山 (Neng gao shan) just covered in clouds.

Looking down towards 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao), which is part way between 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) and 能高山 (Neng gao shan). This would be the other, slightly longer, way of getting back to camp.

Looking down towards 光被八表 (Guang pi ba biao), which is part way between 天池山莊 (Tian chi mountain hut) and 能高山 (Neng gao shan). This would be the other, slightly longer, way of getting back to camp.


A frog goes hiking: 桃山 (Tao shan) and 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 08:32

After weeks of trying we were finally lucky enough to be able to reserve sleeping space in the 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) right near the top of 桃山 (Tao shan). I had previously been to 桃山 (Tao shan) but this meant a two-day hiking trip with the chance for a quick visit to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan), which was the only peak of the 武陵四秀 (Wu ling's four great mountains) I hadn't been yet.

桃山 (Tao shan) is impressive because it has a 360° view and you can see so many famous mountains of the 雪山山脈 (Xue shan mountain range). The fact that the mountain hut is only five minutes from the top also means that there's no better place to take night pictures with less effort.

The first day pretty much consisted of lugging the heavy overnight pack to the top and then enjoying the view until it got dark. On the second day we got up before sunrise to try and catch the sunrise at the peak (it was covered by the sea of clouds) and then separated. Two of us headed to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) with daypacks while the rest started their descent. After returning from 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) we grabbed our overnight packs and headed down as well.

The weather was great almost the whole time and without a single drop of rain. There was a short period where fog and clouds were pulling up but they got blown away by wind and by the time we got to the peak there was a beautiful sea of clouds left, making for amazing views.


Overview

The red track is day 1 from the trail head to 桃山 (Tao shan). The green track is the first half of day 2 from 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) and back.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

Day 1: 武陵農場 (Wuling villa) to 桃山 (Tao shan):


Day 2 (first half): 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan):



GPS track

Day 1: 武陵農場 (Wuling villa) to 桃山 (Tao shan):

Day 2 (first half): 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan):


Hiking log

As always, the altitudes are approximate.

Day 1: 武陵農場 (Wuling villa) to 桃山 (Tao shan):

0850: Departure from 武陵農場 (Wuling villa), 1840 m
0910: 桃山 (Tao shan) trail head, 1945 m
1135: 黑水塘 (Hei shui tang), 2690 m
1200: Lunch break, 2870 m
1230: Continue
1345: 桃山山頂 (Tao shan peak), 3325 m

Day 2 (first half): 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) and back:

0555: Departure from 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut), 3280 m
0600: 桃山山頂 (Tao shan peak), 3325 m
0605: Departure
0705: 詩崙山 (Shi lun shan), 3149 m
0755: 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan), 3133 m
0815: Departure
0900: 詩崙山 (Shi lun shan), 3149 m
1015: 桃山山頂 (Tao shan peak), 3325 m
1020: 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut), 3280 m

Day 2 (second half): 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) to 武陵農場 (Wuling villa):

1055: Departure from 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut)
1105: 桃山山頂 (Tao shan peak), 3325 m
1205: Short lunch break, 2685 m
1225: Continue
1325: 桃山 (Tao shan) trail head
1355: Back at 武陵農場 (Wuling villa)


Photos

Day 1

武陵山莊 (Wu ling villa), conveniently located right next to the trail head.

武陵山莊 (Wu ling villa), conveniently located right next to the trail head.

武陵橋 (Wu ling bridge), the entrance to 桃山瀑布 (Taoshan waterfall) and 武陵四秀, the four great mountains of Wu ling.

武陵橋 (Wu ling bridge), the entrance to 桃山瀑布 (Taoshan waterfall) and 武陵四秀, the four great mountains of Wu ling.

The clear water of 七家灣溪 (Qi jia wan brook).

The clear water of 七家灣溪 (Qi jia wan brook).

The crossroad to the various trail heads. We went straight because it's the fastest, though not the only, way to 桃山 (Tao shan).

The crossroad to the various trail heads. We went straight because it's the fastest, though not the only, way to 桃山 (Tao shan).

Another small waterfall on the way.

Another small waterfall on the way.

The first part of the trail leads through this forest.

The first part of the trail leads through this forest.

After 1-2 kilometers the forest gets lighter and the view gets better.

After 1-2 kilometers the forest gets lighter and the view gets better.

Looking back to 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

Looking back to 武陵農場 (Wu ling farm).

(untitled)
(untitled)
At 2.2 km the forest clearing makes for a nice hike but sadly the blue sky ahead was already turning gray.

At 2.2 km the forest clearing makes for a nice hike but sadly the blue sky ahead was already turning gray.

Benches along the way just before the trail reenters the forest.

Benches along the way just before the trail reenters the forest.

黑水塘 (Hei shui tang or "Black water pond").

黑水塘 (Hei shui tang or "Black water pond").

Looking ahead the top of 桃山 (Tao shan) was already shrouded in clouds.

Looking ahead the top of 桃山 (Tao shan) was already shrouded in clouds.

Another look back where the weather looks better.

Another look back where the weather looks better.

A helicopter landing spot along the way.

A helicopter landing spot along the way.

Beautiful view of Wu ling valley.

Beautiful view of Wu ling valley.

The upper and steeper part of the trail where the forest has made way to smaller shrubs.

The upper and steeper part of the trail where the forest has made way to smaller shrubs.

(untitled)
Finally, the peak of 桃山 (Tao shan) in sight!

Finally, the peak of 桃山 (Tao shan) in sight!

The bluish-black cones of a Taiwan fir.

The bluish-black cones of a Taiwan fir.

A final patch of forest before the ascent to the peak.

A final patch of forest before the ascent to the peak.

The last meters up to the foggy peak.

The last meters up to the foggy peak.

The peak of 桃山 (Tao shan).

The peak of 桃山 (Tao shan).

The peak has a number of stones and panels. Ironically the tall triangulation stone on the left is mobile and doubles as a make-shift tripod at night. :-)

The peak has a number of stones and panels. Ironically the tall triangulation stone on the left is mobile and doubles as a make-shift tripod at night. :-)

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) is towards the left, just a few minutes down the mountain. Towards the right is the trail to ...

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) is towards the left, just a few minutes down the mountain. Towards the right is the trail to ...

喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) where we would head the next morning. Note the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken_spectre Brocken spectre] (觀音圈) on the lower right, the halo-like appearance surrounding my shadow. This phenomenon can sometimes be observed if the sun is directly behind one's back shining at the fog.

喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) where we would head the next morning. Note the Brocken spectre (觀音圈) on the lower right, the halo-like appearance surrounding my shadow. This phenomenon can sometimes be observed if the sun is directly behind one's back shining at the fog.

The view towards 雪山 (Xue shan), Taiwan's second tallest peak, on the far left. The remarkable peak on the right is 品田山 (Pin tian shan), which is also one of Wu ling's great four mountains.

The view towards 雪山 (Xue shan), Taiwan's second tallest peak, on the far left. The remarkable peak on the right is 品田山 (Pin tian shan), which is also one of Wu ling's great four mountains.

Because we were staying at the mountain hut there was plenty of time to pass on the peak as the sky opened up and revealed the sun.

Because we were staying at the mountain hut there was plenty of time to pass on the peak as the sky opened up and revealed the sun.

The short trail from the peak to the mountain hut.

The short trail from the peak to the mountain hut.

A small patch of forest separates the peak from the mountain hut.

A small patch of forest separates the peak from the mountain hut.

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) at last with 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the background peeking out of the clouds.

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) at last with 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the background peeking out of the clouds.

Close-up of 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Close-up of 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

After dinner we headed back to the peak to take some night shots like this one towards Taiwan's east coast.

After dinner we headed back to the peak to take some night shots like this one towards Taiwan's east coast.

Night view of 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan) slightly left of center and 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). At 3742 and 3705 meters above sea level they are both among Taiwan's ten tallest peaks.

Night view of 南湖大山 (Nan hu da shan) slightly left of center and 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan). At 3742 and 3705 meters above sea level they are both among Taiwan's ten tallest peaks.

Starry sky above 雪山 (Xue shan) and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), the twin peaks on the left, 雪山北峰 (Xue shan north peak), slightly right of center, and 品田山 (Pin tian shan) further on the right.

Starry sky above 雪山 (Xue shan) and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao), the twin peaks on the left, 雪山北峰 (Xue shan north peak), slightly right of center, and 品田山 (Pin tian shan) further on the right.

Night view towards 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). On the left you can still recognize the trail leading past the weather station down to the mountain hut.

Night view towards 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan). On the left you can still recognize the trail leading past the weather station down to the mountain hut.

The silhouette of 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

The silhouette of 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Day 2

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) in the early morning.

桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) in the early morning.

The first rays of sunlight illuminating 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan), shortly before we headed down towards 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan).

The first rays of sunlight illuminating 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan), shortly before we headed down towards 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan).

Looking back to 桃山 (Tao shan).

Looking back to 桃山 (Tao shan).

The peak of 桃山 (Tao shan) in the warm morning sun.

The peak of 桃山 (Tao shan) in the warm morning sun.

The trail to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) leads mostly through the forest but ...

The trail to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) leads mostly through the forest but ...

... every once in a while the trees clear and you're left with beautiful views like these.

... every once in a while the trees clear and you're left with beautiful views like these.

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There are lots of ups and downs on the way which slows down progress quite a bit.

There are lots of ups and downs on the way which slows down progress quite a bit.

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Parts of the trail lead through thick bamboo, so waterproof clothing is a must unless you want to get soaked by the morning dew.

Parts of the trail lead through thick bamboo, so waterproof clothing is a must unless you want to get soaked by the morning dew.

詩崙山 (Shi lun shan) is a small peak a little less than half-way to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan). It doesn't have a special status, though, probably because its lack of a clear view makes it unsuitable for triangulation.

詩崙山 (Shi lun shan) is a small peak a little less than half-way to 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan). It doesn't have a special status, though, probably because its lack of a clear view makes it unsuitable for triangulation.

Once the thick forest clears 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) suddenly jumps into view.

Once the thick forest clears 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) suddenly jumps into view.

The view back towards 詩崙山 (Shi lun shan).

The view back towards 詩崙山 (Shi lun shan).

大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) between the trees.

大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) between the trees.

The view back towards 桃山 (Tao shan) and 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) which looks much further away than the 2.3 km of distance would make it seem.

The view back towards 桃山 (Tao shan) and 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) which looks much further away than the 2.3 km of distance would make it seem.

雪山 (Xue shan) and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao) in the distance.

雪山 (Xue shan) and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao) in the distance.

At the top of 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) there's no view, so there isn't much to do but taking a quick photo, eating something, and heading back.

At the top of 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) there's no view, so there isn't much to do but taking a quick photo, eating something, and heading back.

品田山 (Pin tian shan), my favorite mountain in the area. If you look closely you can see the trail leading up to it through the grassy patch in the center.

品田山 (Pin tian shan), my favorite mountain in the area. If you look closely you can see the trail leading up to it through the grassy patch in the center.

On the way back ...

On the way back ...

... with the occasional obstacle to climb over. 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) isn't a very popular mountain, so trail maintenance is rudimentary.

... with the occasional obstacle to climb over. 喀拉業山 (Kelaye shan) isn't a very popular mountain, so trail maintenance is rudimentary.

The sea of clouds towards 桃園 (Tao yuan) on the west coast becomes visible on the way back.

The sea of clouds towards 桃園 (Tao yuan) on the west coast becomes visible on the way back.

By the time we got back to 桃山 (Tao shan) the first tired hikers had made it up from the valley.

By the time we got back to 桃山 (Tao shan) the first tired hikers had made it up from the valley.

Another shot of the ever impressive 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) and its "little brother".

Another shot of the ever impressive 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) and its "little brother".

The 桃山 (Tao shan) weather station.

The 桃山 (Tao shan) weather station.

Taking a last picture of 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) before packing up and heading back to the valley.

Taking a last picture of 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut) before packing up and heading back to the valley.


A frog goes hiking: 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak)

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:41

The front peak of 玉山 (Yu shan), Taiwan's tallest mountain, is not a popular destination among hikers here. For one thing it's about 700 meters shorter than its big brother. For another it's very steep and with a somewhat limited view on the way up. Our main goal, however, was to get a bit of exercise in aspiration of more challenging peaks, so it would do just fine.

Just like for our last hike in the area to 郡大山 (Jun da shan) last October we stayed overnight in 望鄉 (Wang xiang), about 1.5h away by car. Because this was going to be a relatively short hike it was okay to leave a little later than usual in the morning. Still, if I were to hike this peak again I'd try to stay somewhere closer, just to reduce the risk of being beaten to the top by fog and getting caught in afternoon showers on the way down.

Apparently the two of us leading the way walked a little too fast and missed the turnoff towards the peak. It took about half an hour for us to get suspicious and actually checking the map. But after all we were there for the exercise, so why not get a bit extra!


Overview

The blue path is 台21線, the road we drove in the morning from 望鄉 (Wang xiang) to 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia). The purple path is the shuttle from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) to the 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head) and the green path the hike itself.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head) to 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak) and back to 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia)



GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0950: Departure from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) by shuttle
0957: Arrival at the 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head)
1000: Departure from 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head), 2620 m
1040: 孟祿亭 (Monroe Pavilion), 2800 m
1110: Passed 玉山前峰登山口 (Yu shan front peak trail head) without noticing, 2855 m
1145: Turned around at ca. 4.5 km, 2960 m
1210: Back at 玉山前峰登山口 (Yu shan front peak trail head), 2855 m
1255: 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak), 3239 m
1340: Descent
1420: 玉山前峰登山口 (Yu shan front peak trail head), 2855 m
1450: Back at 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head), 2620 m
1525: Back at 塔塔加停車場 (Ta ta jia parking lot), 2570 m


Photos

谷爐巴民宿 (Kulupa homestay) where we spent the night before our hike.

谷爐巴民宿 (Kulupa homestay) where we spent the night before our hike.

It's a nice place with a good view but it's about 1-2 hours away from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia), depending on how lucky you are with traffic and getting through construction sites.

It's a nice place with a good view but it's about 1-2 hours away from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia), depending on how lucky you are with traffic and getting through construction sites.

The view from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) with 大塔山 (Da ta shan) in the center.

The view from 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) with 大塔山 (Da ta shan) in the center.

The parking lot at 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) and the road up towards the trail head.

The parking lot at 塔塔加 (Ta ta jia) and the road up towards the trail head.

The 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head) where most ascents to the various peaks of 玉山 (Yu shan) start. There's a convenient shuttle from the parking lot to here. It's around 35-40 minutes on foot but less than 10 minutes by shuttle. So to shave off some time (afternoon showers!) we decided to spend the 100 TWD per person.

The 塔塔加鞍部登山口 (Ta ta jia sattle trail head) where most ascents to the various peaks of 玉山 (Yu shan) start. There's a convenient shuttle from the parking lot to here. It's around 35-40 minutes on foot but less than 10 minutes by shuttle. So to shave off some time (afternoon showers!) we decided to spend the 100 TWD per person.

The trail to 排雲山莊 (Pai yuan mountain lodge) is about 8.5 km long but the trail towards 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak) branches off at around 2.6 km.

The trail to 排雲山莊 (Pai yuan mountain lodge) is about 8.5 km long but the trail towards 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak) branches off at around 2.6 km.

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The view back towards the 塔塔加鞍部 (Ta ta jia sattle).

The view back towards the 塔塔加鞍部 (Ta ta jia sattle).

Most of the path is quite easy to walk, which partly explains the scores of people you'll encounter here on a typical weekend day.

Most of the path is quite easy to walk, which partly explains the scores of people you'll encounter here on a typical weekend day.

The view towards the valley leading to 那瑪夏 (Na ma xia) in the north east of 高雄 (Gao xiong).

The view towards the valley leading to 那瑪夏 (Na ma xia) in the north east of 高雄 (Gao xiong).

Looking south-east we see 玉山南峰 (Yu shan south peak, 3844 m) near the center right below the cloud and 玉山小南峰 (Yu shan small south peak) in the right third.

Looking south-east we see 玉山南峰 (Yu shan south peak, 3844 m) near the center right below the cloud and 玉山小南峰 (Yu shan small south peak) in the right third.

Most of the trail looks something like this ...

Most of the trail looks something like this ...

... and every so often you'll encounter a few remarkable dead trees on the side of the trail.

... and every so often you'll encounter a few remarkable dead trees on the side of the trail.

The view of 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak), which we would climb later. You can clearly see the main trail along the mountain. The trail up to the peak cuts straight up through that little patch of forest.

We walked an extra hour just to snap this picture! (Okay, I made that up. We really just missed the turnoff.)

The view of 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak), which we would climb later. You can clearly see the main trail along the mountain. The trail up to the peak cuts straight up through that little patch of forest.

We walked an extra hour just to snap this picture! (Okay, I made that up. We really just missed the turnoff.)

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The beginning of the trail to 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak) that we had missed.

The beginning of the trail to 玉山前峰 (Yu shan front peak) that we had missed.

The path up is super steep but the view is not bad at all.

The path up is super steep but the view is not bad at all.

Another view down towards the valley, this time from higher up.

Another view down towards the valley, this time from higher up.

The fog beat us to the top, so the only thing to do was to take the obligatory peak bagging photo and have lunch.

The fog beat us to the top, so the only thing to do was to take the obligatory peak bagging photo and have lunch.


A frog goes hiking: 郡大山 (Jun da shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:16

Not too far away from 玉山 (Yu shan), Taiwan's highest mountain, is 郡大山 (Jun da shan), the 61th-highest mountain. While that isn't spectacular I like this mountain because most of the trail isn't buried under a dense forest with no view, but along the ridge, so you can enjoy the view for almost the entire time.

It's also not a difficult mountain to hike. The tiring part is getting to the trail head: 32 kilometers of windy concrete and gravel road with potholes that send your head bumping against the ceiling! And when you're exhausted it's the same ordeal in reverse.

Regardless, it's well worth the trouble and when I go back there I'll try to make sure it's not after a weeklong flu that left me with enough energy to hike to the top but not enough to hike comfortably down. :-)


Overview


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation chart

32k工寮 trail head to 郡大山 (Jun da shan) and back



GPS track


Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0800: Departure from the 郡大林道 (Jun da forest trail) 0 km mark.
0955: Arrival at the 32k工寮 trail head, 2860 m
1005: Departure from the trail head, 2860 m
1025: 望鄉山 (Wang xiang shan), 3007 m
1150: 郡大山北峰 (Jun da shan North peak), 3241 m
1230: 郡大山 (Jun da shan), 3265 m
1410: Departure
1455: 郡大山北峰 (Jun da shan North peak)
1600: 望鄉山 (Wang xiang shan)
1615: Back at the trail head


Photos

The entrance to 郡大林道 (Jun Da Forest Road) where everyone gets stuck until the official in charge peels himself out of bed and presses a button.

The entrance to 郡大林道 (Jun Da Forest Road) where everyone gets stuck until the official in charge peels himself out of bed and presses a button.

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The newly built 台21線 (highway 21) towards 望鄉 (Wang xiang) where we had spent the night.

The newly built 台21線 (highway 21) towards 望鄉 (Wang xiang) where we had spent the night.

Finally through the gate it's a bumpy ride.

Finally through the gate it's a bumpy ride.

Every so often the forest clears up a bit and you can see the beautiful view.

Every so often the forest clears up a bit and you can see the beautiful view.

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Shortly after the 22.5 km mark we took a little break.

Shortly after the 22.5 km mark we took a little break.

The obligatory temple along the way. :-)

The obligatory temple along the way. :-)

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Apparently I was too shaken to take a picture of the trail head but about an hour later we got off the bus and started hiking. The first landmark on the way is this little weather station.

Apparently I was too shaken to take a picture of the trail head but about an hour later we got off the bus and started hiking. The first landmark on the way is this little weather station.

Most of the trail leads through shrubs and tall grass.

Most of the trail leads through shrubs and tall grass.

The absence of trees on the ridge makes for great views all around.

The absence of trees on the ridge makes for great views all around.

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In the distance you can already see 玉山 (Yu shan).

In the distance you can already see 玉山 (Yu shan).

The trail ahead ...

The trail ahead ...

... and behind.

... and behind.

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Every so often the path leads through patches of bamboo.

Every so often the path leads through patches of bamboo.

Finally at the top, about an hour before the flu from the previous few days caught up with me and made me feel rather miserable.

Finally at the top, about an hour before the flu from the previous few days caught up with me and made me feel rather miserable.

But that won't stop me from snapping another photo with 玉山 (Yu shan) in the background!

But that won't stop me from snapping another photo with 玉山 (Yu shan) in the background!


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