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100 Peaks Hike - Mt Baigu: A Trail You Want to Do but Only Want to Do It Once

Posted by:  Anusha Lee
Published date: December 15 , 2020
Mt. Baitu infographic
Mt. Baitu infographic
Disclaimer: Please note some of the following are based on my personal condition, and I will try to provide the latest and correct information as possible as I can. Please feel free to let me know if I make any mistake and thank you for reading. Please also note that your safety is your own responsibility.
I'm not affiliated with any companies whose products mentioned in this post. I bought those products out of my own pocket.

About Mt. Baigu and the Famous (or Notorious) Deadly Accident

The 100 Peaks or 百岳 in Chinese is a very famous list (achievement to be exact) among hikers in Taiwan. Mt. Baigu, also call White Dog in Chinese, is listed No. 44. Under this list, there are also many sub-lists. Among those 100 peaks, the trailheads of 4 peaks are located on Central Cross-island Highway 中部橫貫公路 or 中橫 in short. Those 4 mountains happen to be difficult to hike. Therefore, those are also listed as 中橫四辣.
In Chinese, 辣 means spicy, and it also means it’s difficult to handle. I can’t find the official English name for 中橫四辣, so please bear with me and let’s call it Central Highway 4 Spicy Hikes. The mountains listed on Central Highway 4 Spicy Hikes are Mt. Yangtou 羊頭山, Mt. Bilu 畢祿山, Mt. Baigu 白姑大山 and Mt. Pingfeng 屏風山, ranging from relatively easy to the most challenging one on this list. But some hikers say Mt. Pingfeng is easier than Mt. Baigu after the new trail has been discovered. I can’t comment this because I haven’t been to Mt. Pingfeng. Perhaps someday.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Mt. Baigu is dubbed as one of the spicy hikes near Central Cross-island Highway
When you hike the 100 Peaks in Taiwan, you have to apply for permit and lodge beds or campsite in advance. However, it’s hassle-free if you want to hike Mt. Baigu. You need to carry your tents and sleeping bags, and definitely a water filter, unless you want to finish it in one day.
In 2011, a hiker, Mr. Zhang, went missing when he tried to do a solo hike on Mt. Baigu. It took the rescue team 51 days trying to find him without any results. This is a long story, but this tragedy ignited the debates about mountaineering/hiking safety and education in hiking communities in Taiwan.

How to Get There

The trailhead is very close to the Last Farmhouse 最後農家 near Hongxiang Hotspring 紅香溫泉. There’s no public transport to get there. You have to drive or hire a car. Please note that it’s better to drive or hire a 4-wheele drive car because of the steepness of the off road to the Last Farmhouse.

Peaks to Reach

Mt. Sanzhui: 三錐山 2,570 meters (8,431 feet). No views.
Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak: 白姑大山東南峰, 3,035 meters (10,036 feet), but not listed as the 100 Peak.
Mt. Baigu: 白姑大山 3,341 meters (10,961 feet), a Class 1 Triangulation Stone on the summit. Views are great if the weather is good.
See the map and itinerary first

Sometimes You Just Want to Challenge Yourself

GPS coordinates of the Last Farmhouse: 24.18036, 121.17024
In Taiwan, if you hike the 100 Peaks with hiking associations, they will ask you to join the meeting held at least one month before the departure. The first reason is the guides want to know your hiking experience and decide whether you are fit enough to go. The second reason is they will let you know the details about the trails, and things you need to pay extra attention or items you need to bring.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
A meeting before 100 Hikes to let hikers know more about the trails and things to pay attention to
LOHAS does a very good job about telling the participants all the details you need to know about the trails to hike the 100 Peaks. The guides will also relentlessly remind us to take the garbage back with us. Our guides also reminded us to bring a water filter and a light day backpack for our second day hike to the summit, especially the latter one. I made a mistake for not using it.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Attending those meetings helps me to know what to expect when hiking on 100 Peaks
Our plan was to reach our campsite on the first day, hike to the summit on the second day, and leave our campsite on the third day.

A Bumpy Road to the Trailhead

We left Taipei and stayed at a hotel in Renai, Nantou for one night. When we got up around 4 am and were ready to leave at 5, the sky was turning red. The sunrise here must be very stunning.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The sky started turning red when we left the hotel heading to the trailhead
It took us around 2 hours to get to the Last Farmhouse. We hired three 4 by 4 cars, and the ride to the Last Farmhouse was very bumpy. There were many cabbage farms around here, and this farmhouse was the highest one here. That’s why it was called the Last Farmhouse.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The Last Farmhouse
I was told that the family who live there was very friendly to hikers a few years ago. However, some hikers behave badly, which eventually upset them. Now, hikers can’t park here too long. We had to get our stuff together as soon as we could and started our hike.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Amazing view from the Last Farmhouse
But the views here were amazing, even though we had to put up with tons of flies because of the fertilizers.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Too many flies at the Last Farmhouse

A Steep Uphill after Pleasant Pine-needle Covered Trail

We took some small zigzag turns to the real trailhead. You will see a big red sign on a mesh fence asking hikers to hike with companies.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The trailhead to enter the woods
The first section of the trail was quite pleasant. There were many pine trees, and it was very comfortable to walk on those pine needles.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The first section of the trail was flat and covered by pine needles.
When we reached a metal mesh fence with water hoses going underneath it, the fun part stared. Our guide told us that Mr. Zhang, the victim of the tragic accident mentioned earlier, took a wrong turn here in 2011. After that, they put up a metal mesh fence to warn hikers. I guess nobody will ever make a wrong turn again here.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
A hiker took a wrong turn here and ended up with a tragedic death. The fence was built to prevent the accidents from happening again.
After taking the steep uphill, most of the terrains were covered by pine needles and intertwined with tree roots. I was already out of breath after the climbing.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Steep slopes covered with pine needles and tree roots
Around 10:00 am, we reached our first peak, Mt. Sanzhui 三錐山, 2,570 meters (8,432 feet). There wasn’t view here. We took a short break.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Our first peak, Mt. Sanzhui. There was no view here.
There were many tall, beautiful trees. Sadly, illegal logging still happened here. Those trees had survived hundreds of years of harsh weather, but they couldn’t survive from greedy humans.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Illegal logging is still a big issue in Taiwan. The government encourages hikers to report it when they see it on the trails.

The First Encounter with the Hunter Tarp with More to Come Later

it was around noon when we reached a hunter’s tarp, which looked like a permanent fixture here. Little did we know that his humble looking tarp came back to disturb us the next evening, but it wasn’t the tarp’s fault though.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Many beautiful tall pine trees on the trail
We continued to hike, and we met the rocky slippery looking slope within 10 minutes. If you think climbing up slopes like this is hard, you should try descending from them, which was even more difficult and dangerous.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The last rocky steep slope before we reached our campsite and called it a day.
Luckily, we made it, and it took us another 20 minutes to our campsite. There was another campsite which was a little bit higher than the one we took and was much closer to Siyan Ponds 司晏池. But there were other groups coming later, so our guides decided to camp there so we wouldn’t be disturbed by other hikers who came here late. We'd finished our first day hike.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Pitching tents and tarps at the campsite

The Unforgettable Dark Water for Us to Drink

We started to pitch our tents. I brought my MSR mesh tent and tarp and tried to set things up. This was my second time using this tent, but I forgot to practice how to pitch it properly. Luckily, our guides came to the rescue and helped me get comfortable.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
My MSR mesh tent and tarp
After we settled down, our guides took us to Siyan Ponds to draw water. It took us around 10 minutes to get there. I had been warned about the water before my trip, but seeing it was a different story. I would never think about drinking the water like this. But if you want to hike Mt. Baigu, you either carry extra 3 to 5 litters of water or you bring your own filter. I chose the latter one.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Siyan Ponds. Not very pleasing to the eye and you definitely need a water filter.
It took much longer to draw water from the pond. We had to skim the surface as much as we could and use a cloth to sieve the dirt and debris before using the filter. I kneeled down there for at least 20 minutes to draw around 1.5 litter. Here was the result after using my filter, which looked much better.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The unfiltered water on the left and the filtered water on the right. I think my Katadyn BeFree did a good job to clean up the water from Siyan Ponds.
When the important task of drawing water was done, it was time for dinner. I carried extra 1.5 litter of clean water to drink, so I used the ‘favored’ Siyan Ponds water for my ramen. To be honest, the water didn’t taste any different. Our guides have been to Mt. Baigu and drank the water several times. As long as you boil the water, it’s quite safe. The problem is it isn’t pleasing to the eyes.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
There was a bigger campsite near Siyan Ponds, but we didn't stay here.
After dinner, we called it a day and went to our tents to sleep. For me, it was a long night, because I always slept bad at the campsite.
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Heading to Mt. Baigu

I woke up several times, and for some unknown reasons I decided to ditch my light backpack for the summit, the important thing requested by our guides, and carried my 45L backpack, which proved to be a big mistake later.
We were supposed to get up at 4 am to get ready, but I got up at 3 to prepare my breakfast, taking my time. We got ready and left at 5 am to our first peak, Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak 白姑東南峰, 3,059 meters (10,036 feet).
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak is not listed as 100 Peaks
It took us around one hour from our campsite to Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak, and most of this section was doing downhill. Although Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak is over 3,000 meters, it’s not listed as the 100 Peak. It was still dark when we got there, but I could see the sky turning bright and red. It must be great to see the sunrise at Mt. Baigu, but that means you have to get up really early to catch the first beam of sunlight.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The sun was rising when we reached Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak
From here, it was mostly downhill again, but I wasn’t particularly excited about it, because I had to hike uphill later after I was exhausted. Around 30 minutes, we reached Jita Campsite 吉他營地. It means guitar in Chinese. I have no idea why this is called a campsite, because only one or two tents can be pitched here. A yellow sign saying you could get phone signal here, but I didn’t get many bars.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
A small campsite called Jita (meaning guitar) Campsite
Jita Campsite was also the lowest point from our campsite to Mt. Baigu. From here, it was almost all the way up to Mt. Baigu.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Endless uphills after Jita Campsite

A Stupid Mistake That Took Me Extra Effort

After taking a short break at Jita Campsite, we resumed the hike and what was waiting for us was more steep climbing. Many fallen big trees lying on the trail, and we had to climb over them from time to time.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Our guide Hanhan captured several moments of me struggling on the trail
Not just the fallen trees, there were also many rock hills to climb and endless sidehills to pass.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
More rock sidehills to pass
We even had to go through many bamboo woods. Luckily, those were not too difficult to go through.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Bamboo woods waiting for us
Other than bamboo woods, there were many tall, magnificent Taiwan Red Pines and Taiwan Red Cypress.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Stunning pine and cypress trees on the trail
We also had to walk on the big rocks scattered on the ridgelines flanked by tall pine trees.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
More scary rock slopes and tall pine trees
I thought I had already known why this trail was dubbed as Big Spicy among hikers, but I was wrong. The biggest challenge had yet to come. At that moment, I also realized a stupid mistake I made. I should have carried the light backpack instead of my 45L one. The weight of my empty 45L backpack was 1.8 kg, and I had to carry rain gear, food and water and water filter. I had no idea what I was thinking, and I had to bear (carry to be exact) the consequences.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Me carrying the unecessary big backpack struggling to climb up
The more I hiked, the more exhausted I became. I was getting slower and slower. But luckily, our guide Hanhan was very nice. He told me to take my time and don’t worry about being slow. He said we were still on time. I really appreciate his kindness. Not every guide was this patient.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Hanhan kept me company when I was struggling on the trail.
Hanhan let me take breaks when I had to, and I continued to curse myself for carrying such a heavy backpack.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Grasslands mixed with tall pine trees on some sections of the trail. I took this photo while taking a short break.
The weather became cloudy and I could see mist flowing around the ridges and valleys around us. Although I was tired and out of breath, I was still in awe when seeing the stunning views and landscape. 
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The trees, rocks and clouds made this looke like a Chinese Ink Painting
Some of the ridges were really scary. How I managed to get pass those ridges without panicking still baffles me now.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Climbing uphill to another ridge while trying to admire those trees in the mist.
While I was trying to catch my breath, I saw some bright purple flowers on the way up. Those were Arisanensis Gentiana 阿里山龍膽. I was amazed to see so many delicate flowers can survive this kind of harsh and barren environment but still thrive, while I was struggling a lot on the trail.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The beautiful purple color caught my eye: Arisanensis Gentiana

The Biggest Surprise Waiting for Me

Then we reached Grass Ponds 青草池, and those ponds looked exactly like those where we drew water from. Hanhan kept me company all the time, and he told me that Big Rock Slope or the Boulder Rubble Area 石瀑 or 砂岩亂石區 wasn't far away. During the meeting before our hike, Hanhan had shown us what this area looked like, but I didn’t feel anything special till now.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The last challenge before reaching the peak: the Boulder Rubble Area
When we finally reached the Boulder Rubble Area, my jaw almost dropped. Seeing the slope covered by those gigantic rocks was so dramatic and made me frightened. I was worried that some of those rocks would get loose and roll over me. Hanhan assured me that it was safe to hike on them, but you still had to be careful.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Me struggling on the Boulder Rubble Area, but this is also one of my favorite photos on this trip.
I had to stop from time to time and l decided to look back. If you think climbing up is scary, it’s scarier to overlook the whole area. I wasn’t sure how I could make it back to our campsite, but I decided to worry about it later.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
It looked scarier when I turned to look at the Boulder Rubble Area.
After the feel-like-forever climbing, I finally passed this rock slope and reached a small trail with more vegetation. I could feel the heat from the sun because there was no shade at this section at all. Then, while passing another section of bamboo wood, I could hear people talking in the near distance.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The bamboo woods before reaching the peak

Mt. Baigu! Finally!

It was cloudy by the time I got there, but I still could see some blue sky in between the big fluffy clouds. There was a Class 1 Triangulation Stone on Mt. Baigu. Hanhan told us that we could see Mt. Xue West Peak 雪山西陵, Central Peak in Mt. Nanhu 南湖中央尖, and even Mt. Hehuan peaks 合歡山. But we weren’t that lucky to see that far.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Our hiking mates took photos with Hanhan in front of the Class 1 Triangulation Stone
Before 1999 Jiji Earthquake (921集集大地震) struck Taiwan, the trailhead to Mt. Baigu was located at Qingshan on Central Cross-island Highway 中橫青山, and the hike to Mt. Baigu could be done in one day, if you could manage 2,000 meters of acesending and descending. But the earthquakes destroyed the trail and we now started at the trailhead in Hongxiang Spring 紅香溫泉 Renai Nantou 南投縣仁愛鄉.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
You will see the old trail from Qingshan near the peak of Mt. Baigu
Although it was cloudy, I still could get a glimpse of the mountains surrounding us. I was not sure whether I would come back here again, but I was grateful that at least it wasn’t raining.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The surrounding of Mt. Baigu was beautiful even it was partially covered by clouds.
More photo taken from the peak.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
It must be more magnificent to see those mountains if all the clouds were cleared up.
There was no shade on the summit, so we descended to the woods near the Big Rock slope to have our lunch break. Oh, yes, how could I forget about the slope. After the climbing up this slope, I thought I was prepped, the reality was it still took me longer than other hikers for me to descend. One of the reasons was my heavy backpack took me to use extra strength. Another reason was my knees started to hurt.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
We took a lunch break after decesending from the Boulder Rubble Area.
There is a saying in Chinese, 上山容易下山難, which means it's easy to climb up but it's difficult to descend. In this case, it was truth. When I resumed my hike after lunch break, I was surprised to see how steep those ridges we passed earlier. I was not good at dealing with the height, but I was coping with those scary ridges better than I thought I would.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Me standing in front of a rock slope pondering how to pass it safely
But I have to say, those rugged ridges looked so amazing, especially with the mist and fog spilling over them. Later, I checked those photos again at our hired van and told one of our guides that I still didn’t know how I managed to walk through those terrifying ridges. He told me 順順的走就好了, just go with the flow.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Yes, just go with the flow, which also applies to passing those scary slopes

It’s Not Done Yet but Things Paid Off

Mt. Baigu is an out-and-back trail. If you start with downhills, those will become uphill when you take the same route back. Although the single trip to the summit was only 5 km / 3.1 miles, the rough terrains made my average speed per hour around 1 km. Not going to lie to you, I stopped and sighed at every uphill I had to make.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
I signed in front of this slope but the hard work paid off. See anything special on the bottom right corner in this photo?
While I was struggling with the climbing over the steep slope, I saw something tiny and white hiding underneath a rock. I stopped and kneeld down to check what that was, and it turned out to be Falseindianpipe 阿里山水晶蘭.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
I've been hoping to see Falseindianpipe for a while but I didn't expect to see it on the trail to Mt. Baigu.
I didn’t expect to see Falseindianpipe at Mt. Baigu, and I was so excited, almost dancing right there. I could tell it was very humid underneath the rock, which was the best environment for Falseindianpipe to grow. I took as many photos as I could before I had to face the reality, climbing up the steep slope.
With some struggling, I reached a mild slope with bamboo woods on my both sides and spotted something white again. This time, I saw two almost transparent tiny Falseindianpipe sprouting out of the damp dirt. They were so beautiful and delicate. I knew Hanhan was waiting for me, but I really wanted to grab this chance to look at those amazing plants.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
More Falseindianpipe on the trail. I was so lucky.
My unexpected encounter with Falseindianpipe at Mt. Baigu was so delightful that it lightened up my mood, even though just for a few seconds. (Click here to see more wildflowers I've found on the trails.)
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Other amazing wildflower I found on this trail: Shortia exappendiculata Hayata. I found its fallen flower nearby.
After the huffing and puffing, I finally reached Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak, and Hanhan was already here waiting for me to catch up. We took a break to have some snack. Then it started drizzling.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
It took at least 4 hours round trips from this single-line rock slope to Mt. Baigu peak.
To make the hiking back to our campsite, the drizzling turned into big rain. Although hiking back to our campsite was mostly downhill, it was still not easy. I even saw more Falseindianpipe on the trail, but I was too tired to take photos of them. I was content already.
It took me around one hour to get to our campsite. By the time we got there, I was almost soaking wet. The good thing about raining was we didn’t have to draw the black water from Siyang Pond anymore. Our guides gathered a lot of rainwater for us to cook dinner. It tasted way much better than the black water, believe me.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
We got fresh clean water to drink thanks to the rain.

An Uneasy Night at the Campsite Because of Some Idiots

We went to bed around 7 pm. Although I was very tired, I still had a hard time to fall asleep. Surprisingly, I still could get some cellphone signals there, so I managed to send pictures to my friends and on Twitter before I finally dozed off.
Suddenly I was woken up by lights and people’s panic voice. I heard some frantic talks and annoying headlamp shooting inside my tent. I had no idea what was going on, but then I heard the voice of one of our guides. After this disturbance, it took me a while to fall asleep again.
Later I was told that there was a couple who couldn’t find their tent, and the wife got panic and talked loudly. One of our guides, Wadan, decided to ask what happened to them. The couple told Wadan that they pitched up their tent at Pine Needle Campsite 松針營地, which wasn’t too far away from our site. Wadan was a very kind person so he offered companying them to their tent.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Pine Needle Campsite
But guess what? When they reached Pine Needle Campsite, this ill-prepared couple couldn’t find their tent, again. It turned out they pitched their tent at Hunter Campsite, which was at least one hour away from ours.
They told Wadan that they live in Hualien and arrived at the trailhead around noon. For some unknown reasons, they still wanted to hike to the summit. I remember we met this couple on the way back to our tents around one o'clock in the afternoon. One of our guides told them it was better for them to turn back because it was too late, but they just ignored it.
Other than this incident, we met many hikers who decided to finish this hike in one day. Finishing the hike 單攻, especially the 100 Peaks, is getting popular in Taiwan, because many hikers don’t want to carry heavy tents and sleeping bags or food. However, it’s not for everyone. One of the female hikers we ran into felt doing it in one day was too much, and she started mumbling something like “I’m so exhausted. I don’t want to do it in one day” whenever she saw us.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
We saw several campfire debris left behind withing being cleaned up

The Sun Decided to Show up When It was Time to Go Home

After a restless night, it was time to go home. The weather was much better than the previous day, and I saw this amazing view from our campsite.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
We got a grogerous day when we were ready to leave.
This happens a lot on the trail: when you were trying to get to the summits hoping to see the amazing views from the top, the weather turned cloudy. By the time you were ready to leave, the sun decided to show up. It was no exception this time.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
The beautiful weather made the pine trees look so stunning.
Even though I didn’t get to see the stunning views from the Class 1 Triangulation summit, it was wonderful to hike on the trail that was paved by soft pine needles. The beams of sun made the hiking back to the trailhead even more pleasant.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
I could sit here for hours just to enjoy the lights and the woods.
Those beautiful trees were so tall and amazing.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Tall trees shooting into the sky
When we passed Hunter Campsite, we saw the couple who disturbed our sleep.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
We passed Hunter Campsite, and that was the ill-prepared couple.
By the time we were close to the trailhead, there were many tents being set up there. Hanhan said many hikers who chose to hike to Mt. Baigu in one day would pitch their tents here and get up around 2 am to hike.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
A swamp like wetland in the middle of the woods
When we exited the trail and got to our cars, the stunning mountains were waiting for us, so were those endless flies.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
When we exited the trailhead, our hired vans were already waiting for us.

Some Thoughts about this Hike and Mistakes to Avoid

Although most of us said we don’t want to hike to Mt. Baigu anymore, this trail is still wonderful. I still think of those rugged rock slopes, especially those before we reached the summit. In Taiwan, the experience of hiking Mt. Baigu is like a badge of hornor proving you have certain ability to take on difficult hikes in Taiwan. However, there are still things that I could’ve done better to make this hike more enjoyable.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Some sections of the trail were covered of tree roots.

Bring Easy Meals for Lunch

I brought meals that needed to be cooked for my lunch, but this was a mistake. We only had 40 minutes for our lunch breaks, and cooking the food took too much time. I was a slow hiker and by the time we finished my lunch, other hikers were ready to go. I should have brought meals that were ready to eat.

Choose a Flatter Campsite and Secure Food

I still don’t have enough experience about camping, and not good at pitching my tent, although it’s not too difficult to set up my MSR tent. The ground of my tent wasn't level, which made falling asleep even harder.
Be aware of wild animals and secure your food inside your backpack. One of our hiking mates left their food outside of their tent and their tent got chewed. I still don’t know what happened.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
An orange mushroom on the trail

Carry a Light Backpack for the Summit Hike

Hanhan had told us to prepare a light backpack for the summit. I did bring a light one, but I decided not to use it at the last minute, which made my hike to Mt. Baigu miserable.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
Carrying a light backpack will make life easier on the way to Mt. Baigu

Stay Dry as Much as You Can

Probably no need to explain more about this.
Will I recommend this trail? Absolutely. Some people did this hike in 2 days, but I think if you don’t want to be in a rush, planning a 3-day trip will be better. Mt. Baigu is very popular among hikers because you don’t need to apply for permits or lodge beds, which saves a lot of hassles, but the driving to the trailhead can be challenging because of the road condition. It's better to hire a van to take you there.
Mt. Baigu - 100 Peaks hike in Taiwan: a challenging hike to enjoy the rugged terrains and beautiful views
I still think of the trees and rock slopes on Mt. Baigu trail from time to time. Perhaps I'll do it again. Who knows.

Map and Itinerary

Group Hike or Solo Hike: Group hike with LOHAS
Date of Hike: July 24, 2020
Note: Day 3 route is the same as Day 1.

Route map for 100 Peaks In Taiwan: Mt. Baigu, Day 1 by Anusha Lee on plotaroute.com

Group Hike or Solo Hike: Group hike with LOHAS
Date of Hike: July 25, 2020

Route map for 100 Peaks In Taiwan: Mt. Baigu, Day 2 by Anusha Lee on plotaroute.com

Click Menu in the map to download, print or share the map.
Click timer to change the speed to meet your condition.

Note:
My GPS track may not be totally accurate and is for reference only.

Day 1: based on my hike on July 24, 2020

05:25 Left hotel
07:00 Arrived at the Last Farmhouse and get gear ready
07:19 Arrived at the trailhead
07:48 Reached the fence and turned to the steep slope on the left
10:07 Reached Mt. Sanzhui
11:49 Reached Hunter Campsite and took a break
12:33 Reached our campsite near Siyan Ponds and started pitching tents
13:20 Headed to Siyan Ponds to fetch water
13:35 Arrived at Siyan Ponds
Total time: 5 hours 33 minutes, including long breaks
(from the Last Farmhouse to our campsite)

Day 2: based on my hike on July 25, 2020

03:00 Got up for breakfast
04:00 Headed to Mt. Baigu
05:00 Arrived at Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak
05:49 Arrived at Jita Campsite
07:19 Reached single-line rock slope 一線天
08:34 Arrived at Grass Ponds
08:50 Reached the Boulder Rubble Area 石瀑/砂岩亂石區
09:23 Arrived at Mt. Baigu peak and stayed for 10 minutes
10:03 Took a 30-minute lunch break
12:53 Back to Jita Campsite
14:06 Reached to Mt. Baigu Southeast Peak again
15:09 Back to our campsite and called it a day
Total time: 9 hours 9 minutes, including long breaks

Day 3: based on my hike on July 26, 2020

05:00 Got up and prepared to leave
06:00 Left the campsite
06:24 Reached Pine Needle Campsite
06:31 Reached Hunter Campsite
07:26 Reached Mt. Sanzhui
09:14 Back to the fence
09:40 Arrived at the trailhead
Total time: 3 hours 40 minutes, including long breaks

Recommended Blogs and Resources:

Chinese only:
Hiking Biji: 白姑大山登山步道
中橫四辣@白姑大山一生只會爬這一次Part.2
2020年05月02~03日中横四辣之白姑大山
2020一日百岳·單攻白姑大山-13.5小時行程GPX、申請、高度圖、登山口
English posts:
Taipei Times: Off the Beaten Track: The solitary spectacle of Baigu Mountain
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