Saturday, August 3, 2013

雪山, Snow Mountain

Last weekend I completed my first hike in Taiwan with my friend Alex. It was an incredible experience. I've been hiking mountains since I was 4. If given the choice between the beach or mountains I would pick mountains every-time. Taiwan may not be world renowned for it's hiking but it should be.

Earlier this week I was standing on the summit of Snow Mt. (雪山)which is the second tallest mountain in Taiwan with an elevation of 3,886 meters. Although Snow Mt. is not as famous as Mt. Fuji in Japan it is taller. In Taiwan it is common to climb in a group and pay someone to carry and cook food. I certainly wasn't going to pay someone to lead me and carry my pack. This made my host family nervous and even my Chinese teacher.

On day 1 my friend Alex and I took a bus from Taipei to Wuling Farm. From Wuling Farm we hitched a ride to the trail-head. Here we had to watch a rather silly safety-video. It only took us half an hour to reach the first cabin. We were supposed to stay the night there but with so much daylight we decided to move on to the next cabin. The trail was well maintained and fairly easy. There were even benches to sit on at one point. In order to get to cabin 369 we needed to cross over the "Crying Slope”. The name comes from the slope's difficult appearance. Unfortunately on day one there was too much fog to see any good views, fortunately it didn't rain. We made it to Cabin 369 and stayed the night at what I would consider a 5 star resort. There was a bathroom, a kitchen with running water, and bunks.

Day 2 started with a beautiful sunrise. After some bread for breakfast Alex and I started our trek for the summit. The trail started out at the "Black Forest". The sunlight coming through the tall straight pines was a great sight. We made it to the summit early around 7:30. From here we went on to explore some trails and even hiked down to the highest lake in Taiwan. The weather was perfect for hiking and the views were breathtaking. We made it back to Cabin 369 around 2:00.

Tired and smelly we hiked down and out on day 3 and returned to Taipei.

At the trail head 

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. and prayer paper? 

Sun set 

Sunrise at cabin 369

Summit of Snow Mt. 

Alex and I at the summit 

Sunrise day 2 

Sunrise day 2

View from Snow Mt. 

View from Snow Mt.

Video of the hike

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