Sunday, April 30, 2017

Snow Mountain (Syue Shan) Taiwan

Trekking up Snow Mountain 雪山 (Syue Shan) of Taiwan from 22-29 April 2017 with actual hiking dates from 24-26 April, 3D2N ... at an altitude of 3,886m, Snow Mountain is the second highest mountain in Taiwan. 

The team put up one night at Wuling Farm Resort (武陵農場) (1,740m) before the hike; it is the trail head of Snow Mountain and it is also a tourists attraction farm in Heping District, Taichung. From Taipei, it is about 6 hours of bus journey to Wuling Farm Resort. 

Trekking Schedule:

Day 1 – 6 hours of hiking to 369 Lodge (三六九山莊) (in drizzle for the entire journey)
Day 2 – 4 hours of hiking to Snow Mountain peak
Day 3 – 4 hours descent to trailhead from 369 Lodge (in drizzle for the entire journey)

Temperature at 369 Lodge at night is 5 ºC; hence, a good sleeping bag is critical for a comfortable sleep. My 65-litre Deuter backpack weighted almost 18kg that included common ration for the group. The food for cooking was equally distributed and help carried by each team members to 369 Lodge.

Do CLICK HERE to view 168 photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong. For viewing via smartphone, maximum zoom in is possible.

 A complete group photo while having dinner at Wuling Farm Resort; seated front, left is the committed bus driver who fetch us around for the entire trip

The weather – as informed by the experienced bus driver, the month of April is a rainy month. The rain comes in fine drizzle that can last a whole day or even a few days. For a drier month, hike between mid-May to mid-June. The rain and typhoon will come again from July onward.

The bus driver – his name is Chow and with respect, we called him Chow ker (bro Chow). It is almost same sound as Chaw Ge, a Malaysian Chinese singer based in Taiwan. During his younger days, he is an avid outdoor person who can trek in the mountains for 47 continuous days.
 Getting ready at the trailhead, which is within Wuling Farm Resort

Trails to the peak – This is a pleasant and safe mountain to hike with well-marked trails. Unlike other trails where both sides are cliff (e.g. Mount Rinjani, Lantau HK Peak, etc) and pose the danger of falling off the cliff, there isn’t such experience at the trails of Snow Mountain. Gaining elevation is very gradual and one does not need to have sudden surge of power for ascent, worsen by the heavy backpack. Though the journey to the summit and return can be hurriedly done in 2D1N, completing the journey in 3D2N would be a better option. Putting up extra night at 369 Lodge is a nice experience to have more time to enjoy the nature.

Hiking in snow – We were told that one Malaysian slipped and fell to his death during winter hiking where the trails were covered with snow.  

 Arriving at Qika Lodge which is about one hour from the trailhead
 A scenic view en route to 369 Lodge ... the white circle is the helicopter landing pad (for emergency evacuation)
 Arriving at 369 Lodge ... outdoor dining table
 Bunk beds with 1cm think rubberize mattress ... one must bring a good sleeping bag
 Kitchen area that can cater for multiple groups' cooking needs; there are two taps with ample supply of mountain water during the wet months
 Our group preparing the food for cooking dinner; the other group is training for outdoor survival skill
 A clean toilet but without water; thus, the toilet is smelly
 Day 2 morning ... the team is getting ready to hike to Snow Mountain peak
 Heading towards Black Forest ... the 369 Lodge is at the lower end of the hill
 Unique and scenic view of Black Forest
 The misty Black Forest with the dense pine tress
Arriving at Snow Mountain peak ... (Front, left) Wee, Michelle Wong, TehWE, Evie Chen; (back, left) PhoonKF, Ginger Lee, George Siew, Karen Yeoh, Karen Lee, Yoong, KC Leong.

Posted by KC Leong

Saturday, April 08, 2017

KDCF Trail Run

Trail running at Kota Damansara Community Forest (KDCF) starting from Taman Rimba Riang, Seksyen 9 for a round trip of about 13km in 3 hr 30 min on Saturday 8 April 2017. En route to Seksyen 10 and return, the group detoured to Denai Peak.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours trully (KC Leong).

 Trailhead at Taman Rimba Riang ... (left) Jamie See, June Lau, Lina, Mei Ying, George Siew, ChongYF, David Chung, Celes Yap, Elsie Liew, Christine Yap, KC Leong
 Useful and new trail map of Kota Damansara Community Forest
 The happy cho-cho train 
 Admiring the landscape at Denai Peak
 At Denai Peak
At Seksyen 10, the other end of the trailhead

Posted by KC Leong