このブログを検索

2014-11-10

2014年11月8日 南港山岩壁ルート Mt. Nangang rock climbing route

Mt. Nangan rock route #2
秋の天候は変わりやすい。本来は陽明山系の大尖後山へ行くつもりであったが、天気予報では午後雨になるとのこと、そこで前夜これを延期した。翌朝は、うらはらに天気がよい。そこで二年近く訪れていない、南港山へ行くことにした。友人が南港山の岩壁ルートを登ったことが無い、ということなので単に南港山を歩くのでなく、この岩壁ルートを登ることにした。三、四時間で終わる気楽な歩きである。すでにこのルートは歩いて、その記録はブログに載せてある。そこで今回も、広く紹介するという意味で英語で記述する。

--------------------------------

The rock routes are under the main peaks of Mt. Nangang
We start from Yongchun High School bus stop
Mt. Nangang is one of the closest mountains to the metropolitan Taipei and has several peaks atop and around its main ridge.  It just stands besides the east most edge of the Taipei Basin and next to the landmark 101 skyscraper. It takes only less than thirty minutes to get from my home to any of the trail entrances facing the Xingyi (信義區) district of Taipei. This mountain was naturally my first choice of hiking activity when I started four years ago. I have since walked many routes on the mountain including rock climbing routes just beneath the west side of Jiuwu(九五峰) peak and Nangang peak.

Tianbaogong Temple, The trail is on the left side of the building
The train entrance
There are many trails going over the Mt. Nangang. The main trails are the Taipei Nature Trails (台北親山步道) maintained by the Taipei municipal government. They are paved with stone and direction signs are very clear and indicative. They are going over the entire range of Mt. Nangang main ridge and some branch trails leading to many destinations. They are good in their own right and most hikers are content with only going along them. However there are more trails and footpaths besides the Nature Trails. There are many residents living around the mountain and they walk on not only the Nature Trails but some dirt footpaths for their everyday exercise and fun.  And some enthusiastic hikers have opened new trails such as rock climbing routes.

A view from the Tenbaogong terrace, Yangming mountains are visible afar
Beixingbaogong Temple
There are in total five routes of rock climbing. They are different in difficulty and length each other. The most difficult one is said to be No. 2 counting from the north side and the second is No.3. The #2 is almost a vertical rock face and has a height of twenty meters or so. The #3 has similar height but not so steep as #2. Next comes in the order of difficulty #4, then #5 and #1. They are all accessible from a common footpath going under these routes. They are however in a strict sense not for rock climbing. All of them are equipped with very strong ropes and steel steps for safety.

A view of Nangang peaks from Beixingbaogong;
rock routes are just under these peaks 




If you want to access any of the rock routes, you have to study a map yourself or go with somebody familiar with the routes as there are no sign there showing the direction. There are three paths connecting the rock route access footpath. A friend of mine and I started from YongChun (永春高中) High School and went through one of the connecting paths from the south side and passed by Jingzhiting (靜之亭) pavilion to enter the common access footpath. We climbed the #3 route as my friend tried this kind of route for the first time and felt that the #2 was too much. After we reached the main Nature Trail which goes on the top of the main mountain ridge, we followed the trail to Jiuwu peak, the highest point in the mountain. We went down via Mt. Xiangshan (象山) to the MRT station.

Main Nature Trail
Despite the weather forecast saying that it would rain, when I got up in the morning bright sunlight was outside. After having cancelled a original plan to Mt. Dajianhoushan (大尖後山) in theYangmingshan (陽明山)  area the night before, I had told my friend that we would go unless it rains as she was interested in the rock routes. The weather this morning is more than good for climb. We meet at a nearby bus stop and head for our starting point YongChun high school bus stop. We arrive at 9:10. There seems to be an activity at the school and many students are heading from the bus stop to the school on the hill.

Peaks of Chatian Mountain range are visible in the distance
A junction on the main trail, turn left here
We go straight and take a road to Tianbaogong (天寶宮) temple. Passing by the entrance of Nature Trail to Mt. Xiangshan we continue the road. In 10 minutes we come to Tainbaogong. It is warmer than I expected and I take off a long sleeve shirt. A religious ritual is going on the terrace of the temple. From the terrace peaks of the Yangmingsan are quite visible.The trail opens its entrance just by the massive temple building. We start going up the trail steps. Many hikers are coming down as we ascend. We later find that it is a hiking activity of Taipower (台電) company.

Going up to Jingzhiting pavilion
By a less than 10 minutes walk we arrive at Beixingbaogong (北星寶宮) temple. The temple looks freshly painted and very colorful. There are in fact many temples on the hillsides and it is really hard to keep track of them. For a few more minutes we reach the main Natural Trail. We turn left and follow the tail. As we walk along it, we find that peaks of Chatian mountain range (插天山脈) like Mt. Zhulu (逐鹿山), Mr. Kabao (卡保山), Mt. Lapei (樂佩山) and Mt. Beichatian (北插天山) are visible in the far distance. We go up the stone paved trail for about fifteen minutes and comes to a junction. We take a left narrow path while the main trail going right. This narrow path leads to the common footpath accessing the rock routes.

Pavilion platform, go to the end of this flat place to turn right
Left one is the rock route common access path
The narrow stone steps go higher and higher. To my surprise hand rails have been built on the side of this old looking trail, which I remember no such safety feature on my last visit. At 10:14 we come up to a platform where stands Jingzhiting pavilion. This is a quite place. While there are many hikers on the main trail, there is none here. We take a rest and have a cup of coffee.

The common access pathway
The #3 rock route
We walk to the end of the platform and take a level footpath going along the hillside, while one going up leads to the rock route #4. We later find that my memory is not correct and this is a wrong footpath. This path goes parallel to the access footpath but one level lower. We come back to the platform and then take the steps going up to the rock route #4. After a minute or two of ascend, we come to another junction where another level footpath diverges. This is the correct one. We take a left path and proceed. We come under the rock route #3 in a few minutes. We continue the footpath to the #2 route to see first if my friend can climb it. Another few minutes we come to the bottom of the #2 route. A woman is just climbing the rock. She is pretty good at it and looks trained. My friend tries a climb for two or three meters up but looks not so sure about going further up. So I decide to go back to the #3 route and take it instead.

Climbing the upper half of the #3 route
The #3 is not short but not that vertical and you cannot see the top of it as it bends in the middle and is covered by trees nearby. It does not look so scary and commanding. She starts climbing. As she goes up, she finds more comfortable to climb. Up goes she by holding onto ropes and steps and reach the top without any problem in a matter of few minutes. Now she feels more confident for such routes. We take the main stone paved trail and pass by Nangang Peak where a triangular point stone is placed with an indication of elevation 375m and then reach Jiuwu peak. We go down to a pavilion just beneath the Jiuwu peak. The top of  #2 rock route is just by the pavilion and you can look down the route from the edge. It is 11:45 and we take a rest there.

Nangang peak



A thermometer affixed on the pavilion pillar indicates 25 degree. No wonder it is warm today. The weather is still fine. A little after twelve we start a way back. We go back to Jiuwu peak, but not to the top but go around by a hillside pathway. We go over Nangang peak and down to a platform where a good view of the Taipei Basin is just there beneath you. We come to a point where a little path diverges to right. We take this one, which goes down to the #4 rock route. It is usually more difficult to go down rock routes than go up, but this one has tons of handrails and ropes, which make it pretty safe for ether way. Of course you have to pay close attention to your steps as you go down regardless of safety installment.

A view of Taipei from the Nangang Peak
A view of Mt. Xiangshan from the #4 rock route
Bottom part of the #4 rock route
We go down to the Jingzhiting pavilion and further down to the main Nature Trail. We follow the trail all the way up to Xiangshan. We take a left path to go by the Big Six Rock (六巨石) where you can have a commanding view of Taipei 101 skyscraper just in front of you. There are many visitors all over the place. This is a territory for tourists not just for hikers only. Thanks to the Xinyi line of MRT, Xiangshan is more popular ever. The municipal government has since built viewing decks and other structures along the Xiangshan trail to boost tourism. This is indeed very different from where we were only two hours ago when we were climbing the rock route. We had no other people around. We further go down steps and out come to Songren  (松仁路) Road. After having a late lunch at a noodle shop nearby we walk to the MRT Xingyi station. Our activity time was four hours.

Busy Xiangshan trail, even kids are going up

The rock climbing routes are not only interesting but giving you a chance to get used to this kind of hiking routes that you may well come across when you go beyond simple stone paved trails. If you are a novice, you can start with an easiest one like #1 or #5 then try harder one after that. My friend told me that she would like to try the #2 next time. But keep in your mind that it can be dangerous if you are not prepared. A female hiker fell down and died when she was climbing the #2 route only last January.

0 件のコメント:

コメントを投稿